LibraryReads, the nationwide library staff-picks list, offers the top 10 titles public library staff across the country love:
A Spool of Blue Thread: A Novel by Anne Tyler (Knopf, $25.95, 9781101874271). "In this book, we come to know three generations of Whitshanks--a family with secrets and memories that are sometimes different than what others observe. The book's timeline moves back and forth with overlapping stories, just like thread on a spool. Most readers will find themselves in the story. Once again, Tyler has written an enchanting tale." --Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, Mass.
A Touch of Stardust: A Novel by Kate Alcott (Doubleday, $25, 9780385539043). "With the background of the making of Gone with the Wind, this is a delightful read that combines historical events with the fictional career of an aspiring screenwriter. Julie is a wide-eyed Indiana girl who, through a series of lucky breaks, advances from studio go-fer and assistant to Carole Lombard to contract writer at MGM. A fun, engaging page-turner!" --Lois Gross, Hoboken Public Library, Hoboken, N.J.
My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh (Putnam, $26.95, 9780399169526). "A crime against a 15-year-old girl is examined through the eyes of one of her friends--a friend who admits to being a possible suspect in the crime. This is a wonderful debut novel full of suspense, angst, loyalty, deceit, and most of all, love." --Alison Nadvornik, Worthington Libraries, Columbus, Ohio
The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn (Avon, $7.99, 9780062072948). "At a dreaded music recital, a cellist catches Sir Richard Kenworthy's eye, and he determines to marry her. Iris Smythe-Smith is a smart cookie and rightly suspicious of Sir Richard's motives when he comes courting, but finds herself falling for his charm. Things seem to be working out well until Iris finds out what a big secret Richard is keeping." --Sharon Redfern, Rockville Public Library, Vernon, Conn.
Half the World by Joe Abercrombie (Del Rey, $26, 9780804178426). "Fifteen-year-old Thorn, determined to become a king's soldier, is fighting not just physical opponents, but her world's social mores. Girls are supposed to desire nothing more than a wealthy husband. Period. Thorn's struggles to achieve her dream make for a riveting read. Second in a series, this book reads very well as a standalone." --Cynthia Hunt, Amarillo Public Library, Amarillo, Tex.
Finding Jake: A Novel by Bryan Reardon (Morrow, $26.99, 9780062339485). "Stay-at-home dad Simon Connelly receives the call every parent dreads: there's been a shooting at his children's school. Through flashbacks and present-day narratives, he mines his memory for clues to what may have happened. This is a refreshing take on the well-trodden 'bad kid' novels, and an excellent thriller to recommend to all who liked Defending Jacob or We Need to Talk About Kevin." --Alissa Williams, Pekin Public Library, Pekin, Ill.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab (Tor, $25.99, 9780765376459). "Fantasy fans should enjoy this atmospheric novel, where London is the link between parallel universes, and magician Kell is one of two Travelers who can move between them. Now something sinister is disturbing their equilibrium, and Kell must try to unravel the plot with only feisty street thief Delilah Bard as an ally." --Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, N.Y.
A Murder of Magpies by Judith Flanders (Minotaur, $14.99, 9781250056450). "Loved this mystery! The acerbic narrator is 40-year-old British book publishing editor Samantha, whose best author goes missing after writing a tell-all book about a famous French fashion designer who died under suspicious circumstances. Very funny, and great secondary characters as well." --Ann-Marie Anderson, Tigard Public Library, Tigard, Ore.
The Siege Winter: A Novel by Ariana Franklin and Samantha Norman (Morrow, $25.99, 9780062282569). "I couldn't have been more excited when I learned Franklin wrote a new book. This wonderfully written novel takes place during King Stephen and Empress Matilda's tumultuous civil conflict to claim England, no matter what cost to themselves or their subjects. The story conveys the brutality of the period without sacrificing the complex nature of the time and the people." --Elizabeth Carroll, Madison Public Library, Madison, Wis.
Dreaming Spies: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes by Laurie R. King (Bantam, $26, 9780345531797). "Considering that King is one of the finest mystery authors writing today, it's no surprise that the latest in the Russell/Holmes series is an engaging read. Intrigue follows the duo as they board a liner bound for Japan and meet up with a known blackmailer and a young Japanese woman who is not all that she seems. Great historical research and rich atmosphere!" --Paulette Brooks, Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, Wis.