LibraryReads: Librarians Announce July Favorites

Summer is here, and what better way to kick back than to enjoy Rainbow Rowell’s July novel Landline? The book tops this month’s LibraryReads, the list of the upcoming books that librarians around the country are loving. It’s great to see some nonfiction on the list this month, too: Marja Mills’s The Mockingbird Next Door discusses the author’s neighbor, Harper Lee; the book is intriguing for its coverage of a reclusive subject—it’s controversial, too, as Lee withdrew her support for the publication after initially cooperating with the author.

Are you interested in getting involved? LibraryReads welcomes recommendations from all public library staff members, not just readers’ advisory experts or credentialed librarians.

Landline1. Rowell, Rainbow. Landline. St. Martin’s. ISBN 9781250049377. $24.99. F
“Landline explores the delicate balance women make between work and family, considering the tradeoffs and pain. Rowell has a special gift for offering incredible insights into ordinary life. Never heavy-handed, Rowell’s writing is delivered with humor and grace. I finish all of her books wanting to laugh and cry at the same time–they are that moving. Landline captured my heart.”—Andrea Larson, Cook Memorial Public Library, Libertyville, IL
See LJ’s starred review


One Plue One2. Moyes, Jojo. One Plus One. Pamela Dorman. ISBN 9780525426585; ebk. ISBN 9780698152007. $27.95. F
“A single mom, her math genius daughter, her eye-shadow-wearing stepson, a wealthy computer geek and a smelly dog all get into a car…it sounds like the start of a bad joke, but it’s actually another charming novel from Jojo Moyes. It’s more of a traditional romance than Me Before You, but will also appeal to fans of quirky, hard-working characters. A quick read and perfect for summer.”—Emily Wichman, Clermont County Public Library, Milford, OH
See LJ‘s starred review


Black Hour3. Rader-Day, Lori. The Black Hour. Seventh St. ISBN 9781616148850. pap. $15.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616148867. F
“This first novel about two broken people is a psychological thriller like the best of Alfred Hitchcock. Amelia Emmet is a professor desperately trying to recover from a gunshot wound, and Nathaniel Barber is a student struggling to come to grips with his mother’s death and a lost love. Their journey, told in alternating chapters, is riveting and full of surprising discoveries. Highly recommended.”—Mattie Gustafson, Newport Public Library, Newport, RI



The Queen of Tearling4. Johansen, Erika. The Queen of Tearling. Harper. ISBN 9780062290366. $26.99. F
“The first of a trilogy, this book is so much more than just another fantasy. Yes, there is magic, a princess and a really bad queen, but there is also an apocalyptic twist that makes readers hungry for the next installment. This book caught me from the first page and kept me guessing till the last. A great read!”—Cindy Stevens, Pioneer Library System, Norman, OK




Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands

5. Bohjalian, Chris. Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands. Doubleday. ISBN 9780385534833. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385534840. F
“Thousands of lives are irrevocably changed by a nuclear disaster in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. When her parents are blamed, Emily becomes homeless and her situation, desperate. Told retrospectively, Emily’s story is devastating to read, but her passionate interest in Emily Dickinson comes with flashes of brilliance and a growing acceptance of her past.”—Kim Storbeck, Timberland Regional Library, Tumwater, WA
See LJ’s Prepub Alert



World of Trouble

6. Winters, Ben H. World of Trouble (Last Policeman, Bk. 3). Quirk. ISBN 9781594746857. pap. $14.95; ebk. ISBN 9781594746864. SFF
“Still the last policeman, Detective Hank Palace tirelessly pulls together clues from crime scenes and interrogates witnesses to find his missing sister. Winters paints a believable picture of a world awaiting its end thanks to an asteroid on a collision course. A great series for mystery and science fiction lovers, as well as anyone looking for a pre-apocalyptic tale without a single zombie.”—Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA
See LJ‘s starred review



California7. Lepucki, Edan. California. Little, Brown. ISBN 9780316250818. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316250825. F
“Driven away from the violence of cities and a crumbling society, Cal and Frida live an isolated existence, struggling to survive on what they grow and forage. When an unplanned pregnancy pushes the couple to search for other people, they discover an unexpected community. This well-written debut is great for apocalyptic fiction fans and fans of realistic, character-driven fiction.”—Sara Kennedy, Delaware County District Library, Delaware, OH



Dollbaby8. McNeal, Laura Lane. Dollbaby. Pamela Dorman. ISBN 9780670014736. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101614716. F
“In this coming-of-age story set in the Civil Rights era, Ibby is dropped off at the home of her eccentric grandmother in New Orleans after the death of her beloved father. Filled with colorful characters, family secrets and lots of New Orleans tidbits, this book will appeal to fans of Saving Ceecee Honeycutt.”—Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA




The Mockingbird Next Door9. Mills, Marja. The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee. Penguin Pr. ISBN 9781594205194. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698163836. LIT
“A warm and engaging telling of the life story of Harper Lee. Like no other biography, this book offers insights directly from Lee’s point of view as shared with the journalist she and her sister embraced in friendship late in their lives. Informative and delightful!”—Jan Fisher, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT
See LJ‘s Prepub Alert



Dry Bones in the Valley10. Bouman, Tom. Dry Bones in the Valley. Norton. ISBN 9780393243024. $24.95. M
“A body has been found in an elderly recluse’s field, neighbors are fighting over fracking, and meth labs and heroin dealers have settled deep in the woods of Officer Henry Farrell’s Wild Thyme Township. Bouman’s prose reveals not only the beauty of northeastern Pennsylvania, but also abject poverty and despair. A startling debut rich in setting and character with an intricate plot that will stay with readers after the last page.”—Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ
See LJ‘s starred review



Kate DiGirolomo About Kate DiGirolomo

Kate DiGirolomo is the SELF-e Community Coordinator at Library Journal. She received her Master's degree in Library and Information Science at Pratt Institute. Follow her on Twitter @KateDiGirolomo.