Author Spotlight: J. Courtney Sullivan

Every year I read dozens of debut novels by writers coming into their own and making their mark. I also happily devour the newest offerings from the established authors I follow. However, it is an infrequent and exciting occurrence when I read a new novel written by an author who has an entire backlist of books I have yet to explore! This happened recently with one of my new (to me) favorite writers: J. Courtney Sullivan.

Sullivan’s new book, Saints for All Occasions, seemed like a perfect fit for me: big, Irish-Catholic family, secrets, sisters, and heartbreak. I started reading and by page 15 I was wondering how I had been missing out on this wonderful writer for the past 8 years! After devouring the next 350 pages, I checked out two of Sullivan’s earlier novels: Maine (my absolute favorite) and Commencement (her fantastic debut). I’m saving The Engagements for a rainy day.


Don’t miss out on this author! Come to OWL and check out any (or all) of her 4 books today.

You’re welcome. 😉

Fun Fall Books


As I was searching the internet this morning, attempting to remember some of my favorite fall-themed books. I discovered that someone else had read my mind (and reading list) and beat me to it! Even better, they did a fabulous job. So, this week I want to share a wonderful (free!) resource with all of you called BookBub, their claim to fame is providing tailored recommendations of ebooks but I use them for their book-lists such as, 10 New Books for Outlander Fans, 23 New “Book Club” Books, 19 Books That Aren’t on High School Reading Lists–But Should Be, etc. A fun way to find new reading ideas if you don’t have a librarian nearby. 🙂

So, without further ado, 9 Books to Read This Fall:

*Click on image to enlarge it.


Bingeworthy TV

For something a little different I thought it would be fun to highlight several exceptional television shows that the OWL owns in their entirety.


ActionThe Americans Phillip and Elizabeth Jennings seem to be a typical suburban couple, but they’re actually lethal KGB agents plotting to bring down America. As the Cold War escalates, Philip and Elizabeth must take extreme measures to continue their mission to keep their true identities hidden. 

ComedyPushing Daisies Ned can bring the dead to life briefly when he touches them, and must touch them again to reverse the spell. Along with a private eye, he uses his gift to help solve crimes and collect the rewards.

DramaFriday Night Lights In the small town of Dillon, Texas, everyone comes together on Friday nights when the Dillon High Panthers play. But life is not a game and the charismatic football players, their coach Eric Taylor, and the passionate fans find that their biggest challenges and obstacles come off the field.

Mystery/SuspenseCastle A famous crime and horror novelist, Rick Castle, helps Kate Beckette of the NYPD homicide department solve crimes. Castle’s non-traditional approach to solving the crimes conflicts with Beckett’s conservative approach, leading to much tension and a hint of romance.

Science Fiction/FantasyFringe Three unlikely colleagues – a beautiful young FBI agent, a brilliant scientist who’s spent the last 17 years in a mental institution, and the scientist’s sardonic son – investigate a series of bizarre deaths and disasters known as ‘the pattern.’ Someone is using our world as an experimental lab. And all clues lead to Massive Dynamic, a shadowy global corporation that may be more powerful than any nation.

Happy viewing!

“School” Books

It’s that time of year again, back to school! For students this is often a sad or at least bittersweet occasion, but as a former student it marks the beginning of my favorite time of year. I’ve always seen Labor Day as more of a new beginning than New Year’s Eve. Sharpened pencils, crisp air, stiff new clothes–this is a time of reinvention for young people headed back into the classroom. For those of us not going back to school some of the purposeful energy that marks a fresh start manages to rub off on us as well. If you’d like to go back to school yourself, at least from the comfort of your favorite arm chair, here are some recommendations:



Dare Me by Megan Abbott

Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Carrie by Stephen King

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan

Happy Reading!


He Said/She Said

In honor of the eclipse, here’s a recommendation for a fun, twisty thriller (think Gone Girl and Behind Her Eyes) that centers around a couple who also happen to be eclipse chasers.


“In the summer of 1999, Kit and Laura travel to a festival in Cornwall to see a total eclipse of the sun. Kit is an eclipse chaser; Laura has never seen one before. Young and in love, they are certain this will be the first of many they’ll share. But in the hushed moments after the shadow passes, Laura interrupts a man and a woman. She knows that she saw something terrible. The man denies it. It is her word against his. The victim seems grateful. Months later, she turns up on their doorstep like a lonely stray. But as her gratitude takes a twisted turn, Laura begins to wonder–did she trust the wrong person? 15 years later, Kit and Laura married are living under new names and completely off the digital grid: no Facebook, only rudimentary cell phones, not in any directories. But as the truth catches up to them, they realize they can no longer keep the past in the past. From Erin Kelly, queen of the killer twist, He Said/She Said is a gripping tale of the lies we tell to save ourselves, the truths we cannot admit, and how far we will go to make others believe our side of the story”– Provided by publisher.




I want to give a big (virtual) round of applause to all of our summer reading participants. Audra and I weren’t sure what to expect when we planned the OWL’s first ever Adult Summer Reading program. We hoped it would be a success–that readers would enjoy it and that it would encourage all of us to read outside of our comfort zones–but we never imagined the great numbers and positive feedback we’ve received. 118 people signed up, 55 met at least 8 challenges (and were invited to the After Hours Celebration) and of those 33 people completed the whole challenge card!

There are many of you who discovered that you really enjoy graphic novels, or audiobooks, or essays. And some who now know they definitely do not. 😉 We loved hearing about what you were reading all summer and helping provide you with suggestions to meet your challenges. And 647 challenges were met!!! Bravo!

It was a fantastic summer of reading and we cannot wait to do it again next year.

Your devoted librarian,

Patricia Moore


THE END of OWL’s Adult Summer Reading Program

Thank you all for reading outside the box with us this summer. The official end of the program is Monday, August 7th–be sure to turn in your challenge cards. If you’re away give us a call (860) 567-8030 and let us know how many challenges you’ve completed. We want to be sure that everyone who finished at least 8 challenges gets invited to the party!

On August 14th at 7pm (after hours at the OWL) we will celebrate your reading accomplishments with ice cream, cookies, live music, and a prosecco toast. We will also choose a winner for the Booklover’s Basket! Get excited!


To a fantastic summer of reading–cheers!


2-for-1 Adult Summer Reading Titles!

In our continued effort to have as many patrons as possible complete our Read Outside the Box Adult Summer Reading Program we have put together a display of books that fulfill 2 challenge categories each (3 if you also use the book for a “Readers Choice”).


Complete 8 categories for an invitation to our After Hours Celebration on August 14th at 7pm. Enjoy music, ice cream, cookies, and a prosecco toast. Complete all 12 to also receive a special prize!

The final day of summer reading is AUGUST 7th–be sure to come into the OWL and turn in your challenge card!

Read Outside the Box: Home Stretch!


Hello friends! We are rapidly approaching the end of our inaugural adult summer reading program–have you been reading outside the box with us?

Plans are in place for an exciting “after hours” party on Monday, August 14th at 7pm. Everyone who fulfills 8 challenges by August 7th will be invited. And if you go further and finish an entire card you will also be getting a prize!

The night of the party we will be celebrating our reading accomplishments with ice cream, cookies, and a prosecco toast! Chat with fellow participants about your most surprising and enjoyable reading experiences that came with choosing titles outside of your comfort zone. We will also have live music! Local favorite Nathan Day will be performing–check out his website.

And if you need help finishing some challenges quickly–just ask! We can send you home with display books that fulfill 3 (or more!) categories. We want to see you at the After Hours Social!

So, mark your calendars for August 7th (the final day of summer reading!) and August 14th at 7pm (party time!). See you there!

Read Outside the Box: Poetry

lifestudiesFrom informal chats at the circulation desk, it seems the poetry challenge is the one many of you are procrastinating on. I get it. Poetry can be overwhelming, but it is a rich and wonderful form of writing that we would like you to dip your toes into. There will always be poetry books in our summer reading display for you to choose from BUT I would encourage you to do some exploring on your own. Go up to the Emslie room and browse through our recently moved poetry collection. Choose a slim volume (after all, you only have a few weeks left to finish your challenge card), one that speaks to you and take a few moments to sit in the quiet space in a nice, comfortable chair and get ready to fall in love with verse.