Reviews & Recommendations

Enjoy online reviews as well as Reading Recommendations from staff and volunteers at the Brewster Ladies’ Library plus what new arrivals are available at the library.

Online Book Review Sources

  • BookPage – BookPage is a monthly book review online and in print. Free copies are available at the library. Find author interviews and book reviews.
  • New York Times -The New York Times has an extensive archive of reviews, bestsellers, discussions, first chapters and more.
  • The New York Review of Books – The New York Review of Books offers selections from its literary review.
  • Washington Post – The Washington Post includes reviews, first chapters, bestseller lists, and other resources.

New Book Notes

March 2017

All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg – A single woman in her late thirties comes to terms with the realities of adulthood. “Wry, sharp, and profoundly kind; a necessary pleasure.” Kirkus Starred Review January 2017




The Gargoyle Hunters by John Freeman Gill –A young boy comes of age against the backdrop of his eccentric parents’ marriage difficulties in 1970’s New York City.  “A bildungsroman rich with symbolism, wistful memory, and unabashed longing, this is a remarkably tender love letter to a city and imaginative fiction par excellence.” Booklist Starred Review January 2017


Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett – A facts-minded young girl tries to solve the mystery of her mother’s death. “How a whip-smart young girl handles the loss of her mother and the reorientation of her family; charming and beautifully written.” Kirkus Starred Review December 2016



Eggshells by Caitriona Lally– An eccentric young woman living in her deceased aunt’s home searches the city of Dublin for portals to enchanted realms. “Lally’s sensational first novel is a love letter to Dublin as well as the incantatory and transformative powers of language.” Library Journal Starred Review January 2017



One of the Boys by Daniel Magariel –Two boys on the run with their damaged father try to survive and find their way back to their mother. “Told from the younger son’s point of view, Magariel’s debut is a stunning discussion of parent-child loyalty, masculinity, and how the only person we can truly save is ourselves.” Booklist Review February 2017






February 2017
Mississippi Blood by Greg Iles – The final book in the Natchez Burning trilogy that deals with the underbelly of Mississippi history. “This trilogy is destined to become a classic of literary crime fiction.” Booklist Starred Review January 2017


Pachinko by Min Jin Lee – Four generations of a Korean family are followed through trials and tribulations of the 20th century. “An old-fashioned epic whose simple, captivating storytelling delivers both wisdom and truth. Kirkus Starred Review October 2016

The Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy –A woman who channels lost loved ones for The Elysian Society becomes personally involved with a client. “Murphy expertly blends the dual mysteries of the circumstances surrounding Sylvia’s death and Edie’s own tragic past with suspense and sf-tinged mystery in a complex novel that is both unforgettable and impossible to put down.” Booklist Starred Review December 2016

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen– Collection of short stories involving Vietnamese refugee communities in California. “Nguyen is the foremost literary interpreter of the Vietnamese experience in America, to be sure. But his stories, excellent from start to finish, transcend ethnic boundaries to speak to human universals.” Kirkus Starred Review November 2016

Autumn by Ali SmithA friendship between a young woman and a dying man is painted against the backdrop of Brexit. “This novel of big ideas and small pleasures is enthusiastically recommended.” Library Journal Starred Review December 2016

December 2016
Brazen by Loren Estleman – A UCLA film preservationist gets involved in deaths that seem to mirror deaths of real life Hollywood blonde actresses from the past. “Middling, highly proficient work from a pro who makes a virtue of economy by getting every chapter, scene, and sentence to pull its weight and then some.” Kirkus Review October 2016

Inheriting Edith by Zoe Fishman – A single mother inherits a beach house belonging to a housecleaning client and also inherits the client’s elderly mother. “By infusing her novel with touches of romance, the challenges of single parenting, and the heart wrenching reach of dementia, Fishman has created a warm, witty, and relatable novel.” Booklist Review October 2016

The Boy Who Escaped Paradise by J.M. Lee –International suspense novel taking place in North Korea, Shanghai, Seoul and New York City. “Lee creates a dignified and moving portrait of North Koreans’ struggle for freedom at home and abroad, and intertwines it with a rogue-genius adventure – all without sacrificing the appeal of either plotline.” Booklist Starred Review October 2016

The Pattern Artist by Nancy Moser – An English housemaid new to America takes a job at Macy’s as a seamstress and rises through the fashion industry “The uplifting tone and turn-of-the-century setting will charm historical fiction readers and fashionistas interested in the evolution of the clothing industry in the early 20th century will find much to like here.” Library Journal Review November 2016

Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days by Jeanette Winterson –Collection of stories and recipes for Christmas. “Spooky, inventive, funny, maybe a tad didactic or cloying here and there, Winterson’s mixed bag of fictional treats has a 19th-century charm much needed in the grim 21st.” Kirkus Starred Review November 2016

November 2016
conclaveConclave by Robert Harris – The inner working of the Vatican conclave to elect a new pope are described in this fictional account of the circumstances following a pope’s death. “An illuminating read for anyone interested in the inner workings of the Catholic Church; for prelate-fiction superfans, it is pure temptation.” Kirkus Starred Review September 2016

indexo8l099ysFaithful by Alice Hoffman – A young girl with a background of trauma experiences a second chance at life. “In a tale at once heartbreaking and uplifting, Hoffman explores a young woman’s recovery from tragedy with sympathy and grace.” Booklist Review October 2016

index15mfd3joSerious Sweet by A.L. Kennedy –Two people try desperately to connect despite forces against them. “This gorgeously written story of an agonizing day in the life of two flawed but endearing individuals made the Man Booker’s long list.” Library Journal Starred Review October 2016

indexd8w3zkd0Shining City by Tom Rosenstiel – Washington D.C. “fixers” Peter Rena and Randi Brooks vet a potential nominee for the Supreme Court and discover secrets that jeopardize the process. “Veteran journalist Rosenstiel’s debut novel shines with page turning intensity that will make readers hope that this book is the beginning of a new series.” Library Journal Starred Review October 2016

index2t8z95p2Swing Time by Zadie Smith –Exploration of race and class against the backdrop of dance. “Moving, funny, and grave, this novel parses race and global politics with Fred Astaire’s or Michael Jackson’s grace.” Kirkus Starred Review September 2016

Reviews from library staff and volunteers
Please note that opinions expressed here are those of the individual reviewers, and are not necessarily shared by the Library as a whole, its employees or directors.

April 2017 Issues

February 2017 Issues