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Open Books: Open booksKnox County Librarians Share Their Favorite Titles ; Knox County Librarians Share Their Favorite Titles

Newspaper article News Sentinel

Open Books: Open booksKnox County Librarians Share Their Favorite Titles ; Knox County Librarians Share Their Favorite Titles

Article excerpt

The hubbub is beginning to ease.

The fridge is full of leftovers. The company has packed up and headed home. And there's no reason to start taking down the tree just yet.

So it seems like a good time to prop up our feet and ponder good books and movies, recommended by the people who manage them every day: staff members at Knox County Public Library branches.

You may want to jot down the titles that sound most interesting to you. Otherwise, no exertion is required.

Adult Fiction Book

Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly

"Gods of Guilt" is the newest title in Michael Connelly's Mickey Haller series. Haller, a defense attorney, must come to terms with some of his life choices and his own guilt after a series of incidents of death and destruction come to his family. He lands a murder case and describes this case as "juggling chainsaws" as he defends a man he believes to be not guilty of murder. Connelly delves into Haller's guilty conscience and how it affects his case that he presents to the jury -- the ultimate 12 gods of guilt. It is such a compelling novel, and a great read. (This series begins with the title "Lincoln Lawyer.")

-- Sheila Pennycuff, Branch Assistant II at Farragut Branch Library

Loyalty by Ingrid Thoft

It's always fun to discover new authors, and Ingrid Thoft is one to keep an eye on. While her debut occasionally reads like the first novel that it is, it also shows great promise with its introduction of an exciting new character and her dysfunctional family, as well as a storyline that moves at a brisk pace and keeps you guessing to the very end.

"Private investigation was an ideal fit for her: she could keep her own hours, roam the streets, and carry a gun." Meet Josefina "Fina" Ludlow. A Boston PI working for her family's law firm, Fina is something of the black sheep in the family -- which is really saying something considering that her father and brothers are very successful malpractice/personal injury attorneys, aka ambulance chasers. Hard-boiled is a term frequently used in reviews of this book, and it fits. Laced with strong profanity and violence with just a hint of sex, it is not for the faint of heart. But if you like mysteries and a strong female protagonist, albeit one with her moral compass slightly askew, this is right up your alley.

-- Craig Smith, Reference Librarian at Lawson McGhee Library

Still Life by Louise Penny

This is the first book in a series featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec, who has become my favorite fictional character. Gamache is called to the small village of Three Pines to investigate a murder. While solving this mystery, he is also dealing with treachery from within his own department. Through the course of this book and the eight that follow, the reader gets to know Gamache, his colleagues and the people of Three Pines, a village that ought to exist in real life. Because of the continuing storyline I recommend reading the series in order.

-- Fredda Williams, Children's Consultant/Branch Manager, South Knoxville Branch Library

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

"The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett has always been my favorite children's book. I was drawn to "The Forgotten Garden" in part because of the similarity in the titles. From the beginning of the book when 4-year-old Nell was left alone on a ship to Australia, I was hooked. The novel moves back and forth from the past to the present. In the present, Nell's granddaughter Cassie is grieving her grandmother's passing and finding there are things she did not know about her grandmother. The past is Nell's story. The mystery of a little girl with no memories and her connection to a broken-down Cornish cottage and its walled garden will keep you turning pages all the way to a very satisfying end.

-- Sandy Chandler, Branch Manager, Murphy Branch Library

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Donna Tartt's debut novel "The Secret History" is on my list of all-time favorite novels. …

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