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Books Librarians Have Read and Recommend

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Title Author Description
Adoration of Jenna Fox, The Pearson, Mary In the not-too-distant future, biotechnical advances have made synthetic bodies and brains possible but illegal. 17-year old Jenna is recovering from a serious accident and suffering from memory lapses when she learns a startling secret about her existence.
Angela's Ashes McCourt, Frank Memoir of a very poor, Irish-Catholic childhood with the long-suffering mother and drunken father who nurtures his son’s appetite for stories.
Atonement
McEwan, Ian Imaginative 13-year old Briony misrepresents a scene between her older sister and the housekeeper’s son.  Later, she accuses him of a crime she has no proof he committed.  She spends years trying to atone for this.
Bean Trees, The Kingsolver, Barbara Taylor Greer grew up in rural Kentucky with the goal of avoiding pregnancy and getting away.  By the time she arrives in Tucson, AZ she has a 3-year-old Native American girl with her and she wants to settle down.
Book Thief, The Zusak, Markus Trying to make sense of the horrors of WWII, Death related the story of Liesel, a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding.
Bound Napoli, Donna Jo Based on Chinese Cinderella tales, 14-year old stepchild Xing-Xing endures a life of neglect and servitude, as her stepmother cruelly mutilates her only child with foot bindings.
City of Thieves Benioff, David During the Nazi siege of Leningrad, 2 men are arrested and given the option to save their lives.  They must secure a dozen eggs for a powerful Soviet colonel to use for his daughter’s wedding cake.
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, The Haddon, Mark 15-year old Christopher has Asperger’s, a form of autism.  He knows a great deal about math and very little about human beings.  When he finds his neighbor’s dog murdered, he sets out on a terrifying journey that will turn his world upside down.
Devil in the White City, The Larson, Erik (NF) With a supporting cast of real people in the Gilded Age, a young doctor is a serial killer of young girls in Chicago during the World’s Fair in 1893. 
Eon: Dragoneye Reborn Goodman, Alison 16-year old Eon hopes to become an apprentice to one of the 12 angry dragons of good fortune and learn to be its main interpreter but to do will require much, including keeping is a secret that she is a girl.
Escape Jessop, Carolyn (NF) A young girl is forced to become the 4th wife of a 50-year old man before she manages to escape and expose the group and its practices. 
Finding Nouf Ferraris, Zoe A Saudi Arabian family hires a desert guide to investigate the disappearance of their teen daughter. When her body is found in the desert and it is determined she died from drowning, the guide teams up with a lab worker to find out what really happened.
Girl in Hyacinth Blue Vreeland, Susan A professor has a painting that he has kept secret for decades. The reasons unfold in a series of stories that trace ownership of the painting back to World War II and Amsterdam, and back to the work's inspiration.
Girl With a Pearl Earring Chevalier, Tracy 16-year Griet is hired by the artist Vermeer as a household servant.  As the daughter of a tile maker, she has a natural eye for color and design and she learns how Vermeer sees the people that he paints.
Glass Castle, The Walls, Jeannette (NF) Author recalls her life growing up in a dysfunctional family with an alcoholic father and distant mother.  She and her siblings have to fend for themselves until they find the resources and will to leave home.
Graceling Cashore, Kristin In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called "Graces," Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Shaffer, Mary Ann Juliet want doesn’t want to write about WWII but a Guernsey farmer invites his neighbors to write to her and tell their stories.  Fascinating story of survival.
Help, The Stockett, Kathryn Skeeter returns home to Mississippi from college in 1962 and begins to write stories about the African-American women that are working in white households.
Hunger Games, The Collins, Suzanne 16-year old Katniss accidentally becomes a contender in the annual Hunger Games, a grave competition hosted by the Capitol where young boys and girls are pitted against one another in a televised fight to the death.
Into Thin Air Krakauer, Jon (NF) With a childhood dream of ascending Mt. Everest, the author ran into problems of hubris and a freak storm, claiming the lives of 7 members of this expedition.
Joy Luck Club, The Tan, Amy In 1949, four Chinese women begin meeting in San Francisco. Nearly 40 years later, their daughters continue to meet.  Their stories display the double happiness of being both Chinese and American.
Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded, August 27, 1883 Winchester, Simon (NF) In August 1883, a catastrophic volcanic eruption off the coast of Java was followed by a tsunami that killed nearly 40,000 people. The author brings new perspective to this iconic event, showing how the event had global repercussions and marked a change in East-West relations.
Life as We Knew It Pfeffer, Susan Beth Through journal entries, Miranda describes her family’s struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Life of Pi Martel, Yann When his parents decide to emigrate from India to Canada, Pi and his zoo-keeping family aboard a cargo ship full of animals.  Shipwrecked, Pi is saved in a life raft with a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan and a Bengal tiger.
Memoirs of a Geisha Golden, Arthur Nitta is a young Japanese woman who was taken from her home and sold into slavery as a geisha at the age of 9.  She finds as opportunity to change her life when WWII breaks out.
Memory Keeper's Daughter, The Edwards, Kim Dr. David Henry delivers his own twins.  The boy is healthy but the girl has Down Syndrome.  Rationalizing the need to protect his wife, he makes a split-second decision that will alter their lives forever.
Nineteen Minutes Picoult, Jodi The people of Sterling, New Hampshire are forever changed after a shooting at the high school leaves 10 people dead.  The judge tries to remain unbiased but her daughter witnessed the events.
No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Smith, Alexander McCall Mma Ramotswe sets up a small storefront office in Botswana and is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and locate a missing 11-year-old boy who may have been snatched by witchdoctors.
People of the Book Brooks, Geraldine Rare book expert Hanna Heath discovers a number of tiny artifacts hidden within the binding of a 15th century Hebrew manuscript and she begins to unravel the mysteries behind its past.
Poisonwood Bible, The Kingsolver, Barbara The wife and daughters tell their stories, in alternating chapters, about a preacher who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959, during a period of political upheaval there.
Red Tent, The Diamant, Anita Dinah is a woman from Genesis in the Bible.  Her story reveals the tradition and turmoil of ancient womanhood – the world in the red tent.
Sarah's Key Rosnay, Tatiana de An American journalist researches the roundup of Parisian Jews and war secrets during WWII.  This page-turning novel combines modern-day and Occupied France.
Secret Life of Bees, The Kidd, Sue Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her harsh father, Lily remembers the afternoon that her mother was killed when she was 4.  With the friend, Rosaleen, they run away and are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters.
Shanghai Girls See, Lisa After their father gambles away his wealth, two sisters are forced into marriages with Chinese men living in the U.S.  Life in America proves more difficult than they thought.
Snow Falling on Cedars Guterson, David In 1954, a fisherman from Puget Sound is drowned and a Japanese-American is charged with his murder.  The trial is haunted by memories of Japanese internment during World War II.
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan See, Lisa Living in 19th century China is difficult for women.  Two best friends face isolation, arranged marriages, and loss over their lifetime.
Sold McCormick, Pat Written in short vignettes, Lakshmi is a 13-year old girl in Nepal when she is sold into prostitution in India by her gambling-addicted stepfather.
Thousand Splendid Suns, A Hosseini, Khaled Set against 3 decades of Afghanistan’s history shaped by Soviet occupation, civil war and the Taliban, two women grow closer despite initial rivalry at the hands of their common enemy: their abusive husband.
Three Little Words Rhodes-Courter, Ashley (NF) An account of a young woman’s life, focusing on the 9 years she spent in Florida’s foster care system after being removed from her mother.  Tells how her life changed when she was adopted.
Time Traveler's Wife, The Niffenegger, Audrey Clare and Henry, deeply in love, try desperately to maintain normal lives even though he has a disorder, in which his genetic clock periodically resets, pulling him through time to the past or the future.
Year of Wonders Brooks, Geraldine During the outbreak of the Plague, a small village decides to quarantine themselves to avoid further spread of the disease.  The story raises compelling questions about human nature.