Here are links to the best seller lists for the week of August 4, 2014.
Check out what we read recently.
- Cop Town by Karin Slaughter (Fiction). “Atlanta 1974 : A cop killer is on the loose in the city. This brutal book is not for the squeamish. Two police women try to deal with the hostility & derision of the male police force as they attempt to hunt down the killer.”
- Redeeming the Dream by David Boies and Ted Olson (Nonfiction). “Brilliant lawyers Boies & Olson team up to describe the 4 year 7 month mission to overturn California’s Prop 8, eventually arguing the case before the Supreme Court to find for marriage equality.”
- Indefensible by Lee Goodman (Fiction). “Prosecutor Nick Davis is involved in 4 murders when he suddenly realizes that he could be the chief suspect in one of them, Wracked by paranoia, he decides that it is up to him to solve the murders to protect himself & his family. Very well written.”
- The Devil in the Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgson (Fiction). “Set in London in 1727 : Tom Hawkins is thrown into the Marshalsea debtors prison & finds that he must solve the murder of one of the prisoners if he is ever going to find his way out of the brutal gaol. A vivid description based on fact of the inhumanity of the 18th century penal system. This is the debut novel by an editor of Little Brown UK.”
- “I am just finishing Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson. This audio book (also available in book form) is a hoot! Ms. Lawson, The Bloggess, has a very zany sense of humor. She writes about her life growing up in Wall, Texas, which had an estimated population of 200 in 2000. Growing up in small town Texas with a taxidermist father and very little money is actually very funny when looked at through Ms. Lawson’s eyes.”
- “I just finished reading We Are Water by Wally Lamb. This is a very good novel. Do not read this if you are looking for a light beach read. Do pick this up if you like: psychological fiction, a New England setting, and some dramatic twists and turns.”
- “I recently listened to the audio book Truth And Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett.
Fans of Ms. Patchett will enjoy the fact that she is the reader of the audiobook. This moving and sad memoir about Patchett’s friendship with Lucy Grealy, was gripping from start to finish. This book is worth reading in conjunction with Grealy’s Autobiography of a Face, a title that several of our staff have read and enjoyed. Grealy, a talented writer, struggled with Ewing’s sarcoma, and surgeries that left her physically and emotionally scarred.”
- Jan: “I just finished The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry That Built America’s First Subway by Doug Most. If you’re tired of the old Red Sox/ Yankees rivalry, here’s a fascinating new one for you to pick sides on.”
- Pat A.: Pat has just finished The Unexpected Waltz by Kim Wright and is currently reading A Long Time Gone by Karen S. White.
- I Don’t Care if We Never Get Back: 30 Games in 30 Days on the Best Worst Baseball Road Trip Ever by Ben Blatt and Eric Brewster. “Ben Blatt, a recent Harvard graduate, loves baseball. His friend, Eric Brewster, hates it. Somehow, though, Eric finds himself riding along with Ben after the latter works out an algorithm which allows them to see 30 full baseball games at every major league stadium in the United States (and Canada). Coming up against rainouts, time zone problems, and each other’s clashing personalities, the two embark on a very long yet extremely rushed road trip. The baseball games are nothing more than a side note in this funny memoir, as two friends become closer and simultaneously annoyed with one another. I personally have a goal to hit every major league stadium, though I prefer to reach it a little more leisurely than these two! Baseball stadium loving fans will appreciate this book, but the book is accessible to those who don’t know the differences between OBP, OPS, Batting Average, and ERA.”
- Landline by Rainbow Rowell. “Georgie McCool, the owner of the best name ever, is excited that she and her television writing partner, Seth, are finally getting their sitcom picked up by a network. The problem is that they must turn in scripts around the Christmas holidays and she had made plans to go to Nebraska with her husband, Neal, and two daughters to visit Neal’s mother. She explains the situation to Neal, angrily who leaves for Nebraska with the two girls and not Georgie. Georgie, unsure if her marriage is over, takes solace at her mother’s house, and is unable to get in touch with Neal on his cell phone. She ends up using her mother’s landline and calls his mother’s landline, only to find out that she’s talking to a version of Neal from the days leading up to their engagement. As she continues her conversations with the Neal of the past and recalls the early days of their relationship, Georige learns more about herself and Neal. The premise does not do this book justice. It was a fun, quick read. Rowell writes in a very pleasant style while also taking a realistic look at marriage. It’s hopefully not giving away too much of a spoiler to state that all ends well, but not all is tied up in a neat bow, which is the case in real life. Rowell, who started out as an adult novelist, has made quite a splash recently with her Young Adult novels, Eleanor and Park and Fangirl, and she continues to delight with this adult novel.”
- We Were Liars by E. Lockart. “This seems to be the It Young Adult Book for 2014, having received much press from the publisher and various review sources well before the publication date. In late April Library Reads listed it as the number 1 book published in May being discussed by librarians. Since I’m the former Young Adult (YA) librarian (and current Young Adult book selector) for the library, and a lover of YA books, I was pretty curious and downloaded the e-book version. Cadence Sinclair Eastman, “Cady”, is a scion of the extremely wealthy Massachusetts based Sinclair family (think a smaller version of the Kennedys). Every year, the extended family gathers on Beachwood, the small island owned by Cady’s grandparents. Through the years, Cady becomes closer with her two cousins, Johnny and Mirren, and Johnny’s not quite step cousin, Gat (the nephew of his mother’s long term boyfriend). In Cady’s fifteenth summer on the island, she falls in love with Gat, and has a mysterious accident that leaves her partly amnesiac. Two years later, Cady reconvenes with her relatives on Beachwood as she tries to piece together what happened. It’s obvious from the beginning that Cady is an unreliable narrator, and as the reader moves through the haunting and eerie story, it’s on her to separate the truth from fantasy. This book is a good suggestion for those who liked The Sixth Sense, Fight Club, Shutter Island, and most of Jodi Picoult’s titles mainly for the twist endings. Others may also enjoy the literary allusions sprinkled throughout the novel, with references to classic fairy tales and a subtle reference to Shakespeare’s King Lear
- Nancy W.: “I just finished Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler. Very good book, but a tearjerker.”
- Doreen: Doreen just finished reading Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline and is listening to The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. “Both excellent!”
- Gerry C.:
- Mary V.: Mary is reading The Fire Dance by Helene Thurston.
- Lisa: “I have started the 1st Diary of a Wimpy Kid book (by Jeff Kinney). An excerpt from the newest upcoming one was so funny that I figured I’d see what I’d been missing.”
- Bela: Bela has just started the book A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierly. “It seems very interesting.”
- Pat O.: Pat is reading The Pink Suit by Nicole Mary Kelby. “It’s historical fiction about a young seamstress who designed clothing for First Lady Jackie Kennedy.” Pat also enjoyed North of Boston by Elizaeth Elo.
- “I’m reading NOS4A2 by Joe Hill . It has a little bit of everything- horror, suspense, fantasy, and adventure.”
- “This weekend, I’m going to watch Big Ass Spider! I’m pretty sure that this will be an entertaining horror film.”
- Kate: “I’ve been on a YA dystopia kick, reading the high school’s summer book, Ready Player One (Ernest Cline), and Suzanne Collins now classic The Hunger Games. Very enjoyable!”
Here are links to the best seller lists for the week of July 27, 2014.
Here are links to the best seller lists for July 20, 2014
Check out what we read recently.
- Marialice: “I read Blind Descent by Brian Dickinson in one night. I couldn’t put it down. Incredible story of descending Mount Everest alone and snow blind.”
- Marie: Marie listened to Bertie Plays the Blues by Alexander McCall Smith. “I’m listening to the Audio in my car and there are laugh out loud moments about the 44 Scotland Street residents.”
- Doreen: Doreen listened to State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
- “The Devil’s Workshop by Alex Grecian. This is the third book in a series about Victorian London’s Scotland Yard Murder Squad. A prison break turns four murderers loose on London & Inspector Walter Day has to deal with the birth of his first child while meeting up quite unexpectedly with Jack the Ripper.”
- “Mommy Man : How I Went from Mild-Mannered Geek to Gay Superdad. Gay blogger Jerry ‘Mommy Man’ Mahoney tells the true adventures of the arduous journey he & his husband went thru with surrogacy & the birth of their twins Bennett & Sutton.”
- Laura: For her vacation, Laura brought along the following books for her vacation: I Don’t Care if We Never Get Back: 30 Games in 30 Days on the Best Worst Baseball Road Trip Ever by Ben Blatt and Eric Brewster, A Brief Guide to William Shakespeare without the Boring Bits by Peter Ackroyd, and the graphic novel Sisters by her favorite graphic novel author, Raina Telgemeier.
- Nancy W.: “I just finished reading Desperate by Daniel Palmer. It was great, many twist and turns, thoroughly enjoyed.”
- Janice: Jan read The Beatles at Shea Stadium by Dave Schwensen. ” If you were there, or just wish you had been, this will be fun for you. A hot August night in Flushing in 1965… 55, 600 screaming fans (mostly girls, of course!)…the concert that began Stadium Rock. ‘Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’”
- Paula: “I am listening to Fever by Mary Beth Mallon. A story about Mary Mallon
also known as ‘Typhoid Mary’.”
- “I’m reading Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh - the latest (#13) in her Psy/Changeling series. The author does great world-building, never “just another paranormal romance.” Not a good introduction to the series: this book, like “Heart of Obsidian,” brings ongoing readers some long-awaited resolution to story arcs and world-wide problems. Strong romantic/erotic content.”
- “I’m watching The Lego Movie. ‘Everything is awesome!’”
- Pat A.: “I just finished the novel Delicious! by Ruth Reichl. It was a delicious read. I am currently reading The Hummingbird House by Donna Ball. It is written by the author of A Year on Ladybug Farm so it does have a lot of the same characters in it. A gentle read.”
Kids do it. Teens do it. Even lots of in betweens do it. Let’s do it. Let’s have Adult summer Reading! Here’s the real song And, why not? Why shouldn’t the grown ups get a chance to read in the summer and enter to win fabulous prizes? That’s why we at the Waltham Public Library have introduced a summer reading program for our library users aged 18 and up.
We will give out fabulous prizes to randomly selected winners at the end of August. It’s easy! It’s fun! Fill out one of our entry forms at one of our circulation desks or go to this website: Click here
Not sure what to read? Come see our display of Great Books You May have Missed in the front lobby on the first floor. Try our Beach Reads display in the front lobby. Check out our Pinterest page for inspiration.
Members of the library staff have been spending the last year reading books relating to various genres, so that we can help suggest the perfect books for you to read! This last month, members of the library staff read a variety of memoirs:
- Staff Pick: Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
Hardcover, Paperback, Re-issued edition featuring afterward by Ann Patchett
When Lucy Grealy was nine years old, she was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a form of cancer, which resulted in several hospital visits and the permanent disfigurement of her face. Grealy had countless restorative surgeries, many of which were unsuccessful, and remained extremely unsure of her self worth. Grealy writes with harrowing and vivid detail about her cancer treatments, bringing the reader into the clinics with her. Despite her extreme insecurity, Grealy comes across as a funny and warm narrator. A good read for someone who likes to read medical memoirs or books about body image issues. The hospital scenes are extremely powerful, but can also be upsetting. Grealy, who died in 2002, became friends with the author, Ann Patchett, and was the main inspiration for Patchett’s 2004 memoir, Truth and Beauty.
readalikes: The Elephant Man: A Study in Human Dignity by Ashley Montagu, My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor, Still Alice by Lisa Genova
- Paula’s Pick: Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
Hardcover, Audiobook, DVD
Princess Leia herself takes her one woman show into a funny and sardonic memoir about growing up with her famous parents, her personal life, life on the Star Wars set and her addictions. Listen to the audiobook to get the full effect of Fisher’s humor.
readalikes: Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs, Stories I Only Tell my Friends by Rob Lowe
- Anne’s Pick: My Gentle Barn: Creating a Sanctuary Where Animals Heal and Children Learn to Hope by Ellie Laks with Nomi Isak
As a child, Ellie Laks loved animals and constantly took in a lot of strays, to the chagrin of her parents. As an adult, she became horrified at the condition of animals in a petting zoo, and later founded Gentle Barn, an animal sanctuary that is home to mistreated animals and a volunteer refuge for children at risk. Laks also delves into detail about her personal life, including a failed marriage and a tense relationship with her parents.
readalikes: All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot, Wild by Cheryl Strayed
- Jeanette’s Pick: I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High by Tony Danza
Hardcover, Large Print, Audiobook, E-book
The actor recounts his year teaching high school English in Philadelphia. Danza’s teaching was also the basis for a reality show. Jeanette recommends listening to the audiobook.
readalikes: Among Schoolchildren by Tracy Kidder, Educating Esme by Esme Raji Codell
- Jeanette’s Pick: New Life, No Instructions by Gail Caldwell
Hardcover, Large Print, Audiobooks, Downloadable Audiobook
The former The Boston Globe book critic looks back on her life, which includes contracting polio as a young child.
Readalikes: The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, Why I Wore Lipstick to my Mastectomy by Geralyn Lucas
- Jeanette’s Pick: The Second Mayflower Adventure by Warwick Charlton
Read the back story of the ship known as the Mayflower II in Plymouth and its journey from England in 1957 told through the point of view of the man behind it. Fun fact: Waltham teenager, Joe Meany, was a passenger on the 1957 voyage.
readalike: The Shining Sea by George C. Daughan
- Gerry C’s Pick: Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Hardcover, Paperback, Large Print, Audiobook, Downloadable Audiobook, E-book
A sportswriter recalls his visits with his former professor, who was suffering from ALS.
readalikes: The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, Driving Mr. Yogi by Harvey Araton
- Maureen’s Pick: Let’s Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook CD, Playaway Audiobook, E-book
A blogger uses illustrations to tell the story of her life. Good read for someone who likes dysfunctional family memoirs.
readalikes: Sippy Cups are Not for Chardonay by Stefanie Wilde-Taylor, Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang by Chelsea Handler
- Maureen’s Pick: Ever by My Side by Nick Trout
Hardcover, Audiobook, E-book
With gentle humor, a veterinarian chronicles his life, using his pets as starting off points.
readalikes: A Dog Walks into a Nursing Home by Sue Halpern, Marley and Me by John Grogan
- Doreen’s Pick: The World’s Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne
Hardcover, Audiobook CD, Downloadable Audiobook
Hanagarne writes about his remarkable life, talking about his Tourette’s syndrome, being raised in the Mormon faith, his love of weightlifting, and his decision to become a librarian. Each chapter starts with an anecdote from his public library job which will make library staff and patrons alike laugh.
readalikes: Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen, The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin, Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian by Avi Steinberg
- Doreen’s Pick: Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett
Hardcover, Large Print, Paperback, Audiobook, E-book
Ann Patchett’s memoir details her friendship with Lucy Grealy. This is a great companion book to Autobiography of a Face. Read Lucy’s sister, Suellen’s reaction to both books.
readalikes: She Matters by Susana Sonnenberg, At Home in the World by Joyce Maynard
- Louise’s Pick: Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra
A New York attorney recounts her life in an abusive household and in the foster care system as she strives to not be separated from her brothers and sisters.
readalikes: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, Dibs in Search of Self by Virginia Axline, Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber, Blackbird by Jennifer Lauck, Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
- Laura’s Pick: This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett
Hardcover, Large Print, Audiobook CD, Playaway Audiobook, Downloadable Audiobook, E-book
This is a collection of autobiographical essays, some of which have been previously published. A lot of essays detail the evolution of Patchett’s writing career.
readalikes: On Writing by Stephen King, High Tide in Tucson by Barbara Kingsolver, One Writer’s Beginnings by Eudora Welty
- Laura’s Pick: The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp
Read the whole story about the family that inspired The Sound of Music. Using her humor and faith, Maria writes about her integration into the Trapp family, their evolution as a singing group, the pre-World War II days of Europe, and the family’s move to the United States.
readalikes: Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott, Funny Woman: The Life and Times of Fanny Brice by Barbara Grossman
Here are links to the best seller lists for June 22, 2014.
Here are links to the best seller lists for June 15, 2014