You are here

Nancy S.'s Picks

Nancy S. suggests these books:

The Nightingale: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312577223
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - February 3rd, 2015

In what is her best novel to date, Kristin Hannah tells the story of two sisters struggling to exist in occupied Paris during WWII. Impetuous, impulsive Isabella works in the Underground, boldly aiding the Allies under the code name The Nightingale. Calm, sensible Viann, whose husband is fighting on the Eastern front, remains at home with her daughter, facing the daily struggle of wartime existence. Her house is .... by two different German soldiers, both of whom have lasting consequences. The horrors of this war, the atrocities both in Paris and in the concentration camps are superbly described by Hannah. She has put a fresh twist on this subject, placing in the hands of the reader a riveting, compulsive read. Book clubs will find much to discuss. Highly recommended.

All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476746586
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - May 6th, 2014

Exquisitely written, All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr raises the bar for all future World War II novels. The stories of young, blind Parisian Marie-Laure and Werner, a rising star in Hitler's youth corp, are told in concise alternating chapters with tight yet beautiful prose. As the war intensifies, their stories intertwine as the distance between them grows shorter and shorter. Marie-Laure and Werner are such authentic characters, the pacing so perfect, and the story-telling so engrossing that this novel will surely rise to the top of "The Best Books of 2014" lists. Highly recommended.

The End We Start from Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802126894
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - November 7th, 2017

Simply put, The End We Start From by Megan Hunter is One.  Powerful.  Book!   Not since Elie Wiesel’s Night have we been brought face to face with the very mortality of the world we live in.  Set in the future, after a vague flooding catastrophe, the narrator tells of giving birth to her son, Z and losing R, her husband, when they are forced to flee their home.  It’s a story of love, challenge, despair, but most of all, hope.  Every elected  politician should read this book!  Pub date:  Nov 2017

Nancy Simpson-Brice

Almost Missed You: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250107602
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - March 28th, 2017

Serendipity brought Violet and Finn together but what appears to be a dream-come-true marriage quickly turns into a nightmare when Finn kidnaps their young son, Bear.  Violet is devastated.  When the missing pair is located, Finn’s shocking story is slowly exposed.  With each eye-opening revelation, Violet realizes she knows almost nothing about the real person she married.  Pure and simple, Almost Missed You is one darn good story, one not to be missed!

Nancy Simpson-Brice

Beartown: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501160769
Availability: Backordered
Published: Atria Books - April 25th, 2017

SCOOORE!!!  Rarely is an author able to maintain the high level of excellence when his first book (A Man Called Ove) set the bar so high.  Fredrick Backman is a shining exception.  His new book, Beartown, tells of a small town that is completely obsessed with hockey, so focused on the sport that nothing, not even a young girl’s life, seems more important.  Peopled with unforgettable high school students, their parents, and the “Club” that supports them, this spellbinding book will score with readers, whether they’re sports fanatics or not.*  Highly recommended!!

*We can only hope that there’s an overtime, a sequel, to this story!

Nancy Simpson-Brice

The Hearts of Men: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062469687
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - March 7th, 2017

Every bullied boy grows up to be a man, often bearing the scars and ramifications of that abuse.  Nickolas Butler employs the venerable Boy Scouts of America to follow three generations of boys and men through this cycle.  First is the Bugler, Nelson, who is bullied unmercifully every year at summer camp.  (Warning:  some antics of these boys could make you gag!).  Years pass, and Jonathan, one of Bugler's tormentors, has grown up.  He fathers Trevor, who is also an abused Boy Scout.  It is Trevor’s story that reveals the all-important father/son facet of THE HEARTS OF MEN.  A nail-biting conclusion is the perfect ending for this astute, redemptive novel.  Every father, mother, son and daughter in America should read this wonderful book!

Nancy Simpson-Brice

The Vengeance of Mothers: The Journals of Margaret Kelly & Molly McGill: A Novel (One Thousand White Women Series #2) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250093424
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - September 12th, 2017

The Vengeance of Mothers continues the saga of the dark time in America’s history first told in One Thousand White Women, when hundreds of tribes of Native Americans were massacred by the American army.  A few strong women, participants in the “horses for white women” exchange, seek revenge after their babies are killed.  Through ledger books written by two of these women, Fergus spins a tight tale of the horrors of these wars, resulting in a compelling story that is at once gritty, tender, redemptive, and eye-opening.  While Vengeance is a dramatic stand-alone novel, reading One Thousand White Women first creates an unforgettable combo. Highly recommended.

Nancy Simpson-Brice

Staff Pick Logo
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women Cover Image
ISBN: 9781492649359
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sourcebooks - April 18th, 2017

Everyone must read this book!  Kate Moore has taken an important, but hidden, segment of American history and given us the mesmerizing story of the “Radium Girls.”  These young women began working for the corporation RLMC in 1917.  Using paint made with the magic new substance, radium, they painted it on watch hands and numbers for luminescence.    To make these exacting figures they used their lips to form a fine tip on their brushes.  In essence, they ate radium!  No one thought about the actual properties of radium until women began getting sick.  The company covered up their knowledge of radium’s dangers and denied any connection between the paint and the health issues.

 The Radium Girls is the story pitting these young women against a large corporation.  With exacting words and detailed information about the women, their symptoms, and eventual deaths, Moore guides us step by step through the interminably long legal process.  Everyone will close this book with a silent thanks to these women for their tenacity and strength. You must read it!

Nancy Simpson-Brice

The Party: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501161247
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery/Scout Press - June 6th, 2017

This frighteningly-real novel tells of well-to-do Hannah’s 16th birthday party.  She feels she has a chance to get into the elite friendship circle of her sophomore class. Hannah’s mother issues strict rules while Dad slips her a bottle of champagne.  A disastrous accident at the party changes the lives of Harding’s fragile, relatable characters, both teenagers and their parents.  The escalation of anger and revenge and the current topics of bullying, peer pressure, under-age drinking and drug use, cheating parents, the dangers of sexting and our litigious society combine to make this a powerful story.   Rarely are life’s lessons presented in such an exceptional page turner!


Nancy Simpson-Brice

The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501169359
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Simon & Schuster - June 6th, 2017

This uplifting and affirmative book will alter readers’ views  about books on death. Nina Riggs’s memoir shares the story of both her ongoing battle and her mother’s valiant fight against cancer.  Both women face the realities of their situation with wonderful humor and candor.  Readers will find themselves laughing out loud and sharing passages with other book lovers.  As a cancer survivor myself, I felt that I was reading the “bright book” of the season.  The hope, spirit, and determination exhibited in these pages will provide inspiration to all, whether dealing with this disease or not.

Nancy Simpson-Brice

Small Hours Cover Image
ISBN: 9781455598526
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - June 13th, 2017

Sir Walter Scott:  "Oh! What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive" refers to how complicated life becomes when people start lying.  Jennifer Kitses’ debut novel, Small Hours, describes one day in the lives of Tom and Helen, who have moved from the city to a small quiet town.  But their lives are anything but quiet, thanks to the “second life” being led by Tom, the stresses of career and parenting on Helen, grow the growing violence of the world, and the lies, lies, lies!  This cautionary story has an underlying tension that builds with each passing minute, pulling readers into these lives and minds.  It is a fascinating (quite tangled!) web indeed!

Nancy Simpson-Brice

Happiness in a Storm: Facing Illness and Embracing Life as a Healthy Survivor Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393329056
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 17th, 2006


Every new parent’s nightmare:  something is wrong with your baby.  This riveting memoir by Heather Harpham tells the story, first of a single mother receiving the frightening news about her new baby, Gracie, then as a couple when she and Brian reunite, and finally as a family when Gabe is born.  Navigating step-by-step through the morass of tests, treatments, hospitals, and doctors, Heather shares everything with the reader.  Never giving up until a doctor with a real “cure” was found, Heather shines as a star even as she’s rushing once more to the hospital ER.  Not overburdened with medical lingo, but still explaining things thoroughly for the reader, Harpham has written one heckuva memoir!  Every person who reads her book will feel like a part of the family.

Girl in Snow Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501144370
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 1st, 2017

Perfectly paced and completely compelling, Girl in Snow, by newcomer Danya Kukafka is guaranteed to immerse you in a chilling small town tale.  Star high school student Lucinda Hayes is found dead on a school playground.  Most clues point to Cameron, an obsessed window-peeping classmate who often lives in an “alternate” state of mind.  Back stories by another classmate, Jade, questionably motivated policeman Russ, and Cameron himself provide conflicting clues.  Readers will be spellbound and remain puzzled as they expose the town’s secrets.  Told in spare haunting prose, this is a not-to-be-missed story!

Nancy Simpson-Brice