Top Library Recommended Titles for November

LibraryReads, the nationwide library staff-picks list, offers the top 10 November titles public library staff across the country love:

Faithful: A Novel by Alice Hoffman (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781476799209). "With only a touch of her usual magical realism, Hoffman crafts a tale that still manages to enchant. In Faithful, a young girl who survives a car accident that almost kills her best friend spends the next decade doing penance to try and alleviate her guilt. Despite her best efforts to avoid it, love, hope, and forgiveness patiently shadow her as she slowly heals. Shelby is a complex character and through her internal growth Hoffman reveals that she is a person worthy of love, a bit of sorcery that readers will hold dear. Simply irresistible." --Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington Station, N.Y.

The Fate of the Tearling: A Novel by Erika Johansen (Harper, $25.99, 9780062290427). "It's been fascinating to watch the Tearling saga evolve into a riveting blend of fantasy and dystopian fiction with characters developing in unexpected but satisfying ways into people I really care about. With the introduction of new characters in the town, a third timeline is woven into the story, leading to a plot twist that I did not see coming at all. This book has given me lots to think about--community, leadership, the use and abuse of power--and makes me want to reread all three books." --Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, N.Y.

Night School: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child (Delacorte, $28.99, 9780804178808). "Child goes back to the well and gives readers another glimpse into Jack Reacher's past as a military cop--and what a worthwhile trip it is. It's 1996--after Reacher receives a Legion of Merit medal, he's sent to 'Night School' with two other men, one from the FBI and another from the CIA. Soon the trio learns that they've been selected for a covert mission. Child layers his page-turning story with careful and sometimes dryly humorous details. This suspense series keeps getting better--it's a joy to read." --Elizabeth Eastin, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton, N.Y.

When All the Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz (Berkley, $27, 9780399174490). "Charlotte crosses paths with Max, a former criminal profiler turned private investigator, at the condo of the recently deceased friend of her step sister Jocelyn. Max and Charlotte begin investigating and find themselves in the killer's sights as they follow a twisted path into the past. Krentz is an expert at seamlessly blending suspense with romance. Her strong characters and their evolving relationship, plus a complex, twisted plot, all combine to make romantic suspense at its best." --Karen Emery, Johnson County Public Library, Franklin, Ind.

I'll Take You There: A Novel by Wally Lamb (Harper, $25.99, 9780062656285). "I'll Take You There is delightfully entertaining, funny and a bit mystical with wonderful connections to old movies and movie stars. Felix Funicello runs a Monday night film club which meets in an old theater. One evening, he is visited by the ghost of a female director from the silent film era. She takes him on a journey to his past where Felix sees scenes on the screen which help him gain an understanding of women who have been important to him throughout his life. This novel is insightful and inspirational in connecting scenes from the past with our present day society." --Marilyn Sieb, L.D. Fargo Library, Lake Mills, Wis.

Swing Time by Zadie Smith (Penguin Press, $27, 9781594203985). "Spanning over twenty years and two continents, Smith's new novel is a charming account of one woman's coming-of-age. Smith's unnamed narrator, a mixed-race child, lives in one of London's many low-end housing units. She meets Tracey and the two are bonded over the shared experience of being poor and 'brown' in a class that is predominantly white. As the two stumble towards womanhood, the differences become more stark and divisive, and their friendship is fractured by Tracey's final, unforgivable act. This book will appeal to lovers of character-driven fiction." --Jennifer Wilson, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, Ind.

Victoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire by Julia Baird (Random House, $35, 9781400069880). "When Victoria inherited the throne at the age of eighteen, she was still sleeping in the same bedroom as her mother. Her first act as queen was to move her bed into a different room. This headstrong deed foreshadowed the determination with which she ruled an empire. Her fierce devotion to her country and family shines in the pages of Baird's compulsively readable biography. She becomes a warm and relatable figure through Baird's research. Her reign saw unimaginable changes in society, science, and technology, but through it all, Victoria remained." --Ann Cox, Beaufort County Library, Hilton Head, S.C.

Moonglow: A Novel by Michael Chabon (Harper, $28.99, 9780062225559). "A grandson sits by his dying grandfather's bedside as his grandfather slowly reveals the light and shadows of a marriage and of a family that kept secrets as a way of life. He learns of his grandmother's life growing up during World War II; her coming to America and living with a man who kept to himself, even lying to her about his short time in prison. Chabon's signature style includes carefully observed characters that are both new and familiar and shimmering prose that reflects and refracts light much as moonlight does." --Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, N.J.

Normal: A Novel by Warren Ellis (FSG Originals, $13, 9780374534974). "Adam Dearden has been ferried to Normal Head, an asylum dedicated to treating only futurists. Shortly after Adam arrives at Normal, a patient disappears from his locked room, leaving only a huge pile of insects behind. Adam unearths a conspiracy that will have readers flipping pages quickly, reminding us that 'we are now in a place where we will never again have a private conversation.' Witty and insightful, Ellis's writing has much to say about technology and gives readers much to think about in this brief novel. Highly recommended." --Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, Tex.

Orphans of the Carnival: A Novel by Carol Birch (Doubleday, $27.95, 9780385541527). "Julia is an accomplished young woman who can sing, dance, ride horseback and speak three languages. Unfortunately for her, most people can't get past what they see because Julia's face is covered with thick hair, giving her an apelike appearance. Orphaned as a small child but raised in a wealthy household, Julia decides to travel the world as a carnival performer. This beautifully written work of historical fiction allows readers to consider what it means to be 'other,' to always be on the outside looking in." --Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, La.

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