Off the Shelf: Top New Book Releases for May

By Sharon Saye on May 03, 2017 from Off the Shelf via

LibraryReads is a monthly list of new books that have been recommended by librarians nationwide as some of their favorite books that are published that month.  The purpose is to “showcase the incredible power that public library staff has in helping to building word-of-month for new books, and the important role we play in creating audiences for all kinds of authors.”
The lists are primarily fiction, but there is a mixture of nonfiction as well.  The lists are limited to ten books and are nominated by public library staff.  The top book nominated is the number one book of the month.
The lists are available online at   Remember that these are books published during the month so many of them are not yet released. 
The top selection for May is a novel by Gail Honeyman, “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.”  It tells the story of a young woman who leads a very solitary life.  When an elderly man collapses on the sidewalk in front of her, Eleanor’s orderly routines change dramatically.  “This is a lovely novel about loneliness and how a little bit of kindness can change a person forever.  Highly recommended for fans of “A Man Called Ove” and “The Rosie Project”.”  This is the opinion of Halle Eisenman at the Beaufort County Library in Blufton, South Carolina.
“Since We Fell” by best-selling novelist, Dennis Lehane is about another woman whose life is drastically changed by events.  Rachel is a journalist whose breakdown turns her into a recluse.  An old friend helps her recover and they marry until Rachel ventures out of the house, and discovers nothing may be what it appears.
Bryn Chancellor’s “Sycamore” also tells the story of a woman starting over; when she comes across some skeletal remains everyone in her small Arizona town assume that a long-ago disappearance has been solved.  “Readers are treated to a cast of characters with distinct personalities who, with each piece of the puzzle, form a patchwork that reveals the truth surrounding Jess’s disappearance” offers Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington, NY.
“Saints for All Occasions” by J. Courtney Sullivan follows two Irish siblings through their new life in 1958 Boston up to the present while “The Leavers” by Lisa Ko deals with the fall-out when an undocumented Chinese immigrant goes to work and then disappears, leaving an eleven-year-old alone.
Fans of Jane Austen will enjoy “The Jane Austen Project” by Kathleen A. Flynn which sends time travelers back to find a missing copy of “The Watsons.”  Two other novels are also recommended for May: “Ginny Moon” by Benjamin Ludwig and “White Hot” by Ilona Andrews.
Two works of nonfiction grace this month’s list: “Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women” by Kate Moore about the hundreds of young women sentenced to death by their employers because they painted luminescent faces of clock and watch dials using a paint mixture that contained radium, and “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” by popular scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson who “gives readers exactly what the title promises, a basic understanding of a deeply fascinating subject” – Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, Texas.
Their website provides several years of monthly recommendations; it is just the place to get some ideas for your summer reading goals.  The library does not have every book on these monthly lists, but we do have most of them.  

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