They announced the list of the top 10 titles that librarians loved for October. It is an interesting list - some I agree with and some I would have placed a bit lower on my list. The top vote went to an author who I love.
Garth Stein wrote The Art of Racing in the Rain and if you love dogs and haven't read it - get it immediately. I LOVED that book. He has a new book coming out in Oct - well actually on September 30th but that is almost Oct. A Sudden Light is a multi-generational family story but there is also supernatural and some mystery elements mixed into it. Stein writes exquisite prose and his character development is outstanding - not that you like everyone or maybe even anyone. This one is the story of the Riddell family, a influential logging family of the old Pacific Northwest. When Jones Riddell goes bankrupt, he and his wife decide on a trial separation and he takes his 14 year old son to the family home. Now old and decrepit, it was a mansion in it's day. Jones and his sister want to sell it to property developers but their father, suffering from dementia, wants the forest to reclaim it. There are secrets upon secrets and ghosts in this one. The story is told from the point of view of the 14 year old boy. It is pretty compelling.
Next we have Jodi Picoult, always popular with her issue related fiction. Leaving Time comes out on Oct. 14th. Jenna is a young teenage girl whose mother had disappeared after a tragic accident at an elephant sanctuary a decade earlier. She asks for help from a psychic and a retired detective because she believes firmly that her mother is still alive. If you are fascinated with elephants, this is the book for you. Jenna's mother was studying elephants grieving process and part of the story is from her point of view from her journals.
One of the two nonfiction works is next, As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes arrives on Oct. 14th. For all who love the movie, this takes you behind the scenes with Elwes, Mandy Patinkin and Billy Crystal among others. Almost everyone who has read it, gives it high praise.
The next nonfiction book is Not My Father's Son: A Memoir by Alan Cumming which comes out on Oct. 7th. Cummings, a Scottish star of stage, television and films was asked to appear on the UK's Who Do You Think You Are - meant to reveal the mystery of what had happened to his maternal grandfather after the war. One month before this, his father tells him he was not his son. Cummings had experienced a lifetime of psychological and physical abuse at the hand of this man. There were many issues to resolve and part of his healing was the writing of this book.
Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction; she has chaired the judges panel for the prestigious Man Booker Prize and she has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. It should not be a surprise that her next novel, Some Luck, the beginning of a trilogy celebrating family farming, made the list. Out on Oct. 7th, Smiley's first book in the trilogy follows the lives of an Iowan farm family over 30 years beginning in 1920. Some think that this will be the book of the year.
With this next, we go from farming to horror. The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue follows his very successful The Stolen Child. This also comes out on the 7th. Jack, a young 10 year old boy spends his time drawing pictures of monsters since an almost drowning incident three years earlier. His friend starts to notice that strange things start happening when Jack picks up a pencil. His mother starts hearing strange sounds coming from the ocean and the line between fantasy and reality becomes blurred.
A debut novel by Allen Eskens, The Life We Bury, is next. This one, coming on Oct. 14th, follows a college student who has left home guilty (leaving his autistic brother with an unreliable mother) and becomes involved trying to clear the name of a dying Vietnam Vet who was convicted of murder. Reviewers called it gripping and fast paced. Sounds like a new author has been born.
Reunion by Hannah Pittard is a book I picked up at BookExpo. It isn't my usual type of read but once started, I couldn't put it down. You get so involved in the characters life, you have to read till the end. Kate learned that her estranged father has committed suicide. Her sister and brother insist that she return to Atlanta for the funeral. Personally she is dealing with having been unfaithful; her husband is requesting a divorce; and she is in massive debt. Returning east with her siblings, she is forced to look at her life and begins a healing process. This one comes out also on Oct. 7th.
Next comes Keigo Higashino's Malice on Oct. 7th. Higashino is as popular in Japan as James Patterson is here. Several of his mysteries have been published in the US and have become award nominee's in the US and he is a frequent award winner in Japan. This series features the Japanese police detective Kyoichiro Kaga. In this one Kaga investigates the murder of a best-selling author. It seems like all the logical suspects have rock-solid alibis.
On to the last of the ten but not the least, Ashley Weaver's Murder at the Brightwell which arrives on Oct. 14th. If you love Agatha Christie type mysteries, this is the one for you. Weaver's debut mystery is polished and intricate. Murder invades upper crust English society at a posh seaside resort in the 1930's. Amory Ames is disillusioned with her marriage to a playboy and agrees to help a friend and former boyfriend try to stop his sister from marrying another playboy. The prospective groom ends up dead and the friend is the suspect. This one is widely respected by reviewers as a gripping who-done-it.
Well, that is the list for this month. All are available for holds on the PAC. Have fun deciding if any of them are your 'cup of tea'.