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Library Reads picks best books of 2014, take time to check them out

By Marissa Creamer

Rowan Public Library

We’re hustling, we’re bustling. We’re shopping, wrapping, baking and caroling. It’s the busiest time of the year. Before we know it, the holidays will have come and gone. What to do when the celebrations are over, the last sugar cookie is devoured, and the tree is left drying on the curb? Why, take some time to relax and catch up on your reading, of course.

LibraryReads (www.libraryreads.org) has compiled a list of favorite titles from the past year; the top 10 titles public library staff most enjoyed recommending in 2014. Make sure you haven’t missed any of these favorites:

• “The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry” by Gabrielle Zevin. A curmudgeonly independent bookseller is struggling with the loss of his wife and declining sales at his shop when a mysterious package arrives that compels him to remake his life.

• “The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion. Don Tillman, a professor of genetics who has Asperger’s syndrome, has developed a lengthy questionnaire designed to help him find his perfect mate. When Don meets Rosie, who is everything he is not looking for in a mate, his ordered universe gets turned upside down.

• “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. This finalist for the 2014 National Book Award tells the story of a blind French girl and a young German soldier, whose paths converge in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

• “Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell. Fan-fiction writer Cath struggles to survive on her own in her first year of college while avoiding a surly roommate, worrying about her fragile father, and finding love.

• “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt. The winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for fiction begins with an explosion at the Metropolitan Museum that kills young Theo’s mother. Taken in by a family friend, Theo becomes obsessed with a small painting that reminds him of his mother, leading him to the art underworld.

• “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart. Spending the summers on her family’s private island off the coast of Massachusetts, Cadence struggles to remember what happened during her 15th summer. This teen novel is full of love, lies, secrets and a shocking twist you won’t see coming.

• “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel is another National Book Award finalist. An actor playing King Lear dies onstage just before the world as we know it dissolves. This dystopian novel examines the collapse of civilization and what makes life worth living. Do art, culture and kindness have a place in a world that has lost everything?

• “One Plus One” by Jojo Moyes. A single mother trying to raise a bullied stepson and a mathlete daughter finds unexpected help in the form of an obnoxious tech millionaire.

• “Landline” by Rainbow Rowell. Seeking to repair her troubled marriage, Georgie finds a way to reconnect with the man her husband used to be. Can a yellow corded telephone really be a portal to the past?

• “Longbourn” by Jo Baker is a retelling of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” from the servants’ perspective, as they go about their lives beneath the staircase of the Bennett home.

All of these titles are available at Rowan Public Library. Don’t miss out on LibraryReads’ favorite books of 2014.

Holiday Library hours: Dec. 22 and 23, close at 7 p.m. Dec. 24-27, closed for Christmas. Regular hours resume Dec. 29. Dec. 29 and 30, close at 7 p.m. Dec. 31, close at 5 p.m. Jan. 1 , closed for New Years Day.

Displays for December: headquarters, Eleanor Qadirah; South, NC Music Hall of Fame honoring local artist Curley Sechler; East, Holiday by Mary Earnhardt.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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