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The Walk by Richard Paul Evans

The Walk by Richard Paul Evans (2010)
This book is the first in a series by Evans. It explores what happens to a man when he literally loses everything that is precious to him. It gives you a lot to think about.

Preview the book before visiting the library and visit the author's website.

The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle

The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle (2008)
Set on a run-down horse ranch in small-town Colorado, this coming-of-age story is a powerful tale. Alice Winston helps her father run the riding stable while coping with her reclusive mother and the loss of her older sister, who has run off with a rodeo cowboy. As the adolescent voice, 12-year-old Alice is smarter than most. Her character is charming and authentic but she is a child with more than she can handle and no one to help her cope.

Aryn Kyle has crafted a brilliant debut; a sad story of compromises and dreams that will never come true.

Visit the author's website and preview the book.

The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn

The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn (2010)
This one has what every good Gothic romance should. There is the handsome yet troubled count with the string of conquests behind him. There is the beguiling heroine who travels from Scotland to a remote mountaintop castle in Transylvania. There are the locals who talk about werewolves and vampires and the much hated last count. There are dark and stormy nights and hidden tunnels. This one hits all the right notes without being either too serious about it all or tongue in cheek.

Watch the book trailer and visit the author's website.

The Women by T.C. Boyle

The Women by T. C. Boyle (2009)
T. C. Boyle is an easy-to-read, interesting author who writes accurate historical fiction. This story about the women in the life of Frank Lloyd Wright is a realistic read. Anyone who knows Wright's architectural background will truly enjoy this book of his personal life. If you don't know or care about Wright's life, this book is still a very interesting read about a man's life in the years 1880s to 1950s.

Watch the video clip of the author discussing his book and read the  New York Times review.

Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich

Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich (2010)
The latest from Louise Erdrich is a difficult book to read since it is about the disintegration of a marriage, the impact on all members of the family and the ugliness of behavior that the situation can provoke. A quick read, but not an easy one.

Read the New York Times review and listen to the NPR interview with the author discussing her book.

The Lace Makers of Glenmara by Heather Doran Barbieri

The Lace Makers of Glenmara by Heather Doran Barbieri (2009)
Kate Robinson was really lost at the beginning of The Lace Makers of Glenmara – her boyfriend had left her, her mother had passed away, and her fashion line had failed miserably. Overwhelmed by the heartbreak and loss, Kate flees to her ancestral homeland of Ireland. Hoping to break free of old patterns and reinvent herself, she becomes involved in the community of Glenmara. The novel tells of the camaraderie and teamwork between the group of lace makers and of their interwoven histories. Each of the women is affected in some way by Kate’s presence as she becomes a part of this small and isolated community. And of course there is a romance for Kate!

Read an inteview with the author and check out the reading group guide.

Rococo by Adriana Trigiani

Rococo by Adriana Trigiani (2005)
Bortolomeo de Crespi, or “B” as he prefers to be known, is an interior decorator in 1970s New Jersey who dreams of restoring his parish church, but encounters numerous obstacles along the way. It’s a heartwarming story with a wonderful sense of time and place!

Read an excerpt, check out the reading group guide and visit the author's website.
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Delusion by Peter Abrahams

Delusion by Peter Abrahams (2008)
Nell Jarreau's geologist fiancé was murdered on a summer night in Louisiana as they were walking. Her eyewitness identification of Alvin Dupree resulted in a life sentence for the killer. Nell married the lead detective on the case; they raised her daughter and led an idyllic life for nearly 20 years until a hurricane struck. During the cleanup, new evidence surfaced that ultimately proved Dupree innocent. He was released from prison and Nell's world began coming apart.

Nell wonders if she made a mistake. Is this new evidence credible? Who is telling the truth? Is the reporter lying to write a sensational story? The suspense level in this book builds and builds as Nell discovers inconsistencies and possible alternate theories. The man who she believes killed her fiancé is free, her husband is uncommunicative and angry, and her college student daughter, once open and chatty, is now closed and sullen, demanding information about her birth father's life. The plot thickens, new clues surface, new motivations are uncovered and the twists and turns continue.

Also try While I Was Gone by Sue Miller and Just One Look by Harlan Coben.

Read the Bookreporter.com review and visit the author's website.

The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine

The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine (2010)
Schine puts a clever spin on the Jane Austen novel Sense and Sensibility. Instead of two young women and their mother being thrown out of their home by their brother and his greedy wife when their father dies, the sisters are middle aged and their mother loses her home when her husband of nearly fifty years decides to divorce her and marry his greedy work assistant. For those familiar with the original the popping up of each character who parallels a character in the original is a treat. But just because you have read the original, don't think you know how this one turns out.

Visit the author's blog to learn more about her and her novels and read the New York Times review.

The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly

The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly (2008)
If you've read Michael Connelly's other mystery books, you'll understand the characters from previous novels. This is the first Michael Connelly book I've read and it didn't matter that I did not know the characters from his other books.

You'll immediately think of the O.J. trial in LA. The opening line on page 3 is the book's theme: "Everybody lies.  Cops lie. Lawyers lie. Witnesses lie. The victims lie. The trial is a contest of lies." The book offers  interesting insights into a lawyer's mind. The Brass Verdict has an easy writing style and is fun at the end when all the characters in the plot merge.

Check out the author's website and read the EW.com review.

Spade and Archer by Joe Gores

Spade and Archer by Joe Gores (2009)
Gores has imagined Sam Spade's life prior to events in The Maltese Falcon. If you are familiar with the original novel, Hammett's other stories and his life, this book is a delight as you can catch carefully inserted tidbits from all of the above. The book opens in 1921 with Spade opening his own office and ends in 1928 with secretary Effie announcing that Miss Wonderly is waiting in the outer office, and is she a knockout.

Read more about the author and take a look at the New York Times review.

Guns of the South by Harry Turtledove

Guns of the South by Harry Turtledove (1992)
In this alternate history, General Robert E. Lee finds that he is able to win the Civil War, as a mysterious group of men with questionable motives provide the Confederacy with a weapon the world of the 1860s has not yet seen: the AK-47.

Though the founding premise of the book is far-fetched, you'll need to suspend your disbelief no further. The book is incredibly-well researched, and captures the gritty feel of the era and the personalities of its characters in rich detail, from the attitudes of a defeated Abraham Lincoln to the opinions of the more progressively-minded sergeant-turned-schoolteacher Nathan Caudell. I think it'd thoroughly please a reader of traditional historical fiction as well as any harder military, political or sci-fi fan.

L. A. Requiem by Robert Crais

L. A. Requiem by Robert Crais (1999)
If you like a book that has flashback info about things that happened before the time of this story, you'll like this book for that detail. If you do not like flashbacks interrupting the story you're reading, you won't like this book.

I enjoyed this book, which is the first by Robert Crais that I've read. Therefore, I wasn't familiar with Elvis Cole and I think Crais' readers of previous books will be happy to learn about Joe Pike through the flashbacks to know his history growing up and working at LAPD. I liked all the characters in this story regardless of their habits because the author has given each character a reason to like him/her. It was an enjoyable read and a page turner of suspense. If you've been to LA and Palm Springs area, you'll relate to the places where the action takes place.

Preview the book before you visit the library and visit the author's website.

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See (2009)
Lisa See, author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Peony in Love, has written another compelling, good read. This time it's about two beautiful, wealthy sisters, Pearl and May, who are forced into arranged marriages with two unknown American men when the bottom falls out of their father's lucrative business just as Japan invades China. Tragedy after tragedy befall them in China and in America. Their sisterly bond remains intact as they work to survive what happens. It's a page turner, but be forewarned: the ending cries “sequel to come.”

Check out the author's website and read reviews at Amazon.com.

The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell

The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell (2004)
If you liked The Da Vinci Code, this book is for you. Codes, secret meanings, and literary puzzles are what I liked best about this book. It doesn’t have as much action as The Da Vinci Code; instead it focuses more on the relationship of four college friends who are trying to solve an ancient mystery.

Read an interview with the author, view an excerpt from the book, check out the reviews at Amazon.com and the reading group guide at BookBrowse.