Books & More
"He has only half learned the art of reading who has not added to it the even more refined accomplishments of skipping and skimming."
— Arthur Balfour
These are stories that are charming, delightful, and humorous. While there may be serious subject matter in these titles, it is handled gently, and they have pleasant endings.
The 100-year-old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared
by Jonasson, Jonas
Confined to a nursing home and about to turn 100, Allan Karlsson, who has a larger-than-life back story as an explosives expert, climbs out of the window in his slippers and embarks on an unforgettable adventure involving thugs, a murderous elephant and a very friendly hot dog stand operator.
The all-girl filling station's last reunion
by Flagg, Fannie
"Spanning decades, generations, and America in the 1940s and today, The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion is a fun-loving mystery about an Alabama woman today, and five women who in 1943 worked in a Phillips 66 gas station, during the WWII years. Like Fannie Flagg's classic Fried Green Tomatoes, this is a riveting, fun story of two families, set in present day America and during World War II, filled to the brim with Flagg's trademark funny voice and storytelling magic"
by Makkai, Rebecca
Lucy Hull, a young children's librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, stumbles into a moral dilemma when she finds her favorite patron, ten-year-old Ian Drake, camped out in the library after hours. Addicted to reading, Ian needs help smuggling books past his overbearing mother, who has enrolled Ian in antigay classes with Pastor Bob. Desperate to save Ian, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked--and the odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip.
Butterflies in November
by Audur Ava Olafsdottir, .
After being dumped and then winning the lottery, a woman in her thirties, along with her best friend's four-year-old deaf-mute son, takes a transformative road trip through Iceland, encountering eccentrics and finding herself.
The good luck of right now
by Quick, Matthew
When his mother dies, 38-year-old Bartholomew Neil, who doesn't know how to be on his own, discovers a letter in his mother's underwear drawer that causes him to write a series of highly intimate letters to actor Richard Gere, while embarking on a quest to find out where he belongs.
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Barrows, Annie and Shaffer, Mary Ann
In 1946, as England emerges from the shadow of World War II, writer Juliet Ashton finds inspiration for her next book in her correspondence with a native of Guernsey and his eccentric friends, who tell her about their island, the books they love, German occupation, and the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a book club born as an alibi during German occupation.
The hundred-foot journey
by Morais, Richard C.
"That skinny Indian teenager has that mysterious something that comes along once a generation. He is one of those rare chefs who is simply born. He is an artist." And so begins the rise of Hassan Haji, the unlikely gourmand who recounts his life's journey in this novel.
The last time I saw you
by Berg, Elizabeth
To each of the men and women in "The last time I saw you", this reunion means something different. A last opportunity to say something long left unsaid, an escape from the bleaker realities of everyday life, a means to save a marriage on the rocks, or an opportunity to bond with a slightly estranged daughter, if only over what her mother should wear.
The Magician's Assistant
by Patchett, Ann
When Parsifal, a handsome and charming magician, dies suddenly, his widow Sabine--who was also his faithful assistant for twenty years--learns that the family he claimed to have lost in a tragic accident is very much alive and well. Sabine is left to unravel his secrets, and the journey she takes, from sunny Los Angeles to the bitter windswept plains of Nebraska, will work its own magic on her.
A man called Ove
by Backman, Fredrik
A curmudgeon hides a terrible personal loss beneath a cranky and short-tempered exterior while clashing with new neighbors, a boisterous family whose chattiness and habits lead to unexpected friendship.
Me before you
by Moyes, Jojo
Taking a job as an assistant to extreme sports enthusiast Will, who is wheelchair bound after a motorcycle accident, Louisa struggles with her employer's acerbic moods and learns of his shocking plans before demonstrating to him that life is still worth living.
Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour bookstore
by Sloan, Robin
After a layoff during the Great Recession sidelines his tech career, Clay Jannon takes a job at the titular bookstore in San Francisco, and soon realizes that the establishment is a facade for a strange secret.
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
by McCall Smith, Alexander
This first novel in Alexander McCall Smith's widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to "help people with problems in their lives." Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors.
The patron saint of lost dogs
by Trout, Nick
Dr. Cyrus Mills reluctantly returns home to rural Eden Falls, Vermont, under dire personal circumstances, to revive the failing veterinary practice of his recently deceased and long estranged father. His plan is soon complicated when he gets more and more entrenched in the community and in his relationships with the menagerie of eccentric and endearing characters in Eden Falls - including a very pretty local waitress. The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs is a winsome tale of new beginnings, healing hearts and finding your way home.
The Rosie Project
by Simsion, Graeme C.
Don Tillman, a professor of genetics, sets up a project designed to find him the perfect wife, starting with a questionnaire that has to be adjusted a little as he goes along. Then he meets Rosie, who is everything he's not looking for in a wife, but she ends up his friend as he helps her try and find her biological father.
by Woodroof, Martha
"Tom Putnam, an English professor at a Virginia women's college, has resigned himself to a quiet and half-fulfilled life. For more than ten years, his wife Marjory has been a shut-in, a fragile and frigid woman whose neuroses have left her fully dependent on Tom and his formidable mother-in-law, Agnes Tattle. Tom considers his unhappy condition self-inflicted, since Marjory's condition was exacerbated by her discovery of Tom's brief and misguided affair with a visiting poetess. But when Tom and Marjory meet Rose Callahan, the campus bookstore's charming new hire, and Marjory invites Rose to dinner, her first social interaction in a decade, Tom wonders if it's a sign that change is on the horizon. And when Tom returns home that evening to a letter from the poetess telling him that he'd fathered her son, Henry, and that Henry, now ten, will arrive by train in a few days, it's clear change is coming whether Tom's ready or not. For readers of Helen Simonson and Anna Quindlen, Small Blessings is funny, heart-warming and poignant, with a charmingly imperfect cast of cinema-ready characters. Readers will fall in love with the novel's wonderfully optimistic heart that reminds us that sometimes, when it feels like life is veering irrevocably off track, the track changes in ways we never could have imagined"--.
The storied life of A.J. Fikry
by Zevin, Gabrielle
When his most prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, is stolen, bookstore owner A. J. Fikry begins isolating himself from his friends, family and associates before receiving a mysterious package that compels him to remake his life.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Series Title: Flavia de Luce
by Bradley, C. Alan
Set in 1950s England, this book introduces Flavia de Luce, an 11 year old aspiring chemist with an interest in poison. When Flavia finds a dead bird with a postage stamp on its beak, then a dead man in the cucumber patch, she becomes very interested and sets out to solve the mystery.
The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise
by Stuart, Julia
When Balthazar Jones is tasked with setting up an elaborate menagerie within the Tower of London's walls to house the many exotic animals gifted to the Queen, life at the Tower gets all the more interesting. Penguins escape, giraffes are stolen, and the Komodo dragon sends innocent people running for their lives. Balthazar is in charge and things are not exactly running smoothly. Then his wife Hebe decides to leave him and his beloved tortoise "runs" away.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
by Joyce, Rachel
Harold Fry is convinced that he must deliver a letter to an old love in order to save her, meeting various characters along the way and reminiscing about the events of his past and people he has known, as he tries to find peace and acceptance.
Where'd you go, Bernadette: a novel
by Semple, Maria
When her notorious, hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled, and agoraphobic mother goes missing, teenage Bee begins a trip that takes her to the ends of the earth to find her.