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

June 2017

The Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor –A woman appraising her aging father’s stamp collection finds a quest leading her to WWII Austria.  “Cantor has done her research thoroughly to produce another captivating historical novel. Excellent writing, unusual storytelling, and sympathetic characters make a winning combination.“ Kirkus Review April 2017




The Little French Bistro by Nina George – A woman escaping an unhappy marriage finds herself in a seaside village in northern France. “George envelops the reader in the sights, sounds, and smells of the coastal town, heightening Marianne’s new experiences with lush descriptions of Breton life. Fans of Elizabeth Gilbert and Isabel Allende will adore this courageous story of new beginnings, second chances, and the power of self-love.” Booklist Review May 2017



The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder –A wedding brings old family drama to the surface. “Ginder’s latest is a fascinating exploration of family dynamics and the complex way we interact with those who know us best.” Booklist Starred Review May 2017




Lost and Found Sisters by Jill Shalvis – A woman’s life changes after the discovery of her biological mother and sister. “Shalvis has crafted a wonderful summer read that will fit right in with beach blankets, flip-flops and maybe a little moonshine.” – Library Journal Starred Review May 2017




The Templar’s Last Secret by Martin Walker –The tenth Bruno, Chief of Police novel deals with a mysterious death with ties to the Knights Templar. “The latest Bruno features a complicated but enjoyable plot, a rich knowledge of archaeology, and the reliable pleasures of Bruno’s region, including scenery, Bergerac wine and knockout dining. Another feast for mystery and food lovers.” Booklist Starred Review May 2017




May 2017

Salt Houses by Hala Alyan –Lives of members of a Palestinian family are told against the backdrop of the Six-Day War. “This is a moving story about a family’s battle to salvage what remains when their home is taken away. “ Booklist Review March 2017

The Baker’s Secret by Stephen Kiernan –A young baker resists German occupation along with her village mates during WWII. “This moving and thought-provoking work of historical fiction will be popular with lovers of other recently popular World War II novels such as Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See and Kristin Hannah’s The -Nightingale.” Library Journal Starred Review April 2017

A Good Country by Laleh Khalisi – A young son of Iranian parents in California becomes radicalized and travels to Syria. “You won’t want the book to end. You will want to follow Rez. You will want to hear what happens next. A brilliant novel about a young man’s reckoning with a flawed and violent world.” Kirkus Starred Review February 2017

The Heirs by Susan Rieger –A widow faces the possibility that her husband had another family. “Just in time for poolside reading, this elegant novel wears its intelligence lightly.” Kirkus Starred Review January 2017



Penance by Kanae Minato – The stories of five young Japanese friends unfold surrounding one of their deaths. “This haunting psychological thriller also offers an enlightening, absorbing visit to contemporary Japan.” – Booklist Review March 2017

April 2017

The Golden Legend by Nadeem Aslam – Acts of generosity conflict with violence and corruption in northern Pakistan.  “Man-Booker Prize long-listed and Dublin short-listed Aslam uses lush, sensuous prose to create beauty from ugliness, calm from chaos, and love from hatred, offering hope to believers and nonbelievers alike. “ Library Journal Starred Review February 2017


Beartown by Frederik Backman –The fate of a small town hinges on the results of a local hockey game.  “The sentimentally savvy Backman takes a sobering and solemn look at the ways alienation and acceptance, ethics and emotion nearly destroy a small town.” Booklist Review March 2017



All The Beloved Ghosts by Alison MacLeod –“Wide-ranging and haunting, this collection seamlessly blends memoir, biography, and imagination to create narratives that explore the edges of reality and the ghosts that exist there. A uniquely cohesive collection of short examinations of aging, death, and living, these stories are subtly moving and thoroughly engaging.” Kirkus Starred Review February 2017


Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout –A series of short stories that take place in the town where the author’s previous novel My Name is Lucy Barton was set. “Another powerful examination of painfully human ambiguities and ambivalences—this gifted writer just keeps getting better.” Kirkus Starred Review January 2017



Before The War by Fay Weldon – This novel follows Adela, who was a teen in the author’s Dilberne Court series, into the period between WWI and WWII. “Fans will relish Weldon’s latest concoction, part domestic comedy, part social commentary, and part bedroom farce, enlivened by her characteristic sly humor and arch tone.” – Booklist Review March, 2017




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






June 2017 Issues

April 2017 Issues