Best Books of the Month: January 2015

Here are the noteworthy titles that have been racing up our most popular charts this month.

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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins The Girl on the Train
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During her daily London commute, an embittered divorcée makes up imaginary lives for a happy couple she sees regularly at a train stop. But when she witnesses something shocking, she soon becomes embroiled in a police investigation in this psychological thriller. Laura says, "Outstanding…totally unpredictable, frightening, and hauntingly realistic. I can never look out of a train window in the same way again." During her daily London commute, an embittered divorcée makes up imaginary lives for a happy couple she sees regularly at a train stop. But when she witnesses something shocking, she soon becomes embroiled in a police investigation in this psychological thriller. Laura says, "Outstanding…totally unpredictable, frightening, and hauntingly realistic. I can never look out of a train window in the same way again."
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Ghettoside by Jill Leovy Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America
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This in-depth true-crime narrative scrutinizes the murder of Bryant Tennelle, a young black man shot in South Central Los Angeles in 2007, and the justice system's flawed approach to inner-city violence. Darcia calls it "a powerful statement on our indifference and assumptions. It's an unflinching look at racism and survival. It's a compelling piece of writing that needs to be read by every person, everywhere." This in-depth true-crime narrative scrutinizes the murder of Bryant Tennelle, a young black man shot in South Central Los Angeles in 2007, and the justice system's flawed approach to inner-city violence. Darcia calls it "a powerful statement on our indifference and assumptions. It's an unflinching look at racism and survival. It's a compelling piece of writing that needs to be read by every person, everywhere."
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The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Christopher Scotton The Secret Wisdom of the Earth
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After the death of his little brother, 14-year-old Kevin spends a transformative summer with his grandfather in Kentucky coal country, where the advent of mountaintop-removal mining is pushing the small community to drastic measures. Mary says, "It’s about love, loss, prejudice, and the connective tissue that joins us to each other and to the earth—all of it wrapped in a gripping, page-turning story of survival and redemption."
After the death of his little brother, 14-year-old Kevin spends a transformative summer with his grandfather in Kentucky coal country, where the advent of mountaintop-removal mining is pushing the small community to drastic measures. Mary says, "It’s about love, loss, prejudice, and the connective tissue that joins us to each other and to the earth—all of it wrapped in a gripping, page-turning story of survival and redemption."
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A Fifty-Year Silence by Miranda Richmond Mouillot A Fifty-Year Silence: Love, War, and a Ruined House in France
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A granddaughter recounts her ten-year journey to understand the turbulent events that led to her grandparents' 50-year estrangement after World War II. Her memoir chronicles their escape from the Nazis, the Nuremberg Trials, and their doomed marriage. Janet says, "[The author] gives her grandparents the ultimate tribute: She makes them unforgettable. A moving examination of love, chance, family, belonging, and memory." A granddaughter recounts her ten-year journey to understand the turbulent events that led to her grandparents' 50-year estrangement after World War II. Her memoir chronicles their escape from the Nazis, the Nuremberg Trials, and their doomed marriage. Janet says, "[The author] gives her grandparents the ultimate tribute: She makes them unforgettable. A moving examination of love, chance, family, belonging, and memory."
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The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward The Same Sky
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The lives of two very different survivors intersect in this literary novel: Alice, a successful Texan businesswoman, struggling to become a mother after cancer, and 13-year-old Carla, who, starving and desperate, begins a perilous journey from Honduras to the American border. Jennifer calls it "an extraordinary work of literary fiction...I did not want to set this exceptional work down. The words flowed off the page." The lives of two very different survivors intersect in this literary novel: Alice, a successful Texan businesswoman, struggling to become a mother after cancer, and 13-year-old Carla, who, starving and desperate, begins a perilous journey from Honduras to the American border. Jennifer calls it "an extraordinary work of literary fiction...I did not want to set this exceptional work down. The words flowed off the page."
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All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven All the Bright Places
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Odd couple Theodore and Violet meet on the ledge of the school bell tower. Both consider jumping, but instead they help each other down. This raw novel for teens tackles the headiness of first love and the darkness of depression. Cait says, "I DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO FUNCTION RIGHT NOW. I HAVE JUST READ THE MOST BRILLIANT AND HEART-RIPPING STORY OF THE UNIVERSE. How do I do words?!" Odd couple Theodore and Violet meet on the ledge of the school bell tower. Both consider jumping, but instead they help each other down. This raw novel for teens tackles the headiness of first love and the darkness of depression. Cait says, "I DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO FUNCTION RIGHT NOW. I HAVE JUST READ THE MOST BRILLIANT AND HEART-RIPPING STORY OF THE UNIVERSE. How do I do words?!"
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