LibraryReads, the nationwide library staff-picks list, offers the top 10 May titles public library staff across the country love:
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel by Gail Honeyman (Pamela Dorman Books, $26, 9780735220683). "I loved this book about the quirky Eleanor, who struggles to relate to other people and lives a very solitary life. When she and the new work IT guy happen to be walking down the street together, they witness an elderly man collapse on the sidewalk and suddenly Eleanor's orderly routines are disrupted. This is a lovely novel about loneliness and how a little bit of kindness can change a person forever. Highly recommended for fans of A Man Called Ove and The Rosie Project--this would make a great book club read." --Halle Eisenman, Beaufort County Library, Blufton, S.C.
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore (Sourcebooks, $26.99, 9781492649359). "This is the story of hundreds of young, vibrant women who were sentenced to death by their employers. The so-called "Radium Girls" painted luminescent faces on clock and watch dials using a paint mixture that contained radium. Instructed to "lip-point" their brushes as they painted, they absorbed high doses of radium into their bodies. When the effects of the radium led to horrific disfigurement and pain, the company refused to take responsibility. This heartrending book was one I could not put down." --Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, Mass.
Since We Fell: A Novel by Dennis Lehane (Ecco, $27.99, 9780062129383). "Rachel is a journalist who, after her online breakdown, becomes a recluse scared to resume her daily life. She is recently divorced and meets an old friend who wants to help her overcome her fear. They fall in love, marry and appear to have the perfect life, until Rachel ventures out of the house one day and sees something that makes her question everything she knows about her new husband. Once a reporter, always a reporter and Rachel has to get to the bottom of her story." --Michele Coleman, Iredell County Public Library, Statesville, N.C.
The Leavers: A Novel by Lisa Ko (Algonquin, $25.95, 9781616206888). "One morning, eleven-year-old Deming Guo's mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job and never comes home. Deming is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town. This is a poignant story of a boy who struggles to find his footing in a new world. It's also an unflinching look at the difficult decisions a mother faces. This novel explores what it means to be a family and the duality of lives, especially through adoption." --Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis Mo.
Ginny Moon: A Novel by Benjamin Ludwig (Park Row Books, $26.99, 9780778330165). "What an amazing debut novel! Ludwig effectively captures the voice, thought process, and behaviors of a young autistic girl who has escaped a harrowing living situation and has finally settled into a new "forever" home. Unfortunately, she becomes obsessed with returning to her old home to find her "baby doll," jeopardizing both her own and her new family's safety. Ginny truly is an original, and readers will be captivated by her story." --Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, La.
Saints For All Occasions: A Novel by J. Courtney Sullivan (Knopf, $26.95, 9780307959577). "Sisters Nora and Theresa Flynn leave their home in Ireland for a new life in 1958 Boston. Each adjusts to life in America in her own way. Steady Nora watches younger Theresa, until choices made by each woman drive the sisters apart. We follow the story from 1958 to contemporary New England, Ireland, and New York, exploring how siblings and children relate to their parents and each other as they age. Novels about Irish immigrant families and their American descendants are a weakness of mine and the way this story unfolds from everyone’s perspectives is very satisfying!" --Trisha Rigsby, Deerfield Public Library, Deerfield, Wis.
White Hot: A Hidden Legacy Novel by Ilona Andrews (Avon, $25, 9780062674791). "After rereading the first Hidden Legacy book, I plunged immediately into White Hot. I wasn't disappointed. Nevada is trying to return her life to a semblance of normal, "normal" being without powerful, sexy, and very dangerous Prime Rogan. Rogan hasn't stopped thinking about Nevada and hasn't stopped wanting her. And what Rogan wants, he eventually gets. The action in White Hot was faster, the plot more intricate, and the characters became even more real. I cannot wait to read book three!" --Heather Cover, Homewood Library, Birmingham, Ala.
Sycamore: A Novel by Bryn Chancellor (Harper, $26.99, 9780062661098). "A newly divorced woman is starting life over in a small Arizona town. She comes across the skeletal remains of what the locals think is the body of a seventeen-year-old girl named Jess who disappeared almost two decades ago. The discovery forces community members to recall memories and secrets that have been buried a long time. Readers are treated to a cast of characters with distinct personalities who, with each piece of the puzzle, form a patchwork that reveals the truth surrounding Jess's disappearance." --Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington, N.Y.
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson (Norton, $18.95, 9780393609394). "Tyson's writing style is always approachable and entertaining, and his latest book is no exception. Clear and concise, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry gives readers exactly what the title promises, a basic understanding of a deeply fascinating subject. Highly recommended for readers who want to understand our universe better." --Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, Tex.
The Jane Austen Project: A Novel by Kathleen A. Flynn (Harper Perennial, $15.99, 9780062651259). "The Austen fan genre is expanded by an original new novel set both in the past and the near future. Two employees of a time travel company are assigned to go back to Austen's day, ostensibly to retrieve the full copy of "The Watsons," lost for all time... until now. The blending of historical fiction, fantasy, and romance with a beloved classic author thrown in the mix is a daring combination which succeeds." --Leslie DeLooze, Richmond Memorial Library, Batavia, N.Y.