Staff Picks

A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel

When Haven Kimmel was born in 1965, Mooreland, Indiana, was a sleepy little hamlet of three hundred people. Nicknamed “Zippy” for the way she would bolt around the house, this small girl was possessed of big eyes and even bigger ears. In this witty and lovingly told memoir, Kimmel takes readers back to a time when small-town America was caught in the amber of the innocent postwar period-people helped their neighbors, went to church on Sunday, and kept barnyard animals in their backyards.

Genre: Autobiography, Biography, Book Club Kit, Staff Picks
Subjects: Biography City and town life, Girls

Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton

The school was on fire, and Grace’s last memory is of trying to reach her daughter, Jenny, trapped inside the inferno. While their burned bodies are frantically cared for by doctors, Grace and Jenny awaken in the hospital in a strange in-between state. When they learn that someone purposefully set the fire, and Jenny may still be in grave danger from someone who wants her dead, Grace realizes she may be the only one who can discover who might be responsible. The police are looking at Adam, Jenny’s younger brother, who is struck mute by the horror he witnessed and can’t defend himself when he is accused of the arson.

Genre: Domestic fiction, Fiction, Staff Picks, Suspense
Subjects: Arson, Mothers and daughters

God Save the Queen by Kate Locke

Queen Victoria is the undead matriarch of a Britain where the Aristocracy is made up of werewolves and vampires, where goblins live underground, and where mothers know better than to let their children out after dark. In this world, being part of the nobility means being infected with the Plague (side-effects include undeath), Hysteria is the popular affliction of the day, and leeches are considered a delicacy–and technology lives side by side with magic. The year is 2012 and Pax Britannia still reigns. Xandra Vardan is a member of the elite Royal Guard, and it is her duty to protect the Aristocracy. But when her sister goes missing, Xandra will set out on a path that undermines everything she believed in and uncover a conspiracy that threatens to topple the empire. And she is the key-the prize in a very dangerous struggle.
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal fiction, Staff Picks, Steampunk Fiction
Series: The Immortal Empire | Subjects: Conspiracies, Vampires, Women soldiers

Godmother by Carolyn Turgeon

Lil is an old woman who spends her days shelving rare books in a tiny Manhattan bookstore and lonely nights at home in her apartment. But Lil has an intriguing secret. Tucked and bound behind her back are white feathery wings–the only key to who she once was: the fairy godmother responsible for getting Cinderella to the ball to unite with her Prince Charming. But on that fateful night, something went terribly and beautifully wrong. Lil allowed herself the unthinkable: to feel the emotions of human beings and fall in love with the prince herself, going to the ball in place of Cinderella in her exquisitely gorgeous human guise. For her unforgivable mistake, she was banished to live among humans, far from her fairy sisters and their magical underwater world.

Genre: Fantasy Fiction, Love Stories, Staff Picks
Subjects: Fairies, Older Women

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Judas Coyne is a collector of the macabre: a cookbook for cannibals . . . a used hangman’s noose . . . a snuff film. An aging death-metal rock god, his taste for the unnatural is as widely known to his legions of fans as the notorious excesses of his youth. But nothing he possesses is as unlikely or as dreadful as his latest discovery, an item for sale on the Internet, a thing so terribly strange, Jude can’t help but reach for his wallet. I will “sell” my stepfather’s ghost to the highest bidder. . . . For a thousand dollars, Jude will become the proud owner of a dead man’s suit, said to be haunted by a restless spirit. He isn’t afraid. He has spent a lifetime coping with ghosts—of an abusive father, of the lovers he callously abandoned, of the band-mates he betrayed. What’s one more? But what UPS delivers to his door in a black heart-shaped box is no imaginary or metaphorical ghost, no benign conversation piece. It’s the real thing. And suddenly the suit’s previous owner is everywhere: behind the bedroom door . . . seated in Jude’s restored vintage Mustang . . . standing outside his window . . . staring out from his widescreen TV. Waiting—with a gleaming razor blade on a chain dangling from one bony hand. . . .

Genre: Ghost Stories, Staff Picks, Suspense Fiction

Imprudence by Gail Carriger

Rue and the crew of The Spotted Custard return from India with revelations that shake the foundations of England’s scientific community. Queen Victoria is not amused, the vampires are tetchy, and something is wrong with the local werewolf pack. To top it all off, Rue’s best friend, Primrose, keeps getting engaged to the most unacceptable military types. Rue has family problems as well. Her vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her obstreperous mother is both. Worst of all, Rue’s beginning to suspect what they really are is frightened.

Genre: Fantasy Fiction, Staff Picks, Steampunk Fiction
Series: The Custard Protocol | Subjects: Vampires, Werewolves

Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley

Teddy is unhappily single in L.A. In between sessions with his therapist and dates with men he meets online, Teddy has debates with his dachshund, Lily, who occupies his heart. Unfortunately, he is also able to communicate with theoctopus” attached to Lily‘s head, which is soon revealed to be a metaphor for Lily‘s lethal cranial tumor. As Lily‘s condition worsens, Teddy faces off with theoctopus“, engaging it in a battle of wills that takes on epic proportions. An exceedingly authentic, keenly insightful, funny and ardent tribute to the purity of love between a pet and its human.

Genre: Fiction, Staff Picks
Subjects: Dachsunds, Dog Owners, Dogs, Gay men

Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai

Assisting her grandmother’s investigation of her grandfather’s fate during the Vietnam War, Mai struggles to adapt to an unfamiliar culture while redefining her sense of family.
Genre: Fiction, Staff Picks, Vietnam
Subjects: Family Life, Grandmothers, Vietnam Ware

Make Me by Lee Child

“Why is this town called Mother’s Rest?” That’s all Reacher wants to know. But no one will tell him. It’s a tiny place hidden in a thousand square miles of wheat fields, with a railroad stop, and sullen and watchful people, and a worried woman named Michelle Chang, who mistakes him for someone else: her missing partner in a private investigation she thinks must have started small and then turned lethal. Reacher has no particular place to go, and all the time in the world to get there, and there’s something about Chang…so he teams up with her and starts to ask around. He thinks: How bad can this thing be? But before long he’s plunged into a desperate race through LA, Chicago, Phoenix, and San Francisco, and through the hidden parts of the internet, up against thugs and assassins every step of the way–right back to where he started, in Mother’s Rest, where he must confront the worst nightmare he could imagine. Walkng away would have been easier. But as always, Reacher’s rule is: If you want me to stop, you’re going to have to make me.

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Staff Picks, Suspense
Series: Jack Reacher | Subjects: Investigation, Murder

Method 15/33 by Shannon Kirk

She isn’t your typical teenage kidnapped victim. She’s a 16 year old pregnant teenager and from the moment she is kidnapped, she feels a calm desire to not only save her unborn son but to also exact merciless revenge. Leaving nothing to chance, and secure in her timing and practice, she considers what her assets are and waits for the perfect moment to strike. Method 15/33 is what happens when the victim is just as cold as her abductors.

Genre: Fiction, Psychological Fiction, Staff Picks, Suspense
Subjects: Kidnapping, Pregnant Teenagers, Revenge

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

In Holt, Colorado, widower Louis Waters is initially thrown when the widowed Addie Moore suggests that they spend time together, in bed, to stave off loneliness, but soon they are exchanging the confidences and memories.

Genre: Domestic fiction, Love Stories, Staff Picks
Subjects: Family Life, Grandparent and child, Loneliness, Memory, Romance, Widowers

Prudence by Gail Carriger

When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (“Rue” to her friends) is bequeathed an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female under similar circumstances would do — she christens it the Spotted Custard and floats off to India.
Soon, she stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier’s wife, and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves. Faced with a dire crisis (and an embarrassing lack of bloomers), Rue must rely on her good breeding — and her metanatural abilities — to get to the bottom of it all…

Genre: Fantasy Fiction, Staff Picks, Steampunk Fiction
Series: The Custard Protocol | Subjects: Airships, British, Werewolves, Women adventurers

Pumpkin: The Raccoon Who Thought She Was A Dog by Laura L. Young

As a baby, Pumpkin the Raccoon was abandoned by her parents after falling out of a tree and breaking her leg. Taken in by a family with two rescue dogs, Toffee and Oreo, Pumpkin gained a new set of “parents” and a life of luxury in the Bahamas.

Pumpkin: The Raccoon Who Thought She Was a Dog is a sweet, unique look at an adorable household pet, captured in gorgeous, never-before-seen photographs in luxurious settings. Pumpkin’s message is that friendship and love can be found in the most unlikely of companions. With a lot of personality, and a little bit of mischief, Pumpkin will capture hearts all around the world.

Genre: Staff Picks
Subjects: Pets, Raccoons

Red Leaves by Thomas H. Cook

Eric Moore has reason to be happy. He has a prosperous business, a comfortable home, a stable family life in a quiet town. Then, on an ordinary night, his teenage son Keith is asked to babysit Amy Giordano, the eight-year-old daughter of a neighboring family. The next morning Amy is missing. <br><br>Suddenly Eric is one of the stricken parents he has seen on television, professing faith in his child’s innocence. As the police investigation increasingly focuses on Keith, Eric must counsel his son, find him a lawyer, protect him from the community’s steadily growing suspicion.

Genre: Domestic fiction, Psychological Fiction, Staff Picks, Suspense Fiction
Subjects: Babysitters, Fathers and sons, Missing Children, Teenage Boys

Sheepish by Catherine Friend

After fifteen years of farming, Catherine Friend is tired. After all, while shepherding is one of the oldest professions, it’s not getting any easier. The number of sheep in America has fallen by 90 percent in the last ninety years. But just as Catherine thinks it’s time to hang up her shepherd’s crook, she discovers that sheep might be too valuable to give up. What ensues is a funny, thoughtful romp through the history of our woolly friends, why small farms are important, and how each one of us–and the planet–would benefit from being very sheepish, indeed.

Genre: Autobiography, Biography, Staff Picks
Subjects: Farm life, Sheep ranchers, Sheep ranches, Women Farmers, Women shephards, Wool Industry

Shut Up Legs! My Wild Ride On and Off the Bike by Jens Voigt

Beloved German cyclist Jens Voigt isn’t a superstar in the traditional sense of the word. Although he won three stages of the Tour De France–and wore the yellow jersey twice–Voigt never claimed an overall victory. He became a star because he embodies qualities that go beyond winning and losing: sacrifice, selflessness, reliability, and devotion. European and American crowds were drawn to his aggressive riding style, outgoing nature, and refreshing realness.

Genre: Autobiography, Staff Picks
Subjects: Autobiography, Biography, Cyclists, Sport and Recreation

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy Reichert

In downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lou works tirelessly to build her beloved yet struggling French restaurant, Luella’s, into a success. She cheerfully balances her demanding business and even more demanding fiancé…until the morning she discovers him in the buff–with an intern. Witty yet gruff British transplant Al is keeping himself employed and entertained by writing scathing reviews of local restaurants in the Milwaukee newspaper under a pseudonym. When an anonymous tip sends him to Luella’s, little does he know he’s arrived on the worst day of the chef’s life. The review practically writes itself: underdone fish, scorched sauce, distracted service–he unleashes his worst.

Genre: Fiction, Staff Picks
Subjects: Food writers, Women Cooks

The Girls by Amy Goldman Koss

Each of the girls in a middle-school clique reveals the strong, manipulative hold one of the group exerts on the others, and the hurt and self-doubt that it causes them. Each of the girls in a middle-school clique reveals the strong, manipulative hold one of the group exerts on the others, causing hurt and self-doubt among the girls.
Genre: Staff Picks
Subjects: Behavior, Friendship, Interpersonal relations

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

A dark and devious literary suspense novel about a random encounter, sex, and a conversation that quickly turns to murder–a modern reimagining of Patricia Highsmith’s classic Strangers on a Train–from the author of The Girl with a Clock for a Heart

Genre: Noir Fiction, Staff Picks, Suspense Fiction
Subjects: Fiction, Murder, Serendipity

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs’ joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.

Genre: Domestic fiction, Staff Picks
Subjects: Brothers and sisters, inheritance and succession

The Short Drop by Matthew Fitzsimmons

A decade ago, fourteen-year-old Suzanne Lombard, the daughter of Benjamin Lombard—then a senator, now a powerful vice president running for the presidency—disappeared in the most sensational missing-person case in the nation’s history. Still unsolved, the mystery remains a national obsession.

For legendary hacker and marine Gibson Vaughn, the case is personal—Suzanne Lombard had been like a sister to him. On the tenth anniversary of her disappearance, the former head of Benjamin Lombard’s security asks for Gibson’s help in a covert investigation of the case, with new evidence in hand.

Haunted by tragic memories, he jumps at the chance to uncover what happened all those years ago. Using his military and technical prowess, he soon discovers multiple conspiracies surrounding the Lombard family—and he encounters powerful, ruthless political players who will do anything to silence him and his team. With new information surfacing that could threaten Lombard’s bid for the presidency, Gibson must stay one step ahead as he navigates a dangerous web to get to the truth.

Genre: Staff Picks, Thrillers
Subjects: Conspiracies, Hackers, Missing Persons

The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner

The true story of one girl’s coming-of-age in a polygamist family. Ruth Wariner was the thirty-ninth of her father’s forty-two children. Growing up on a farm in rural Mexico, where authorities turn a blind eye to the practices of her community, Ruth lives in a ramshackle house without indoor plumbing or electricity.

Genre: Autobiography, Staff Picks
Subjects: Biography, Mexico, Mormons, Polygamy

The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard

Seventeen years after the discovery of a female murder victim near Small Plains, Kansas, the girl’s grave has become the source of strange miracles and legends, until the return of prodigal son Mitch Newquist threatens to bring old secrets to light.

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Staff Picks
Subjects: Cold Cases

The World’s Tallest Man: A Memoir by Harrison Scott Key

A humor columnist describes his father, who was more like a remote frontiersman than a 20th-century Mississippian, and the impact he ultimately had on how he related to his own children, despite his polar opposite views and life choices.

Genre: Staff Picks
Subjects: Adulthood, Biography, Fathers and sons

This is Where it Ends

Minutes after the principal of Opportunity High School in Alabama finishes her speech welcoming the student body to a new semester, they discover that the auditorium doors will not open and someone starts shooting as four teens, each with a personal reason to fear the shooter, tell the tale from separate perspectives.

Genre: Fiction, Staff Picks
Subjects: Alabama

Under a Dark Summer Sky by Vanessa Lafaye

 Based on real historical events, Lafaye’s debut novel is at once a love story set in a time of great turmoil and a vivid depiction of a major natural disaster. This book evokes what happens when people, sweating under the weight of their pasts, are tested to the absolute limits of their endurance.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Love Stories, Romance Fiction, Staff Picks, Suspense Fiction
Subjects: Hurricanes, Secrets, Suspense Fiction, Veterans
Manitowoc Public Library © 2016
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