Seattle Picks: 2014 Spring/Summer Staff Favorites -- Adult Fiction

The Monkey Wrench Gang
The Monkey Wrench Gang By Abbey, Edward (Book - 2000 ) FIC ABBEY All copies in use. Availability details

Annotation:Ever wonder where the colloquial term “monkey wrench” comes from? Abbey’s zany characters show us how to sabotage heavy machinery, and they are bent on saving the desert from development and degradation by “progress.” Abbey leads us on a merry ramble through the desert of the American Southwest in a grand read. – Bob, Central

The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic
The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic By Barker, Emily Croy (Book - 2013 ) FIC BARKER 2013 All copies in use. Availability details Holds: 44 on 15 copies

Annotation:A doctoral candidate on the verge of ditching her thesis takes a weekend trip to attend a wedding. After losing her way in the woods, she finds herself in an alternate world governed by shape-shifters and magic-wielders. What ensues is a surprising adventure—a blend of the Harry Potter series and “Pride and Prejudice.” – Sarah, Lake City

Hour of the Rat
Hour of the Rat By Brackmann, Lisa (Book - 2013 ) FIC BRACKMA 2013 Available in some locations

Annotation:When a former Army buddy asks Beijing-based Iraq War veteran Ellie McEnroe to track down his missing brother, believed to be in China, she lands in a conspiracy involving eco-terrorists and a sinister biotech company. Ellie is a dynamic and wryly witty main character; the story has lots of well-plotted twists and turns, and Brackmann gives an amazing sense of what it feels like to be in modern China without going into overwhelming detail. – Andrea, Central

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie By Bradley, C. Alan (Book - 2010 ) MYSTERY BRADLEY 2010 All copies in use. Availability details Holds: 81 on 18 copies

Annotation:Flavia de Luce is a force of nature. Quirky, intelligent and wildly funny, she is undaunted by pretty much anything life throws at her, and when you are 11 and a chemistry buff and an amateur detective, that says something. Set in the English countryside in 1950, this book is for mystery lovers, Anglophiles and science fans, but also for anyone who likes a riveting story and a glorious character. And, there are sequels! – Ann, Central

Moloka'i By Brennert, Alan (Book - 2003 ) FIC BRENNER 2003 All copies in use. Availability details Holds: 42 on 12 copies

Annotation:Equal parts history, travelogue, tragedy and coming-of-age story, this achingly poignant and tender novel has a heart of steel. It tells the tale of Rachel, a small girl with leprosy living in the 1890s who is exiled to the Hawaiian island of Moloka’i. Despite the cruelty of her disease, she grows up in a loving community, eventually confronting a possible life on the mainland. Rachel is a survivor, a complicated soul and simply unforgettable. – Ann, Central

The Necromancer's House
The Necromancer's House By Buehlman, Christopher (Book - 2013 ) FIC BUEHLMA 2013 Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 6 copies

Annotation:A handsome, roguish wizard, Andrew Ranulf Blankenship spends his days looking for his next sexual conquest, or attending an occasional AA meeting. However, after he inadvertently kills the wrong man, Andrew finds himself stalked by an unrelenting horror that won’t stop until everything and everyone he loves is dead. Andrew must confront his past alcoholic mistakes if he plans to stay alive—but in many ways, he’s already too late. – Jared, Central

The Plague
The Plague By Camus, Albert (Book - 1991 ) FIC CAMUS 1991 All copies in use. Availability details Holds: 4 on 8 copies

Annotation:The plague is quiet. Is there misguided hope that there is some civility in suffering? Though scenes of panic and disorder appear in this work, there is no overall anarchy, which is often presented as the norm of behavior in times of strife. Instead, the population, after the initial shock, withdraws. And despite the camaraderie of a shared condition, the only reality is that we are all in the end “alone” in our own mortality. – Diana, West Seattle

Ready Player One
Ready Player One By Cline, Ernest (Book - 2011 ) FIC CLINE 2011 All copies in use. Availability details Holds: 23 on 26 copies

Annotation:If you grew up in the 1980s or are an ‘80s fan, this book is for you!! The amount of nerd crammed into this title is enough to overwhelm even the most hardcore geek. “Ready Player One” is a fantastically fun, fast-paced read, and for me (an ‘80s nerd-child), struck a real chord. Love videogames? Check! Love movies? Check! Love music? Check! Love the 80's? Check-check! Now the only question is: Are you ready? (y/n) – Darren, Broadview

The Coroner's Lunch
The Coroner's Lunch By Cotterill, Colin (Book - 2004 ) MYSTERY COTTERI 2004 All copies in use. Availability details

Annotation:Siri Palboun is a 72-year-old Paris-trained doctor who is “encouraged” to become the National Coroner of Laos during the early 1970s. The new government gives him little support, and he must often rely on other resources such as the helpful ghosts in his dreams. Later, during bizarre events in a Hmong village, Palboun discovers his own latent shamanistic powers, which help him solve three puzzling deaths. The first book in an ongoing series. – Kris, Magnolia

The Privileges
The Privileges A Novel By Dee, Jonathan (Book - 2010 ) FIC DEE 2010 Available in some locations Holds: 2 on 9 copies

Annotation:Dee does a great job with characters that you don't necessarily like, but care about, and “The Privileges” is no different. The story is about Adam and Cynthia, a young, attractive, wealthy couple who—literally—have it all, but are still unsatisfied. With any other author I would say, “Who cares!” But with Dee’s novel I wanted to see it through and find out if the characters who “have it all” find happiness as well. – Frank, Central

My Brilliant Friend
My Brilliant Friend Childhood, Adolescence By Ferrante, Elena (Book - 2012 ) FIC FERRANT 2012 All copies in use. Availability details Holds: 167 on 34 copies

Annotation:This novel, the first in an Italian quartet about two girls growing up in 1950s/’60s Naples, floored me. Narrator Elena, a young girl who studies hard to rise above her working-class background, portrays friendship and growing up in all of its confusion and complexity. Poignant, surprising and unforgettable. – Misha, Central

The Yard
The Yard By Grecian, Alex (Book - 2012 ) MYSTERY GRECIAN 2012 Available in some locations Holds: 4 on 12 copies

Annotation:A detective from Scotland Yard’s famed Murder Squad is found stabbed to death and stuffed in a trunk. The task of finding the killer falls to the squad's newest member, Detective Day. With the help of a doctor and a headstrong constable, Day must ensure that justice prevails before the whole squad ends up dead. This atmospheric mystery will transport you to the cold and rain of post-Ripper Victorian London. – Selby, Central

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia By Hamid, Mohsin (Book - 2013 ) FIC HAMID 2013 Available in some locations Holds: 6 on 24 copies

Annotation:I loved how instantaneously I lost myself in this book. Told in second-person narrative, the story unfolds the chapters of a young man's life in the developing world. The social realities of corruption, poverty and inequality pervade each chapter, yet optimism persists. Such a good read! – Toby, Central

Havana World Series
Havana World Series By Latour, José (Book - 2003 ) FIC LATOUR Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 3 copies

Annotation:Havana, Cuba – 1958. Set just before Castro ousted Batista from power, crime novel “Havana World Series” stirs the historical imagination. Mob bosses clash for control over Havana while Mickey Mantle’s New York Yankees battle the Milwaukee Braves. In a sweltering and tense revolutionary atmosphere, the Bonanno family has hired Mariano Contreras to pull off a wild heist against rival boss Meyer Lansky. I’ll never see 1950s Cuba, but this book is a suitable consolation prize. – Richard, Capitol Hill

History of A Pleasure Seeker
History of A Pleasure Seeker A Novel By Mason, Richard (Book - 2012 ) FIC MASON 2012 Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 24 copies

Annotation:Set during the Belle Époque in Paris, this novel follows the exploits of Piet, a private tutor who casts a spell on nearly everyone he meets. This isn't a book I would normally be interested in, but it's so sumptuous and atmospheric I couldn't put it down. It's both a guilty pleasure and a worthy read. – Frank, Central

A Wild Ride Through the Night
A Wild Ride Through the Night By Moers, Walter (Book - 2008 ) SCI-FIC MOERS 2008 Available in some locations

Annotation:A boy named Gustave encounters Death on the high seas and is challenged to go on a quest to defeat him. At the heart of this delightful tale is a set of illustrations by 19th-century French artist Gustave Doré, with which Moers transforms what easily could have been a creative writing assignment flop into one of the zaniest, and, surprisingly enlightening, fantasy adventures ever imagined. For lovers of Harry Potter, Neil Gaiman and Pratchett's Discworld. – Amanda, Northgate

The Forgiven
The Forgiven A Novel By Osborne, Lawrence (Book - 2012 ) FIC OSBORNE 2012 All copies in use. Availability details Holds: 1 on 7 copies

Annotation:The husband has had too much to drink, it is the dark of night, and the location is remote. What transpires during the drive and the days-long party, and especially between the characters, raises questions about ethics, morality, religion and cultural differences. This sumptuous tale melds serious subjects with lavish descriptions of character and place. – Tracy, Central

The Devil All the Time
The Devil All the Time A Novel By Pollock, Donald Ray (Book - 2011 ) FIC POLLOCK 2011 Available in some locations Holds: 2 on 10 copies

Annotation:This gothic novel, about lost souls in Appalachia during the middle of the 20th century, hooked me from the first paragraph. It’s a dark and brooding read, with some of the roughest and toughest characters to be found in contemporary literature. I've recommended it to all my friends and no one has been disappointed. – Frank, Central

Going Postal
Going Postal By Pratchett, Terry (Book - 2008 ) SCI-FIC PRATCHE 2008 Available in some locations Holds: 2 on 9 copies

Annotation:Moist von Lipwig hangs today. He is destined to meet an “angel” afterward who offers him a second chance as Postmaster General, a dangerous job where predecessors have ended up dead. Really dead. Lipwig will use all his confidence-man charisma to save his skin. For someone who doesn’t typically like fantasy, I’m addicted to Sir Terry’s satirical storytelling and heroic, yet human, characters. If you like “Going Postal,” follow Moist’s story in “Making Money.” – Meadow, Fremont

Blindness By Saramago, José (Book - 1998 ) FIC SARAMAG 1998 Available in some locations Holds: 2 on 13 copies

Annotation:That’s the premise of Nobel Prize–winning author José Saramago’s classic novel “Blindness.” One by one, people are losing their sight and nobody understands why. Government officials isolate the first victims, but soon the posted guards go blind and disappear. Reading this book made me feel an almost voyeuristic sightlessness, often seeing no more than Saramago’s desperate characters see. “Blindness” is bleak, but ultimately an uplifting reading experience I’ll never forget. – Richard, Capitol Hill

The Thirteenth Tale
The Thirteenth Tale By Setterfield, Diane (Book - 2007 ) All copies in use. Availability details

Annotation:Margaret Lea has never interviewed a living person before but Vida Winter, world-renowned author of 59 books, has asked Margaret to write her “true” biography. Vida has been interviewed hundreds of times, and each time she tells the interviewer a different story of her life. At the end of her life, Vida is finally ready to tell the truth. A haunting mystery in which ghosts from both women’s pasts are revealed. – Meranda, Central

Sailor Twain
Sailor Twain Or, The Mermaid in the Hudson By Siegel, Mark (Graphic Novel - 2012 ) 741.5973 Si156S 2012 Available in some locations

Annotation:“Sailor Twain” is the lovely, fantastical tale of a steamboat captain who rescues a wounded mermaid from the Hudson River. I loved that I never quite knew what was going on. Nothing is what you think it is. The art is breathtaking, all shades of gray and shadows, perfect for the story. When I finished I immediately wanted to start rereading it again from the beginning. – Christiane, Queen Anne

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec
The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec [1], Pterror Over Paris ; And, The Eiffel Tower Demon By Tardi, Jacques (Graphic Novel - 2010 ) 741.5944 T173E01 2010 All copies in use. Availability details Holds: 7 on 3 copies

Annotation:Originally published in 1976, this series starts off in pre–World War I Paris with a female investigator chasing dastardly villains and riding a pterodactyl. Luc Besson, director of “The Fifth Element,” wrote and directed a 2010 film loosely based on “Pterror over Paris.” – Deb, Central

Love and Treasure
Love and Treasure By Waldman, Ayelet (Book - 2014 ) FIC WALDMAN 2014 Available in some locations Holds: 11 on 18 copies

Annotation:Jack Wiseman’s guilty secret from World War II is tied to the locket he gives his granddaughter Natalie the day before he dies, asking her to return it to its rightful owner. Natalie’s search brings her closer to her grandfather and her Jewish heritage. The Hungarian Gold Train, filled with treasures stolen from Hungarian Jews, is a powerfully moving metaphor for all that was lost in the war. – Jen, Central

Murder Strikes A Pose
Murder Strikes A Pose A Downward Dog Mystery By Weber, Tracy (Book - 2014 ) MYSTERY WEBER 2014 All copies in use. Availability details Holds: 25 on 9 copies

Annotation:Seattle, yoga, a devoted dog and a good mystery—this book has it all for me. Yoga teacher Kate finds herself taking in a German Shepherd named Bella and taking on solving the question of who killed Bella’s owner. First in the Downward Dog series, this is a charmer on the cozy side written by the owner of a Seattle yoga studio. – Linda, Central

A Shared List by Seattle Librarians

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Staff members of The Seattle Public Library share their favorite adult fiction in this diverse list of stories that transport you to places and periods like 1950s Italy, Belle Époque Paris and modern-day China.


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app02 Version Arkelstorp Last updated 2014/10/23 09:41