Two Nights in Lisbon by Chris Pavone

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“An elegantly twisting, lyrical, rocket-paced international thriller of the first order. With sterling prose, layered characters, searing insights, and gripping suspense, Chris Pavone writes with a deep knowledge of the world we live in―its many injustices, flaws, and the bending, dangerous road we sometimes must take to justice.”―Lisa Unger, author of Last Girl Ghosted

“There’s no such thing as a book you can’t put down, but this one was close.”―Stephen King

“I absolutely loved Chris Pavone’s Two Nights in Lisbon, an unputdownable thriller that’s his best novel yet. It stars a strong and savvy heroine who wakes up one morning to find her husband missing, and the action never lets up. This is a masterly, sleek, and sophisticated novel about love, marriage, and truth. Read it!”―Lisa Scottoline, author of Eternal

“I defy anyone to read the first twenty pages of this breakneck novel, then try to put it down for five minutes. It can’t be done. The plot is too devious, the pace is too gripping, and the characters are seldom who they are supposed to be. This is smart suspense at its very best.”―John Grisham, author of A Time for Mercy

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Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris

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At the very end of the Civil War, two newly freed slave brothers have no way to make a living and no where to go.  Running parallel to this story is the forbidden romance of two Confederate soldiers.  When these two stories collide, chaos ensues.  Written so deliberately and well paced, it is hard to believe it is a debut novel!

“Harris’s lucid prose and vivid characterization illustrate a community at war with itself, poisoned by pride and mired in racial and sexual bigotry. Prentiss and Landry are technically free, but they remain trapped by a lifetime of blighted hopes and broken promises. Reconstruction will prove to be yet another lie. Harris’s first novel is an aching chronicle of loss, cruelty, and love in the wake of community devastation.”―Lesley Williams, Booklist (starred review)

“Deeply moving… Harris’s ambitious debut explores the aftermath of the Emancipation Proclamation in rural Georgia… Harris peoples the small community with well-developed characters… [He] writes in intelligent, down-to-earth prose and shows a keen understanding of his characters.”―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A timeless portrait of warring factions seeking peace… There is a shared longing at the heart of Harris’ novel… Harris draws readers into this sense of longing by exploring silences… Celebrating all manner of relationships that combat hate, this novel is a hopeful glimpse into the long legacy of American racial and civil tensions.”―Mari Carlson, Bookpage (starred review)

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Signal fires by Dani Shapiro

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I really enjoyed this book.  217 pages, not a wasted word, original story, characters that you believe in – an unfolding origami puzzle – just as the Booklist review below suggests.

“Acclaimed novelist/memoirist Shapiro (Inheritance) writes with compassion and a deep understanding of the damage that secrets wreak. Shapiro’s first novel in 15 years was well worth the wait.” —Library Journal

“I don’t know of anyone who writes about family with the same generous understanding and gem-cut sentences as Dani Shapiro. Signal Fires confirms her as an artist of the highest order.” —Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story

“Wise, deeply perceptive, suffused with light in spite of life’s darkness—Claire Messud, author of The Woman Upstairs

“Stunning in depth and breadth, this luminous examination of loss and acceptance, furtiveness and reliability, abandonment and friendship ultimately blazes with profound revelations . . . Like creating an intricate origami puzzle, Shapiro folds together the events that define these lives over decades, focusing on specific interludes to divulge old secrets or bury new ones. Returning to fiction after touching readers with her courageous and probing memoirs, including Inheritance, Shapiro delivers keen perceptions about family dynamics via fictional characters that exude a rare combination of substance and delicacy.” —Booklist [starred review]

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Sometimes People Die by Simon Stephenson

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Returning to practice after a suspension for stealing opioids, a young doctor takes the only job he can find: a post as a physician at the struggling St. Luke’s Hospital in east London…. Drawing on his experiences as a physician, Simon Stephenson takes readers into the dark heart of life as a hospitalist to ask the question: Who are the people we gift the power of life and death, and what does it do to them? (Amazon)

“This timely novel has it all: it’s a chilling literary thriller, an emotional dive into the joys and stresses of our health care workers, and a genre-bending story with a perfect dose of gallows humor. I loved this book.. and never want to visit a hospital again!”—Matthew Sullivan, author of Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

 “Enjoyable…the novel’s tone shifts from dread to suspense as the narrator turns amateur sleuth when the facts don’t seem to add up.”—Publishers Weekly 

“The witty writing, quirky protagonist, and anecdotal descriptions of real-life medical villains combine to make Sometimes People Die a delightful read. I loved it.”—Kathy Reichs 

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Trespasses by Louise Kennedy

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A young woman living in Northern Ireland during the Troubles is a teacher who also works at her family’s pub. She meets and falls in love with one of the pub’s customers, an older married man, as tensions in their community rise around them. This is a beautifully written story with strong characters.

“Brilliant, beautiful, heartbreaking. . .  A rising sense of tension throughout comes to a shocking head. I am not a crier, but by the final pages of Trespasses, I was in tears. It’s a testament to Kennedy’s talents that we come to love and care so much about her characters. And that reading about a long and difficult period from the recent past feels not like history, but like a warning.” —J.Courtney Sullivan, New York Times Book Review

“TRESPASSES vaults Kennedy into the ranks of such contemporary masters as McCann, Claire Keegan, Colin Barrett, and fellow Sligo resident, Kevin Barry.” —Oprah Daily

“Kennedy doesn’t shy away from either fun or femininity. . . . By attending to romance and courtship, and by writing about beatings and bombings alongside gossip and domestic detail, Kennedy refuses to shrink or ignore any part of her characters’ lives. . . . She demonstrates how artificial it is for fiction to divide love and war.” —The Atlantic

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When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill

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I loved this book.  Having grown up in the ‘50’s this book took me back to my childhood when I was trying to be the best I could be, but told to “let the boys win”.  Why did my mother wear high heels to vacuum?    Why one day did my father ask my mother to explain to me why I should stop playing neighborhood football with my buddies.  Rage, rage.rage….

“A deeply felt exploration of feminism in an alternate fantastical history…This allegory packs a punch.”—Publishers Weekly

“Completely fierce, unmistakably feminist, and subversively funny, When Women Were Dragons brings the heat to misogyny with glorious imagination and talon-sharp prose. Check the skies tonight—you might just see your mother.”—Bonnie Garmus, author of Lessons in Chemistry

“A complex, heartfelt story about following your heart and opening your mind to new possibilities. This novel’s magic goes far beyond the dragons.” —Kirkus (starred review)

“Kelly Barnhill’s poetic, pointed tale tackles the era’s pervasive silence concerning all things female.”
—Christian Science Monitor

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Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng

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“Sensitive, nuanced, and vividly drawn . . . Thoroughly engrossing and deeply moving . . . Taut and terrifying, Ng’s cautionary tale transports us into an American tomorrow that is all too easy to imagine.” —Kirkus (starred review)

“It’s impossible not to be moved.” —Stephen King, The New York Times Book Review

“Known for focusing on families, race, and relationships, Ng raises the bar another notch in a story intensified by reference to such police violence, political protest, book banning, and discrimination against people of color. Ng’s beautiful yet chilling tale will resonate with readers who enjoyed Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Jessamine Chan’s more recent School for Good Mothers. As with her previous novels, her storytelling will not disappoint.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“Remarkable . . . Ng crafts an affecting family drama out of the chilling and charged atmosphere, and shines especially when offering testimony to the power of art and storytelling . . . Ng’s latest crackles and sizzles all the way to the end.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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Chasing Me To My Grave: An artist’s memoir of the Jim Crow South by Erin Kelly

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WINNER OF THE 2022 PULITZER PRIZE IN BIOGRAPHY

On January 18, 2023 at 7 PM, the author Erin Kelly and Lillian Rembert one of Mr Rembert’s daughters, will come to Weston for a program celebrating Winfred Rembert’s life and art. 

This memoir describes the incredible life and art of Winfred Rembert, an African American man who survived a lynching attempt in Georgia during the civil rights movement. He later became an artist who created stories of his youth using leather tooling skills. While the memoir does include chapters describing the violence he survived, the book is also full of love, laughter, stories, art, and humanity.

“This is a book like no other, from Winfred Rembert’s unique and uniquely powerful autobiographical paintings to his disturbing and courageous life story . . . Rembert recounts diabolical abuse and violence with rare candor and precision . . . By using carved, tooled, and dyed leather as the medium for vibrantly patterned scenes from his life, Rembert turned the scars on his body and soul into artworks of clarion witness and reckoning. With a foreword by Bryan Stevenson and superb color reproductions, Rembert’s self-portrait in word and image belongs in every library.” – Donna Seaman, Booklist, starred review, “Best Books of the Year”

“Frank and compelling . . . An ultimately uplifting journey from the ugliness of virulent racism to the beauty of art.” – Kirkus, starred review

“Visually and narratively stunning . . . Rembert’s artistic talent was a gift; his use of that talent to create memorable images―of an era before modern cameras were ubiquitous―is a gift to history.” – Library Journal

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Fellowship Point  by Alice Elliott Dark

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“Fellowship Point is a marvel. Intricately constructed, utterly unique, this novel set on the coast of Maine is filled with insights about writing, about the perils and freedoms of aging, about the great mysteries, as well as the pleasures, of life. The story about the relationships between three women unfolds, as life does, through joys and losses, confrontations and confessions, with twists along the way that change your perception of all that came before. This is a world is so closely and acutely observed that I felt I lived in it. I was sorry to leave.”—Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Longing for an old-fashioned 19th century novel – but without the time travel? FELLOWSHIP POINT earns its nearly 600 pages with a quietly complex structure, starring two octogenarian women whose long friendship is entangled with their families’ landholdings in coastal Maine. As they seek to save the acreage from development, Agnes Lee and Polly Wister must also confront their past choices and find some peace in the present.”—Los Angeles Times

“Dark (Think of England) celebrates women’s friendships and artistic mentorship in this expansive yet intimate novel. The families and their grudges and grievances fill a broad canvas, and within it Dark delves deeply into the relationships between Agnes and her work, humans and the land, mothers and children, and, most indelibly, the sustenance and joy provided by a long-held female friendship. It’s a remarkable achievement.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Enthralling, masterfully written . . . Fellowship Point is a novel rich with social and psychological insights, both earnest and sly, big ideas grounded in individual emotions, a portrait of a tightly knit community made up of artfully drawn, individual souls.”–Kate Christensen, New York Times Book Review

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The Guncle by Stephen Rowley

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If you liked the movie, The Birdcage – this one is for you. It’s the heartwarming and sweet story of a gay man who takes his niece and nephew for the summer following family tragedy. 

An NPR Book of the Year

Finalist for the 2021 Goodreads Choice Awards

“Heartwarming, hilarious…Rowley finds humor and poignancy in the snappy narrative….Readers will find this delightful and illuminating.” –Publishers Weekly

“Patrick is a memorable character, and it’s genuinely thrilling to read screenwriter-turned-novelist Rowley’s take on the mechanics of stardom….There’s true insight here into the psychology of gay men, Hollywood, and parenting. A novel with some real depth beneath all its witty froth.” –Kirkus Reviews

“Influenced by comic dialogue that would make Neil Simon jealous, the novel’s serious undercurrent of loss gives way, in the end, to a warmth that will make readers smile….A funny, gentle tale of family and friends, and a salve for the wounds they often cause.” –Library Journal
 
“Rowley’s sensitive and witty exploration of grief and healing soothes with a delectable lightness and cunning charm.” –Booklist

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