Single mother and English teacher Clare Cassidy’s days are filled with teaching classrooms full of high school students in The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths. Luckily for her, she is able to devote one class a year to her specialty, the literary works of Gothic writer R.M. Holland, focusing on his most famous story, The Stranger. Clare is considered an expert on Holland and as a teacher at Talgarth High, she has access to the private quarters of Holland, who lived in part of the school during his lifetime.
Clare’s world is rocked when a close colleague is murdered and the death becomes more bizarre when a note found next to the body quotes a line from The Stranger. She is shocked when the police reveal that they suspect someone close to her. Could it be a fellow teacher? Maybe someone else who has a fixation on Holland? Prompted by the police to recall an event with the deceased teacher the summer before, Clare turns to an old diary in the hopes it will spark a remembrance that may prove helpful. Events begin to get even stranger when she begins to find writings next to her own that are in a different handwriting.
Hallo Clare. You don’t know me.
Soon thereafter another body is found, this time in Holland’s old residence in a small concealed room. The teacher’s body is found with the same note as the previous victim, an ominous sentence from The Stranger. Is Clare in danger or is she hiding something more sinister? The discovery of the bodies begins to mimic the plot from Holland’s masterpiece and everyone wonders who will be next? Will life imitate art?
The Stranger Diaries is a fabulous thriller and suspense novel with a hint of the supernatural added. The setting of Talgarth High has just enough of the eerie “haunted house” quality to make the school almost have a life of its own. If you are a fan of the mystery and suspense genre I highly recommend the latest by Elly Griffiths!
August and September are when the majority of TV shows release the previous season on DVD. It gives you just enough time to binge watch and get caught up before the start of next season. The shows listed on this blog can be placed on hold now and you will automatically be notified when it is your turn. Just click on the TV show title to get started!
Action Shows: Arrow season 3, Chicago Fire season 3, Hawaii Five-O season 5, and Rogue season 2
Comedy Shows: 2 Broke Girls season 4, The Big Bang Theory season 8, Brooklyn Nine-Nine season 2, The League season 6, Mike and Molly season 5, and The Mindy Project season 3
Dramas: Blacklist season 2, Blue Bloods season 5, Castle season 7, Chicago P.D. season 2, Criminal Minds season 10, Elementary season 3, The Good Wife season 6, Greys Anatomy season 11, Last Tango in Halifax season 3, Nashville season 3, NCIS Los Angeles season 6, NCIS season 12, Once Upon a Time season 4, Orange is the New Black season 2, Person of Interest season 4, Revenge season 4, Scandal season 4, and Vampire Diaries season 6
Horror: The Walking Dead season 5
SciFi: Bitten season 2, Falling Skies season 4, Helix season 2, and Supernatural season 10
Interested in the most popular shows at the library? The following shows took top circulation honors for the last fiscal year.
Action: Chicago Fire season 2 circulated an average of 25 times per copy.
Comedy: The Big Bang Theory season 7 circulated an average of 29 times per copy.
Drama: Blacklist season 1 and NCIS Los Angeles season 6 circulated an average of 30 times per copy.
Horror: The Walking Dead season 4 circulated an average of 28 times per copy.
SciFi: Supernatural season 9 circulated an average of 26 times per copy.
More TV shows will be added to the library catalog as we get closer to September. If you don’t see your favorite show on this list, keep checking the catalog.
Coming Soon: American Horror Story season 4, CSI season 15, The Following season 3, The Goldbergs season 2, Grimm season 4, Haven season 5, Penny Dreadful season 2, Portlandia season 5, Reign season 2
It’s so lovely when a novel can turn a well-worn trope into a fresh, lively story. Just as she did with time travel in The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger turns cliches into something more in Her Fearful Symmetry. The story follows 21 year old twins Julia and Valentina, who inherit their aunt Elspeth’s London flat and fortune on the condition that they live in the dwelling, without their parents or any other chaperone, for one year. The catch: Elspeth, mute and invisible, has clung to her flat and haunts it – and she’s getting stronger every day. Don’t groan! It sounds horribly cliched – identical twins; an inheritance contingent upon ridiculous demands; London; ghosts – but it’s so much more than it seems. Elspeth is the estranged twin sister of Julia and Valentina’s mother, Edie; the elder sisters have a history of secrets that Niffenegger unravels throughout the tale. Even more impressive is the host of delightful secondary characters: Martin, an obsessive-compulsive neighbor who writes crossword puzzles for a living, and his estranged wife Marijke (pronounced Mah-RYE-Kuh); Robert, a cemetery historian and Elspeth’s former lover; even the white kitten the twins adopt has personality and verve. They call him “The Little Kitten of Death.”
It’s a beautiful, unusual tale that unfolds slowly and doesn’t pander to the reader. Both of Niffenegger’s novels tell the stories of ordinary, although perhaps quite unusual, people who must find a way to navigate a frightening, supernatural situation. She tells the tale at the pace she wants, rather than dropping in action sequences and extra dialog where they don’t belong. If you liked the style of The Time Traveler’s Wife, you’ll be pulled in by this ghostly, ethereal tale. I listened to this as an audiobook, and it was excellent in that format; a perfect companion for rainy springtime commutes!