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"The Forgotten Garden: A Novel" by Kate Morton

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The Forgotten Garden shifts back and forth through time to solve a mystery about a four year old girl Nell; abandoned and waiting alone on a dock in Australia for parents who never come. The only link to her past is a little white suitcase the child carried when she was found.

Nell embarks on an adventure and attempts to piece together the mystery surrounding her past. Her travels lead her to Blackhurst Manor, delving deep into a family's secrets and purchasing a cottage in Cornwall near the Manor. Before she can solve the mystery of her past, Nell dies but her grandaughter Cassandra takes up the quest. This is a fairytale-like novel with old houses and hidden gardens all containing secrets and surprises.

The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood

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If Tara French and Gillian Flynn went on vacation in England together to an amusement park (think English Jersey Shore) this would surely be the outcome. Two women who haven't seen each other since they committed a heinous crime together as children cross paths as adults when one, now a reporter, visits the other, an amusement park employee, to investigate the brutal murders that take place in the vacation town. If you're anything like me, you'll most likely peg the killer within the first third of the book, but be warned that things are definitely not what they seem.  A perfect beach read for those in denial about the recent wintry weather or an equally creepy Halloween appropriate thriller. 

Hellstrip Gardening by Evelyn Hadden

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The hellstrip—the space between a street and a public sidewalk which finally gains attention as a space to add curb appeal to your home.  This oft-ignored gardening space can be reclaimed as a small paradise with environmentally friendly plants that thrive in tough situations and with limited water needs. 

Gorgeous color photographs of hellstrip gardens offer inspiration and visual guidance to tackle this new gardening frontier.

Juvenile Fiction Selection: Courage for Beginners by Karen Harrington

Mysti Murphy is starting seventh grade and so far nothing is turning out as expected.  Her best friend Anibal Gomez has blown her off to become a “hipster” and gain the attention of a pretty girl at school.  Meanwhile, Mysti has plenty of problems at home.  Her family has a secret; her mother is agoraphobic which means she never leaves the house.  Mysti and her sister keep this secret and their father takes care of everything that needs to be done outside of the house.  Things take a bad turn when her father falls and suffers an injury that lands him in the hospital for a long stay.  Now it is up to Mysti to move beyond her mother's projected fears and find the courage to help herself and her family.  With the loss of her best friend Mysti ends up at the “loser island” lunch table and eventually befriends a strong and sassy Rama Khan who helps her find that courage.  Mysti is a character that you'll be rooting for from beginning to end!  (Grades 5-8 School Library Journal)

Unsinkable: A Memoir by Debbie Reynolds

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A youngster during movies ‘Golden Age’, Reynolds writes a wonderfully funny & heartfelt memoir of her trials, tribulations and friendships.  She shares her children, Carrie and Todd Fisher, personal problems, as they struggle with their own successes as well as their famous parents.    Her disastrous marriages brought her to bankruptcy, but she never despaired- and that’s the heart of this story, how her spirit, talent and personality kept her from sinking.

The Little Free Library Book by Margret Aldrich

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In 2009, Todd Bol built the first Little Free Library in his front yard as a tribute to his mother, a schoolteacher. It was a small, weatherproof box in the shape of a one-room schoolhouse with a simple message: “Take a book, return a book.” Inspired by the positive response of his neighbors, Bol built more libraries, and a grassroots literary movement was born. As of 2015, an estimated 25,000 Little Free Libraries are in operation across the globe—in small towns without a public library and busy cities; in refugee camps and police stations; front yards and local parks. (Locally, Upper Arlington is home to four Little Free Libraries, while nearby Clintonville is home to six.) The Little Free Library Book tells the story of the movement’s beginning and showcases the libraries—and stories—of dozens of library stewards. The book also includes helpful tips and information for those interested in starting their own library.

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