Monday, November 21, 2016


What’s new on the fiction shelves of the Monrovia Public Library? The answer: some of the best-reviewed novels this year. Here are titles that indeed tell you that there is something for everyone.

Borrowing the name from the famous journey that slaves took to freedom Colson Whitehead’s novel The Underground Railroad is an original look at the same theme. Here the railroad is no metaphor; rather it is a real train that runs underground with stations and conductors. A slave named Cora flees a life of servitude and punishment while avoiding slave catchers. On the way north the story of Cora’s family unravels in a way that describes the history of slavery. This is an incredibly potent book will rattle readers and keep them turning the pages.

Maria Semple hit the literary jackpot a few years ago with her quirky novel Where’d You Go Bernadette about a Seattle-based woman who disappears under darkly humorous circumstances. Ms. Semple is back with Today Will Be Different and once again mines Seattle’s clichés with a satirical look at a woman who finds herself in a rut. Fans of Semple’s first novel will find more pleasure ahead in this new book.

Reader favorite Alexander McCall Smith returns with his 17th title in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series.  Heroine Precious Ramotswe and her sidekick Grace Makutsi are back in Precious and Grace, the story of a Canadian woman who is trying to find the woman that helped raise her when she was a child growing up in Botswana. The gentle mystery and its moral lesson are tied up in a big bow of enjoyment.  McCall Smith readers, old and new, will welcome this new title.

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