Readers Advisor

Readers Advisor

I’m Mary K.–librarian, mom, blogger, reader. I believe there’s no such thing as too many books–if you do, too, you’re in the right place! Browse this page for great finds from across our collection. What will you read next?

Email Mary K.

Book Buzz
Fall's Big Books - Literary Fiction Print Email

Book covers for Some Luck; Lila; The Book of Strange New Things; and Us

October promises to be a big month for literary fiction, with hotly anticipated new novels hitting the shelves. Lovers of historical sagas can't wait to get their hands on Jane Smiley's Some Luck, the first in a trilogy focusing on a rural family over the course of 100 years. Marilynne Robinson returns to Gilead, Iowa with Lila, the story of a young woman and the struggle to trust (and love). Us by David Nicholls, author of One Day, promises to be a witty and thought-provoking consideration of life and relationships. And if you like speculative fiction, you may be drawn to The Book of Strange New Things, a "genre-defying" novel by Michel Faber (known for The Crimson Petal and the White). With so much fantastic fiction this season, you'd better pick out your reading spot in advance!

Devilish Decor for Halloween Print Email

Book cover for Extreme Pumpkins - large pumpkin grimacing with smaller carved pumpkin in its mouth

Shorter days, cooling temps, falling leaves. It can only mean one thing: Halloween is just around the corner! Maybe this year you're thinking beyond window clings and fun-size Snickers for your Halloween party. If so, your library has all the inspiration you need for a frightfully good time. Whether you want to produce a few thrills or to scare the beejeebers out of your guests, we've got plenty of idea guides haunting our shelves. (Pictured here is Tom Nardone's Extreme Pumpkins, based on his popular website -- these are truly not your mama's pumpkins.) So break out those hot glue guns and carving tools and get ready to scare up some holiday fun for your friends and family!

Weird Science Print Email

Book cover of What If? with T-Rex dangling over an open pit

Think those guys on Big Bang Theory are pure fiction? Think again. Scientists have always pursued knowledge by beginning with questions, some huge and some just bizarre. In his new book What If?, Randall Munroe, author of the webcomic xkcd, explores the science behind the hypothetical to hilarious results. What if the Earth stopped spinning? What if you could hit a baseball traveling at the speed of light? How many LEGO bricks would you need to build a lifesize bridge? Munroe explains it all. If you never believed your teachers that "science can be fun", this and other books about the seriously strange are bound to change your outlook!

A Professor's Education Print Email

Book cover for Small Blessings, with open book and blooming rose

By this point in September, colleges and universities are welcoming students and the rhythm of academic life is resumed. In the spirit of such an existence comes NPR contributor Martha Woodroof's debut novel Small Blessings, a charming read about the curveballs that life can throw at us. Professor Tom Putnam's days are in the classroom and his nights with his fragile wife; but in the span of a week Tom's world is upended and suddenly his priorities are far from syllabi and campus dinners. Woodroof may be a new novelist, but she's no stranger to crafting a story. Readers looking for a contemplation of life's unexpected joys will treasure this title. Read Small Blessings and other novels with an academic focus if you'd like to escape back into the classroom (but leave the grades behind).

A Detective Reappears Print Email

Monogram Murders cover, black with blue spotlight and cufflinks with Hercule Poirot silhouette

One of Agatha Christie's most famous characters, detective Hercule Poirot, ended his literary run in the 1975 novel Curtain. But Christie fans may have occasion to rejoice, as Poirot is back in The Monogram Murders, a new novel authorized by the Christie estate. Author Sophie Hannah is a lifelong fan of the meticulous Belgian detective, though she consciously chose not to mirror Christie's writing style too closely. In a recent interview, Hannah comments, "For me, writing this book is my way of writing a love letter to Agatha Christie and Poirot." Does she succeed? Readers will have to crack that case for themselves -- but to help you decide, check out our curated list of resources about Poirot and Dame Agatha, available at your library.

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