Here are the Adult Fiction department’s STAFF PICKS for best FICTION titles of 2010!

Burning Lamp

Burning Lamp
By Quick, Amanda
2010-04 – Putnam Adult
0399156461 Check Our Catalog

In this second novel of the Dreamlight Trilogy from “New York Times”-bestselling author Quick, psychic power and passion collide as a legendary curse comes to fruition. Quick deftly distills sexy romance and deadly intrigue.–”Chicago Tribune.” …More


The Cookbook Collector

The Cookbook Collector
By Goodman, Allegra
2010-07 – Dial Press
0385340850 Check Our Catalog
BookPage Notable Title

Goodman weaves together the worlds of Silicon Valley and rare-book collecting in a delicious novel about appetite, temptation, and fulfillment. Bi-coastal, surprising, rich in ideas and characters, this work is about getting and spending, and about the substitutions one must make. …More


Heart of the Matter

Heart of the Matter
By Giffin, Emily
2010-05 – St. Martin’s Press
0312554168 Check Our Catalog
BookPage Notable Title

In alternating points of view, a “New York Times”-bestselling author tells a story of three good people caught in an untenable triangle, each questioning everything they once believed about love and loyalty. And each, ultimately, discovering what is truly at the heart of the matter. …More


The Hole We're in

The Hole We’re in
By Zevin, Gabrielle
2010-03 – Grove Press
0802119239 Check Our Catalog
BookPage Notable Title

From an award-winning screenwriter and author comes this bold, timeless, yet all-too-timely novel about a troubled American family trying to navigate an even more troubled America. …More


The Love Goddess' Cooking School

The Love Goddess’ Cooking School
By Senate, Melissa
2010-10 – Gallery Press
1439107238 Check Our Catalog

Senate relays a charming story about a woman who inherits her grandmother’s cooking school in a small town in Maine, and finds her happy ending in the process. …More


Mini Shopaholic

Mini Shopaholic
By Kinsella, Sophie
2010-09 – Dial Press
0385342047 Check Our Catalog

In the first Shopaholic in three years, Becky Brandon (ne Bloomwood) is back, this time hilariously challenged by the mini-terror who is her two-year-old daughter, Minnie. …More


An Object of Beauty

An Object of Beauty
By Martin, Steve
2010-11 – Grand Central Publishing
0446573647 Check Our Catalog
BookPage Notable Title

Lacey Yeager charms men and women with her magnetic charisma and liveliness. Her ascension to the highest tiers of the city parallel the highs and lows of the art world and the country from the late 1990s through today. …More


The Red Thread

The Red Thread
By Hood, Ann
2010-05 – W. W. Norton & Company
0393070204 Check Our Catalog

From the bestselling author of “The Knitting Circle” comes a reflection on a mother’s powerful journey from loss to love. …More


Room

Room
By Donoghue, Emma
2010-09 – Little Brown and Company
0316098337 Check Our Catalog
2011 Alex Award Winner

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, “Room” is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another. …More


The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
By Bender, Aimee
2010-06 – Doubleday Books
0385501129 Check Our Catalog
2011 Alex Award Winner BookPage Notable Title

The wondrous Bender conjures the lush and moving story of a girl whose magical gift is really a devastating curse. “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake” is a luminous tale–heartbreaking and funny, wise and sad. …More


Skippy Dies

Skippy Dies
By Murray, Paul
2010-08 – Faber & Faber
0865479437 Check Our Catalog

Why does Skippy, a 14-year-old boy at Dublin’s venerable Seabrook College, end up dead on the floor of the local doughnut shop? Why Skippy dies and what happens next unravels a mystery that links the boys of Seabrook College to their parents and teachers in ways nobody could have imagined. …More


Solar

Solar
By McEwan, Ian
2010-03 – Nan A. Talese
0385533411 Check Our Catalog
BookPage Notable Title

Can a man who has made a mess of his life clean up the messes of humanity? A complex novel that brilliantly traces the arc of one man’s ambitions and deceptions, “Solar” is a startling, witty new work from the author of “On Chesil Beach” and “Atonement.” …More


Ten Things I Love about You

Ten Things I Love about You
By Quinn, Julia
2010-06 – Avon Books
0061491896 Check Our Catalog

A “New York Times”-bestselling author returns with another clever, witty, anddelightful Regency romance. Original. …More


The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
By Mitchell, David
2010-06 – Random House
1400065453 Check Our Catalog
BookPage Notable Title

Mitchell, a Man Booker Prize finalist for “Cloud Atlas”, returns with a story set at the turn of the 18th century around Dejima, an artificial island located in Nagasaki Bay and used as a trade outpost by the Dutch East Indies Company. …More


The Unnamed

The Unnamed
By Ferris, Joshua
2010-09 – Reagan Arthur Books
0316034002 Check Our Catalog
BookPage Notable Title

This dazzling novel tells the story of marriage, family, and the unseen forces of nature and desire that seem to threaten them both. It is the heartbreaking story of a life taken for granted and what happens when that life is abruptly and irrevocably taken away. …More


A Vintage Affair

A Vintage Affair
By Wolff, Isabel
2010-06 – Bantam
0553807838 Check Our Catalog

…More


A Visit from the Goon Squad

A Visit from the Goon Squad
By Egan, Jennifer
2010-06 – Knopf Publishing Group
0307592839 Check Our Catalog
BookPage Notable Title

From one of today’s boldest writers comes a sly, surprising, and exhilarating novel about time, survival, and the electrifying sparks ignited at the seams of our lives by colliding destinies. …More


The Walk

The Walk
By Evans, Richard Paul
2010-04 – Simon & Schuster
1439187312 Check Our Catalog

Evans presents the first novel in an inspiring new series about an executive who loses everything and embarks on a walk that takes him across America. …More


Wild Ride

Wild Ride
By Crusie, Jennifer
Author Mayer, Bob
2010-03 – St. Martin’s Press
0312533772 Check Our Catalog

The “New York Times”-bestselling duo of Crusie and Mayer teams up again with a hilarious paranormal novel that shows why the wildest ride at the Dreamland amusement park isn’t the roller coaster. …More


The Widower's Tale

The Widower’s Tale
By Glass, Julia
2010-09 – Pantheon Books
030737792X Check Our Catalog
BookPage Notable Title

In a quirky farmhouse outside Boston, 70-year-old Percy Darling enjoys a vigorous but mostly solitary life until, in a complex scheme to help his oldest daughter through a crisis, he allows a progressive preschool to move into his barn. The abrupt transformation of Percy’s rural refuge into a lively, youthful community compels him to reexamine the choices he’s made. …More

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    Here are the Adult Fiction department’s STAFF PICKS for best CRIME titles of 2010!

The Capitol Game

The Capitol Game
By Haig, Brian
2010-08 – Grand Central Publishing
0446195618 Check Our Catalog

“New York Times”-bestselling author Haig returns with a riveting new thriller about a man caught between the politics of big government and the corruption of big business. …More


Down to the Wire

Down to the Wire
By Rosenfelt, David
2010-03 – Minotaur Books
0312373945 Check Our Catalog

On the heels of his first standalone novel “Don’t Tell a Soul,” the acclaimed author of the Andy Carpenter mystery series returns with an explosive new thriller. …More


Faithful Place

Faithful Place
By French, Tana
2010-07 – Viking Books
0670021873 Check Our Catalog

Back in 1985, Frank Mackey was 19, growing up poor in Dublin’s inner city, and he and Rosie Daly were all ready to run away to London together. But on the night when they were supposed to leave, Rosie vanished. Twenty-two years later, Rosie’s suitcase shows up behind a fireplace in a derelict house on Faithful Place, and Frank is going home whether he likes it or not. …More


Fragile

Fragile
By Unger, Lisa
2010-08 – Shaye Areheart Books
0307393992 Check Our Catalog

A stunning new literary thriller from the “New York Times”-bestselling author of “Beautiful Lies, Fragile” examines the small town secrets exposed with a teenager goes missing in circumstances similar to another young girl’s disappearance 20 years earlier. …More


The Good Son

The Good Son
By Gruber, Michael
2010-05 – Henry Holt & Company
0805091289 Check Our Catalog

“New York Times”-bestselling author Gruber delivers a taut, multilayered, riveting novel of suspense focused on peace activists who are being held hostage in Pakistan. …More


Innocent

Innocent
By Turow, Scott
2010-05 – Grand Central Publishing
0446562424 Check Our Catalog
BookPage Notable Title

The sequel to the genre-defining, landmark bestseller “Presumed Innocent, Innocent” continues the story of Rusty Sabich and Tommy Molto who are, 20 years later, pitted against each other in a riveting psychological match. …More


The Man from Beijing

The Man from Beijing
By Mankell, Henning
Translator Thompson, Laurie
2010-02 – Knopf Publishing Group
0307271862 Check Our Catalog

The acclaimed author of the Kurt Wallander mysteries gives listeners an electrifying thriller that takes off into a sweeping international drama. In the Swedish hamlet of Hesjovallen, 19 people have been massacred–and the only clue is a red ribbon found at the scene. …More


Never Look Away

Never Look Away
By Barclay, Linwood
2010-03 – Delacorte Press
055380717X Check Our Catalog

In this tense, mesmerizing thriller by the critically acclaimed author of “Fear the Worst” and “Too Close to Home,” a man’s life unravels around him when the unthinkable strikes. …More


Our Kind of Traitor

Our Kind of Traitor
By Le Carre, John
2010-10 – Viking Books
0670022241 Check Our Catalog
BookPage Notable Title

The unrivaled master of spy fiction returns with a taut and suspenseful novel of dirty money and dirtier politics. Perry and Gail are idealistic and very much in love when they splurge on a tennis vacation at a posh beach resort in Antigua. But the charm begins to pall when a big-time Russian money launderer enlists their help to defect. …More


Secrets of Eden

Secrets of Eden
By Bohjalian, Chris A.
2010-02 – Shaye Areheart Books
0307394972 Check Our Catalog

From the “New York Times”-bestselling author of “Midwives” and “The Double Bind” comes a novel of shattered family ties, intimate secrets, and the nature of sacrifice. Few writers can manipulate a plot with Bohjalian’s grace and power.–”New York Times Book Review.” …More


The Third Rail

The Third Rail
By Harvey, Michael
2010-04 – Knopf Publishing Group
0307272508 Check Our Catalog
BookPage Notable Title

The ferocious new novel from the author of “The Chicago Way” and “The Fifth Floor” finds Harvey at the top of his game in an expertly plotted, impossible-to-put-down thriller, set in Chicago’s public transit system. …More


This Body of Death: An Inspector Lynley Novel

This Body of Death: An Inspector Lynley Novel
By George, Elizabeth
2010-04 – Harper
0061160881 Check Our Catalog

Scotland Yard Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley is on compassionate leave after the murder of his wife. But when the body of a woman is found in an isolated London cemetery, he is prevailed upon to come back to work. Soon Lynley and his former partner, Barbara Havers, find that the roots of the crime trace to a long-ago act of violence. …More

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Frank Mackey left Faithful Place, a low income Dublin neighborhood, when he was nineteen. He had planned to run away to London with Rosie Daly on that winter night but Rosie didn’t show. Rosie was never seen again. Twenty-two years later Rosie’s suitcase is found in a fireplace in a demolished row house. Frank is a detective on the Dublin police force and is determined to solve the puzzle of what happened to Rosie.
Faithful Place is not picture perfect Ireland. It is grim, Frank’s father is a nasty wife beating alcoholic and Frank’s brothers and sisters are highly dysfunctional. The neighbors generally distain the Mackey family and distrust of the police is high. How Frank comes to terms with his past and his intense love for Rosie in the solution of the crime creates great pacing and character development. The steadfastness of Frank supports the structure of the novel. The novel’s strength lies not only in the suspense but in French’s forceful examination of family dynamics in contemporary Ireland.
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A light, fun mystery set in the South of England near Brighton. I am tempted to call this one a COZY mystery (meaning violence are downplayed or treated humorously with a light, refreshing take) but sometimes, that scares people off so I will not call it that. But, it really is a cozy. But, please do not be scared off. This is a fun, highly entertaining mystery that you will miss if you avoid anything “cozy.” The two main characters, Carole and Jude, are spunky middle-aged ladies who relish a good chance to sink their teeth into a good crime story. Carole and Jude are Brett’s continuing characters in his Fethering series…this book is the tenth in the series. Here, Carole and Jude set about trying to prove the innocence of a friend, the owner of a local pub where a murder is committed. The pub, before the murder, had been targeted with some other unsavory offenses (a poisoning (explains the title of the book) and an influx of biker-type clientele that was scaring away the other regular customers. So, Carole and Jude set about proving that the pub had been targeted specifically for some reason and the murder is a result of that harassment. Brett, most famously known for his famed Mrs. Pargeter mystery series, seems to enjoy writing Carole and Jude. The two amateur sleuths are enormously fun to read and Brett’s easy-going writing style makes this a top-notch mystery, filled with humor and dry wit. Do yourself a favor and ignore the “cozyness” of it and read it just for fun. You will not regret it!

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It isn’t easy being the new kid in the school, or in the house. Sophomore Lucy Norton is left in her new home with her stepmother and her evil twin stepsisters by Lucy’s bi-coastal working father. Feeling ostracized in the house and isolated in her new high school, she takes refuge in her art class. Inspired by an older classmate Sam’s painting, she thinks he’s a jerk in person, but her opinion changes after he invites her to a show at an art gallery. Lucy finds herself struggling to find her identity and place in the world when she has an assignment to create a self portrait. But when a basketball game comment in the cafeteria attracts the attention of Connor, the star of the varsity team, Lucy suddenly rises in social status. She gets a date and some new girlfriends who are plugged into the school’s gossip feed. Will she remain the art aficionado or become part of the “in” basketball crowd? Is Connor really her prince?

Melissa Kantor’s If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where’s My Prince? provides her independent narrator heroine with the wit and sarcasm to have the reader identify with her. She allows Lucy to show us the humor in her uncomfortable home and school life – “It’s so Brothers Grimm.” As she tries to maintain her bond with her dad, she feels that her stepmother is changing everything.

This is a good account of a created family trying to adjust to their new life together. It is a charming story of a contemporary teen dealing with the change and uncertainty that being in a new environment can bring. This book shows that having different and creative talents can be a beneficial and positive experience. Kantor does a great job at updating the Cinderella fairy tale. A fine frothy read for young adults and a fun read for adults too.

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Immersing yourself within the covers of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet is a literary treat. The readers on the audio CD are also very good in their presentation of David Mitchell’s writing expertise. Sometimes the accents do not sound realistic but for the most part it is an enjoyable listening experience.

A mix of historical fiction, suspense, political intrigue, and a touching love story, this novel begins in 1799 in Diejima in Nagasaki Harbor, the farthest outpost of the Dutch East Indies Company. Jacob De Zoet arrives as the new clerk in hopes of earning a fortune so he can wed his wealthy fiancée back in Holland. Japan is a closed country for foreigners and the Dutch are their sole trading partners. In the opening chapters it takes a while to engage and understand the action and characters since the scenes jump around but soon one figures it out. After finishing the novel I was amazed by the quality of its construction. The themes, the action, the setting and the characterization all mesh in a seamless story.

Obviously well researched, the book flows beautifully with countless poetic passages, dialogue with subtle humor, and suspenseful scenes that appeal to both female and male readers. What I found particularly beautiful was the portrayal of men acting honorably amid corruption, greed, lust, and deception. With wondrous writing, Mitchell exposes the love between fathers and sons, respect for women and what it means to be a man.

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This is the one everyone is talking about. I usually stay away from uber-popular titles like the plague, but this was too popular to pass up. And, I believe, it deserves most, if not all, of the hype. But, be warned, it starts slow and ends kind of slow but in-between are some of the most compelling, can’t-put-it-down-in-the-middle-of-the-night fair. Like I said, at the start, I was pretty bored. But, once it kicks in (when you find out the essence of the “thriller” part of the story), I was hooked. The “thriller” part (which takes up most of the book, so don’t worry) involves a disgraced journalist who is asked by the head of a influential Swedish family to write his memoirs and also, in the process, find out what happened to his niece who went missing over 40 years ago. Be warned…this one is pretty dang gory and graphic in parts. Author Stieg Larsson doesn’t hold anything back when he describes a crime scene. And, I like that…it’s honest. Deliberate when it needs to be and riveting always, Larsson (who passed away after he submitted the final book in this trilogy to his publisher) deserves all of the credit he’s getting. Too bad he’s not here to enjoy it!

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Voting is open for the annual Teens Top Ten books!  Visit our website to see the list of nominations.  Teens can vote online and also at the library.  Visit the Ref or AV desks to vote and get free candy!

Voting will take place now through September 17.  The winners will announced during Teen Read Week (October 17-24).  All 26 nominations were chosen by teen reading groups across the country.

For more information about the Teens Top Ten, visit the official website.

Teens who vote at the library get free candy!

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