Fun stuff for teens

Over at there is always a ton of contests going on to win free books. Participate in polls and check out book recommendations and new releases.
Seriously go check out the website for UnRequired Reading. So much fun stuff and great books recommendations.

You can "like" the libraries official Facebook page in the sidebar.

Check out the Summer reading list from 2011
Check out the Summer reading list from 2012

Renew or Reserve from Home

To Log On to your account
  • From our Main Catalog Page (here) click LOG ON in the top right hand corner
  • "Username" is a capital P and the number on your library card. Enter that number in the box. If you do not have your library card call us at 286-8971, and we can look it up for you. 
  • "Password" will be the last four digits of your home phone number. Enter those numbers in the box.
Now you will be able to see items that are currently checked out to you, including Inter-Library Loans. You may now reserve and renew items from home too!
    To Reserve an item
    • Locate the title you would like to reserve on our Main Catalog Page (here
    • Once located click on the title
    • click the button that says RESERVE on the right hand side
    • On the following screen click on the button that says RESERVE again (if you are not logged in yet, you will now be prompted to do so)
    • A screen will pop up asking you to confirm that you want to reserve this item, click OK
    • The item is now reserved for you
    To Renew item(s)
    • Log in to your account as instructed above 
    • Click on the tab that says ITEMS OUT
    • Check the boxes of the items that you would like to renew (Inter-Library Loans are not available for renewal)
    • After checking all the boxes of items you wish to renew, scroll to the top or bottom of your list and click on the word "Renew"
    • If there was a problem renewing any items, you will have a message right above the tabs in your account
    Please make sure you check the new dates of all your items!

      Fun Stuff!

      Show us Your Bookcase Here
      Want to recommend a book or get a suggestion from another patron?
      Check out our Readers Recommend page!

      Check out the Unshelved Comic Strip by Gene Ambaum and Bill Barnes! When you are done at the website, stop by the library to check out their collections!

      Why don't you try Literature Map to find similar authors to the ones you already love!

      BookCountry is a fun way to find new titles you may enjoy.

      Once you find some good novels, you should sign up with a FREE Goodreads account. There you can keep track of books you've read and loved, and get suggestions from other readers with similar interests.

      If you're looking for books for your kids we suggest StorySnoops
      "Created by moms, StorySnoops offers children's book reviews from a parent's perspective. Our search features identify tween and teen fiction for every type of reader. Curious about content? Our book reviews will give you the scoop! We help you find fiction that fits."
      Also you can check out Parental Book Reviews which gives details into the content of many books.

      Project Gutenberg - Free Ebook Library
      Bibliomania - Read online literature with more than 2,000 classic texts
      Online Books Page - Over 25,000 free books

      Nancy Keane Book Lists - Suggested Reading
      Famous Quotes and Authors
      Internet Public Library for Teens
      New Hampshire State Library

      See what's going on in your town! Tilton - Northfield
      Check out this map of Historical Markers in New Hampshire

      Did you know...

      * that the way the Hall Memorial Library is chartered, we have only two elected members,one from each town? The other three are appointed for life, or until they resign or move out of town.

      * that the Northfield Knitwits provide frogging and tinking support? Do you know what frogging and tinking mean? You can find out at the library.

      * that SPAW is on the Internet at ?

      * that the library has a lot of comfortable places to sit and read?

      Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

      Contact Info

      Hall Memorial Library
      18 Park Street Northfield, NH 03276
      For directions, click here!

      Monday & Thursday: 10-8
      Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 10-6
      Saturday: 10-2

      • Kathi Mitchell, President of the Board of Trustees, Super Awesome Queen of Her Kingdom
      • Mo Boudreau, Lifetime Member
      • Nancy Court, Lifetime Member
      • Tom Fulweiler, Elected Member Northfield  
      • Rachel Saliba, Elected Member Tilton


      Directions to the Hall Memorial Library

      From the South
      Get on I-93 North
      Take the RT-132 exit, EXIT 19, toward Northfield/Franklin
      Turn LEFT onto NH-132/Park Street
      After about 1 mile 18 Park Street (Hall Memorial Library) will be on your right.

      From the North
      Get on I-93 South
      Take  EXIT 20, toward RT-140/Laconia/Tilton
      Turn RIGHT onto US-3/ E. Main Street
      Follow US-3 through two set of lights and continue on US-3
      At third set of lights take a left onto Park Street
      The Old Merrimack Train Station should be on your right and the Hall Memorial Library will be the fourth building on your left.
      The Library shares a parking lot with the Union Sanborn School.

      From Franklin
      Following US-3 east towards Hannaford's traffic lights continue through traffic lights at Smitty's
      At the next set of traffic lights take a right.
      The Old Merrimack Train Station should be on your right and the Hall Memorial Library will be the fourth building on your left.
      The Library shares a parking lot with the Union Sanborn School.

      View Larger Map

      Annual Report 2011

      Serving the towns of Tilton and Northfield since 1886

      Trustees:       Leif Martinson, Northfield, Chair, lifetime appointee                                     
                              Eliza Conde, Northfield, Treasurer, lifetime appointee                                                                       Nell Grant, Tilton, lifetime appointee
                              Christine D’Amore, Tilton, elected through 2013                               
                              Tom Fulweiler, Northfield, Secretary, elected through 2013                        
      Staff:               Mary Ahlgren, Director
                  `           Kelly Finemore, Children's Services
                              Brittany Moore, Young Adult and Circulation Services
                              Coral Theberge, Library Assistant, Tech Services
                              Maggie McCall, Library Assistant, Programming and Publicity
                              Morris Boudreau, Maintenance
                              Rachel Sibulkin, Julia Kehr, Pages through the fall, Megan Yandian and Amber                             Groz through the end of the year.     
      Volunteers included Nell Grant, Marge Rudolph, Ginny Timmons, Susan Nadeau, Beverly Green, Cheryl Geiger, Josie Nichols, Don MacDonald, Jeff Tracy, Ralph Nash, Tyrone Hutchins, John Pelletier, Donald Rodriguez, Jonathan Ledoux, Joan Tessier, David Craig, Dennis Lynch, James Young, Jon Fletchall, Kent Finemore, Steve Ahlgren, the Daisy Scouts, and groups of students and faculty from Tilton School.  Volunteers help with plant care, tutoring, and homebound delivery among many other things. They contributed at least 361 hours to the library. We appreciate them!

      Many gifts were given to the library as well. Some were in memory of our longtime trustee Sally Lawrence.  Jeff Millroy, John and Claire Tremblay, Lucinda Hope, Bill Bayley, Chuck and Kathie Mitchell, Grace and Joe LaPlante, Patty Boudreau, Henry Hall, and the Daisy Scouts all gave to the library generously. Many others gave us materials to add to our collections or to sell in our ongoing book sale. Our community shines with a giving spirit.

      The library produced 420 programs this year and at least 6661 people of all ages participated in one or more of them. We also supported about 218 volunteer tutoring hours.
      Downloadables continue to offer a selection of ebooks in addition to audio books, and can now be used with Kindles, ipads, and most other electronic devices. If you need assistance using any of these services, please come in. We can help you. We still offer the Encyclopedia Britannica and Mango Foreign language classes on-line. NHSL makes it possible to access periodical and other databases with your library card although the number of things they offer has decreased significantly this year. They are still supporting inter library loans though, so when we don't have something you need, we are often able to borrow it from another New Hampshire library for you. Print periodicals remain available here and we order new books, DVD's, and books on CD on a regular basis.  Our circulation was over 65,000 items this year, and database usage is at nearly 10,000. Our computers were in use over 10,000 times with another 3000 plus wi-fi connections.
      We are pleased to be able to serve our community in so many ways, Thank you for remaining supportive of your local library. We will continue to be the best library we can be for you and welcome your questions, comments, and most of all, your patronage.

      Currier Museum of Art

      This pass admits two adults for free into the museum. Children under 12 always have free admission. 

      You must have a valid card to use this pass. You may call to reserve a pass a week in advance, if it is available.

      150 Ash Street
      Manchester, NH 03104

      Check out their website!

      Regular Prices:
      Adult $15,
      Senior $13,
      Student $10,
      Ages 13-17 $5,
      Children under 12 free

      With Zimmerman House Tour:
      Adult $25,
      Senior $24,
      Student $16,
      Children 7-17 $10

      Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum

      One pass admits one person (any age) for free. There are six passes that can be used per day.

      Use the Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum Pass and be part of the
      Time Traveler Club!!!

      Time Travelers is a reciprocal membership network for historical museums and societies throughout the United States. The Missouri History Museum created the program in 1998 so that members of historical institutions could receive exclusive benefits and privileges at museums and historical sites nationwide. These benefits may include free or reduced admission, gift shop discounts, free parking, and much more. The Missouri History Museum will release quarterly lists for museums and their members to help them take advantage of these special offers! Visit for more information.
      Here are just some of the places where you can receive discounted or free admission:
      ·        Canterbury Shaker Village
      ·        Strawbery Banke Museum
      ·        Wright Museum of World War II

      And more in other states!

      You must have a valid card to use this pass. You may call to reserve a pass a week in advance, if it is available.

      Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum
      18 Highlawn Road
      Warner, NH 03278

      Check out their website!

      Regular Prices:
      Adults $9,
      Seniors/Students $8,
      Children (6-12) $7,
      Familes (2 adults & children under 18) $26.00,
      Children under 6 & Native Americans FREE

      Museum of New Hampshire History

      This pass admits four people (any age). 

      You must have a valid card to use this pass. You may call to reserve a pass a week in advance, if it is available.

      New Hampshire Historical Society
      Library | 30 Park Street, Concord, NH 03301
      Museum | 6 Eagle Square, Concord, NH 03301

      Check out their website!

      Regular Prices:
      $7.00 for adults;
      FREE for children under 18

      Squam Lakes Science Center

      This pass admits two people (any age) for $5.00 trail admission. It also allows up to four other people a discounted admission for $10 a person

      You must have a valid card to use this pass. 
      You may call to reserve a pass a week in advance, if it is available.

      Squam Lakes Natural Science Center
      PO Box 173
      23 Science Center Road
      Holderness, NH 03245

      Check out their website!

      Regular Prices: Adults: $19.00
      Youth (3-15): $14.00
      Children (2 and under): FREE (with family)
      Senior Admission (every day, age 65): $16.00

      Lake Cruise Admission - Explore Squam, Nature of the Lakes, Bald Eagle Adventure, Loon Cruise:Adults: $23.00/member; $27.00/non-member
      Youth (ages 3-15): $19.00/member; $23.00/non-member
      Senior (age 65+): $21.00/member; $25.00/non-member
      Not recommended for children under 3

      Combo Pass - save $5 on trail and lake cruise combined:

      Adults: $40.00
      Youth (ages 3-15): $31.00
      Senior (age 65+): $35.00

      *Donated by the Tilton-Northfield Rotary Club

      SEE Science Center

      This pass admits 2 people for free. 

      You must have a valid card to use this pass. 
      You may call to reserve a pass a week in advance, if it is available. 

      SEE Science Center
      200 Bedford Street
      Manchester, NH 03101

      Check out their website!

      Regular Prices:
      $9 per person ages 3+

      McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center

      This pass admits four people (any age). It's $5.00 per person for special Planetarium Shows. 

      You must have a valid card to use this pass. 
      You may call to reserve a pass a week in advance, if it is available. 

      Imagine becoming a member at one New England museum and getting access to some of the best cultural institutions the region has to offer. 
      That is exactly what the Partner Exchange Program is all about! 
       The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center is offering this incredible benefit for members. The Discovery Center partners with a museum or attraction to offer an exchange for their members to visit each other's facility for free for an entire month. Not only do Discovery Center members enjoy the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center and all that it has to offer, they also gain a one-time free admission to other museums and attractions during the year by simply presenting their membership card! This is a great way to have fun all year long for one low price. 

      For more information on this program and our memberships, email Anne Roberts at 

      2018 Partner Organizations/Month 

      January - Cheshire Children's Museum 
      February - Aviation Museum of New Hampshire 
      March - Seacoast Science Center 
      April - Millyard Museum 
      May - Currier Museum 
      June - The Fells 
      July - Aviation Museum of New Hampshire 
      August - Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum 
      September - Squam Lakes Natural Science Center 
      October - TBA 
      November - TBA 
      December - TBA

      McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center
      2 Institute Drive
      Concord, NH 03301

      Check out their website!

      Regular Prices:

      $10 Adults
      $7 Children (ages 3 to 12)
      $9 Seniors (age 62 and up);
      $9 Students (age 13 through college)
      $7 Groups of 15 or more.

      Plus $5.00 per person for Planetarium show.

      Kelly's picks

      Favorite Picture Books
      Falling for Rapunzel, Leah Wilcox
      The Mitten, Jan Brett
      I’m Not Going Out There, Paul Bright
      Ants in My Pants, Wendy Mould
      Leonardo the Terrible Monster, Mo Willems
      Big Red Tub, Julia Jarman
      Rollercoaster, Marla Frazee
      Harriet You’ll Drive Me Wild, Mem Fox
      The Dancing Tiger, Malachy Doyle
      Fancy Nancy, Jane O’Connor
      The Going to Bed Book, Sandra Boynton

      Winter Woes, Marty Kelley
      Dream Snow, Eric Carle
      Fright Night Flight, Laura Krauss Melmed
      What Are You So Grumpy About?, Tom Lichtenheld
      Slugs in Love, Susan Pearson
      Is There Really a Human Race, Jamie Lee Curtis
      The Library, Sarah Stewart
      Five Dog Night, Eileen Christelow
      My Dad, Anthony Browne
      A Child’s Calendar, John Updike
      Bear Hugs, Karma Wilson
      What a  Day It Was At School, Jack Prelutsky
      Straight To the Pole, Kevin O’Malley
      My Father the Dog, Elizabeth Bluemle
      King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub, Don & Audrey Wood
      Minerva Louise, Janet Morgan Stoeke
      If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Laura Numeroff
      Strega Nona, Tomie DePoala
      Tiger Can’t Sleep, S.J. Fore
      The Neighborhood Mother Goose, Nina Crews
      South, Patrick McDonnell
      Bink & Gollie, Kate DiCamillo
      Where’s Tumpty, Polly Dunbar
      Mary Had a Little Lamp, Jack Lechner
      Snowballs, Lois Ehlert
      Star, Mary Lyn Ray
      Press Here , Herve Tullet 
      Otis and the Tornado, Loren Long
      The Cow loves Cookies, Karma Wilson
      Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake Michael Kaplan
      Memoirs of a Goldfish, Devin Scillian

      Grades 2-5

      The Secrets of Droon, Tony Abbott
      Time Warp Trio, John Scieszka
      Amber Brown, Paula Danziger
      Owen Foote, Stephanie Greene
      Andy Russell, David Adler
      Flat Stanley, Jeff Brown
      Clementine, Sarah Pennypacker
      The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes, Anne Mazer
      Beacon Street Girls, Annie Bryant
      Dragon Slayers Academy, Kate McMullan
      Geronimo Stilton, Geronimo Stilton
      Hank Zipzer, Henry Winkler
      Rotten School, R.L. Stine
      Weird Planet, Dan Greenburg
      A Series of Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket
      Time Spies, Candice Ransom
      The Spiderwick Chronicles, Holly Black
      Ramona, Beverly Cleary
      Closed for the Season, Mary Downing Hahn
      Little House Books, Laura Ingalls Wilder
      Fudge Books, Judy Blume
      Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling
      Septimus Heap, Angie Sage
      Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
      Judy Moody, Megan Mc Donald
      Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis
      Charlie Bone, Jenny Nimmo
      Emily Windsnap, Liz Kessler
      Screech Owl, Roy Mac Gregor
      Maximum Ride, James Patterson
      Warriors, Erin Hunter
      Redwall, Brian Jacques
      Deltora Quest, Emily Rodda
      Stink, Megan McDonald
      Captain Underpants, Dav Pilkey
      39 Clues, Rick Riordan
      Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Rick Riordan
      City Of Ember, Jeanne DuPrau
      Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jeff Kinney
      Grades 3-6

      The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick
      Hatchet, Gary Paulsen
      Thank You, Lucky Stars, Beverly Donofrio
      Lost and Found, Andrew Clements
      Olive’s Ocean, Kevin Henkes
      Kira, Kira, Cynthia Kadohata
      Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
      Charlotte's Web, E.B. White
      The Star of Kazan, Eva Ibbottson
      Star Girl, Jerry Spinelli
      Hate that Cat, Sharon Creech
      Bread and Roses Too, Katherine Patterson
      A Crooked Kind of Perfect, Linda Urban
      Project Mulberry, Linda Sue Park
      Rules, Cynthia Lord
      The Mother-Daughter Book club, Heather Vogel Frederick
      The Birchbark House, Louise Erdrich
      The Manny Files, Christian Burch
      Carolina Harmony, Marilyn McDowell
      Canned, Alex Shearer
      The Brooklyn Nine, Alan Gratz
      Melonhead, Katy Kelly
      Greetings from Nowhere, Barbara O’Connor
      Science Fair, Dave Barry
      Touch Blue, Cynthia Lord
      The Name of this book is Secret, Pseudonymous Bosch
      Umbrella Summer, Lisa Graff
      Mockingbird, Kathryn Erskine
      Turtle in Paradise, Jennifer Holm
      43 Old Cemetery Road, Kate Klise
      My Life as a Book, Janet Tashjian
      Emily’s Fortune, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
      Boom, Mark Haddon
      The Crowfiled Curse, Pat Walsh
      A Tale Dark and Grimm, Adam Gidwitz
      The Willoughbys, Lois Lowry
      Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Maryrose Wood
      Falling In, Frances O’Roark Dowell
      Leap of Faith, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
      Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
      Boston Jane: An Adventure, Jennifer L. Holm

      Go Back to the Top

      Adult titles

      About Grace Anthony Doerr
      The Monk Downstairs, Tim Farrington
      Must Love Dogs, Claire Cook
      Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follet
      Love Story, Erich Segal
      History of Love, Nicole Krauss
      Prep, Curtis Sittenfeld
      Coming Home, Rosamund Pilcher
      Love Walked In, Marisa de los Santos
      Belong to Me, Marisa de los Santos
      Eternal on the Water, Joseph Monninger
      Joy School, Elizabeth Berg
      Love in the Asylum, Lisa Carey
      Songs from a lead lined room, Suzanne Strempek Shea
      Shelf life, Suzanne Strempek Shea
      Sundays in America, Suzanne Strempek Shea
      Forever and Ever Amen, Karol Jackowski 271.97 JAC
      Lying Awake, Mark Salzman
      Spenser Novels, Robert Parker
      The Hidden Messages in Water, M. Emoto 
      613 EMO
      Stephanie Plum Series, Janet Evanovich
      Nineteen Minutes, Jodi Picoult
      Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls
      Water Witches, Chris Bohjalian
      Midwives, Chris Bohjalian
      Body Surfing, Anita Shreve
      Light on Snow, Anita Shreve
      The Lottery, Patricia Wood
      The Senator’s Wife, Sue Miller
      A Girl Named Zippy, Haven Kimmel
      She got up from the couch, Haven Kimmel
      Up from the Blue, Susan Henderson
      The Middle Place, Kelly Corrigan
      The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd
      The Help, Kathryn Stockett
      The Dogs of Babel, Carolyn ParKhurst
      The Borrower, Rebecca Makkai
      The Kitchen Daughter, Jael McHenry
      Finding Somewhere, Joseph Monninger

      Go Back to the Top

      Summer Reading List from 2011

      Mary's picks

      2012 |2011 |2010 |2009 |2008 |2007|


      Dubois, Brendan. Primary Storm. Not my favorite of his many NH coastline books by any means.
      Elias, Gerald, Death and Transfiguration. My first book by this author, and it won't be my last. I was disappointed and confused by the ending, but it didn't really matter.....
      Tursten, Helene, Night Rounds. Don't have surgery in Sweden if you've just read this book.
      Cotterill, Colin, Grandad, There's a Head on the Beach.  One of my new favorite writers, sort of a Thai Carl Hiaasen, whose book is as off putting and funny as it is spot-on relevant to our times.
      Floyd, Bill, The Killer's Wife. Interesting premise and exploration of how and what we are willing to see or not see in the people with whom we live.
      Brauen, Yangzom, Across Many Mountains.  Three generations of women, Tibetan, and Swiss, and how their lives unfolded across many mountains and countries.
      Sweet, Victoria, God's Hotel. A thought provoking and moving look at the ideas of "slow 
      medicine", the Laguna Honda in San Francisco, which is a hospital for the poor, and Hildegard of Bingen.
      Brett, Simon, Blotto, Twinks, and the Deadly Dowager Duchess.  I actually like the title better than I do the book....
      Genova, Lisa, Still Alice  I am not sure the author proved her title, but she did raise a lot of questions and provide a great deal of current information about early onset Alzheimer's.
      Holt, Anne, What is Mine.  and What Never Happened. She is so good at the creepy stuff!
      McCall Smith, Alexander, The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection.'s Mme. Ramotswe. What more do you need for a feel good book?
      Korman, Gordon. Born to Rock.  What would you do if you found out your biological father was an infamous grunge/whatever star?
      Thompson, James. Helsinki White.  Drugs in Finland.....kind of disjointed narrative.
      Lupton, Rosamund, Sisters. Wish I had a sister who knew and loved me that much.
      French, Tana. In the Woods.  Whew.
      Battle, Lois, Storyville. Corruption and hypocrisy in New Orleans, in particular regarding prostitution.
      Gonnerman, Jennifer, Life on the Outside . This true story of a woman imprisoned for 16 years for transporting cocaine (first offense) and the challenges she faces when she re-enters society is affecting on many, many levels. It may change some of the beliefs and presumptions you hold dear.....and that can be a good thing.
      Wambaugh, Joseph. Hollywood Crows.  At least Wambaugh adds humor to his very dark picture of SoCal.
      Eggers, David, Zeitoun, Read Zeitoun and Salvage the Bones together for two very different stories about Hurricane Katrina and some of the people affected by it. This is non fiction; it does not paint a pretty picture of "officials", government, and prejudices just under the surfaces of our lives. A must read.
      Persson, Leif, Another Time, Another Life. This story is based on events leading up to the assignation of Sweden's prime minister in 1975. Full of history and evil deeds.....great read.
      Brennert, Alan, Honolulu. Read this one for the story rather than the writing. 
      George, Elizabeth, Believing the Lie. She is a master and this is quite a story. 
      Brody, Frances, Dying in the Wool.  Kind of Winspearish, same era, not as evolved characters. Never thought about how wool was dyed before, especially during wartime.
      Hill, Reginald, Good Morning, Midnight, and Deadheads. One of "the old masters" of English detective fiction.
      Towles, Amor, Rules of Civility. Fitzgerald-y. I really liked this book! Don't quite dare say better than Great Gatsby, but somehow more empathetic.
      Mosley, Walter, All I Did Was Shoot My Man. A slightly confusing read by one of our greatest storytellers.
      Brawley, Otis Webb, How We Do Harm. This book by the chief medical and scientific official of the American Cancer Society is an eye opener. Everyone who has been touched by cancer should have this on their reading list.
      Ward, Jesmyn, Salvage the Bones. A very hard (emotionally difficult) read, about Lousiana just before and during Hurricane Katrina, but a must read as well.
      Murakami, Haruki, 1Q84. Proust with more of a (Japanese) story line? This book leaves me with the very intense need to talk about it with someone who's read it. Call me at the library 286-8971....!
      McCall Smith, Alexander. The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party. Mma Ramotswe wins my heart again.
      Sendker, Jan-Philipp, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats.  What moving love story. Much more as well, but that is what stays with me.
      McNamer, Dierdre, Red Rover. Brothers, war, idealism and how it can be destroyed. Very moving and beautifully written. Thanks, Abi!
      Hill, Susan, The Pure in Heart. Another  winner from a new favorite mystery writer.
      Ghosh, Amitav, The Hungry Tide Recommended by my friend Janet, brilliant picture of a part of the world (the Sundarban in the Bay of Bengal) which I bet you know as little about as I did. Great story too!
      Mezrich, Ben, Accidental Billionaires. Opportunities for great greed about in the techno-
      world we have created. Doesn't make me feel particularly optomistic.....
      Burdett, John, Vulture Peak. The Thai flavor is spicy. Just wish the story wasn't so gross!
      Green, John, The Fault in out Stars. Wow. Full of insight and things to ponder.
      Scott, A.D., A Double Death in the Black Isle. Interesting glimpse into the Scotland of the early '50s.
      Moskowitz, Hannah, Invincible Summer. I wanted to like this story, but in the end, I really didn't.
      Harrison, Jim, Great Leader  I ended up with not sympathy for the main character, rare for me in books by this author.
      Barnes, Julian, The Sense of an Ending. Some exquisite phrases, but the plot didn't quite come together for me.
      Harbach, Chad, The Art of Fielding.  This book started so well, but it kind of lost me along the way. Perhaps I just don't understand college sports (Hah! of course I don't understand college sports,) but I'm not sure that is why.
      Morgenstern, Erin, The Night Circus. Kind of reminds me of an adult Harry Potter. I know there are people in this very library who don't agree with me at all.....
      Hill, Susan, The Various Haunts of Men. In this book, along with the story, she looks at the appeal of various alternative approaches to healing. Pretty thought provoking
      Block, Stephen Merrill, The Storm at the Door.  A book with many of the things I really like. It has New Hampshire, a famous Massachusetts psychiatric institution, the "White" Paper Company, and a very human story.
      Sjowall and Wahloo, Roseanna. I enjoyed revisiting these forerunners of today's current batch of Swedish mystery writers. It was all about procedure then, and of course, somewhat dark "inspectors".

      Go Back to the Top

      Castillo, Linda, Breaking Silence. It's interesting to me, this fascination we seem to have with the Amish world. 
      Patchett, Ann, State of Wonder. What a premise! Perhaps a book that is saved by its ending?
      Hill, Susan, Shadows in the Street. I especially like the way all of her characters are so completely developed.
      Hruska, Alan, Wrong Man Running. Very creepy.
      Trodson, Lars, Eagles Fly Alone. Written by a friend of a patron, local, and a very interesting glimpse into small town politics. Wonder what town it's based on?
      Maxwell, Abi, Giant of the Sea. Published in McSweeney's 39! Partly an immigrant's story, partly about different kinds of relationships between friends,, and partly about finding ways to survive. Written by a friend of mine!
       Wilson, Kevin, The Family Fang. Art vs. just about everything else. Who/what wins?
      Olafsdottir, Audur Ava, The Greenhouse. Hmmmm. Roses. Babies. Commitment (fear of). A little gem.
      Hall, Tarquin, The Case of the Missing Servant. India's answer to Sherlock Holmes. Very entertaining.
      Ondaatje, Michael, The Cat's Table. The prose seduced me into thinking this would be a gentle story. It really isn't......
      Stevens, Taylor, The Informationist. I read it because of the author's own story. Action packed, but too violent for my taste.
       Hewitt, Ben, The Town that Food Saved. Heartening. All we need is more hero farmers!
      Mayor, Archer, Tag Man. Definitely a very uncomfortable premise, but still somehow, a sympathetic "perp".(I never thought I would use that word. Oh dear.)
      Cotterill, Colin, Killed at the Whim of a Hat. A new to me author, who is already one of my favorites. The Coroner's Lunch may be even better, but it doesn't have the Bush quotes.
      Toyne, Simon, Sanctus. If it isn't far-fetched, it sure should be.
      Magary, Drew, The Postmortal. Did you think you wanted to live forever (or at least a lot longer)? Think again!
      Sutton, Dick, Driving Henry Fonda. Memories of a golden summer on location at Squam.
      Hill, Susan, The Rise of Darkness and others. Another good "mystery plus" writer.
      Beinhart, Larry, Salvation Boulevard. Religion at its worst, in my book. This one and the next could make me into a real cynic, if it hasn't happened already. 
      Haigh, Jennifer, Faith. Disturbing, moving, story.
      Fossum, Karin, Bad Intentions. I should really stop reading these "can't stop reading these" books!
      Patchett, Ann, Truth and Beauty. I think she told us way too much about someone who still has family and friends on the planet. However she told it well......
      Klosterman, Chuck, The Visible Man. Imagine counseling someone who won't let you see him. Imagine being creeped out. Read this book.
      Nesser, Hakan, The Inspector and Silence. No accounting for all the horrifying stories taking place in Scandinavia these days.
      Adiga, Aravind, The White Tiger. No romanticizing here, but deeply moving.
      Southgate, Martha, The Taste of Salt. I had high hopes, wasn't quite satisfied.
      Adler-Olsen, Jussi, The Keeper of Lost Causes. A Danish winner. 
      Bannister, Jo, Death in High Places. Way more than a mystery. Try it!
      Murphy, Yannick, The Call. Somebody tell me what the symbolism of the "space ship" is....but it is a good story even if I didn't get it.
      Brandreth, Gyles, Oscar Wilde and the Vampire Murders. Outside my box, but very fun.
      Waldman, Amy The Submission.  Building a mosque near the twin towers site? Read this before you decide what is right and what isn't. Or maybe there isn't an answer.....
      Peace, David. 1974. Brutal, but I finished it and will read the next in the series. One day.
      Grange, Kevin, Beneath Blossom Rain. Beautiful.
      Donoghue, Emma. Room.  Well, it's original. I think the child's voice is the most believable.
      Grealy, Lucy, Autobiography of a Face. Eloquent and painful, and especially brilliant when she is writing about herself as a child, patient, and daughter.
      Dalton, John. The Inverted Forest. A close to brutal picture of how we mentally ill and disfigured people.
      Mertz, Stephen, Hank and Muddy.  Where the music, especially the blues, come from. (Life).
      Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games.   Yep, it's disturbing alright. The fact that we even accept the premise to begin with is disturbing.
      Ward, Amanda Eyre, Close Your Eyes. Good story, a bit contrived.
      Penny, Louise, A Trick of Light.  Another great story from L Penny, but I do wish she hadn't stopped writing in complete sentences. The "fragments" were very distracting.
      Proulx, E. Annie, That Old Ace in the Hole. An intimate look at BIG hog farming in Texas, and the damage agribusiness does to land, community, and hogs too. If you listen to this, you will have been transported to another place.
      McGrath, MJ, White Heat. A fascination look into life within the Arctic Circle, but IMHO, could have been better written and edited.

      Ronson, Jon. The Psychopath Test. Certainly food for thought!
      Franklin, Tom. Crooked Letter Crooked Letter. A great story about the south, racism, and just plain living alone.
      Gunn, Elizabeth, Kissing Arizona. I thought the part about crossing "the fence" was particularly interesting, and the fact that the "illegal" main character knew Arizona was home, even though she was not allowed to be there, moved me deeply.
      Sandlin, Tim, Lydia. Usually I laugh a lot when I read Sandlin, but this was more than a little melancholy.
      Doiron, Paul, Trespassers. Read it and see if you don't just want to shake the main character and say "listen to the people who love you!"
      Baker, Brenda, Sisters of the Sari. Canadian writing about poor Indian women? Didn't expect it to work, but it does.
      Nemirovsky, Irene, Suite Francaise. An unfinished symphony. Despite the horrific subject matter, France under the Nazi occupation, I found it to be oddly gentle in its telling.
      Dahl, Arne, Misteriosio. Spellbinding. Scary, Swedish.
      Marsh, Callie, A Lively Faith. Callie writes about finding her spiritual home among Iowa Friends Meeting with grace and, well, "lively-ness".
      Nualin, Mary Jane, Beautiful Unbroken. Beautiful memoir.
      Kepler, Lars, The Hypnotist.  I read it all, but it was over the top for me....too creepy!
      Selznick, Brian, The Invention of Hugo Cabret.  Go the kids' section of the library and take out this fascinating story with pictures/pictures with story, for a real treat.
      Rhodes, David, Driftless. Finding community with all its challenges, in the rural midwest.
      A beautiful read.
      Quartey, Kwei, Children of the Street. A trip to parts of Accra, Ghana, that most westerners will never see.
      Obrecht, Tea. The Tiger's Wife. I am not completely sure what happened in this book. It is definitely worth another read or at least some good conversation about it.
      Merullo, Roland, The Talk Funny Girl. Rural isolationist religion, right in our backyard.
      Lackberg, Camilla. The Preacher. and oh, the damage some religions do.....
      Setterfield, Diane, The Thirteenth Tale. What an intriguing story within a story.
      Anderson, MT, Octavian Nothing. The American Revolution from an entirely new perspective.
      Burke, James Lee, Last Car to the Elysian Fields. A very moving way into the lives of some blues musicians and the pain behind their songs.
      Makkai, Rebecca, The Borrower. Watch out for children's librarians!
      Nesbo, Jo, The Snowman. I may never build another one.
      Cook, Thomas, The Cloud of Unknowing. Do we really know what others are capable of doing? And how about ourselves?
      Kostova, Elizabeth, The Swan Thieves. Brilliantly told story of a painting, several painters, and women finding the way into the 1800's world of male artists.
      Thompson, Jean, The Year We Left Home. Small town midwestern life, not at its best.
      Ofri, Danielle, Singular Intimacies. A physician focuses on the intensity of the doctor-
      patient relationship.
      King, Lily. Father of the Rain. Family issues with a focus on daughter-father especially
      McEuen, Paul.Spiral. Micro-robots with the power to destroy. Not my usual cup of tea, but hard to put down once you start.
      Hustvedt, Siri. The Summer without Men.  She nails so many kinds of relationships.
      Shin, Kyun-Sook. Please Look after Mom. Beautifully written. How we love our mothers, and how often we take them for granted.
      Martin, Steve. An Object of Beauty. And a story with pictures as well as much to ponder.
      Wolitzer, Meg. The Uncoupling. Still thinking about this one.
      McPhee, John. Rising from the Plains. A master at writing about the bones of a place.
      Atkinson, Kate. Started Early, took my Dog. How can we not read books with such great titles? Great story too.
      Spencer-Fleming. I have really enjoyed her series, and One Was a Soldier, her most recent, is my favorite so far.
      Russell, Karen. Swamplandia. I really want to love this book.
      Brockmeyer, Kevin. The Illumination. Would we behave differently if we could see each others' pain?
      Whitaker, Robert. Anatomy of an Epidemic. The report on 50 years of treatment of mental illness with a focus on medication. Unfortunately the evidence shows results that are devastating and mandate a paradigm shift. I only hope stake holders in the mental health field (and which of us aren't) read this book with their defenses down.
      DePres, Max. The Art of Leadership. Read this as an assignment. Loved it as a guide to attitude and behavior at work and beyond.
      Mankell, Henning. The Troubled Man. Being of Swedish heritage, I dislike these glimpses of its not so pristine involvement in WWII, espionage, cover-up....but Mankell always 
      draws me in and opens my eyes.
      Persson, Leif. Between Summer's Longing and Winter's End
      Shouldn't have read this right after The Threatened Man. More difficult to read and absorb, and definitely reinforces Mankell's perspective.
      Ishiguro, Kazuo. Never Let Me Go. Beautifully written, frightening, and thought-provoking. So of course I loved it.
      McCracken, Elizabeth. An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination. Oh my, how gently, painfully, and almost, at times, humorously she deals with the death of her son at his birth.....
      Rowling, J.K. So I finally finished all of them. I'd say you have to be in the mood...but I was. Thoroughly enjoyable.
      Higashino, Kiego. The Devotion of Suspect X. The language and the story fit together 
      perfectly. Brilliant!
      Rodriguez, Deborah. A Cup of Friendship. Kind of "romancy" for me, but an interesting perspective on Afghanistan.
      Morrow, Bradford. The Diviner's Tale. Who says there are only 5 senses? Not dowsers/diviners/Bradford Morrow......
      Vonnegut, Mark. Almost Like Someone Without Mental Illness. Remarkably hopeful memoir about living with schizophrenia .
      Rankin, Ian. The Complaints (or any other title). If you listen to them you think, perhaps, that you've gone to Scotland.
      Hockensmith, Steve. World's Greatest Sleuth. Slapstick humor, and social commentary, at the Chicago World's Fair.
      Hellstrom and Roslund. Three Seconds. Brilliant! Creepy. Scary.
      Franzen, Jonathan. The Corrections. Stimulated a pretty heated book discussion just today! To me that is just what we want from a book.
      Follett, Ken. Pillars of the Earth. A very long book, perfect for a very long-lasting cold.

      Norman, Howard. What is Left the Daughter. Tough story, tenderly told.
      Simonson, Helen. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand.
      Moslely, Walter. Last Days of Ptolemy Grey. Not his usual, even better.
      Connelly, Michael. Last Coyote. Always tells a good story.
      Hillenbrand, Laura. Unbroken. Whenever I thought the book could move a bit faster, I reminded myself NOT to complain. Life on a raft in the Pacific moves more slowly and painfully than anything I have ever experienced.
      Penney, Stef. The Tenderness of Wolves. And to think all these years I have been proud to have a Hudson Bay blanket.....
      Paretsky, Sara. Body Work. Another strong entry albeit a bit far-fetched to me....but hers is not my area of expertise so?

      Jen, Gish. The Love Wife. Chinese-American-marriage-children-relatives from the "old country". Not that easy.
      Winslow, Don. The Dawn Patrol. I really needed a book set on the beaches of San Diego County!
      Skloot, Rebecca. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Right to privacy? Informed decisions? The chance to help the health of millions? The chance to make millions? What is the right answer here?
      Mitchell, David. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob deZoet. Brilliant story of a slice of Japanese history.
      Chesney, Marion. Snobbery with Violence. Who can resist a title like this?
      Lehane, Dennis. A Drink before the War and Moonlight Madness. One of Boston's best.
      Nesbo, Jo. The Devil's Star. Dark Scandinavian mystery, set in Norway this time. The past does NOT go away!
      Fforde, Jasper. Shades of Grey. My kind of fantasy, shades of "The Giver'

      Go Back to the Top

      Recommended reads of 2010
      Irvine, Amy. Trespass. Life in the "promised" land. Promised to whom, for what purpose. Religion not at its best.
      Coomer, Joe. Pocketful of Names. What's not to love about Maine island stories?
      Tolkein, Simon. The Inheritance. Not Lord of the Rings, but good reading anyway.
      Levitt and Dubner. Superfreakonomics. Super interesting.
      Mones, Nicole. The Last Chinese Chef. I loved it,especially the parts about the food.
      George, Elizabeth. This Body of Death. Sometimes I just get on a "great women mystery writer" roll.
      Penny, Louise. Bury your Dead. Penny's books get better and better. Take a trip to Three Pines!
      Leon, Donna. A Question of Belief. Another winner in this great series.
      McCall Smith, Alexander. The Double Comfort Safari Club. Mma Ramotswe solves life's problems once again. I wish I could bring her mine. (Not that I have any:)
      Singh, Jaspreet. Chef. The conflict between India and Pakistan, Hindu and Muslim, comes alive in this book set in Kashmir. War is not the answer.
      Scott, AD. A Small Death in the Great Glen. Scotland just after WWII. This story doesn't hold back.
      Ali, Monica. In the Kitchen. A look at a variety of things English, including immigration issues as well as hotel food. Hmm....
      Robinson, Peter. Bad Boy. Some women sure do fall hard for 'em.
      Cleave, Chris. Little Bee. A great book, which is even better when you listen to the audio version.
      Vowell, Sarah. The Wordy Shipmates. The "invasion" of New England by Puritans told often in their own words.
      Meldrum, Christina. Madapple. Herbal lore abounds in this story set in Maine.
      Spurling, Hillary. Pearl Buck, Journey to The Good Earth. A different take on Buck's life than Anchee Min's, but then it isn't "fictionalized".
      Zevin, Gabrielle. The Hole We're In. Life in the fast lane when you don't have the money to pull it off....
      Spragg, Mark. Bone Fire. Place and characters pulled me right in.
      Larsson, Steig. Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. What an end to a brilliant trilogy.
      Kaminsky, Stuart. A Whisper to the Living. I do love his Russian characters.
      Carrier, Scott. Running after Antelope. Finding your own way can take you to interesting places.
      McGovern, Cammie. Neighborhood Watch. A librarian in prison for murder?
      Alexie, Sherman. Flight. Another deeply moving story from one of my favorite authors.
      Verghese, Abraham. My Own Country. Here is a chance to get to know the man who wrote Cutting for Stone. He puts a personal and medical face on the beginnings of AIDS in this country which is the best I've read.
      Hemingway, Ernest. The Old Man and the Sea. "What's this book about anyway?"
      Verghese, Abraham. Cutting for Stone. What a masterful storyteller. On my best books of the decade for sure. Ethiopia, medicine, ferenghi doctors in the US, twins, love, war, hate, forgiveness. Wooooo.
      McKibben, Bill. EAARTH. Be prepared to despair. There is no doubt that we ALL need to
      read this and be changed by it.
      Spencer-Fleming, Julia. In the Bleak Midwinter. Heard her speak and had to read her books. Maine always appeals!
      Yancey, Richard. The Highly Effective Detective Plays the Fool. If you like Westlake, I bet you will like Yancey:)
      Hitchens, Christopher. God is Not Great. A leap, of faith perhaps, beyond agnosticism into atheism.
      Min, Anchee. Pearl of China. Pearl S. Buck as imagined (with lots of research) by Anchee Min. Sure rang "true" to me.
      deHartog, Jan. A View of the Ocean. Gracefully facing death.
      Edgar, Gordon. Cheesemonger. A Life on the Wedge. Okay, the writing could be better, but read it anyway. You have to take the rind with the cheese!
      Burdett, John. The Godfather of Kathmandu. Brilliant.
      Campbell, Alistair. All in the Mind. Do all "healers" have to be somehow wounded?
      Bronte, Charlotte, Jane Eyre. What eloquent language, and what a love story!
      Winspear, Jacqueline. The Mapping of Love and Death. Another winner by a favorite writer.
      Angus, Colin. Lost in Mongolia. Rowing the 5th longest river in the world. Crazy!
      Robbins, Tom. B is for Beer. R is for really funny. Especially if you listen to it.
      Weingarten, Gene. A Hypochondriac's Guide to Life and Death. Not for the faint-hearted.
      Weiner, Jennifer. Little Earthquakes. Another book I had low expectations for. It exceeded them.
      Stockett, Kathryn, The Help. Not a book I expected to like, for a variety of reasons. But I did anyway.
      Lobdell, William. Losing my Religion. One man's intense hunt for religious values within religious institutions.
      Boyle, T C. The Women. A not particularly flattering look at the life of Frank Lloyd Wright.
      Irving, John, Last Night in Twisted River. Logging, cooking, writing. What a great combination!
      Shields, Charles. Mockingbird. If you want to learn about Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird, this is the book to read.
      Mankell, Henning. The Man from Beijing. Captivating look at revenge as well as politics in China.
      Lowry, Lois, The Willoughbys. A good old fashioned story with a happy ending by one of my favorite children's authors.
      Edwards, Elizabeth, Resilience. Another book recommended by a friend, which was much better than I ever expected.
      McClure, Tori M., Pearl in a Storm. One way to come to terms with who you are is to row across the North Atlantic by yourself. Not a method I will ever choose, but Tori's story is truly awe inspiring.
      Bazell, Josh, Beat the Reaper. Witness protection mafia hit man turns doctor. Lots of foul language and even worse is the treatment of patients. I sure hope he does not know whereof he writes!
      Francis, Dick and Felix, Under Orders and Dead Heat. I had to read one last Dick Francis when I heard of his death. He was such a window into a life I will never know first hand. And the book he wrote with his son is just as good as his own oeuvre.
      Barbery, Muriel, Elegance of the Hedgehog. Beautiful in every way.
      Bohjalian, Chris, Secrets of Eden. No easy answers it this book. Not even easy questions.
      Powers, Richard, Generosity. The author is brilliant. The idea of a happiness gene? Disturbing to me.
      Bowen, Peter, Coyote Wind and others. Recommended to me by two readers whose judgment usually affirms my own. The voice in these stories is unusual, and appealing.
      Patterson, Richard North, The Spire. What we will do to gloss things over....
      Weiner, Eric, The Geography of Bliss. Where do you think the happiest place to live is?
      King, Dave, The Haha. A humorous and sympathetic look at brain injury.
      Mortenson, Greg, Stones into Schools. The next inspiring and informative installment in the
      story of the Central Asia Institute.
      Kidder, Tracy, My Detatchment. The closest to a memoir that Kidder will get.
      Rabb, Jonathan, Shadow and Light. A frightening look at pre Hitler Germany.

      Recommended reads of 2009

      Updike, John, My Father's Tears. The title of the book and my favorite story in it as well.
      Morine, David, Two Coots in a Canoe. A look at friendship, with a river trip thrown in.
      Winchester, Simon, The Man who Loved China. Obsession carefully described.
      Dai, Sijie, Once upon a Moonless Night. Not an easy read but a great one.
      Buckley, Chris, Supreme Courtship. Only read Chris Buckley if you can stand irreverence.
      Harrison, Kathy, Another Place at the Table. The best and worst of foster care in the U.S.
      Kidder, Tracy, Strength in What Remains, A horrifying AND inspiring story about genocide and survival.
      Baker, Nicholson, The Anthologist, probably the best book about poetry that I have read in ages.
      Quartey, Kwei, Wife of the Gods, a captivating mystery that takes place in Ghana
      Dunant, Sarah, Sacred Hearts. Convents in the 1500s. Not something I ever thought I would be interested in
      White, W.L., Lost Boundaries. A little gem about racism in NH in the early 40's. True story.
      Gaiman, Neil, The Graveyard Book. A Newbery winner, and terrific story!
      Paretsky, Sara, Hardball. Another of my favorites, writing this time about Chicago and racism in the late 60's.
      Lehr and Zuckoff, Judgment Ridge. I finally read this though I didn't want to. An extremely disturbing book.
      Lopez, Steve, The Soloist. Don't make assumptions about people. Brilliance and madness may not be too far apart.
       Barr, Nevada, 13 1/2, So good but so creepy.
      Russo, Richard, Bridge of Sighs. Stodgy and reliable wins the race, and I am glad.
      Strout, Elizabeth, Olive Kitteridge. The many ways we appear to others.....
      Bullock-Prado Gesine, Confessions of a Closet Master Baker. The recipes are even better than the story.
      Patchett, Ann, Run. She has become one of my favorite authors...always a different perspective.
      Indridasson, Arnaldur, Arctic Chill. His stories about Iceland pull me right in.
      King, Laurie, The Language of Bees. A masterful story teller.
      Barker, Alan, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. The 10-year-old's voice is perfect.
      Chabon, Michael, The Yiddish Policemen's Union What a world he pictures!
      Larsson, Steig, Girl who Played with Fire. The second in his trilogy...a great read.
      Swarup, Vikas, Six Suspects. A colorful picture of today's India.
      Brooks, Gwendolyn, People of the Book. Don't know why it took me so long to catch up with this book...sure was worth the wait.
      Parkin, Gaile, Baking Cakes in Kigali. Perfect. Realistic, humorous and hopeful.
      Larsen, Reif, Selected Writings of T.S. Spivet. Hmmmmmm.
      Nesser, Hakan, Woman with Birthmark. About the long term impact of one evil deed.
      Larsson, Steig, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Swedish history/mystery. what a great book.
      Robinson, Marilynne, Home. She did it again....savor this wonderful story and ponder it!
      Zagdoorian, Michael, The Leisure Seeker. A literal end of life experience.
      Leininger, Bruce and Andrea, Soul Survivor, The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot. Absolutely fascinating!
      Todd, Charles, A Duty to the Dead and a good period mystery.
      Nesby, Jo, Nemesis. Revenge is devastating for all involved
      Patterson, James North, The Race If you like cynical but somewhat hopeful looks at presidential politics, you will like this.
      Czuchlewski, David, The Muse Asylum, If you're artistically talented and "crazy" it's the place for you.
      Alexie, Sherman, Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Second "listen" made it even better.
      Rowland, Laura Joh, The Fire Kimono. intriguing glimpse into 16th century Japan.
      Penny. Louise The Cruelest Month and A Rule Against Murder. Count Three Pines among one of my "to visit" towns!
      Smith, Mary-Ann Tirone, Dirty Water. I really enjoyed this mystery packed full of Red Sox lore.
      Gutterson, David, East of the Mountains. How to die? Some of the choices are ours.
      Doig, Ivan, Whistling Season. Doig tells a good story, but I am still wondering whether a relationship can succeed when it is based in lies. The book discussion group had a lively time with this one.
      Lamb, Wally, The Hour I First Believed. Epic in scope, Lam addresses the effect of violence be it war, school shootings, or domestic, on those on its periphery. I found this book to be profoundly moving.
      Gensberg, Ira, Reckless Homicide. Interesting look at responsibility.
      Thompson, Kate, The New Policeman. One of those books that makes me wish I were Irish, and that it came with a music CD to listen to while reading.
      Durcan, Liam, Garcia's Heart. Written by a neurologist, this is a fascination look at where our best and worst behaviors might come from.
      Rys, Matt Beyon, The Samaritan's Secret. His stories bring news from the middle east to life.
      Carr, Caleb, The Alienist. There is no doubt that this is a hard read, but if you stick with it you will learn a lot about the beginnings of "profiling" of criminals, and NYC in the late 1890's
      Kallos, Stephanie, Sing Them Home. Strange and magical book about loss, and interestingly, the effects of multiple sclerosis.
      Goodwin, Doris Kearns, Team of Rivals. When one of the book groups I belong to chose this title, I groaned, because it is SO long. And it is, but it is also timely and interesting.
      Nothing really changes in government, that's for sure!
      Franklin, Ariana, Mistress of the Art of Death. The title refers to early pathologists, trained in Italy, and thus the beginnings of forensic medicine. Another thing that doesn't change much is the West's strange prejudice against Jews.
      Amidon, Stephen, Human Capital. Why "easy" money isn't really. An older book appropriate for these times.
      Brandreth, Gyles, Oscar Wilde and a Death of no Importance. London during the times of Wilde and Conan Doyle was a place of some debauchery. This glimpse uses real characters in an imagined story to bring us into its less savory places. Now I have to read Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray.
      Lord, Cynthia, Rules. A sibling's eye view of autism.
      Harvey, John, Gone to Ground. I have found some interesting stories in the stacks of the library as I have weeded in the fiction. This one is a police procedural touching particularly on the cruelty to which homosexuals are sometimes subjected.
      Gutteridge, Peter, Two to Tango. Absolutely bizarre story taking place in various countries in South America, which is laugh out loud funny, violent, and even sometimes touching.
      Dobson, Joanne, Cold and Pure and Very Dead. The title comes from a quote by Sinclair Lewis about how Americans like our literature, and the story is loosely based on Grace Metalious and Peyton Place. If you are a fan of either, you may enjoy this take as much as I did.

      Go Back to the Top

      Recommended reads of 2008
      Hillerman, Tony, Skeleton Man. Any of Hillerman's books are good pictures of southwestern
      native culture. Another of my favorite authors who will be sorely missed.
      Barry, Dave, The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Dog. Tacky, honest, and hilarious.
      Alderman, Naomi, Disobedience. Very interesting look at Orthodox Jewish life in London.
      The main character was a bit too selfish for me.
      Adams, Harold, The Ditched Blonde. South Dakota in the 20's and 30's. Good read.
      Hamilton, Masha, The Camel Bookmobile. Addresses the conflict between maintaining cultural identity and becoming part of the international world.... moving, often beautiful, and with no easy answers.
      Lowenthal, Michael, The Same Embrace. identical twins, seeking religious and sexual identity.
      Vonnegut, Kurt, Jailbird. One of my favorite writers, and just as relevant now as when the book was written. He will be missed by this reader.
      James, P.D., The Private Patient. P.D. James never disappoints.
      Indredasson, Arnaldur, The Draining Lake. A fascinating look at a bit of Icelandic history
      and geography.
      Shaffer, Mary Ann and Annie Barrows, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society.
      An absolute treat.
      Levitt, Steven and Stephen Dubner, Freakonomics. The subtitle is "a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything", and Steven Levitt sure does. Fascinating and thought-provoking.
      Hamilton, Steve, A Cold Day in Paradise or any of his other books which bring the Upper Penninsula in Michigan to life.
      Shreve, Anita, Testimony. Booze and sex in a New England prep school, and how one bad choice can ruin your life.
      Harstead, Donald, Code 61. Never thought I would actually be interested in a book about
      vampires in Iowa.
      Holleran, Andrew, Grief. Mourning the deaths of a parent, gay friends to AIDS, and confronting the complexity of life in these times.
      Hartmann, Elizabeth, The Truth about Fire. A story about the relationship between fundamentalism and evil.
      Herrin, Lamar, The House of the Deaf. Spain, Basques, loss of a daughter. Not as depressing as it sounds.
      Heuler, Karen, The Soft Room. What would your life be like if you were unable to feel physical pain?
      Hall, Brian, The Fall of Frost. Not quite a biography, but it sure takes the reader deep into Frost's life and poetry.
      Hospital, Janet Turner, Due Preparations for the Plague. The CIA, airplane bombings, the impossibility of remaining untouched by the evil we do.
      Idle, Eric, The Road to Mars. My first sci fi novel in years, about comedy among other things.
      Leonard, Carol, Ladies' Hands, Lion's Heart. One of my favorite NH midwives tells about births she attended during a 15 year period spanning the fight of lay midwives to gain professional recognition. My personal favorite page is @ 100.
      Burke, James Lee, Swan Peak. Beautiful land is often, according to Burke, bought up by not very beautiful people.
      Burke, Alafair, Dead Connection. If you are considering Internet dating, read this first.
      Kelby, NM. Theater of the Stars, an intriguing story about life for scientists during WWII in France.
      Foer, Jonathan Safron. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and incredibly moving, funny, great!
      Hall, Meredith, Without a Map. Her writing makes this not so unusual memoir shine.
      Auster, Paul The Brooklyn Follies. What a treat!
      Leon, Donna, The Girl of His Dreams. She sure doesn't gloss over corruption in government, local and national.
      Lansdale, Joe R, Sunset and Sawdust. An early 1900s Texas romp through racism, sexism, abuse, and the mob.
      McPhee, Martha, Bright Angel Time. If you ever wondered what it was like for the children of the people who left everything to follow a "guru" (in this case to Esalen), read this book.
      Keating, HRF, Breaking and Entering. An interesting story with a great flavor of "India" English.
      Miles, Jonathan, Dear American Airlines, about how often we miss the symbolic plane and sit around in real airports.
      Troost, J. Maarten, Lost on Planet China. Funny, brutal, a heavy dose of Maarten with some China thrown in.
      Pollan, Michael, In Defense of Food. I thought this was an excellent book, probably because I agree with so much of it!
      Robinson, Roxana, Cost, about a family going through heroin addiction in one of the sons. She gives voice to all of the members affected, and hearts broken...
      Box, CJ, Blue Heaven. Retired cops, good and bad, in Idaho.
      Rys, Matt Beyon, The Collaborator of Bethlehem. What it would be like to live in Palestine, as a Christian, Jew, or Muslim. I found this to be a very disturbing book because it is mostly about daily life in a war zone.
      Sussman, Paul, The Last Secret of the Temple, same sort of theme as the Rys book, reminding us that religion can be the most divisive thing in our lives even when we hold some of the same things sacred.
      Oates, Joyce Carol, My Sister My Love. I have never been interested in the Jon Benet story, true crime is too painful for me to read. But after reading this, I have to learn
      more. Oates is psychologically profound!
      Winspear, Jacqueline, An Incomplete Revenge. Another winner from one of my favorite mystery writers.
      Larsson, Asa, The Black Path, a writer from Lapland who tells an international story about madness, greed, and possibility.
      Mankell, Henning, The Eye of the Leopard. Sweden meets Zambia in a remarkable story about whites living in Africa, how it feels, why they stay, and how difficult it is for the
      colonization mentality to go "away".
      Shannon, John, The Devils of Bakersfield. California at its worst, in a story that shows that a lot of things just don't change much. Think Grapes of Wrath in 2008.
      Gillis, Tina, Writing on Stone. Death of sons, islands, ways of life, and a bit about the life of another favorite writer of mine, Ruth Moore.
      Scottoline, Lisa, The Vendetta Defense. Another good legal "thriller" from an author who never disappoints.
      Burke, James Lee, Heartwood. Outside the box.
      Bechel, Alison, Fun Home, Graphic novels aren't always my favorite, but I thought this one was excellent.
      Keller, Jon, Under Sanborn. Can't wait until it's published! It is about a New Hampshire that if not yet gone, will be soon, but relationships between brothers make it universal. Great read.
      Wroblewski, David, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. If you like dogs, Hamlet, or the north woods of the midwest,read this book. If you like all of the above, you will love it.
      Kenyon, TK, Rabid, Greed comes to scientific research. There is a lot of sleaze in this book!
      Crowther, Yasmin, The Saffron Kitchen. Growing up Iranian in London and finding out what
      makes us "home".
      McLarty, Ron, The Memory of Running. What a heart warming story!
      Koryta, Michael, Sorrow's Anthem, Nitty gritty Cleveland, with real people to get to know.
      Krist, Gary, Chaos Theory, What can happen to a couple of kids who get mixed up in a bad deal. Engaging read.
      Lovesey, Peter, The Headhunters, Fun to read and to guess.....
      Murakame, Haruki, Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. Kind of a "The Giver" for adults. Great story!
      Mitchell, Jim, Lover's Crossing. An insider's look at life on the Mexican-US border, in novel form.
      Melville, James, The Death Ceremony. An interesting look at the Japanese tea ceremony and some of its practitioners.
      Alexie, Sherman, The Absolutely True Story of a Part Time Indian. Absolutely great!
      Lescroart, John, Betrayal. This story goes beyond San Francisco to Iraq, and outsourcing our war support to for profit (big profit) corporations.
      Tremayne, Peter, A Prayer for the Damned. Early Christian Ireland.
      Gilbert, Elizabeth, Eat, Pray, Love. A really popular book right now. I think younger women than I might appreciate it more than I did.
      McMahon, Neil, Lone Creek. So "Montana", and a good story too.
      Newman, Sandra, The Shanghai Tunnel. Interest material about Portland Oregon, and another chapter in our not often stellar history.
      King, Laurie, Touchstone. Her writing, this time about the 20's and 30,s never fails to touch me.
      Henkes, Kevin, Olive's Ocean. I read this "j" book because it was on the most challenged list and thought it insightful and touching.
      Pettersen, Per, Out Stealing Horses, Norway during the resistance in WWII.
      Vizzini, Ned, It's Kind of a Funny Story. But it's way more that that.
      Millett, Lydia, Oh Pure and Radiant Heart. Remarkable book for its wealth of information about the history and current status of the atomic bomb, and the hearts of the scientists who worked on it.
      Moriarty, Laura, The Center of Everything. The voice of the main character is remarkable.
      Hessler, Peter, Oracle Bones. China past and present, in words from a master storyteller and observer.
      Indridason, Arnaldur, Voices. What a great storyteller.
      Park, Linda Sue, A Single Shard. Read "j" books now and then. This one is great!
      Pattison, Alan, Prayer of the Dragon The story connects the Navaho and Tibetan cultures
      and religions. A fascinating read.
      Hornby, Nick, Slam. Great voice.
      Hockensmith, Steve, On the Wrong Track. Just plain fun if you like old trains.
      Russo, Richard, Straight Man. No missteps in this tale of academia.
      Wood, Patricia, The Lottery. Greed, intelligence (all kinds), and big money wend their way through this great tale.
      Smith, Martin Cruz, December 6. A different perspective on Japan in WWII.
      Borchert, Daniel, Free for All. If you want to know what working in a library is really like, read this book!!!!
      Murray, Sabina, Forgery. Makes me want to have a rich friend to spend some Greek Island time with.
      Atkinson, Kate, One Good Turn. If you predict the outcome you are a more observant reader than I!
      Noel, Katherine, Halfway House. A story about teen onset bipolar disorder.
      Hopeful, but also heartbreaking.
      Mankell, Henning, Kennedy's Brain. Please explain the title of the excellent but horrifying book to me!
      Seigal, Barry, The Perfect Witness. If you like Grisham, you will like this author.
      Larson, Erik, The Devil in the White City. Architecture, serial killing and lots about life in Chicago during the period around the Colombian Exposition, including how Pabst Blue Ribbon beer got its name!
      Rabb, Jonathan, Rosa. Learned a lot about pre WWII Germany in a well told story
      Gregiro, Michael, Critique of Criminal Reason. A very interesting book about Konigsberg and Kant during the period when The Critique of Pure Reason was written.

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      Recommended reads through 2007
      Saul, Jamie, Light of Day. Sad, disturbing, but feels so honest.
      Smith, Mary-Ann Tirone, An American Killing. Compelling political intrigue.
      Fitzgerald, Penolope, The Book Shop. A lovely but strangely disheartening read.
      Hoeg, Peter, The Quiet Girl. This intriguing book would be even better on a CD that included the music which is so much a part of the story.
      Mosher, Howard Frank, Waiting for Teddy Williams. Small town Vermont baseball, the Red Sox, and a fabulous cast of characters.
      Patterson, Richard North, Exile. An attempt, I would say fairly successful, to put the conflict in Israel/Palestine into human, understandable terms.
      Weisman, Alan, The World without Us, Opens our eyes to the enormous impact humans have on the earth. Full of attitude-changing information, this book could affect the way you live, but it is pretty discouraging.
      Crutcher, Chris, Deadline. What would you do if you knew you had a year to live? Would it be different if you were still in high school? This is a great book on a multitude of levels.
      Xinran, Sky Burial, A beautiful story of loyalty and love with Tibetan lore, land, and politics woven seamlessly through it.
      Picoult, Jodi, 19 Minutes, Certainly not an easy read, but it rings too true. Listen when teenagers want to talk to you!
      Gardam, Jane, Old Filth, an intriguing look at the relationship between Hong Kong and England, just prior to the end of the "colony".
      Fforde, Jasper, The Big Over Easy, This book about the Nursery Crimes Division's lead detective, Jack Spratt, and what really happened to Humpty Dumpty, is hilarious. If you don't agree with me, we definitely don't have the same (sick?) sense of humor!
      Schwartz, Lynn Sharon, The Writing on the Wall. 9/11 New York City features in this story about survivor's guilt and family secrets.
      Fitzhugh, Bill, The Organ Grinder, a laugh out loud look at more than I ever wanted to know about organ transplants.
      Fossum, Karin, The Indian Bride, an intriguing story about the reality of racism in Norway.
      Relin, Oliver, and Greg Mortenson, Three Cups of Tea, One person can make a difference. This book is an inspiration to read!
      Temple, Peter, The Broken Shore, another book for the armchair traveler, this time taking
      us to Australia.
      Adichie, Chimananda Ngozi, Purple Hibiscus, a deeply moving novel about the difference faces we present to the world and to our own families, with the flavors of Nigeria
      present throughout.
      Seliy, Shauna, When We Get There, I will always think of this as "the pear book" but that says a lot.
      McFarland, Dennis, Letter from Point Clear, another lucid, gentle take on what it means to be family.
      Pollan, Jonathan, Botany of Desire, history, sociology, religion biology woven together in the stories of four plants. A great book!
      Ward, Amanda, Forgive Me, an interesting take on perspective, set in South Africa at the
      time of apartheid.
      McGrory, Brian, Strangled, another possible explanation of the Boston Strangler "real" story.
      Whorton, James, Approximately Heaven, A bit like a country song, but never trite.
      Min, Katherine, Secondhand World, Katherine writes beautifully if sadly, about growing up a part of both Korea and the US.
      Kalpakian, Laura, American Cookery, family history is always with us, but some of us have more interesting stories than others.
      Qiu, Xiaolong, A Case of Two Cities, one in China and one in the US. The world is so small, and greed exists everywhere.
      Stewart, Amy, Flower Confidential, all you ever wanted to know and more, about flowers from gene to sale. Fascinating stuff!
      Ehrenreich, Barbara, Bait and Switch. Her commentary about corporate jobs and the difficulty in finding them sometimes, is also apt commentary on our society today.
      Blunt, Giles, By the Time You Read This. Small town Ontario has just as much going on as anywhere else.
      If you like novels that take place in Boston, and almost always have something to do with fly fishing, try William Tapply. And if you like to go to Martha's Vineyard, but don't want to leave home, read Phillip Craig.
      McMurtry, Larry, Boone's Lick. How one woman "conquered" the west.
      Toews, Miriam, A Boy of Good Breeding, a town called Algren, a young mother named Knute, and her daughter Summer Feelin'.... What's not to love?
      Shute, Henry, The Real Diary of a Real Boy, written in the early 1900s, it is still a treat for the New England soul.
      Kingsolver, Barbara, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, packed with information and inspiration on the benefits of eating locally (a localvore?), this book is one of my favorites of
      the year.
      Gawande, Atul, Better. Depends on your perspective. But Gawande sure raises a lot of interesting questions about health care in the USA.
      Brandeis, Gail, Self Storage, you've got to love the main character.
      Harrison, Jim, Returning to Earth, the story of a man for whom his geography is part of his bones.
      Greenway, Alice, White Ghost Girls, I found this book extraordinary, at least partly because of my own childhood in an Asian country. (Mine was much less dramatic.) Great story.
      Tyler, Anne, Breathing Lessons. There is always room for an Anne Tyler on a reading list of mine!
      Avery, Ellis, The Teahouse Fire, if you liked Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha, give this fascinating book a try!
      Sansom, Ian, The Case of the Missing Books, the whole library full gone missing all over
      Northern Ireland.
      Parker, T. Jefferson, The Fallen. how interesting and challenging, to be able to see the colors of the emotions of people talking to you.
      Wagner, Marsden, Born in the USA, all that work in the 60s and 70s to change the way we think about birth, and now it's time to start again.
      Abbott, Bonnie Thomas, Radical Prunings. Laugh, get garden tips, and think about what is important when you read this absolutely charming story.
      Vonnegut, Kurt, Welcome to the Monkey House, a trip back in time, just as relevant today, and just as funny/sad.
      Vida, Vandela, Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, if you read this I want to discuss it with you. I also want to go to Lapland!
      Li, Chuxin, Mao's Last Dancer, if you are interested in classical ballet and/or China, this book will fascinate you.
      Zusak, Markus, The Book Thief, narrated by death, it took me a while to get started, but so worth staying the course.
      Powers, Richard, The Echo Maker, profound, many layered, and moving, as well as a great story.
      Leon, Donna, Death at La Fenice, interesting story, as are all of her's, about Venice from top to bottom.
      Fessler, Ann, The Girls who Went Away. Have you ever thought about women who give their children up for adoption, especially when the choice is not their's to make? Read this book, and you surely will.
      Fergus, Jim, 1000 White Women. What would have happened if they Cheyennes had incorporated white women into their tribes, to give native and white Americans shared responsibility for a generation of children?
      Pears, Iain, An Instance of the Fingerpost, one of my patrons said I had to read this book, no matter how long it took me. What a lot there is to learn, and how little some things change!
      Myss, Caroline, Anatomy of the Spirit, thoughts on health from a medical intuitive's point of view.
      Liss, David ,The Ethical Assassin, raisies questions about a lot of things we should think about but don't necessarily want to....
      McKay, Ami, The Birth House, birthing, powerful women, and change, set in Nova Scotia.
      Obama, Barack, The Spirit of my Father A memoir about growing up in multiple cultures,
      and somehow managing to find the best in each.
      Mead, Margaret, Blackberry Winter An autobiographical account of an influential,
      controversial, woman.
      Parks, Linda Sue, The Mulberry Project A "juvenile" book which makes me want to try to raise silkworms!
      Meek James The People's Act of Love - very strange and moving story
      Hebert, Ernest, Spoonwood touches the heart of NH people and issues
      Tyler, Anne Amateur Marriage and Digging to America
      Fossum, Karin When the Devil Holds the Candle - Life in Scandinavian countries is just as difficult as it is here!
      Otsuka, When the Emperor was Divine Moving, and evoking a profound hope that we as a nation have changed for the better
      Fong Bates, China Dog thought provoking stories about being an American of Asian heritage
      Haddon, Mark, A Spot of Bother marriage, getting old, having adult children;
      he writes of all these things in a quirky, entertaining way!
      Krauss, Nicole, The History of Love The people in the book discussion group either loved or really didn't like this book. If you read it, I would be interested in what you think!
      Walls, Jeanette, The Glass Castle, If you think you grew up in a dysfunctional family, read this for perspective!
      Kaminsky, Stuart, Terror Town, All of Kaminsky's Chicago stories are remarkably good
      Palahuniak, Chuck, Diary, Very weird, very creepy, very good
      Barnes, Linda, The Heart of the World One of her best books, and it really does have heart
      Housewright, Tin City, About life in a city of "trailers" in the middle of the "twin cities"
      Harvey, John, In a True Light, Love, painting, and finding peace with the path you take
      Strout, Elizabeth, Abide with Me, Life as a New England small town minister with all it means. GREAT!
      Schaffert,Timothy, Singing and Dancing Daughters of God, Life in the midwest with a strange combination of booze and Bible
      King, Laurie, The Art of Detection, She has the art of writing detective fiction down. And if you want to go to San Francisco this summer, but don't want to leave NH, read this book
      Lee, Chang-Rae, Native Speaker, Great story, with lost of insight into the Korean-American part of living in the US
      Sedaris, David, Dress your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Listen to this one but be careful if you're driving. Some of this is very funny!
      Waldeman, Ayelet, Love and other Impossible Pursuits, A book about how to go on living when the worst things happen
      L'Engle, Madeleine, Circle of Quiet A look at life from a favorite children's fantasy writer of mine.
      Pears,Iain, The Titian Committee Intelligent art mystery....
      Hebert, Ernest, Any of Ernest Hebert's books are gems of New Hampshire small town life.
      I recommend starting with Dogs of March, and continuing from there
      Tursten Helene, Torso If you can stand dark Swedish stories, she is great
      See, Lisa, Snowflower and the Secret Fan, A story of friendship with a lot of information about the Chinese practice of footbinding.
      Smith, Dominic, The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre, Historical fiction at it's best....especially for anyone interested in the beginnings of photography
      Brock and Parker, Proverbs of Ashes, Two theologians present a radical perspective of Christianity. Certainly food for thought.
      Barnes and Ambaum, READ Unshelved !!! The best way I know of to see what librarians are really like.
      Tapply, Nervous Water, Hidden history in Maine, NH and Massachusetts small towns
      Hannigan, Ida B, What resources are available to us when bad things happen? Ida B finds them in nature, her parents, a teacher, and herself. A book written for children that is good for adults to read too.
      Tan, Saving Fish from Drowning, Amy Tan brings the plight of minorities in Burma (Myanmar) to our attention in an unforgettable way

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      Summer Reading List from 2011