Tuesday, January 3, 2017


Welcome to 2017! And, welcome to the best or what the Los Angeles Times calls the most important, books of the past year. 2016 was a majestic year for fiction and non-fiction; let’s take a look at some of the novels chosen by NY Times, Washington Post, Wall St. Journal, and LA Times critics.  
Find these titles at the Monrovia Public Library!
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 incredibly potent book will rattle readers and keep them turning the pages.
Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad
 Tana French has earned rave reviews for her mysteries about a group of Irish detectives who solve heinous crimes. Her debut novel In the Woods was the first Dublin Murder Squad series, which is currently featuring its newest and sixth entry in the series. In The Trespasser, the perpetrator of an ordinary killing involving a lover’s quarrel seems obvious, but the clues lead to a much more complicated case. Mystery lovers who enjoy a bit of the psychological element will find this a late night page-turner.
Tana French's The Trespasser
 A new Ann Patchett novel is good reason to cheer as she is a consistently readable author. Her books such as Bel Canto and State of Wonder are popular with individuals and book groups. Ms. Patchett celebrates books not just by writing them; she also owns a bookstore. Her intriguing new title is Commonwealth, a story of the unexpected—a frequent Patchett theme. A stolen kiss experienced by a new mother at her baby’s christening leads to romance and the break-up of two marriages. When the mother divorces and remarries her one family becomes two and for the next 50 years the two sets of parents and children are linked in a kind of commonwealth, a community of its own. The unusual story line and interesting characters make this an original family saga!
Ann Patchett's Commonwealth

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