Library-Sponsored Book Groups
Novel Ideas Book Group
Meets at 1:15 on the last Tuesday of each month at the Barney Library.
Join us for a lively discussion! New members are always welcome. Copies of each month’s book will be available for pickup at the Barney Library, no registration required.
Young Adult Book Club
Whether you're a teen or adult, reading YA is for everyone! Join us the first Wednesday of the month at 6:00 PM.
New members are always welcome. Copies of each month’s book will be available for pickup at the Main Library. Register ahead of time to get a reminder and to reserve a copy of each month's book.
HOW DO I GET A COPY OF THIS MONTH’S BOOK? A limited number of copies of book club books will be available for loan at the library or via our digital collections.
Spooky New Fiction
From popular historical fiction author David Liss (A Conspiracy of Paper) comes the tale of a clueless young man embroiled in a deadly supernatural mystery in Victorian London. Rooted in strange conspiracies and secret societies, this absurdist comedic romp combines strange bedfellows with murderous creatures, resulting in an unexpectedly delightful consequences.
"David Liss masterfully blends rich historical fiction with terrifying supernatural body horror . . . Highly recommended."
--Jonathan Maberry, author of V-Wars and Ink
Thomas's problems are more serious than those of a typical young Victorian gentleman. His elder brother may be sabotaging the family's bank. His childhood friend has died under mysterious circumstances. Far worse, leaves are sprouting on Thomas's skin. Perhaps it is all the fault of the long-rumored "Peculiarities" lurking in London's grey fog?
Proper society scoffs at the notion of magic, even as it seeps into their buildings, transfiguring the rich and poor alike. If Thomas is going to save the family business --and stop turning into a tree--he'll need help from some rather improper companions. Desperate for counsel, he seeks the advice of a lycanthropic medium and London's unacceptable occult society...including a strange fellow named Aleister Crowley.
The Last House on Needless Street
"The buzz...is real. I've read it and was blown away. It's a true nerve-shredder that keeps its mind-blowing secrets to the very end." —Stephen King
Catriona Ward's The Last House on Needless Street is a shocking and immersive read perfect for fans of Gone Girl and The Haunting of Hill House.
“The new face of literary dark fiction.” —Sarah Pinborough, New York Times bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes
In a boarded-up house on a dead-end street at the edge of the wild Washington woods lives a family of three.
A teenage girl who isn’t allowed outside, not after last time.
A man who drinks alone in front of his TV, trying to ignore the gaps in his memory.
And a house cat who loves napping and reading the Bible.
An unspeakable secret binds them together, but when a new neighbor moves in next door, what is buried out among the birch trees may come back to haunt them all.
The Lighthouse Witches
Two sisters go missing on a remote Scottish island. Twenty years later, one is found--but she's still the same age as when she disappeared. The secrets of witches have reached across the centuries in this chilling Gothic thriller from the author of the acclaimed The Nesting.
When single mother Liv is commissioned to paint a mural in a 100-year-old lighthouse on a remote Scottish island, it's an opportunity to start over with her three daughters--Luna, Sapphire, and Clover. When two of her daughters go missing, she's frantic. She learns that the cave beneath the lighthouse was once a prison for women accused of witchcraft. The locals warn her about wildlings, supernatural beings who mimic human children, created by witches for revenge. Liv is told wildlings are dangerous and must be killed.
Twenty-two years later, Luna has been searching for her missing sisters and mother. When she receives a call about her youngest sister, Clover, she's initially ecstatic. Clover is the sister she remembers--except she's still seven years old, the age she was when she vanished. Luna is worried Clover is a wildling. Luna has few memories of her time on the island, but she'll have to return to find the truth of what happened to her family. But she doesn't realize just how much the truth will change her.
Where They Wait
“Where They Wait is so readable you’ll be a couple of hundred pages in before you realize you’re terrified…and then you can’t put it down. Mesmerizing.” —Stephen King
“Tense and twisty.” —Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Southern Vampire Mysteries
“A taut, creepy techno-chiller that will leave you hearing ghosts.” —Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Survivor Song
A new supernatural novel about a sinister mindfulness app with fatal consequences from the New York Times bestselling author of the “grips from the first page” (Stephen King) thriller The Chill.
Recently laid-off from his newspaper and desperate for work, war correspondent Nick Bishop takes a humbling job: writing a profile of a new mindfulness app called Clarity. It’s easy money, and a chance to return to his hometown for his first visit in years. The app itself seems like a retread of old ideas—relaxing white noise and guided meditations. But then there are the “Sleep Songs.” A woman’s hauntingly beautiful voice sings a ballad that is anything but soothing—it’s disturbing, really, more of a warning than a relaxation—but it works. Deep, refreshing sleep follows.
So do nightmares. Vivid and chilling, they feature a dead woman who calls Nick by name and whispers guidance—or are they threats? And soon her voice follows him long after the song is done. As the effects of the nightmares begin to permeate his waking life, Nick makes a terrifying discovery: no one involved with Clarity has any interest in his article. Their interest is in him.
An atmospheric and haunting thriller perfect for our times, Where They Wait proves that “horror has a new name and it’s Scott Carson” (Michael Connelly, #1 New York Times bestselling author).
Comfort Me With Apples
Comfort Me With Apples is a terrifying new thriller from bestseller Catherynne M. Valente, for fans of Gone Girl and Spinning Silver
Sophia was made for him. Her perfect husband. She can feel it in her bones. He is perfect. Their home together in Arcadia Gardens is perfect. Everything is perfect.
It's just that he's away so much. So often. He works so hard. She misses him. And he misses her. He says he does, so it must be true. He is the perfect husband and everything is perfect.
But sometimes Sophia wonders about things. Strange things. Dark things. The look on her husband's face when he comes back from a long business trip. The questions he will not answer. The locked basement she is never allowed to enter. And whenever she asks the neighbors, they can't quite meet her gaze....
But everything is perfect. Isn't it?
Inspired by the author’s overnight stay in a historical haunted house, The Restoration is a thrilling tale of intrigue, murder, and family secrets that refuse to stay buried.
It was the perfect opportunity…or so she thought. When Terri Foxworth is hired to spend a year restoring a crumbling manor house, she believes she’s hit the jackpot. She moves in with her young daughter and high hopes for the project’s success. As the restoration begins to go terribly wrong, she realizes dark forces won’t let her leave the house until its horrible secrets are revealed.
This job could very well be the death of her.
FLAME TREE PRESS is the imprint of long-standing Independent Flame Tree Publishing, dedicated to full-length original fiction in the horror and suspense, science fiction & fantasy, and crime / mystery / thriller categories. The list brings together fantastic new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices. Learn more about Flame Tree Press at www.flametreepress.com and connect on social media @FlameTreePress.
The Drowning Kind
Be careful what you wish for. When social worker Jax receives nine missed calls from her older sister, Lexie, she assumes that it's just another one of her sister's episodes. Manic and increasingly out of touch with reality, Lexie has pushed Jax away for over a year. But the next day, Lexie is dead: drowned in the pool at their grandmother's estate. When Jax arrives at the house to go through her sister's things, she learns that Lexie was researching the history of their family and the property. And as she dives deeper into the research herself, she discovers that the land holds a far darker past than she could have ever imagined.
My Heart Is a Chainsaw
In her quickly gentrifying rural lake town Jade sees recent events only her encyclopedic knowledge of horror films could have prepared her for in this latest novel from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, New York Times bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones.
“Some girls just don’t know how to die…”
Shirley Jackson meets Friday the 13th in My Heart Is a Chainsaw, written by the author of The Only Good Indians Stephen Graham Jones, called “a literary master” by National Book Award winner Tananarive Due and “one of our most talented living writers” by Tommy Orange.
Alma Katsu calls My Heart Is a Chainsaw “a homage to slasher films that also manages to defy and transcend genre.” On the surface is a story of murder in small-town America. But beneath is its beating heart: a biting critique of American colonialism, Indigenous displacement, and gentrification, and a heartbreaking portrait of a broken young girl who uses horror movies to cope with the horror of her own life.
Jade Daniels is an angry, half-Indian outcast with an abusive father, an absent mother, and an entire town that wants nothing to do with her. She lives in her own world, a world in which protection comes from an unusual source: horror movies…especially the ones where a masked killer seeks revenge on a world that wronged them. And Jade narrates the quirky history of Proofrock as if it is one of those movies. But when blood actually starts to spill into the waters of Indian Lake, she pulls us into her dizzying, encyclopedic mind of blood and masked murderers, and predicts exactly how the plot will unfold.
Yet, even as Jade drags us into her dark fever dream, a surprising and intimate portrait emerges…a portrait of the scared and traumatized little girl beneath the Jason Voorhees mask: angry, yes, but also a girl who easily cries, fiercely loves, and desperately wants a home. A girl whose feelings are too big for her body. My Heart Is a Chainsaw is her story, her homage to horror and revenge and triumph.
For Your Own Good
USA Today bestselling author Samantha Downing is back with her latest sneaky thriller set at a prestigious private school--complete with interfering parents, overeager students, and one teacher who just wants to teach them all a lesson...
Teddy Crutcher has won Teacher of the Year at the prestigious Belmont Academy, home to the best and brightest.
He says his wife couldn't be more proud--though no one has seen her in a while.
Teddy really can't be bothered with a few mysterious deaths on campus that're looking more and more like murder or the student digging a little too deep into Teddy's personal life. His main focus is pushing these kids to their full academic potential.
All he wants is for his colleagues--and the endlessly meddlesome parents--to stay out of his way. If not, well, they'll get what they deserve.
It's really too bad that sometimes excellence can come at such a high cost.
A Dark and Secret Place
For fans of Kathleen Barber and Julia Heaberlin comes a chilling psychological suspense from award-winning author Jen Williams about a woman who discovers her late mother had a decades-long secret correspondence with a serial killer, begging the question: how well do we know our own family and even ourselves?
When prodigal daughter Heather Evans returns to her family home after her mother's baffling suicide, she makes an alarming discovery--stacks and stacks of carefully preserved letters from notorious serial killer Michael Reave. The Red Wolf, as he was dubbed by the press, has been in prison for over twenty years, serving a life sentence for the gruesome and ritualistic murders of several women across the country, although he has always protested his innocence. The police have had no reason to listen, yet Heather isn't the only one to have cause to re-examine the murders. The body of a young woman has just been found, dismembered and placed inside a tree, the corpse planted with flowers. Just as the Red Wolf once did.
What did Heather's mother know? Why did she kill herself? And with the monstrous Red Wolf safely locked inside a maximum security prison, who is stalking young women now? Teaming up with DI Ben Parker, Heather hopes to get some answers for herself and for the newest victims of this depraved murderer. Yet to do that, she must speak to Michael Reave herself, and expose herself to truths she may not be ready to face. Something dark is walking in the woods, and it knows her all too well.
Survive the Night
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
One of New York Times Book Review's "summer reads guaranteed to make your heart thump and your skin crawl"; An Amazon Best of the Month Pick; Named a must-read summer book by The Washington Post, USA Today, Vulture, BuzzFeed, Forbes, Entertainment Weekly, CNN, New York Post, Good Housekeeping, E!, PopSugar, CrimeReads, Thrillist, and BookRiot.
It's November 1991. Nirvana's in the tape deck, George H. W. Bush is in the White House, and movie-obsessed college student Charlie Jordan is in a car with a man who might be a serial killer.
Josh Baxter, the man behind the wheel, is a virtual stranger to Charlie. They met at the campus ride board, each looking to share the long drive home to Ohio. Both have good reasons for wanting to get away. For Charlie, it's guilt and grief over the shocking murder of her best friend, who became the third victim of the man known as the Campus Killer. For Josh, it's to help care for his sick father--or so he says.
The longer she sits in the passenger seat, the more Charlie notices there's something suspicious about Josh, from the holes in his story about his father to how he doesn't want her to see inside the trunk. As they travel an empty, twisty highway in the dead of night, an increasingly anxious Charlie begins to think she's sharing a car with the Campus Killer. Is Josh truly dangerous? Or is Charlie's jittery mistrust merely a figment of her movie-fueled imagination?
One thing is certain--Charlie has nowhere to run and no way to call for help. Trapped in a terrifying game of cat and mouse played out on pitch-black roads and in neon-lit parking lots, Charlie knows the only way to win is to survive the night.
The Final Girl Support Group
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"The horror master...puts his unique spin on slasher movie tropes."-USA Today
A can't-miss summer read, selected by The New York Times, Oprah Daily, Time, USA Today, The Philadelphia Inquirer, CNN, LitHub, BookRiot, Bustle, Popsugar and the New York Public Library
In horror movies, the final girls are the ones left standing when the credits roll. They made it through the worst night of their lives...but what happens after?
Like his bestselling novel The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires, Grady Hendrix's latest is a fast-paced, frightening, and wickedly humorous thriller. From chain saws to summer camp slayers, The Final Girl Support Group pays tribute to and slyly subverts our most popular horror films--movies like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Scream.
Lynnette Tarkington is a real-life final girl who survived a massacre. For more than a decade, she's been meeting with five other final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived the unthinkable, working to put their lives back together. Then one woman misses a meeting, and their worst fears are realized--someone knows about the group and is determined to rip their lives apart again, piece by piece.
But the thing about final girls is that no matter how bad the odds, how dark the night, how sharp the knife, they will never, ever give up.
The Book of Accidents
A family returns to their hometown--and to the dark past that haunts them still--in this masterpiece of literary horror by the New York Times bestselling author of Wanderers
"The dread, the scope, the pacing, the turns--I haven't felt all this so intensely since The Shining."--Stephen Graham Jones, New York Times bestselling author of The Only Good Indians
Long ago, Nathan lived in a house in the country with his abusive father--and has never told his family what happened there.
Long ago, Maddie was a little girl making dolls in her bedroom when she saw something she shouldn't have--and is trying to remember that lost trauma by making haunting sculptures.
Long ago, something sinister, something hungry, walked in the tunnels and the mountains and the coal mines of their hometown in rural Pennsylvania.
Now, Nate and Maddie Graves are married, and they have moved back to their hometown with their son, Oliver.
And now what happened long ago is happening again . . . and it is happening to Oliver. He meets a strange boy who becomes his best friend, a boy with secrets of his own and a taste for dark magic.
This dark magic puts them at the heart of a battle of good versus evil and a fight for the soul of the family--and perhaps for all of the world. But the Graves family has a secret weapon in this battle: their love for one another.
An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed
Don't let her age fool you. Maud may be nearly ninety, but if you cross her, this elderly lady is more sinister than sweet.
Just when things have finally cooled down for 88-year-old Maud after the disturbing discovery of a dead body in her apartment in Gothenburg, a couple of detectives return to her doorstep, ruining a perfectly good afternoon. Though Maud deftly dodges their questions with the skill of an Olympic gymnast a fifth of her age, she wonders if suspicion has fallen on her, little old lady that she is. The truth is, ever since Maud was a girl, death has seemed to follow her.
In these six interlocking stories, memories of unfortunate incidents from Maud's past keep bubbling to the surface, each triggered by something around her: an image, a word--even a taste. Meanwhile, certain Problems in the present require immediate attention. Luckily, Maud is no stranger to taking matters into her own hands . . . even if it means she has to get a little blood on them in the process.
*Includes cookie recipes*
The Last Graduate
The specter of graduation looms large as Naomi Novik's groundbreaking, New York Times bestselling trilogy continues in the stunning sequel to A Deadly Education.
In Wisdom, Shelter. That's the official motto of the Scholomance. I suppose you could even argue that it's true--only the wisdom is hard to come by, so the shelter's rather scant.
Our beloved school does its best to devour all its students--but now that I've reached my senior year and have actually won myself a handful of allies, it's suddenly developed a very particular craving for me. And even if I somehow make it through the endless waves of maleficaria that it keeps throwing at me in between grueling homework assignments, I haven't any idea how my allies and I are going to make it through the graduation hall alive.
Unless, of course, I finally accept my foretold destiny of dark sorcery and destruction. That would certainly let me sail straight out of here. The course of wisdom, surely.
But I'm not giving in--not to the mals, not to fate, and especially not to the Scholomance. I'm going to get myself and my friends out of this hideous place for good--even if it's the last thing I do.
With keen insight and mordant humor, Novik reminds us that sometimes it is not enough to rewrite the rules--sometimes, you need to toss out the entire rulebook.
The magic of the Scholomance trilogy will continue in 2022