#RAMonday: Read-Alikes

Read-Alike Monday: The Fireman by Joe Hill

Joe Hill's, The Fireman, has been on the New York Times Best Seller list for the past couple of weeks. Hill is a popular horror author, and also the son of famed author, Stephen King. Check out these recommendations below if you are a fan of Joe Hill.

About the Book:

From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author ofNOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Box comes a chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes and a band of improbable heroes who battle to save it, led by one powerful and enigmatic man known as the Fireman. The fireman is coming. Stay cool.





Read-Alikes:

The Little Stranger follows the strange adventures of Dr. Faraday, the son of a maid who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country doctor. One dusty postwar summer in his home of rural Warwickshire, he is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, the clock in its stable yard permanently fixed at twenty to nine. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more ominous than a dying way of life? Little does Dr. Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become entwined with his.

Merricat Blackwood lives on the family estate with her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian. Not long ago there were seven Blackwoods—until a fatal dose of arsenic found its way into the sugar bowl one terrible night. Acquitted of the murders, Constance has returned home, where Merricat protects her from the curiosity and hostility of the villagers. Their days pass in happy isolation until cousin Charles appears. Only Merricat can see the danger, and she must act swiftly to keep Constance from his grasp.



A Winter Haunting by Dan Simmons
A once-respected college professor and novelist, Dale Stewart has sabotaged his career and his marriage -- and now darkness is closing in on him. In the last hours of Halloween he has returned to the dying town of Elm Haven, his boyhood home, where he hopes to find peace in isolation. But moving into a long-deserted farmhouse on the far outskirts of town -- the one-time residence of a strange and brilliant friend who lost his young life in a grisly "accident" back in the terrible summer of 1960 -- is only the latest in his long succession of recent mistakes. Because Dale is not alone here. He has been followed to this house of shadows by private demons who are now twisting his reality into horrifying new forms. And a thick, blanketing early snow is starting to fall ... 




Innocence by Dean Koontz
He lives in solitude beneath the city, an exile from society, which will destroy him if he is ever seen. She dwells in seclusion, a fugitive from enemies who will do her harm if she is ever found. But the bond between them runs deeper than the tragedies that have scarred their lives. Something more than chance—and nothing less than destiny—has brought them together in a world whose hour of reckoning is fast approaching.





The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.
Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

Read-Alike Monday: Eligible and Modern Day Jane Austen Works

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld has been very popular since it was released a couple of weeks ago. This modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, set in Cincinnati, Ohio got us thinking about some of the other great modern takes on Jane Austen classics. Just click on a title to get to the catalog and place a hold on any of the books you are interested in.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice. This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.

Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.

Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . . And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.

Read-Alikes:

The summer after she graduates from university, Emma Woodhouse returns home to the village of Highbury, where she will live with her health-conscious father until she is ready to launch her interior-design business and strike out on her own. In the meantime, she will do what she does best: offer guidance to those less wise than she is in the ways of the world. Happily, this summer brings many new faces to Highbury and into the sphere of Emma's not always perfectly felicitous council: Harriet Smith, a naïve teacher's assistant at the ESL school run by the hippie-ish Mrs. Goddard; Frank Churchill, the attractive stepson of Emma's former governess; and, of course, the perfect Jane Fairfax. This modern-day Emma is wise, witty, and totally enchanting, and will appeal equally to Alexander McCall Smith's multitude of fans and to the enormous community of wildly enthusiastic Austen aficionados.


Meet Bridget Jones—a 30-something Singleton who is certain she would have all the answers if she could: lose 7 pounds, stop smoking, and develop Inner PoiseBridget Jones' Diary is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud daily chronicle of Bridget's permanent, doomed quest for self-improvement — a year in which she resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult, and learn to program the VCR.
Over the course of the year, Bridget loses a total of 72 pounds but gains a total of 74. She remains, however, optimistic. Through it all, Bridget will have you helpless with laughter, and — like millions of readers the world round — you'll find yourself shouting, "Bridget Jones is me!" A modern retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. 


Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane's fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined. 

Decked out in empire-waist gowns, Jane struggles to master Regency etiquette and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen;or maybe even, she suspects, with the actors who are playing them. It's all a game, Jane knows. And yet the longer she stays, the more her insecurities seem to fall away, and the more she wonders: Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?


In this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice, the servants take center stage. Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants’ hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended. Jo Baker dares to take us beyond the drawing rooms of Jane Austen’s classic—into the often overlooked domain of the stern housekeeper and the starry-eyed kitchen maid, into the gritty daily particulars faced by the lower classes in Regency England during the Napoleonic Wars—and, in doing so, creates a vivid, fascinating, fully realized world that is wholly her own. 


It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family's estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot's estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth--an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret--one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen's PersuasionFor Darkness Shows the Starsis a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it


Read-Alike Monday: A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman has been extremely popular at Lake Forest Library since it's release in May of 2015. If you loved this book, check out some of these other books you may also like.
A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door. Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn't walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents' association to their very foundations.


READ-ALIKES:

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island. These days, A.J. can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.

And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It’s a small package, but large in weight. It’s that unexpected arrival that gives A. J. Fikry the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. 







The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry By Rachel Joyce
Recently retired, sweet, emotionally numb Harold Fry is jolted out of his passivity by a letter from Queenie Hennessy, an old friend, who he hasn't heard from in twenty years. She has written to say she is in hospice and wanted to say goodbye. Leaving his tense, bitter wife Maureen to her chores, Harold intends a quick walk to the corner mailbox to post his reply but instead, inspired by a chance encounter, he becomes convinced he must deliver his message in person to Queenie--who is 600 miles away--because as long as he keeps walking, Harold believes that Queenie will not die. 

So without hiking boots, rain gear, map or cell phone, one of the most endearing characters in current fiction begins his unlikely pilgrimage across the English countryside. Along the way, strangers stir up memories--flashbacks, often painful, from when his marriage was filled with promise and then not, of his inadequacy as a father, and of his shortcomings as a husband. 

Ironically, his wife Maureen, shocked by her husband's sudden absence, begins to long for his presence. Is it possible for Harold and Maureen to bridge the distance between them? And will Queenie be alive to see Harold arrive at her door?

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, Major Pettigrew is one of the most indelible characters in contemporary fiction, and from the very first page of this remarkable novel he will steal your heart. The Major leads a quiet life valuing the proper things that Englishmen have lived by for generations: honor, duty, decorum, and a properly brewed cup of tea. But then his brother's death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But village society insists on embracing him as the quintessential local and her as the permanent foreigner. Can their relationship survive the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of culture and tradition?



The Widower's Tale by Julia Glass
In a historic farmhouse outside Boston, seventy-year-old Percy Darling is settling happily into retirement: reading novels, watching old movies, and swimming naked in his pond. His routines are disrupted, however, when he is persuaded to let a locally beloved preschool take over his barn. As Percy sees his rural refuge overrun by children, parents, and teachers, he must reexamine the solitary life he has made in the three decades since the sudden death of his wife. No longer can he remain aloof from his community, his two grown daughters, or, to his shock, the precarious joy of falling in love.

One relationship Percy treasures is the bond with his oldest grandchild, Robert, a premed student at Harvard. Robert has long assumed he will follow in the footsteps of his mother, a prominent physician, but he begins to question his ambitions when confronted by a charismatic roommate who preaches—and begins to practice—an extreme form of ecological activism, targeting Boston’s most affluent suburbs.

Meanwhile, two other men become fatefully involved with Percy and Robert: Ira, a gay teacher at the preschool, and Celestino, a Guatemalan gardener who works for Percy’s neighbor, each one striving to overcome a sense of personal exile. Choices made by all four men, as well as by the women around them, collide forcefully on one lovely spring evening, upending everyone’s lives, but none more radically than Percy’s.

This is Your Life, Harriet Chance by Jonathan Evison
With her husband Bernard two years in the grave, seventy-nine-year-old Harriet Chance sets sail on an ill-conceived Alaskan cruise only to discover through a series of revelations that she’s been living the past sixty years of her life under entirely false pretenses. There, amid the buffets and lounge singers, between the imagined appearance of her late husband and the very real arrival of her estranged daughter midway through the cruise, Harriet is forced to take a long look back, confronting the truth about pivotal events that changed the course of her life.  

Part dysfunctional love story, part poignant exploration of the mother/daughter relationship, nothing is what it seems in this tale of acceptance, reexamination, forgiveness, and, ultimately, healing. 



There Must Be Some Mistake by Frederick Barthelme
A fiftyish graphic designer forced into retirement discovers, via a parade of unlikely events, that it may still be a lovely day in the neighborhood. Wallace Webster lives alone in Kemah, Texas at Forgetful Bay, a condo development where residents are passing away at an alarming rate. As he monitors events in the neighborhood, Wallace keeps in touch with his ex-wife, his grown daughter, a former coworker for whom he has much averted eyes, and a somewhat exotic resident with whom he commences an off-beat affair.

He sifts through the curious accidents that plague his neighbors, all the while reflecting on his past and shortening future. Required to reflect upon his own mortality, he wonders if "settling for" something less than he aspired to is a kind of cowardice, or just good sense.

#RAMonday- Read-Alike Monday: Lilac Girls

Lilac Girls has been an incredibly popular choice for Lake Forest library patrons lately. It is a popular book club choice and just popular with a wide audience. If you are still waiting for your copy, or you loved the book, check out one of these next.

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.
An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.
For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power. The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the Nazi concentration camp for women. 



READ-ALIKES:


The Girl from Krakow by Alex Rosenberg
It’s 1935. Rita Feuerstahl comes to the university in Krakow intent on enjoying her freedom. But life has other things in store—marriage, a love affair, a child, all in the shadows of the oncoming war. When the war arrives, Rita is armed with a secret so enormous that it could cost the Allies everything, even as it gives her the will to live. She must find a way both to keep her secret and to survive amid the chaos of Europe at war. Living by her wits among the Germans as their conquests turn to defeat, she seeks a way to prevent the inevitable doom of Nazism from making her one of its last victims. 



The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
Dorrigo Evans is an Australian doctor haunted by a love affair with his uncle's wife who journeys from the caves of Tasmanian trappers in the early twentieth century to a crumbling pre-war beachside hotel, from a Thai jungle prison to a Japanese snow festival, from the Changi gallows to a chance meeting of lovers on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
At its heart is one day in a Japanese slave labour camp in August 1943. As the day builds to its horrific climax, Dorrigo Evans battles and fails in his quest to save the lives of his fellow POWs, a man is killed for no reason, and a love story unfolds.



Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.

Paris, May 2002: On Vel' d'Hiv's 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.



A Train in Winter by Caroline Moorehead
They were teachers, students, chemists, writers, and housewives; a singer at the Paris Opera, a midwife, a dental surgeon. They distributed anti-Nazi leaflets, printed subversive newspapers, hid resisters, secreted Jews to safety, transported weapons, and conveyed clandestine messages. Strangers to each other, hailing from villages and cities from across France, these brave women were united in hatred and defiance of their Nazi occupiers.

Eventually, the Gestapo hunted down 230 of these women and imprisoned them in a fort outside Paris. Separated from home and loved ones, these disparate individuals turned to one another as they found solace and strength in their deep affection and camaraderie. In January 1943, they were sent to their final destination: Auschwitz. Only forty-nine would return to France.



The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
After their zoo was bombed, Polish zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski managed to save over three hundred people from the Nazis by hiding refugees in the empty animal cages. With animal names for these "guests," and human names for the animals, it's no wonder that the zoo's code name became "The House Under a Crazy Star."  Diane Ackerman combines extensive research and an exuberant writing style to re-create this fascinating, true-life story—sharing Antonina's life as "the zookeeper's wife," while examining the disturbing obsessions at the core of Nazism. 



Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris CleaveIt’s 1939 and Mary, a young socialite, is determined to shock her blueblood political family by volunteering for the war effort. She is assigned as a teacher to children who were evacuated from London and have been rejected by the countryside because they are infirm, mentally disabled, or—like Mary’s favorite student, Zachary—have colored skin. Tom, an education administrator, is distraught when his best friend, Alastair, enlists. Alastair, an art restorer, has always seemed far removed from the violent life to which he has now condemned himself. But Tom finds distraction in Mary, first as her employer and then as their relationship quickly develops in the emotionally charged times. When Mary meets Alastair, the three are drawn into a tragic love triangle and—while war escalates and bombs begin falling around them—further into a new world unlike any they’ve ever known.

#RAMonday- Read-Alike Monday: Game of Thrones

If you are one of the over 18 million people who watched Game of Thrones last year, you may have also read and loved the books. If you are looking to try something similar to the the Song of Fire and Ice series by George R.R. Martin, check out these suggestions.

Song of Fire and Ice Series:
A Song of Ice and Fire is a series of epic fantasy novels written by American novelist and screenwriter George R. R. Martin.
The story of A Song of Ice and Fire takes place on the fictional continents Westeros and Essos, with a history of thousands of years. The series is told in the third person by 31 point of view characters. Three stories become interwoven: the chronicling of a dynastic war for control of Westeros by several families; the rising threat of the dormant cold supernatural Others dwelling beyond an immense wall of ice on Westeros' northern border and the ambition of Daenerys Targaryen, the exiled daughter and only remaining heir of a king murdered 15 years earlier in a civil war, to return to Westeros with her fire-breathing dragons and claim her rightful throne.






READ-ALIKES:

The line between good and evil is vague and ambiguous in this series. Leodan Akaran hides the dark realities of their prosperity from his four children, until an assassin from the Mein, a race exiled to an ice-locked stronghold in the north, strikes him down and frees his children. 3 book series, start with Acacia. 







In addition to High Fantasy, Tad Williams writes Historical Fantasy, Animal Fantasy, and Science Fiction. Williams frequently takes a familiar story and gives it unexpected new life, using sophisticated narration and impressive world-building to create richly detailed, satisfying settings. Despite the wealth of details, Williams's uncomplicated, straightforward narrative style ensures that the books move at a fair pace. Complicated and multi-faceted characters, furthermore, keep readers turning the page. Williams likes to give his readers a happily-ever-after ending, but the tone along the way can be grim. 





Hambly’s fantasy novels have similar settings and sexual content as the Song of Fire and Ice series, as well as complex plots and characters. Her fast paced books contain a lot of drama. Hambly also writes historical fiction and mystery.  








Fantasy author Joe Abercrombie writes grim, almost hard-boiled tales of adventure and battle. His stories, including the novels in the First Law series, take place in a world fraught with political tension, bloody battles (described in vivid detail), and cynical opportunism. Abercrombie fills these tales with a huge cast of well-developed characters, and he adopts a variety of perspectives to flesh out the stories and to add a reflective tone to the carnage. The fast-paced and intricate plots will keep readers turning pages, especially since Abercrombie does not shy from suddenly killing off familiar characters. Start with: The Blade Itself.




Tolkien's Fantasy epic, the Lord of the Rings series and related works, has attained unparalleled popular and literary acclaim for a work in this genre. Tolkien drew from sagas, languages, and cultures of old to create the untamed world and richly-realized peoples of Middle Earth. Motifs from ancient stories (the unlikely hero, the hero's quest) immerse readers into the minds and hearts of characters who-although not human-mirror our own foibles, desires, fears, and joys. Characters 'quest' toward their truest selves as they journey toward their people's mythic destinies in a battle between good and evil. Start with: The Hobbit.

#RAMonday: Read-Alike Monday- Jacqueline Winspear

Jacqueline Winspear:

Today's read-alike choice is Jacqueline Winspear, whose newest book, Journey to Munich, has been very popular at Lake Forest Library. Winspear and her enchanting protagonist, Maisie Dobbs, rise to the top among Historical British Mysteries. 

Maisie is a plucky and intelligent young woman who began as a servant and now runs her own private investigation firm. While these are technically cozy mysteries with their well-drawn characters and setting, the plots are complex and well-crafted, and the series has a darker tone due to Maisie's experiences as a nurse during World War I, described through flashbacks. These are well plotted and compelling mysteries that also highlight the human costs of war. Start with: Maisie Dobbs.





READ-ALIKES:

Dorothy Sayers
Dorothy L. Sayers's mysteries feature not only devilishly clever plots that delight traditional mystery readers, but also the graceful writing, nuanced characters, and beautifully evoked settings often found in literary fiction. Series character Lord Peter Wimsey deepens and grows more subtle as the books progress, especially after he meets Harriet Vane, who comes to excel at investigation herself. The interesting supporting characters, strong sense of place in varied settings, and rich use of language round out a satisfying reading experience in each story. Start with: Whose Body.




Frances Brody
Frances Brody writes cozy historical mysteries that are intricately plotted and well researched, focused mainly on Yorkshire, England in the interwar years. Brody offers social history and cultural commentary as well, discussing such issues as labor agitation and the social fallout of the Boer war. Her writing is lush, her pace leisurely, and her stories suspenseful and interesting.

Like Maisie Dobbs, the protagonist- Kate Shackleton is from a working class background and served as a nurse during World War I. Working as a private detective, she see the problems that came from the war. Start with Dying in the Wool.



Rennie Airth
Rennie Airth is a historical mystery writer who sets his books in Britain -- either the countryside or in London -- around the time of World War I. He effectively summons the uncertainty, gloom, and despair of that ugly time, simultaneously conjuring the beauty of England's countryside and the dirt of wartime London. Airth also convincingly describes the latest advances in forensic science and criminal psychology, all the while keeping us immersed in the nuances of a classic mystery story. Airth's protagonists are fully-realized: driven, self-doubting, and troubled and his readers will enjoyably share their travails. Start with: River of Darkness.





James R. Benn
James R. Benn's well-researched and richly detailed historical novels strongly evoke wartime life, as both soldier and civilian. His suspenseful mystery series featuring Boston cop cum soldier/investigator Billy Boyle offers intriguing puzzles and dramatic action, while thoroughly exploring often little-known aspects of World War II, such as institutional racism and wartime Vatican politics. Through fiction and nonfiction, he also investigates PTSD and other aftereffects of war and violence, writing with great beauty about the deep emotions and motivations of his vividly realized characters. Start with: Billy Boyle.





Mary Miley
Mary Miley's historical mysteries are also set in the 1920s.  Miley's protagonist is also a plucky, intelligent young woman sleuth. Complex women and the well drawn secondary characters give depth to the intricate stories, which are pitch perfect with historical detail. These are more leisurely paced, cozy-like mysteries. Start with The Impersonator.








#RAMonday: Read-Alike Monday- Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben writes mysteries and thrillers, with the plots often times revolving around unresolved events of the past, with many plot twists. His books take place in either New Jersey or New York. Coben writes a series of books featuring Myron Bolitar, a basketball player turned agent turned investigator. Bolitar just wants to be an agent, but gets caught up in murders surrounding his clients. The first book to feature Bolitar is Deal Breaker. He also writes many stand-alone novels.








READ-ALIKES:


Don Winslow
Winslow has written a mystery series featuring Neal Carey, a private investigator in California. Winslow himself was actually a private investigator in New York before he began writing. Winslow's suspense is a little lighter in tone, but both authors create intriguing, sympathetic Characters and quick, clever storylines. Winslow's mysteries are complicated and satisfactorily resolved, with plenty of snappy dialogue and humor to satisfy Coben's fans, though they focus more on character than plot. Winslow's Power of the Dog series is a lot more graphic and violent.


Robert Crais
Fans of Coben's wise-cracking Myron Bolitar will want to try Robert Crais' mysteries starring Elvis Cole. The violence is a little more graphic in this series and the personal lives of the characters are revealed only slowly, but fans will enjoy Cole's eccentricities. Start with The Monkey's Raincoat if you are interested in the Elvis Pike series.

Crais also started a spin off series from the Elvis Cole books, starring Joe Pike, a protagonist from the Cole books. 


Stuart Woods is a prolific author of several mystery series, his most famous series featuring New York attorney, Stone Barrington. Woods writes tightly plotted, page-turning mysteries with witty characters and fast pacing. To begin the Stone Barrington series, start with New York Dead




Gardner writes contemporary tales of fast-paced Suspense with strong romantic undercurrents and is known for her appealing characters, twisting plots, forensic details, powerful descriptions, and natural dialogue. Her protagonists are generally investigators, and she offers an assortment of intriguing series and non-series characters in all her books. She writes for three series and stand alone novels.





Gregg Hurwitz writes action-packed thrillers filled with surprising plot twists, graphic depictions of violence, and chilling psychological details concerning seriously disturbed individuals. He writes about diabolical serial killers, labyrinthine government conspiracies, and brutal vigilantes. These fast-paced, unrelenting, and intricately-plotted stories will appeal to readers looking for gripping action and intriguing mystery. Start with Trust No One.

#RAMonday: Read-Alike Monday- Dead Wake

Every Monday we will pick a popular book to highlight and make a list of books that are similar for you to enjoy. Click on the book's title to be linked to the catalog where you can see if the book is available or place a hold for it. This week's book is: Dead Wake by Erik Larson. The books we have chosen for this read-alike will be books that are engaging, well written books of particular periods or events in history.


Dead Wake by Erik Larson
On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania'sCaptain placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. 

Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger’s U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small—hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more—all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history.




READ-ALIKES:


The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey by Candice Millard
At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt’s harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth. The River of Doubt—it is a black, uncharted tributary of the Amazon that snakes through one of the most treacherous jungles in the world. Indians armed with poison-tipped arrows haunt its shadows; piranhas glide through its waters; boulder-strewn rapids turn the river into a roiling cauldron.

After his humiliating election defeat in 1912, Roosevelt set his sights on the most punishing physical challenge he could find, the first descent of an unmapped, rapids-choked tributary of the Amazon. Together with his son Kermit and Brazil’s most famous explorer, Roosevelt accomplished a feat so great that many at the time refused to believe it. In the process, he changed the map of the western hemisphere forever.



A Crack in the Edge of the World by Simon Winchester
Winchester brings his storytelling abilities, as well as his understanding of geology, to the extraordinary San Francisco Earthquake, exploring not only what happened in northern California in 1906 that leveled a city symbolic of America's relentless western expansion, but what we have learned since about the geological underpinnings that caused the earthquake. He also positions the quake's significance along the earth's geological timeline and shows the effect it had on the rest of 20th-century California and American history.





At the end of the last century, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was a booming coal-and-steel town filled with hardworking families striving for a piece of the nation's burgeoning industrial prosperity. In the mountains above Johnstown, an old earth dam had been hastily rebuilt to create a lake for an exclusive summer resort patronized by the tycoons of that same industrial prosperity, among them Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon. Despite repeated warnings of possible danger, nothing was done about the dam. Then came May 31, 1889, when the dam burst, sending a wall of water thundering down the mountain, smashing through Johnstown, and killing more than 2,000 people. It was a tragedy that became a national scandal.

A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that "suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down." He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more--including Krakauer's--in guilt-ridden disarray, would also provide the impetus for Into Thin Air, Krakauer's epic account of the May 1996 disaster.





In August 1914 the two greatest navies in the world confronted each other across the North Sea. At first there were skirmishes, then battles off the coasts of England and Germany and in the far corners of the world. The British attempted to force the Dardanelles with battleships - which led to the Gallipoli catastrophe. As the stalemate on the ground on the Western Front continued, the German Navy released a last strike against the British 'ring of steel'. The result was Jutland, a titanic and brutal battle between dreadnoughts. There will never again be a war like this in which seagoing monsters hurl shells at each other until one side is destroyed. The story is driven by some of the most dramatically intriguing personalities in history: Churchill and Jacky Fisher, Jellicoe and Beatty. And then there were the powerful Germans - von Pohl, Scheer, Hipper, and the grand old fork-bearded genius Tirpitz.



Wilson by A. Scott Berg
One hundred years after his inauguration, Woodrow Wilson still stands as one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century, and one of the most enigmatic. 

From the scholar-President who ushered the country through its first great world war to the man of intense passion and turbulence, from the idealist determined to make the world “safe for democracy” to the stroke-crippled leader whose incapacity and the subterfuges around it were among the century’s greatest secrets, the result is an intimate portrait written with a particularly contemporary point of view – a book at once magisterial and deeply emotional about the whole of Wilson’s life, accomplishments, and failings. This is not just Wilson the icon – but Wilson the man.


#RAMonday: Read-Alike Monday- The Nest

Every Monday we will pick a popular book to highlight and make a list of books that are similar for you to enjoy. Click on the book's title to be linked to the catalog where you can see if the book is available or place a hold for it. This week's book is: The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney.


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. This 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. 

This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down.






READ-ALIKES

For the Posts, a two-week trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca with their extended family and friends is a celebration: Franny and Jim are observing their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, and their daughter, Sylvia, has graduated from high school. But all does not go according to plan: over the course of the vacation, secrets come to light, old and new humiliations are experienced, childhood rivalries resurface, and ancient wounds are exacerbated. This is a story of the sides of ourselves that we choose to show and those we try to conceal, of the ways we tear each other down and build each other up again, and the bonds that ultimately hold us together. 


Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence—creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.

Reclusive literary legend M. M. “Mimi” Banning has been holed up in her Bel Air mansion for years. But after falling prey to a Bernie Madoff-style ponzi scheme, she’s flat broke. Now Mimi must write a new book for the first time in decades, and to ensure the timely delivery of her manuscript, her New York publisher sends an assistant to monitor her progress. When Alice Whitley arrives at the Banning mansion, she’s put to work right away—as a full-time companion to Frank, the writer’s eccentric nine-year-old. As she slowly gets to know Frank, Alice becomes consumed with finding out who Frank’s father is, how his gorgeous “piano teacher and male role model” Xander fits into the Banning family equation—and whether Mimi will ever finish that book.

The death of Judd Foxman’s father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family—including Judd’s mother, brothers, and sister—have been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd’s wife, Jen, whose fourteen-month affair with Judd’s radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public. Simultaneously mourning the death of his father and the demise of his marriage, Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch’s dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together. In the same house. Like a family.

As the week quickly spins out of control, longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed, and old passions reawakened. For Judd, it’s a weeklong attempt to make sense of the mess his life has become while trying in vain not to get sucked into the regressive battles of his madly dysfunctional family. All of which would be hard enough without the bomb Jen dropped the day Judd’s father died: She’s pregnant.


The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge. The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel someone through life at age thirty; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence. The friendships endure and even prosper, but also underscore the differences in their fates, in what their talents have become and the shapes their lives have taken. Wide in scope, ambitious, and populated by complex characters who come together and apart in a changing New York City, The Interestings explores the meaning of talent; the nature of envy; the roles of class, art, money, and power; and how all of it can shift and tilt precipitously over the course of a friendship.



Bennie is an aging former punk rocker and record executive. Sasha is the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Here Jennifer Egan brilliantly reveals their pasts, along with the inner lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs. With music pulsing on every page, A Visit from the Goon Squad is a startling, exhilarating novel of self-destruction and redemption.







#RAMonday: Read-Alike Monday- James Patterson

Every Monday we will pick a popular book or author to highlight and make a list of books and authors that are similar for you to enjoy. Click on the book's title to be linked to the catalog where you can see if the book is available or place a hold for it. This week's author is James Patterson.


About James Patterson
James Patterson writes fast-paced, violent novels of hard-edged suspense, with details of crimes and criminals, as well as police procedures. He is mostly known for these novels, but he does also write romance novels and children's stories, and nonfiction books. Patterson is most well known for his Alex Cross series, featuring a detective, Cross, who fights off threats to his family and Washington D.C. The novels shift between Cross' point of view and the criminals point of view. The Women's Murder Club series is also a popular series by Patterson, featuring a group of women with varying professions in criminal investigation, as they solve murders.



Alex Cross Series Read-Alikes: 

Lincoln Rhyme Mysteries by Jeffery Deaver 
Ex-NYPD detective and quadriplegic, Lincoln Rhyme pairs with NYPD rookie Amelia Sachs to track down killers in these hard-edged mysteries. There are currently 12 books in this ongoing series. Start with The Bone Collector.






Prey Series by John Sandford
This series, starring Lieutenant Lucas Davenport, focuses on details about police work and insights into the criminals and the crimes. Davenport is also a war games designer. These books take place in Minneapolis, MN. This ongoing series currently has 26 books in it. The first book in the series is Rules of Prey.








Women's Murder Club Read-Alikes:

Rizzoli and Isles Series by Tess Gerritsen
These fast-paced, compelling thrillers feature two women who team up to take on serial killers. Jane Rizzoli is a detective and Maura Isles is a medical examiner with the Boston Police Department. A TV show is based on this series. This series currently has eleven books. Start with The Surgeon.








Alphabet Series by Sue Grafton
Loner and private invetigator, Kinsey Millhone investigates murders and searches for missing persons in this suspenseful series in a fictional town in California. The series starts with A is for Alibi and continues through the alphabet with the most current book being, X.









Other Authors to Check Out:
Jonathan Kellerman: Kellerman writes gritty, suspenseful novels that provide insights into the psyche of criminals and crime. His fast-paced stories are filled with compelling and twisted crimes. Kellerman is known for his Alex Delaware series.

Greg Iles: Iles' novels are full of plot twists and gritty suspense. Often times they have multiple points of view and graphic violence.

Patricia Cornwell: Cornwell writes both stand-alone titles and series books full of scientific and medical details, plot twists, and suspense.


#RAMonday: Read-Alike Monday- The Swans of Fifth Avenue

Every Monday we will pick a popular book to highlight and make a list of books that are similar for you to enjoy. Click on the book's title to be linked to the catalog where you can see if the book is available or place a hold for it. This week's book is: The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin.


The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin
Centered on two dynamic, complicated, and compelling protagonists—Truman Capote and Babe Paley—this book is steeped in the glamour and perfumed and smoky atmosphere of New York’s high society. Babe Paley—known for her high-profile marriage to CBS founder William Paley and her ranking in the International Best-Dressed Hall of Fame—was one of the reigning monarchs of New York’s high society in the 1950s. Replete with gossip, scandal, betrayal, and a vibrant cast of real-life supporting characters, readers will be seduced by this startling new look at the infamous society swans.






READ-ALIKES:

London, 1711. As the rich, young offspring of the city's most fashionable families ll their days with masquerade balls and clandestine court-ships, Arabella Fermor and Robert, Lord Petre, lead the pursuit of pleasure. Beautiful and vain, Arabella is a clever coquette with a large circle of beaus. Lord Petre, seventh Baron of Ingatestone, is a man-about-town with his choice of mistresses. Drawn together by an overpowering attraction, the two begin an illicit affair. As the forbidden passion between Arabella and Lord Petre deepens, an intrigue of a darker nature threatens to overtake them. Fortunes change and reputations -- even lives -- are imperiled. 

Goes behind-the-scenes of the filming of "Gone with the wind", while turning the spotlight on the passionate romance between its dashing leading man, Clark Gable, and the blithe, free-spirited actress, Carole Lombard.








Meeting through mutual friends in Chicago, Hadley is intrigued by brash "beautiful boy" Ernest Hemingway, and after a brief courtship and small wedding, they take off for Paris, where Hadley makes a convincing transformation from an overprotected child to a game and brave young woman who puts up with impoverished living conditions and shattering loneliness to prop up her husband's career.





Crazy rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.







I have been standing on the side of life, watching it float by. I want to swim in the river. I want to feel the current. So writes Mamah Borthwick Cheney in her diary as she struggles to justify her clandestine love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright. Four years earlier, in 1903, Mamah and her husband, Edwin, had commissioned the renowned architect to design a new home for them. During the construction of the house, a powerful attraction developed between Mamah and Frank, and in time the lovers, each married with children, embarked on a course that would shock Chicago society and forever change their lives. 




#RA Monday: Read-Alike Monday- My Name is Lucy Barton

Every Monday we will pick a popular book to highlight and make a list of books that are similar for you to enjoy. Click on the book's title to be linked to the catalog where you can see if the book is available or place a hold for it. This week's book is: My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout.


My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn't spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy's childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lay the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy's life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable.







READ-ALIKES:

Laura Bartone anticipates her annual family reunion in Minnesota with a mixture of excitement and wariness. Yet this year’s gathering will prove to be much more trying than either she or her siblings imagined. As soon as she arrives, Laura realizes that something is not right with her sister. Forever wrapped up in events of long ago, Caroline is the family’s restless black sheep. When Caroline confronts Laura and their brother, Steve, with devastating allegations about their mother, the three have a difficult time reconciling their varying experiences in the same house. But a sudden misfortune will lead them all to face the past, their own culpability, and their common need for love and forgiveness.

An unforgettable tale of unconditional love, and of a family's desperate search for normalcy in the midst of mental illness. It is a novel of rare poignancy, wit, and evocative power -- the story of the relationship between Hattie Barnes and her emotionally elusive mother, Maggie, known by their neighbors as "that Barnes woman with all the problems."




Wallace Stegner's Pultizer Prize-winning novel is a story of discovery—personal, historical, and geographical. Confined to a wheelchair, retired historian Lyman Ward sets out to write his grandparents' remarkable story, chronicling their days spent carving civilization into the surface of America's western frontier. But his research reveals even more about his own life than he's willing to admit. What emerges is an enthralling portrait of four generations in the life of an American family.



Bill Blair buys property south of San Francisco in 1954, long before Silicon Valley exists. In Penny Greenway he finds a suitable wife, they marry and have four children. Yet Penny is a mercurial housewife, overwhelmed and undersatisfied at a time when women chafed at the conventions imposed on them. Thirty years later, the three oldest Blair children, adults now and still living near the family home, are disrupted by the return of the youngest, whose sudden presence and all-too-familiar troubles force a reckoning with who they are, separately and together, and set off a struggle over the family's future. One by one, the siblings take turns telling the story, their narratives interwoven with portraits of the family at crucial points in their history.

The incomparable Alice Munro's bestselling and rapturously acclaimed Runaway is a book of extraordinary stories about love and its infinite betrayals and surprises, from the title story about a young woman who, though she thinks she wants to, is incapable of leaving her husband, to three stories about a woman named Juliet and the emotions that complicate the luster of her intimate relationships. In Munro's hands, the people she writes about women of all ages and circumstances, and their friends, lovers, parents, and children become as vivid as our own neighbors.


The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette's brilliant and charismatic father captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn't want the responsibility of raising a family. The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.


#RAMonday: Read-Alike Monday- The Martian

Every Monday we will pick a popular book to highlight and make a list of books that are similar for you to enjoy. Click on the book's title to be linked to the catalog where you can see if the book is available or place a hold for it. This week's book is The Martian by Andy Weir.


The Martian by Andy Weir
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney was one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark is stranded alone with no way to even signal Earth. Even if he could, he wouldn't last until rescue arrived. Chances are, though, he won't starve -- so many other things are likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet.








READ-ALIKES:


In the not-so-distant future--the world has turned into a very bleak place, but luckily there is OASIS, a virtual reality world that is a vast online utopia. People can plug into OASIS to play, go to school, earn money, and even meet other people, and for protagonist Wade Watts it certainly beats passing the time in his grim, poverty-stricken real life. Along with millions of other world-wide citizens, Wade dreams of finding three keys left behind by James Halliday, the now-deceased creator of OASIS and the richest man to have ever lived. The keys are rumored to be hidden inside OASIS, and whoever finds them will inherit Halliday's fortune. But Halliday has not made it easy, and the dangers are real.


An account of the decade-long conflict between humankind and hordes of the predatory undead is told from the perspective of dozens of survivors who describe in their own words the epic human battle for survival.








The American Southwest has been decimated by drought. Nevada and Arizona skirmish over dwindling shares of the Colorado River, while California watches, deciding if it should just take the whole river for itself. Into the fray steps Las Vegas water knife Angel Velasquez. Detective, assassin, and spy, Angel 'cuts' water for the Southern Nevada Water Authority and its boss, Catherine Case, ensuring that her lush, luxurious arcology developments can bloom in the desert and that anyone who challenges her is left in the gutted-suburban dust. When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in Phoenix, Angel is sent to investigate. With a wallet full of identities and a tricked-out Tesla, Angel arrows south, hunting for answers that seem to evaporate as the heat index soars and the landscape becomes more and more oppressive. There, Angel encounters Lucy Monroe, a hardened journalist, who knows far more about Phoenix's water secrets than she admits, and Maria Villarosa, a young Texas migrant, who dreams of escaping north to those places where water still falls from the sky. As bodies begin to pile up and bullets start flying, the three find themselves pawns in a game far bigger, more corrupt, and dirtier than any of them could have imagined.

In this dystopian, post-apocalyptic literary novel, Italy is on the brink of collapse: borders are closed, banks are refusing to distribute money to their clients, the postal service is shuttered, and food supplies are running short. Armed gangs of drug-fueled youth rampage through the countryside as the nation descends into chaos.Leonardo was once a famous writer and professor before a sex scandal ended his marriage and his career. With society collapsing around them, his ex-wife leaves their daughter and son in his care as she sets off in search of her new husband, who is missing. Ultimately, Leonardo is forced to evacuate and take his children to safety, but to do so he will have to summon a quality he has never exhibited before: courage.

When the rocket launching the Mars Transit Vehicle into orbit explodes on the launch pad, killing four crewmen, the President announces the U.S. will redirect its energies to near-Earth projects. The manned mission to Mars is officially dead. That is until billionaire John Axelrod steps in to fund the project. Although the risks are high, several young astronauts sign on. But these new pioneers are not alone -- a European-Asian airbus will be making a similar expedition. Now the race is on to get to the fourth planet first. Both teams reach the Red Planet, but with disastrous results. Now the problem isn't who will return to Earth first, but if any of them will return at all.

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class. Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity's overlords struggle for power. 



#RAMonday: Read-Alike Monday- Me Before You

Every Monday we will pick a popular book to highlight and make a list of books that are similar for you to enjoy. Click on the book's title to be linked to the catalog where you can see if the book is available or place a hold for it. This week's book is Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose. Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life--steady boyfriend, close family--who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after a motorcycle accident. Will has always lived a huge life--big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel--and now he's pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy--but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.




READ-ALIKES:

Anna Forster, in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease at only thirty-eight years old, knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to Rosalind House, an assisted living facility. She also knows there's just one other resident her age, Luke. What she does not expect is the love that blossoms between her and Luke even as she resists her new life at Rosalind House. As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to what she knows, including her relationship with Luke.



When Daisy is diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer and told she may have as few as four months left to live, she realizes she is terrified of what will happen to her brilliant but otherwise charmingly helpless husband when she’s no longer there to take care of him. It’s this fear that keeps her up at night, until she stumbles on the solution: she has to find him another wife. With a singular determination, Daisy sets out to find Jack's perfect match. But the further she gets on her quest, the more she questions the sanity of her plan. What is more important in the time she has left--her husband’s happiness—or her own?
Bec is adrift. It's the summer before her junior year in college. She takes a job caring for Kate, a thirty-six-year-old woman who has been immobilized by ALS. As it turns out, before the disease Kate was a stylish and commanding woman, an advertising executive and an accomplished chef. Now, as she and Bec spend long days together, Bec begins to absorb Kate's sophistication and her sensuality, cooking for her, sharing her secrets, and gradually beginning to live her own life with a boldness informed by Kate's influence.  And when Kate's marriage veers into dangerous territory, Bec will have to choose between the values of her old life and the allure of an entirely new one.


They met at a party. It was hate at first sight. Ruth was far too beautiful, too flamboyant. Not at all Ann's kind of person. Until a chance encounter in the bathroom led to an alliance of souls. Soon they were sharing hankies during the late showing of "Sophie's Choice," wolfing down sundaes sodden with whipped cream, telling truths of marriage, mortality, and love, secure in a kind of intimacy no man could ever know. Only best friends understand devil's food cake for breakfast when nothing else will do. After years of shared secrets, guilty pleasures, family life and divorce, they face a crisis that redefines the meaning of friendship and unconditional love.


After losing virtually everything meaningful in his life, Benjamin trains to be a caregiver, but his first client, a fiercely independent teen with muscular dystrophy, gives him more than he bargained for and soon the two embark on a road trip to visit the boy's ailing father.







Elf and Yoli are sisters. While on the surface Elfrieda's is an enviable life (she's a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, and happily married) and Yolandi's a mess (she's divorced and broke, with two teenagers growing up too quickly), they are fiercely close—raised in a Mennonite household and sharing the hardship of Elf's desire to end her own life. After Elf's latest attempt, Yoli must quickly determine how to keep her family from falling apart, how to keep her own heart from breaking, and what it means to love someone who wants to die.




#RAMonday: Read-Alike Monday- Why Not Me?

Every Monday we will pick a popular book to highlight and make a list of books that are similar for you to enjoy. Click on the book's title to be linked to the catalog where you can see if the book is available or place a hold for it. This week's book is Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling.



Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling.
In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.








Read-Alikes:

Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true.

Like Why Not MeBossypants is a hilarious account of a strong woman making her way in the world of comedy.


Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor.

Similar to Mindy Kaling, Jenny Lawson shows us the funny and sometimes painfully awkward side of life in her work.


Aisha Tyler serves up a spectacular collection of her own self-inflicted wounds. From almost setting herself on fire to going into crushing debt to pay for college and then throwing away her degree to become a comedian, Aisha's life has been a series of spectacularly epic fails. And she's got the scars to prove it. Literally.

Aisha's laugh out loud memoir shows us how you have to fail sometimes in order to succeed. 



Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
David Sedaris' move to Paris from New York inspired these hilarious pieces, including the title essay, about his attempts to learn French from a sadistic teacher who declares that "every day spent with you is like having a cesarean section". 

This book differs from Why Not Me in that it is not so much about making your way in Hollywood as it is a book about growing up and making your way in the world. However, the humor and tone of the stories will remind you of Kaling's memoir.



Yes Please by Amy Poehler
In Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious. Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book full of words to live by.

Like Kaling, Poheler is another powerful and awesome woman in comedy. Her memoir describes how she got into comedy and how she's succeeded in it.



#RAMonday: Read-Alike Monday- The Girl on the Train

Every Monday we will pick a popular book to highlight and make a list of books that are similar for you to enjoy. Click on the book's title to be linked to the catalog where you can see if the book is available or place a hold for it. This week's book is The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?



READ-ALIKES:

Nina Landry is supposed to be taking her two children on a Christmas holiday today. But the road away from Sandling Island seems littered with obstacles. Most pressing of all, her 15-year-old daughter, Charlie, has yet to return from a night out ...Minute by minute, Nina's unease builds to worry and then panic. Has Charlie run away? Or has something more sinister happened to her? And why will nobody take her disappearance seriously? As a series of half-buried secrets lead Nina from sickening suspicion to deadly certainty, the question becomes less whether she and her daughter will leave the island for Christmas - and more whether they'll ever leave it again.

This riveting novel of love and mystery examines the lasting impact of the twentieth century’s legacy of violence and warfare, both at home and abroad. When long-hidden secrets about the atrocities he committed in Vietnam come to light, a candidate for the U.S. Senate retreats with his wife to a lakeside cabin in northern Minnesota. Within days of their arrival, his wife mysteriously vanishes into the watery wilderness.




Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.
At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love, and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed.


Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love--all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story. 

Welcome to Christine's life.





On the grubby outskirts of Paris, Grace restores bric-a-brac, mends teapots, re-sets gems. She calls herself Julie, says she’s from California, and slips back to a rented room at night. Regularly, furtively, she checks the hometown paper on the Internet. Home is Garland, Tennessee, and there, two young men have just been paroled. One, she married; the other, she’s in love with. Both were jailed for a crime that Grace herself planned in exacting detail. The heist went bad—but not before she was on a plane to Prague with a stolen canvas rolled in her bag. And so, in Paris, begins a cat-and-mouse waiting game as Grace’s web of deception and lies unravels—and she becomes another young woman entirely.

An apparently happy marriage. A beautiful son. A lovely home. So what makes Emily Coleman get up one morning and walk right out of her life to start all over again? Has she had a breakdown? Was it to escape her dysfunctional family - especially her flawed twin sister Caroline who always seemed to hate her? And what is the date that looms, threatening to force her to confront her past? No one has ever guessed her secret. Will you?






#RAMonday: Read-Alike Monday- The Nightingale


Every Monday we will pick a popular book to highlight and make a list of books that are similar for you to enjoy. Click on the book's title to be linked to the catalog where you can see if the book is available or place a hold for it. This week's chosen book is The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.

THE NIGHTINGALE BY KRISTIN HANNAH

The Nightingale came out in February of 2015 and we have not been able to keep it on the shelves since then! This book has remained popular with a wide audience because of it's great story and well developed characters. 

This book is about two sisters struggling to survive during World War II in France. One sister is rebellious and intent on fighting for France. The other simply wants to survive the war with her family intact. Both sisters learn who they are and what they are capable of as the war wages on.


READ-ALIKES:

 Motherland by Maria Hummel This page-turning novel focuses on the Kappus family: Frank is a reconstructive surgeon who lost his beloved wife in childbirth and two months later married a young woman who must look after the baby and his two grieving sons when he is drafted into medical military service. When one child begins to mentally unravel, Liesl must discover the source of the boy’s infirmity or lose him forever to Hadamar, the infamous hospital for “unfit” children. 



All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr This winner of the Pulitzer Prize is about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.




The Undertaking by Audrey Magee In a desperate bid to escape the trenches of the Eastern front, Peter, an ordinary German soldier, marries Katharina, a woman he has never met. With ten days’ leave secured, Peter visits his new wife in Berlin and both are surprised by the passion that develops between them. As Peter heads to war, Katharina ruthlessly works her way into Nazi high society, wedding herself, her young husband, and her unborn child to the regime. But when the tide of war turns and Berlin falls, Peter and Katharina find their simple dream of family cast in tragic light.



The Wind is Not a River by Brian Payton The Wind Is Not a River is Brian Payton's gripping tale of survival and an epic love story in which a husband and wife—separated by the only battle of World War II to take place on American soil—fight to reunite in Alaska's starkly beautiful Aleutian Islands.





The Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally In 1915, Naomi and Sally Durance, two spirited Australian sisters, join the war effort as nurses, escaping the confines of their father’s farm and carrying a guilty secret with them. Amid the carnage, the sisters’ tenuous bond strengthens as they bravely face extreme danger and hostility—sometimes from their own side. There is great humor and compassion, too, and the inspiring example of the incredible women they serve alongside. In France, each meets an exceptional man, the kind for whom she might relinquish her newfound independence— if only they all survive.



The Light in the Ruins by Chris Bohjalian Hoping to safeguard themselves from the ravages of World War II within the walls of their ancient villa in Florence, the noble Rosatis family become prisoners in their home when eighteen-year-old Cristina's courtship by a German lieutenant prompts the Nazis to take over the estate, a situation that leads to a serial murder investigation years later.














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