2018 was a great year for books at the Westwood Public Library. We hosted some wonderful authors (and you can expect more author talks in 2019!), expanded our Librarian Book Buzz Panels, and rolled out two new services: ReadNext! Personalized Reading Suggestions and Homebound Delivery! Check out our 2018 Top 100 Titles- not only to see reading trends here in Westwood, but to also get some ideas for your next read!Read More
Pre-Pub Pick: Looker by Laura Sims (Expected publication: January 8th 2019 by Scribner).
A quick and disturbing trip in the mind of a woman on the verge of losing everything. A woman living and teaching in NYC is reeling from her both the breakup of her marriage and her unsuccessful IVF treaments and infertility. The unnamed woman begins making irrational choices in her personal and professional life- most notably her growing obsession with her actress neighbor.
This is a great psychological thriller, told from the POV of the "villain"- who is clearly in the middle of a mental breakdown. The tone and language used by Sims creates a feeling of unease- as if you are in the midst of derailing your own life. A great, creepy read- for fans of Leïla Slimani's The Perfect Nanny. *Thanks to Edelweiss and Scribner for providing an e-galley for an unbiased review.* *
Place a hold on Looker by clicking here!
Pre-Pub Pick: Little Faith by Nickolas Butler (Expected publication: March 5th 2019 by Ecco).
Family, faith and reality collide together in Butler's latest literary, small town drama. Lyle and Peg, a stable and hardworking retired couple in rural WI, take in their adopted, adult daughter Shiloh, and her 5 year son, Issac. Still reeling from the loss of their first biological child decades ago, Lyle's love for and bond with Issac is all-consuming. When Shiloh takes up with a fundamentalist Christian church and its young and charismatic preacher, concerns are raised but are quickly ignored in order to preserve a line of communication. What follows is a heartbreaking entanglement of love, loss, prayer and faith.
Butler's brings compassion, love and sorrow together in a way that will remind readers of Jodi Picoult, but with a distinctly midwestern flair. For fans of small town family dramas and literary fiction.*Thanks to Edelweiss and Ecco for providing an e-galley for an unbiased review.*
Place a hold on Little Faith by clicking here!
Pre-Pub Pick: The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker (Expected publication: January 15th 2019 by Random House).
Walker returns to the dystopian genre (see her previous novel, The Age of Miracles with her new title, The Dreamers. With a small, California college town serving as the epicenter, an unknown virus takes hold in a dormitory, leaving its victims in a deep, coma like sleep. The reader is rapidly drawn into the story through multiple POVs as the virus takes over California. While more attention could have been given to the national and global reactions, Walker's novel is suspenseful with many discussion points (ethics, survival, dreams, what would you do if..). A definite page-turner! *Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for providing an e-galley for an unbiased review.*
Pre-Pub Pick: Scrublands by Chris Hammer (Expected publication: January 8th 2019 by Touchstone - first published July 25th 2018).
An absorbing and suspenseful crime novel. From the opening pages in which a seemingly beloved priest opens fire and kills 5 people, to the end - where the truth is not what you'd expect, readers will be engrossed by small town secrets and conspiracy. 2019 will be the year of Australian fiction, and SCRUBLANDS will lead the way. For readers of crime fiction, especially those who like books that open with a bang.*Thanks to Edelweiss and Touchstone for providing an e-galley for an unbiased review.*
Pre-Pub Pick: Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams (Expected publication: March 19, 2019 by Gallery/Scout Press).
Carty-Williams debut novel, Queenie, will be one of the top picks of 2019. Queenie is a professional 25 year old British Jamaican woman working at one of London's national newspapers, who is blindsighted by her breakup with Tom, her white boyfriend of three years. While trying to gain control of her life, Queenie is forced to confront the ugliness in her life: the racism (casual and overt), her anxiety and depression that is worsening at an alarming rate, and past trauma that is impacting all of her relationships. Queenie must both accept the things she cannot change, but also take responsibility for how the rest of her life will go.
Cart-Williams writing is animated and intimate- this is a fast and entertaining read, but the racism, sexism and mental health are featured with the full weight of their impact- no false bravado and no glossing over.
Queenie is an important novel because this is a story that shows how the fetishization of black women impacts everyday lives. This book also does a good job describing how ineffective good intentions are when there is an assumption of understanding, where one can never truly understand. An important and highly recommended read. *Thanks to Edelweiss and Gallery/Scout Press for providing an e-galley for an unbiased review.*