West Bloomfield Township Public Library
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Staff Picks - Adult Department

Take a look at the books the librarians from the adult department have enjoyed: favorites past and present!

The pillars of the earth by Follett, Ken

Set in twelfth-century England, this epic of kings and peasants juxtaposes the building of a magnificent church with the violence and treachery that often characterized the Middle Ages

Educated : a memoir by Westover, Tara

"Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag." In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara's older brothers became violent. As a way out, Tara began to educate herself, learning enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University. Her quest for knowledge would transform her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Tara Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education offers: the perspective to see one's life through new eyes, and the will to change it."--Provided by publisher.

A discovery of witches : a novel by Harkness, Deborah E

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery, so she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library

The Dutch house : a novel by Patchett, Ann

At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves. Cyril's son Danny and his older sister Maeve are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another

The book woman of Troublesome Creek : a novel by Richardson, Kim Michele

"Cussy Mary Carter is the last of her kind, her skin the color of a blue damselfly in these dusty hills. But that doesn't mean she's got nothing to offer. As a member of the Pack Horse Library Project, Cussy delivers books to the hill folk of Troublesome,hoping to spread learning in these desperate times. But not everyone is so keen on Cussy's family or the Library Project, and the hardscrabble Kentuckians are quick to blame a Blue for any trouble in their small town. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creekis a story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman's determination to bring a little bit of hope to the darkly hollers"--

Big summer : a novel by Weiner, Jennifer

Six years after a fight ended their friendship, Drue Cavanaugh walks back into Daphne Berg's life with a massive favor to ask -- she wants Daphne to be the maid of honor at her summer wedding

Olive Kitteridge by Strout, Elizabeth

At the edge of the continent, in the small town of Crosby, Maine, lives Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher who deplores the changes in her town and in the world at large but doesn't always recognize the changes in those around her

The most fun we ever had by Lombardo, Claire

"A multi-generational novel in which the four adult daughters of a Chicago couple--still madly in love after forty years--match wits, harbor grudges, and recklessly ignite old rivalries until a long-buried secret threatens to shatter the lives they've built"--

Red at the bone : a novel by Woodson, Jacqueline

Two families from different social classes are joined together by an unexpected pregnancy and the child it produces. In 2001, it is the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody's coming-of-age ceremony in her grandparents' Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the soundtrack of Prince, she wears a special, custom-made dress. But the event is not without poignancy. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was measured and sewn for a different wearer: Melody's mother, for her own ceremony, a celebration which ultimately never took place

Normal people : a novel by Rooney, Sally

Beach read by Henry, Emily

"A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters. Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast. They're polar opposites. In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they're living in neighboring beach houses,broke, and bogged down with writer's block. Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the nextGreat American Novel. She'll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he'll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. But as the summer stretches on, January discovers a gaping plot hole in the story she's been telling herself about her own life, and begins to wonder what other things she might have gotten wrong, including her ideas about the man next door"--

The tea girl of Hummingbird Lane by See, Lisa

Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. There is ritual and routine, and it has been ever thus for generations. Then one day a jeep appears at the village gate, the first automobile any of them have seen, and a stranger arrives. Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, translates for the stranger and is among the first to reject the rules that have shaped her existence. When she has a baby outside of wedlock, rather than stand by tradition, she wraps her daughter in a blanket, with a tea cake hidden in her swaddling, and abandons her in the nearest city

The weight of ink : a novel by Kadish, Rachel

"An intellectual and emotional jigsaw puzzle of a novel for readers of A. S. Byatt's Possession and Geraldine Brooks's People of the Book Set in London of the 1660s and of the early twenty-first century, The Weight of Ink is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, anemigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history. As the novel opens, Helen has been summoned by a former student to view a cache of seventeenth-century Jewish documents newly discovered in his home during a renovation. Enlisting the help of Aaron Levy, an American graduate student as impatient as he is charming, and in a race with another fast-moving team of historians, Helen embarks on one last project: to determine the identity of the documents' scribe, the elusive"Aleph."Electrifying and ambitious, sweeping in scope and intimate in tone, The Weight of Ink is a sophisticated work ofhistorical fiction about women separated by centuries, and the choices and sacrifices they must makein order to reconcile the life of the heart and mind"--

The Fifth Avenue story society : a novel by Hauck, Rachel

"From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes a captivating new novel about the healing power of story, community, and love"--

The silent patient by Michaelides, Alex

Nine perfect strangers by Moriarty, Liane

Could ten days at a health resort really change you forever? In Liane Moriarty’s latest page-turner, nine perfect strangers are about to find out... Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be. Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer – or should she run while she still can? It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question. Combining all of the hallmarks that have made her writing a go-to for anyone looking for wickedly smart, page-turning fiction that will make you laugh and gasp, Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers once again shows why she is a master of her craft

The family upstairs by Jewell, Lisa

"Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she's been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am. She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London's fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby's life is about to change. But what she can't possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well--and she is on a collision course to meet them. Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone. In The Family Upstairs, the master of "bone-chilling suspense" (People) brings us the can't-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets"--

Into the water : a novel by Hawkins, Paula

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged. Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother's sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from--a place to which she vowed she'd never return. With the same propulsive writingand acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness ofemotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present. Beware a calm surface--you never know what lies beneath

The ambassador's daughter by Jenoff, Pam

Margot Rosenthal is brought by her father, a diplomat, to a peace conference in Paris where she meets Georg, who gives her a job and a reason to question everything she thought she knew about where her true loyalties should lie

A tree grows in Brooklyn by Smith, Betty

Young Francie Nolan, having inherited both her father's romantic and her mother's practical nature, struggles to survive and thrive growing up in the slums of Brooklyn in the early twentieth century

The poisonwood Bible by Kingsolver, Barbara

"The Poisonwood Bible" is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it--from garden seeds to Scripture--is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa

Girl in translation by Kwok, Jean

When 11-year-old Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Disguising the more difficult truths of her life, like her secret love for a factory boy who shares none of her talent or ambition, Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but also herself as she shifts between two completely different worlds

Victoria by Goodwin, Daisy

"Drawing on Queen Victoria's diaries, which she first started reading when she was a student at Cambridge University, Daisy Goodwin, creator and writer of the new PBS/Masterpiece drama Victoria ... brings the young nineteenth-century monarch, who would go on to reign for 63 years, ... to life"--Amazon.com

The bell jar by Plath, Sylvia

Beautiful and gifted, with a bright future, Esther Greenwood descends into depression, suicidal thoughts, and madness while interning at a New York City magazine

The shoemaker's wife : a novel by Trigiani, Adriana

Two star-crossed lovers--Enzo and Ciro--meet and separate, until, finally, the power of their love changes both of their lives forever. Set during the years preceding and during World War I

Gone with the wind by Mitchell, Margaret

After the Civil War sweeps away the genteel life to which she has been accustomed, Scarlett O'Hara sets about to salvage her plantation home

The wife between us by Hendricks, Greer

A twisted and deliciously chilling thriller that exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage, and the dangerous truths people ignore in the name of love
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