The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Colleen's picture

I loved The Ocean at the End of the Lane so much that I read it in one sitting. Returning to his childhood home for a funeral, the unnamed main character begins to recall memories he'd repressed for years. All it takes is a walk down the lane to flood the character with memories of his mysterious childhood friend, Lettie Hempstock, and the frightening but magical adventures they had. The story is thoughtful and intriguing, and encourages the reader to engage in childhood magic and fantasy. 

Thrills and Chills

Jen's picture

Halloween is upon is! When it comes to scary reads, you might think of such spooky authors as Stephen KingDean Koontz, or Joe Hill. Did you know there are many women authors that can scare you just as much, if not more, than the guys? 

The following female-authored novels are sure to put some thrills and chills in your fall reading: 

Night Film by Marisha Pessl - When the daughter of a cult horror film director is found dead in an abandoned Manhattan warehouse, investigative journalist Scott McGrath, disbelieving the official suicide ruling, probes into the strange circumstances of the young woman's death. Those who want to immerse themselves in this novel can download the app and scan pages for an even spookier experience.

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters -  Dr. Faraday, the son of a maid who has built a life of quiet respectability, 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. 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.

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes - A time-traveling serial killer is impossible to trace– until one of his victims survives. In Depression-era Chicago, Harper Curtis finds a key to a house that opens on to other times. But it comes at a cost. He has to kill the shining girls: bright young women, burning with potential. He stalks them through their lives across different eras until, in 1989, one of his victims, Kirby Mazrachi, survives and starts hunting him back.

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler - Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone in a house that is slowly crumbling toward the Long Island Sound. His parents are long dead. His mother, a circus mermaid who made her living by holding her breath, drowned in the very water his house overlooks. His younger sister, Enola, ran off to join the circus six years ago. One June day, an old book arrives on Simon's doorstep. Could there be a curse on Simon's family? What does it have to do with the book, and can he stop it in time to save Enola?

The Vanishers by Heidi Julavits - Julia Severn is a student at an elite institute for psychics. Her mentor, the legendary Madame Ackermann, afflicted by jealousy, refuses to pass the torch to her young disciple. Instead, she subjects Julia to the humiliation of reliving her mother's suicide when Julia was an infant. As the two lock horns, and Julia gains power, Madame Ackermann launches a desperate psychic attack that leaves Julia the victim of a crippling ailment.

For more reading recommendations, spooky or not, be sure to stop by the Adult Services desk and ask our friendly and knowledgeable staff!

"The Hypnotist's Love Story" by Liane Moriarty

Vita's picture

The hypnotist has finally started dating someone that seems like he could be “the one.” He tells her on a date that he has a stalker and she finds herself fascinated rather than disturbed. This story is told from the point of view of two characters, one of whom is the stalker. The author has such a way with character development that it's easy to sympathize with the stalker and you find yourself liking her. Moriarty seems to be able to capture the most complicated of human emotions and motivations in a simple and accessible way. There are no black and white issues in her books and the truthfulness of that really shines through. This was a very enjoyable read.

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy Reichert

Caitlin's picture

After chef Elizabeth “Lou” Johnson finds her fiancée half-naked with another woman, she tries to distract herself with cooking—only to serve the worst meal of her life to Milwaukee’s meanest food critic, Al Waters, aka A. W. Wodysky. A chance meeting brings them together in a bar that night, and—unaware of each other’s true identity—Al challenges Lou to show him the best of Milwaukee. As Al falls in love with Milwaukee and Al and Lou begin to fall for each other, Lou’s restaurant begins a slow spiral toward failure, kicked off by Al’s review. Al will have to decide whether to reveal the truth to Lou, and Lou will have to find out if she’s strong enough to keep pursuing her dreams.

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake features delicious description of Milwaukee’s food scene and a sweet, slow-burn romance amid an entertaining cast of secondary characters, perfect for readers who love food and romance.

2015 Guardian Prize

Caitlin's picture

Last week Andrew McMillan became the first poet to win the Guardian’s book prize (worth approximately $15,000) with his debut collection, Physical, about the anxieties and tensions of modern masculinity.

While Physical is currently unavailable in the United States, four of the other books nominated for the Guardian prize are available to request now, including:

  • Diane Cook’s Man v Nature, an “absurd and funny” collection of short stories;
  • Chigozie Obioma’s The Fishermen, a Cain-and-Abel-esque novel of family and madness;
  • Peter Pomerantsev’s Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, a “dizzying” look into the “glittering, surreal heart” of modern Russia;
  • Sara Taylor’s The Shore, a collection of short stories spanning more than a century of mystery and family drama in a group of islands on the Chesapeake Bay.

The Martian : a novel by Andy Weir

Vita's picture

Engineer-botanist Mark Watney is presumed dead and left by his crew mates on Mars as a dust storm forces them to abort their mission. Logbook style narratives describe Watney's efforts to extend his life until the next scheduled mission arrives in 4 years.  Watney exemplifies the “never say die” attitude we associate with heroes but he is facing tough odds while trying to stay alive on Mars.  Part astronaut primer and deep space survival guide, The Martian is an interesting sci-fi yarn!

2015 Historical Christmas Mysteries

Caitlin's picture

Mystery and historical novel fans, get in the Christmas spirit with these new books:

The Fruitcake Murders, Ace Collins: A detective in 1946 Chicago must find out who is killing people with twenty-year-old fruitcake tins while dodging a persistent (and annoying) reporter.

Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue, Victoria Thompson: When a friend’s daughter is found with her murdered husband in her arms, Frank Malloy and Sarah Brandt become an innocent woman’s only hope in turn-of-the-century New York.

Away in a Manger, Rhys Bowen: Molly Murphy Sullivan investigates the disappearance of a young girl’s mother in 1905 New York.

Two Bronze Pennies, Tom Harper: DI Tom Harper must use unorthodox methods to track down the killer of a man found dead in Leeds, England’s Jewish district.

The Hanged Man, P.N. Elrod: On Christmas Eve in 1879, a London psychic reader called to the scene of a suicide discovers it’s actually a magic-influenced murder.

The Humbug Murders, L.J. Oliver: When Ebenezer Scrooge is framed for the death of Fezziwig, his former boss, he’ll need the help of the Artful Dodger, Fagin, Pickwick, and other Dickens characters—including the author himself—to clear his name.

"The Dinner" by Herman Koch

Vita's picture

It begins with dinner at a high-end restaurant in Amsterdam. Two brothers, Paul and Serge, and their wives meet to discuss their teenage sons. It is quickly apparent this is no ordinary discussion.  What have the cousins done? What is to be done about it? Slowly the tension builds and the reader becomes anxious as the story unfolds. The ending is a stunner!

The Bullet, by Mary Louise Kelly

Caitlin's picture

When a routine MRI reveals a bullet lodged in Georgetown professor Caroline Cashion’s neck, she’s shocked. The discovery soon leads to other revelations: that she was adopted, and that her birth parents were murdered in front of her—by a killer who was never caught. As the bullet in her neck drifts closer to her spine, Caroline searches for answers in Atlanta, drawing the attention of her parents’ murderer. Soon, she’ll have to make a choice: run for her life, or risk everything to confront the killer.

A suspenseful, expertly-crafted novel of family, secrets, and revenge, perfect for fans of James Patterson, Lee Child, and Harlan Coben.


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