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The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel

The Eyre Affair introduces us to the alternate reality where Thursday Next, a female detective assigned to the literary department, exists. This first book of eight finds Thursday trying to find out who is plucking characters right out of the pages of famous novels. Fforde's writing is both imaginative and outlandish making this series fun yet suspenseful. With time travel and the ability to leap into books both possible, Fforde's series can take a turn in any direction. You will fall in love with Thursday Next.

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde is available on eMediaLibrary as an eBook and eAudiobook.



City of Girls

In Titanic fashion, 95-year-old Vivian remembers a period of time in her life that forever impacted her and narrates her memories that date back to the 1940s, beginning when she got kicked out of college. From there, her tale carries the reader to Manhattan where her parents sent her to live with her Aunt Peg, the owner of an eccentric theater called the Lily Playhouse. Exposed to an array of people and lifestyles, Vivian eventually finds herself in a scandal that rocks her world and causes her to reconsider the life she's living, moving her to create the future she desires. A wildly beautiful coming-of-age story, Elizabeth Gilbert's vivid writing will leave a lasting impression and has the potential to move to the top spot of your list of favorite books.


City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert is available as an ebook and eaudiobook on eMediaLibrary.


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Jacob is nearly sixteen and virtually friendless with little direction in his life when a sudden traumatic event changes everything. He embarks on an adventure to a mysterious island to try to find answers to his family's past. This young adult novel, which includes unusual period photos, sets an eerie tone that will give you goosebumps.

Survive The Night

I really enjoyed reading Survive the Night (2021) by Riley Sager. It's the story of a young college student, named Charlie. Two months earlier, her college roommate and best friend, Maddy, was the third victim of a serial killer on campus, known as the Campus Killer. Charlie feels the need to get away from school and go home to visit her grandmother in Ohio. Since she doesn't drive, she is looking for a ride share on the campus ride board and by chance meets a guy, Josh, who is looking to drive her in exchange for gas money. Josh calls Charlie and tells her he will be picking her up at 9 pm. Charlie is having second thoughts at having a complete stranger drive her home. From the moment she gets in his car, and the more they talk, she starts to get an uneasy feeling that he could be the Campus Killer. The story is what happens in the next few hours on their road trip. Should Charlie escape, should she call for help, or should she just run... is he the serial killer?

Read the eBook and eAudiobook on Libby.




The Song of Achilles

In a retelling of the Homers the Iliad, Madeline Miller spins a ridiculously sweet and heartbreaking story of the two young Greeks. The Song of Achilles (2011) is told from Patroclus perspective starting in his early childhood and continuing on through his and Achilles adventures. It really dives into the romance between the two in a really tasteful way that does not take away from the story but adds to it. It is a sad story, it's a Greek tragedy, so if you definitely do not want to cry, I would not recommend. However, my favorite types of stories are the ones that inspire strong emotions, so I loved it. It is an easier read than the original story, using modern language and grammar. So, if you like Greek mythology and epic poetry but sometimes struggle this is a good alternative. 

Visit Libby to read the ebook or listen to the eaudiobookThe Song of  Achilles is also available as an ebook and eaudiobook on Hoopla.




The Last Garden in England

In present day England, Emma has been hired to revive the gardens at Highbury House that Venetia Smith designed in 1907 for the Melcourt family. Venetia Smith was quite famous for her garden designs, so Emma is thrilled to be working on the project and hopes that the current lady of the house, Sydney, can unearth some documents that will aid her in restoring the gardens to their former glory. A second storyline tells the story of Venetia and her time working at Highbury and falling in love while there. In addition, the novel recounts life at Highbury House in 1944, when the estate was used as a hospital for soldiers during the war. Specifically, it tells the stories of Beth (a Land Girl), Stella (the cook at Highbury) and Diana (Sydney's great grandmother). The Last Garden in England(2021) by Julia Kelly is an engaging story of several women's lives over a century. An added plus was all the descriptions of the flowers and creating the gardens.

Check out the eBook in Overdrive. If you enjoy WW II historical fiction, take a look at our curated book list.

What Could Be Saved

Laura is a painter living in present-day Washington D.C. when she gets a call that her brother, Philip, missing since 1972, has been found. Philip disappeared when the family was living in Thailand for their father's job in American intelligence. Laura was the youngest child, Philip the middle, and Bea was the eldest at ten years old. After seeing him on a video call, Laura feels that it probably is Philip. Bea, however, is very skeptical. Laura then decides to travel to Bangkok and bring Philip home. A parallel storyline set in 1972 recounts the family's four years in Thailand--the children's everyday lives, mother Genevieve's affair with their father's boss, and the tale of Noi, one of the servants who accompanies the family back to the states.

What Could Be Saved(2021) by Liese O'Halloran Schwarz by is an exploration of family bonds, grief, and forgiveness. For readers who enjoyed Ask Again, Yes, Wilde Lake, and Golden State.

Check out the eBook in Overdrive.



The Lost Jewels

Bostonian Kate Kirby is asked to write a magazine article about the Cheapside Hoard, a large amount of jewelry from the 16th and 17th centuries which were found in 1912 by workmen excavating a cellar in London. As a jewelry historian, Kate is excited about being able to see some of the collection up close since most of it is off-view. As she views the jewelry, Kate notices that it's similar to some drawings her great-grandmother Essie had in her possession. Kate wonders if there is some connection between the jewels and her family.

In an alternate storyline, it's 1912 and Essie lives in poverty in London with her mother, brother, and three sisters. The family is barely able to make ends meet when her brother, Freddie, happens to be one of the workers on a job site where a large amount of jewels are discovered. The Lost Jewels (2020) by Kirsty Manning follows Kate on her journey of discovery. A great readalike for Jennifer Robson and Fiona Davis.



11/22/63

This is a long book, over 30 hours, but worth every minute. It's the story of Jake Epping. His friend Al has found a time portal to September 9th, 1958. Al has been using it to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. But now Al is dying. He shows the portal to Jake and convinces him to take over the project. What could possibly go wrong?

Plenty. The portal has rules. First, while everyone else is whatever age they were in 1958, Jake is still aging normally. Second, the past doesn't want to be changed. The bigger the change, the bigger the resistance to change. Third, every trip through the portal erases any changes made during previous trips. Jake has to start from scratch each time he enters the portal.

Stephen King did a great job researching Lee Harvey Oswald. Jake has to be sure he's got the right man.And then there's Sadie.

Check out 11/22/63 (2011) today. You can read or listen to the book via Overdrive.


Above the Bay of Angels

In 1896, after her family has fallen on hard times, Isabella goes into service as a maid. When an opportunity arises to interview for a cook position at Buckingham Palace, Isabella jumps at the chance, even though it's under false pretenses. After getting the job, Isabella finds that she has a gift for cooking and becomes a trusted member of Queen Victoria's household. However, the memory of her privileged upbringing and the fear of losing her job are never far from her mind. When love possibly comes her way, will Isabella choose a career over being a wife?

Above the Bay of Angels (2020) is another delightful read from author Rhys Bowen with lots of descriptions of what life was like in the royal household.



The German Girl

I highly recommend The German Girl (2016). It is the fascinating story of two very different girls growing up in different times. In 1939, Hannah Rosenthal is wealthy and originally from Berlin. In 2014, Anna is from New York.

Hannah's story features her and her parents' escape from Germany before the war begins. She is not of "pure" German blood and they escape by securing passage on a luxury transatlantic ocean liner, called the St. Louis. Her family plans to make a new life for themselves in Havana, Cuba.

Anna receives a birthday gift from a mysterious unknown relative, her Great Aunt Hannah, in Cuba. So Anna and her mother travel to Cuba to meet this relative and find out the truth of her past.

Author Armando Lucas Correa weaves the two stories together so well that I could not put the book down. It is inspired by the true story of the passengers of the St. Louis and what became of them during the Holocaust. (Spoiler alert: read the article from the United State Holocaust Memorial Museum—but not if you want to be surprised by the book).

The German Girl is available to read or listen to via Overdrive. Check it out today. Visit our website for a list of World War II Novels.



The Dearly Beloved

In the 1950s, we meet four characters whose lives will be intertwined for the next 50 years. Charles is from a wealthy Boston family and the son of a Harvard professor. Lily's parents are killed when she is a teenager and their absence leaves a void inside her for the rest of her life. James grows up poor in Chicago, the son of an alcoholic. Nan is the daughter of a southern minister, and sees firsthand the inner workings of being part of a family where faith and helping others is an integral part of life.

When Charles and James decide to take jobs as the co-pastors of the Third Presbyterian Church in Greenwich Village, the men, along with their wives, Lily and Nan, must live their lives amid the turmoil of the 1960s. They find their beliefs challenged by their circumstances and the other individuals in the quartet. In The Dearly Beloved (2019) by Cara Wall, the reader is immersed in the four characters' lives as revealed through moving, emotional writing.

Summer of ‘69

The Nichols/Foley/Levin/Whalen families have always spent summers on Nantucket with Grandma Nichols, their controlling matriarch. The summer of 1969 is a year of change, not only for our nation, but for this family. Many of its members are caught up in the history-making events of the time. Kate Nicholas Foley Levin started drinking heavily when her son Tiger was drafted into the Vietnam War. Oldest daughter Blair's husband is a professor working with NASA on the Apollo launch, while Blair, pregnant with twins, is bedridden. College student Kirby gets a job on Martha's Vineyard at the hotel where Ted Kennedy has a room the night of the Chappaquiddick incident. Youngest granddaughter Jessie stays with Grandma and uncovers family secrets.

Historical fiction at its best, in Summer of '69 (2019), Elin Hilderbrand weaves a great family story filled with secrets, romance, and numerous historical references.


The Right Sort of Man

In London after World War II, Iris Sparks and Gwen Bainbridge operate The Right Sort Marriage Bureau, which is a matchmaking service. When one of their clients, Tillie, is murdered, and Dickie, the man they set Tillie up with, is arrested for the crime, Iris and Gwen take it upon themselves to find the killer because they know Dickie is innocent. They also know the scandal of the crime could ruin their business. Luckily, Iris worked undercover during the war, and those skills come in handy, as can having a partner like Gwen, who also can think fast on her feet.

The Right Sort of Man (2019) is a breezy, cozy mystery with colorful characters. Allison Montclair's debut is excellent for people who enjoy Jacqueline Winspear, Susan Elia MacNeal, and Alexander McCall Smith.

The Spies of Shilling Lane

When Mrs. Braithwaite is ostracized by the community because of her recent divorce and her bossiness running the local Women's Voluntary Service, she decides to travel to London to see her daughter, Betty. When Mrs. Braithwaite arrives where Betty is staying, she discovers that Betty is missing. With help from Betty's landlord Mr. Norris, Mrs. Braithwaite finds herself involved in quite an adventure to bring Betty home.

Mrs. Braithwaite also discovers her life and herself changed forever for the better amid wartime London. The Spies of Shilling Lane (2019) is a delightful read, much better executed than Jennifer Ryan's debut, The Chilbury Ladies' Choir. A great readalike for The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.