Carolyn's Picks

The Frozen River: A GMA Book Club Pick By Ariel Lawhon Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385546874
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - December 5th, 2023

In 1789, along the frozen Kennebec River, a body is found lodged in the ice. Martha Ballard, the local midwife is called upon to inspect the body and determine cause of death.
Thus begins Ballard’s involvement in unfolding mystery that even includes some of her own family. The book is based on the true life of Martha Ballard, who delivered more than a thousand babies and kept a daily journal chronicling the daily happenings of her town of Hallowell, Maine in the late 1700’s.

Bright Young Women: A Novel By Jessica Knoll Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501153228
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Published: S&S/ Marysue Rucci Books - September 19th, 2023

This fictional retelling of an infamous serial killer from the 1970’s, begins with violence befalling a Florida State University sorority. Pamela Schumacher, sorority president, witnesses the murderer fleeing the house in the middle of the night. Traumatized by survivor’s guilt and the misogynistic treatment from the investigating officers, she begins to doubt her own tragic account of the events. After hearing of the killings on the news, Martina Cannon, of Seattle,  is convinced the killer is the same one who murdered her friend four years prior. The two join forces to solve these murders and seek justice for those who died. Following the timelines of Pamela’s and Martina’s stories equally, we learn of the history of the killer’s crimes, who throughout the books remains unnamed in deference to the victims, who alone should be remembered by name. Knoll brilliantly tells the story of these courageous women, while dispelling the myth of a killer’s prowess, putting the spotlight on the strength of the survivors,
not the cowardice of the killer.


Nightwatching: Fallon Book Club Pick (A Novel) By Tracy Sierra Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593654767
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Published: Pamela Dorman Books - February 6th, 2024

Intense, gripping, terrifying. Drop the mike.

When a mother, home alone with her two children, hears a noise, unfamiliar
to her old, creaking house, she freezes. The sound is of footsteps coming up the stairs. Heavy, slow and unnerving footsteps. Terrified, she quickly wakes the children and they hide in a concealed space behind a wall in the den. As she hears the intruder search the house, baiting them to come out with nonsensical utterances, she must make a plan to survive the night.


Still Life: A GMA Book Club Pick (A Novel) By Sarah Winman Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593330760
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - September 13th, 2022

       Transforming friendships into family, this is a tale of the many forms of love and friendship set in the beautiful city of Florence. In the mid to late 20th century, Winman’s characters are rich with wit, warmth and a celebration of love. "The power of still life lies precisely in this triviality. Because it is a world of reliability . . . . Yet within these forms something powerful is retained: continuity. Memory. Family." 

The Women: A Novel By Kristin Hannah Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250178633
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - February 6th, 2024

A new Kristin Hannah!

In 1965, Frances “Frankie” McGrath, joins the Army Nurse Corps and is immediately shipped off the Vietnam. The shocking immersion in a place so different from her conservative upbringing on Coronado Island in California, leaves her reeling and struggling to acclimate to the extremely intense and tumultuous environment. Upon her return, she is thrust into a world different from that which she left; a world upended by the controversy of the Vietnam war. She is spat on by the opposition or ignored by the male veterans, “there were no women in Vietnam.” Feeling unwelcome in her own country, Frankie’s homecoming is thrust into chaos as she attempts to reenter civilian life. An emotional, vivid and compelling tale about one women’s fight here and abroad to be recognized for her, and all women veterans, accomplishments and contribution in serving her country.

Clear the nightstand for this unforgettable read! 

The Hunger By Alma Katsu Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735212534
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - March 5th, 2019

On BookRiot's Best Horror Books of the Decade list, The Hunger is a tale that will “scare the pants off you.” Katsu combines detailed historical research and an understanding of human nature with a monstrous “reimagining the ill-fated Donner-Reed party as a haunted endeavor from their very first steps of the trail. With unnerving scenes of the supernatural, the gripping, morbid story of the Donner Party is uniquely retold and a must read for all fans of the horror genre!


The Eight: A Novel By Katherine Neville Cover Image
ISBN: 9780345419088
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Published: Ballantine Books - June 23rd, 1997

Algiers, 1972- a young woman is offered a handsome reward by a mysterious antiques dealer to reassemble the pieces of an ancient chess board once owned by Charlemagne.
France, 1790- after discovering the Montglane Chess service grants unlimited power to its players, two cousins must destroy it by dispersing its pieces all over the world.
Travel the globe with this mysterious tale of adventure.


The Alienist: A Novel (The Alienist Series #1) By Caleb Carr Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812976144
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Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - October 24th, 2006

In New York City, 1896,  newspaper reporter John Schuyler Moore is called upon by his friend Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist, or “alienist, along with a determined young woman to the scene of a brutal murder. From there they develop the revolutionary concept of criminal profiling based upon the “signature” of the criminal. With vivid historical detail, the investigation into the killer’s twisted and tortured mind, leads them on a dangerous hunt to find a serial killer.


The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel By Diane Setterfield Cover Image
ISBN: 9780743298032
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Published: Atria/Emily Bestler Books - October 9th, 2007

Tragic pasts. Haunting secrets. Decades of lies. An eerie, atmospheric book about book lovers, for book lovers, about finding the truth, odd friendships and satisfying writing.
I wish I could read it again for the first time...One of my all-time faves!


None of This Is True: A Novel By Lisa Jewell Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982179007
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Published: Atria Books - August 8th, 2023

Dark, twisted and compelling! Two women find themselves sharing the same birthday at the local pub. One, Alix Summers, is a podcaster, and the other, Josie Fair, is “on the verge of great changes in her life.” Intrigued, Alix agrees to create a podcast chronicling Josie’s complicated “metamorphosis.” Josie quickly worms her way into Alix’s life and soon, turns Alix’s life upside down. As themes of revenge, obsession and murder develop, one begins to wonder where the truth is amongst all the “true crime” of the podcast.


The Shell Seekers By Rosamunde Pilcher Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250063786
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Published: St. Martin's Griffin - May 12th, 2015

At the end of a long and useful life, Penelope Keeling's prized possession is The Shell Seekers, painted by her father, and symbolizing her unconventional life, from bohemian childhood to wartime romance. When her grown children learn their grandfather's work is now worth a fortune, each has an idea as to what Penelope should do. But as she recalls the passions, tragedies, and secrets of her life, she knows there is only one answer...and it lies in her heart.

An absorbing gem of a read!


The Last Thing He Told Me: A Novel By Laura Dave Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501171352
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Published: S&S/ Marysue Rucci Books - March 21st, 2023

“Protect her,” and, “you know what matters about me.” What if those were the last words you heard from your husband? Your father? Thus begins the enterprise of discovery the truth or a semblance of one. What decisions would have to be made to reconcile the answers found
and the desire for a happy ending?


The Nightingale: A Novel By Kristin Hannah Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250080400
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Published: St. Martin's Griffin - April 25th, 2017

Clear your calendar! You won’t be able to put this book down. An unforgettable novel of love, war and bravery during the most harrowing of times. In France during WWII, sisters each find their own distinct paths of survival, courage and love; one in the French countryside, one in Paris. Each doing their part to fight against the conflicts of war.


Four Letters of Love: A Novel By Niall Williams Cover Image
ISBN: 9781632863188
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Published: Bloomsbury USA - November 3rd, 2015

Nicholas and Isabel were meant to meet, one day, although it will take many years and lives lived to happen. Good fortune will find them together but not without obstacles and a giant leap of faith in the power of love. This book is graceful, thoughtful and filled with passages you will read again and again. It is one of my all-time favorites!


Hidden Pictures: A Novel By Jason Rekulak Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250819352
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - June 6th, 2023

When five-year-old, Teddy, begins drawing disturbing images and talking with an imaginary “friend,” his nanny, Mallory Quinn begins to wonder if there may be something sinister about her new family. Fresh out of rehab, Mallory is grateful to be employed by such a seemingly nice family. As Teddy’s drawings become more sophisticated, noises wake her in the night and she learns of a murder long ago in the very house she lives, Mallory confronts the parents.
Of course, they dismiss her wild stories, leaving her only one recourse, to discover the truth on her own while protecting Teddy and herself from the 
escalating occurrences in this gripping ghost story.

The Henna Artist By Alka Joshi Cover Image
ISBN: 9780778331476
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mira Books - April 6th, 2021

With rich detail of 1950’s India, Lakshmi is the highest demanded henna artist to the wealthy women, who are all too quick to share their stories with the young woman. As Lakshmi realizes she can never share her own secrets, they are ultimately revealed. The life that she had lived so guarded is now threatened to come to an end. The story is so vividly told, the sounds, smells and tastes of India will stay with you long after the final page, as will your lasting impression of the fierce and compassionate Lakshmi.


Come With Me By Ronald Malfi Cover Image
ISBN: 9781789097375
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Titan Books - July 20th, 2021

 After his wife’s untimely death, Aaron Decker’s life takes a surprising turn as he discovers and pursues the secret pursuits of his dead wife. Aaron reads through Allison’s files of a mysterious investigation of the death of six young girls and begins to wonder how dark her hidden life was…
*Very well-written; my first read by Malfi, but not my last!


Damage : A Novel By Josephine Hart Cover Image
ISBN: 9781639363087
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pegasus Crime - January 10th, 2023

This is a tale of  a dangerous obsession and the catastrophic aftermath of those who succumb to it. The passion that consumes a respectable English man and his son’s fiancée is twisty and dark, scandalous and shocking. You will be up all night with this one (and haunted by it for weeks, even years, to come).


The Guest List: A Novel By Lucy Foley Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062868947
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - August 3rd, 2021

On a remote Irish island, a group of wedding guests, wedding party included, find themselves in the midst of an actual murder mystery. A modern day Agatha Christie, Foley invites you to get to know each character, their secrets and motives, literally on a “dark and stormy night.”


Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone: A Novel By Benjamin Stevenson Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063279032
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Published: Mariner Books - January 2nd, 2024

In 1929, during the golden age of mysteries, a (real-life) writer named Ronald Knox published the "10 Commandments of Detective Fiction," 10 rules that mystery writers should obey in order to "play fair." Ernest Cunningham, who writes books about how to write books, is our narrator and “author” of this clever, amusing and original tale. As Ernest recounts his own family’s illustrious history, he often breaks from the telling to point out that he is “obeying the rules of playing fair” or that “this part of the tale is a clue and called foreshadowing.”
All those who love the classic mystery genre will greatly enjoy this jaunty and exceptionally written novel. I look forward to Benjamin Stevenson’s next book, as this is one fabulous read!

The Exiles: A Novel By Christina Baker Kline Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062356338
Availability: Available From Our Distributor -- Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - July 6th, 2021

Historical fiction as its finest! A tale of women’s courage and resilience, from the London streets to a penal colony in Australia, this 19th century novel is a journey of survival and spirit, historical detail and vivid characters that you will long remember after the last page.

*For fans of Kristin Hannah and Kate Quinn


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Great Circle: A Novel (Man Booker Prize Finalist) By Maggie Shipstead Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984897701
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - April 5th, 2022

A multigenerational epic of historical fiction. Follow two women, one a “lady pilot” of WWII, the other an actress starring in the former’s biopic film; both on their own journeys geographically and historically. As they search for their place in society within the constraints of their respective “industries,” Shipstead masterfully intertwines details of wartime London and present-day Hollywood.  A highly recommended read for those in search of an engrossing adventure, rich with historical detail and self-determined female characters.

The Stationery Shop By Marjan Kamali Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982107499
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery Books - February 11th, 2020

Set against the political upheaval of 1950’s Tehran, two Iranian teenagers, on the eve of their marriage, are abruptly separated. Decades later, after having lived independent lives in America, they are reunited to discover the power of love and the truth about what unfolded so many years before on that fateful day. Evocative, beautiful and haunting, this novel is a historical saga that will make you believe that love can withstand both time and place, but not without heartache. Grab a tissue...



Three Junes By Julia Glass Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385721424
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Published: Anchor - April 22nd, 2003

Taking place over three Junes spanning several decades, in Greece, Scotland and New York, this literary triptych is heartfelt and eloquently told; a story of family, relationships, heartache and discovery.  It is an absorbing read that will lead you to want to read other titles by Julia Glass.


Milk Street Simple By Christopher Kimball Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316538558
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Voracious - October 17th, 2023

How does Inverted Pizza with Fennel, Taleggio and Salami ? Or Pan-Seared Brussels Sprouts with Feta and Honey? Or maybe Meatball Traybake with Spicy Tomato Sauce? Kimball does indeed mean “Simple,” when it comes to these mouthwatering recipes, but not in the sense one would think, he means “Simple,” as in recipes that are uncomplicated in ingredients, all harmonious and perfectly chosen to create a flavorful and inviting culinary experience.


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Smitten Kitchen Keepers: New Classics for Your Forever Files: A Cookbook By Deb Perelman Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593318782
Availability: Available From Our Distributor -- Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - November 15th, 2022

Fuss-free, delicious and doable. Another fab Smitten Kitchen cookbook! Filled with recipes like Turkey Meatloaf for Skeptics, Toasted Ricotta Gnocchi with Pistachio Pesto and Apple Butterscotch Crisp, this cookbook will easily become a kitchen staples. Cooking out of her tiny NYC kitchen, Deb Perelman, is a self-taught, realistic cook who won’t send you all over for crazy ingredients. With her sharp wit and clear (and snarky) instructions, you’ll be a happy (ier) cook!


The Gifts of Imperfection: 10th Anniversary Edition: Features a new foreword and brand-new tools By Brené Brown Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616499600
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Published: Hazelden Publishing - March 1st, 2022

Dr. Brown has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy as a social psychology research professor. Through her findings, honest self-deprecating humor, she explores and illustrates the importance and steps to a more authentic living and self-acceptance of our “imperfect” selves. This book will actually change your outlook on life!


The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment By Eckhart Tolle Cover Image
ISBN: 9781577314806
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New World Library - August 19th, 2004

World-renowned spiritual teacher, Tolle, explains in simple terms, transcending any one religion, the universal  concept of how living in the “Now” is the path to happiness and enlightenment.
This book will help you find more joy and serenity in your every day.


Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things By Adam Grant Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593653142
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - October 24th, 2023

Adam Grant, through a wide range of research as well as case studies from sports, the arts, chess and even comedy, examines the possibilities available to anyone to reach our highest goals. Using social, emotional and behavioral skills necessary for success, the key is getting “comfortable being uncomfortable.” It is not necessary to have the innate ability to attain success, it is a matter of the character you develop. This interesting and entertaining read celebrates the importance of the journey as much as the beginning from which one starts.


Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones By James Clear Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735211292
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avery - October 16th, 2018

 Creating good habits and breaking old ones is built on the fundamental understanding of habit formation. Clear’s engaging, hands on guide offers actionable items that are powerful and simple to comprehend and implement, leading to real change. Find the system that will help change the habits that improve your life, and let go of the ones that don’t.


Attention Span: A Groundbreaking Way to Restore Balance, Happiness and Productivity By Gloria Mark Cover Image
ISBN: 9781335449412
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Published: Hanover Square Press - January 10th, 2023

“We spend an average of just 47 seconds on any screen before shifting our attention. It takes 25 minutes to bring our attention back to a task after an interruption. And we interrupt ourselves more than we're interrupted by others. Learn how to refuel your mental “resources,” find more success in your health and well-being and learn how to pay attention to the now.

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts By Gary Chapman Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802412706
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Northfield Publishing - June 1st, 2024

How do you receive love? Express love? How does your partner? Or other loved ones in your life? Learn the five ways we feel loved and show love and come to a better understanding of the relationships you have now and reveals actionable ways you can strengthen that love. For example, with regards to tacos...
Words of affirmation: Your tacos are delicious.
Acts of service: I made you tacos.
Quality time: Let’s go out for tacos.
Receiving gifts: Here’s a taco.
Physical touch: Let me hold you like a taco.


Do Hard Things: Why We Get Resilience Wrong and the Surprising Science of Real Toughness By Steve Magness Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063098619
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Published: HarperOne - June 21st, 2022

A master class in how to develop resilience, persistence and confidence under pressure. This book presents a fascinating and, more importantly, extremely helpful new perspective on toughness and how to build it. Magness' version of toughness is more nuanced, forgiving, flexible, and learnable. Real toughness means processing stressors thoughtfully, deliberately,
and with vulnerability, rather than superficially and rigidly.

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Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love By John Gottman, Ph.D., Julie Schwartz Gottman, PhD, Doug Abrams, Rachel Carlton Abrams, M.D. Cover Image
ISBN: 9781523504466
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Workman Publishing Company - February 5th, 2019

Whether you are in a long-term relationship or just starting one, this book will engage you in eight fun, easy and constructive “dates” full of conversation about trust, conflict, sex, money, family, adventure, spirituality, and dreams. From the leading scientists on marriage and family, this book will help you discover (or rediscover) the love you desire and deserve with your partner.


The Way of Integrity: Finding the Path to Your True Self (Oprah's Book Club) By Martha Beck Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984881502
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Published: The Open Field - December 27th, 2022

“Integrity is the cure for psychological suffering. Period,” says Beck. When we are out of touch with what makes us whole, what we yearn for and what our culture dictates we should “want,” we find ourselves stuck and without our true direction towards well being. With practical exercises of small, manageable steps, Martha Beck, a social scientist and life coach, shows us how to find the power in our own voices. Through humor, science and spirituality, this book examines the power of integrity and the sense of purpose one finds when living their truth.

The Zen of Therapy: Uncovering a Hidden Kindness in Life By Mark Epstein, M.D. Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593296639
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Published: Penguin Books - January 10th, 2023

Mark Epstein is a Buddhist teacher and great psychiatrist, giving the reader a double dose of spirituality and contemporary understanding of healing and trauma all in one book. Epstein shows us how the courage to find inner peace and understanding in ourselves can be attained through meditation and psychotherapy. Gentle, brave and enlightening.