Best Books of 2019 (so far)!

Published on June 11, 2019

 

Check out Kate and Liz's favorite books of 2019 so far, with a few 2018 favorites mixed in! Click on the title to go to the catalog and place a hold.

 

Mystery/Thrillers:

Bluff by Jane Stanton Hitchcock. Revenge!  Isn’t it sweet?  One time socialite and rich girl Maud has become invisible. Cheated out of her inheritance she plots to get even, and does she ever.  With a bang, you will be drawn into this fun and interesting tale of poker, money and Maud’s high-stakes tale of revenge.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge. 1983, six friends head out on a camping trip, one pesky little sister comes along. And disappears. 30 years later her body is found unearthed in a hideaway that only the six friends knew about, and Jonah Sheens is put in charge of solving the long-cold case. Detective Sheens attended the same high school as these friends. Now he’s determined to finally get to the truth of what happened that night.

The Last Act by Brad Parks. Tommy Jump, a struggling stage actor is offered the role of a lifetime: $150,000 for a six-month acting gig. Only it is not on stage, it is in prison. With a newly pregnant fiancée depending on him, it is an opportunity he cannot refuse, even though the offer comes from the strangest employer imaginable: the FBI.

Watching You by Lisa Jewell. As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with him. One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.

The Better Sister by Alafair Burke. Chloe lives in New York City, working in a coveted publishing job, while her sister Nicky married promising young attorney Adam and gave birth to a baby boy they named Ethan. The Taylor sisters became virtual strangers. Now, more than fifteen years later, their lives are drastically different—and Chloe is married to Adam. When an intruder at the couple’s East Hampton beach house murders him, Chloe reluctantly allows her estranged sister, Nicky—back into her life. The two sisters are forced to unite and to confront the truth behind family secrets they have tried to bury in the past.

Her One Mistake by Heidi Perks. Could you take my daughter Alice to the school fair? Charlotte had her hands full, looking after her own children as well as her friend’s daughter. She only took her eyes off her for one second and Alice disappeared. Frantically searching everywhere, Charlotte knows she must find the courage to tell Harriet that her beloved only child is missing—and admit that she’s solely to blame.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite. Korede's sister, Ayoola calls her one night to help clean up after she murders her boyfriend. And this isn't the first time. Korede helps her like she always does. But when Ayoola starts dating the doctor Korede's long been in love with him, she isn't prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back: but to save one would mean sacrificing the other... 

 

Fiction:

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray. Althea, the eldest sister of 4 and substitute matriarch, is a force to be reckoned with and her younger sisters have alternately appreciated and chafed at her strong will. They are as stunned as the rest of the small community when she and her husband Proctor are arrested, and in a heartbeat, the family goes from one of the most respected in town to utter disgrace. As Althea awaits her fate, Lillian and Viola must come together in the house they grew up in to care for their sister’s teenage daughters. 

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai. It’s 1985, and Yale has just lost his friend Nico to AIDS: not the first friend he’s lost, not nearly the last he’ll lose to the terrifying, still-mysterious disease. The other half of the novel follows Fiona in Paris in 2015, where she has reason to believe her long-estranged adult daughter, who joined a cult years ago, now lives.

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne. Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from – and over his three score years and ten, will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country and much more.

Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton. Brisbane, 1983: A lost father, a mute brother, a mum in jail, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious criminal for a babysitter. It's not as if Eli's life isn't complicated enough already. He's just trying to follow his heart, learning what it takes to be a good man, but life just keeps throwing obstacles in the way - not least of which is Tytus Broz, legendary Brisbane drug dealer. But if Eli's life is about to get a whole lot more serious. He's about to fall in love. And, oh yeah, he has to break into Boggo Road Gaol on Christmas Day, to save his mum.

The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson. An enthralling historical novel about one of the most famous wedding dresses of the twentieth century—Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown—and the fascinating women who made it.

Normal People by Sally Rooney. At school, Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He’s popular and well-adjusted, star of the school soccer team while she is lonely, proud, and intensely private. But a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers—one they are determined to conceal. A year later, they are both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years in college, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. Then, as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert. In 1940, Vivian Morris' affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters. When Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves-and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life.

 

NonFiction:

An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago by Alex Kotlowitz. Over the past twenty years in Chicago, 14,033 people have been killed and another roughly 60,000 wounded by gunfire. What does that do to the spirit of individuals and community? Drawing on his decades of experience, Alex Kotlowitz set out to chronicle one summer in the city, writing of individuals who have emerged from the violence and whose stories capture the capacity--and the breaking point--of the human heart and soul.

Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl. This wonderful memoir by the former and last Editor in Chief of Gourmet takes the reader behind-the-scenes at the workings of the magazine. This book tells the story of the moment restaurants became an important part of popular culture, when chef’s became stars, a time when the rise of the farm-to-table movement changed the way we eat. Reichl’s poignant and hilarious account brings into this world and takes us along on her journey of what it took to bring Gourmet Magazine back to life.

Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy. Beth Macy takes us into the epicenter of America's twenty-plus year struggle with opioid addiction. From distressed small communities in Central Appalachia to wealthy suburbs; from disparate cities to once-idyllic farm towns; it's a heartbreaking trajectory that illustrates how this national crisis has persisted for so long and become so firmly entrenched.

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou. Elizabeth Holmes, was feted as a biomedical version of Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, a wunderkind college dropout who would make blood testing as convenient as the iPhone. The lab was a fake. The devices weren’t close to being workable. Big investors shelled out over $900 million in her company. This is the story the prizewinning Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou tells virtually to perfection.

Honeybee Hotel: The Waldorf Astoria's Rooftop Garden and the Heart of NYC by Leslie Day. The tale of Honeybee Hotel begins over one hundred years ago, with the Astor family and the birth of the iconic Manhattan landmark, the magnificent Waldorf Astoria. In those early days the posh art deco masterpiece had its own rooftop garden for guests to enjoy. Fast-forward to the turn of the twenty-first century, and we meet executive chef David Garcelon, the creative genius behind the idea of restoring the celebrated rooftop garden. His vision included six hives containing some 300,000 honeybees, which would provide a unique flavor for his restaurant’s culinary masterpieces. 

Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting by Anna Quindlen. This little book is full of wisdom, wit, and insight, celebrating the love and joy of being a grandmother.  Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist and bestselling author Quindlen often writes on the joys and challenges of family, motherhood and modern life.  Now she is a grandmother and she offers insights into this new role: no longer mother and decision maker but secondary character and support to the parents of her grandson. 

Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep. The stunning story of an Alabama serial killer and the true-crime book that Harper Lee worked on obsessively in the years after To Kill a Mockingbird.