Jodi Picoult is one of the best-selling contemporary novelists because of her strong characters, mix of drama and romance, and storytelling skills.

If you like Jodi Picoult, you might also like:

“The Midwife’s Confession” by Diane Chamberlain. An unfinished letter is the only clue Tara and Emerson have to the reason behind their close friend Noelle’s suicide. Everything they knew about Noelle — her calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her friends and family — described a woman who embraced life. Yet there was so much they didn’t know.

With the discovery of the letter and its heartbreaking secret, Noelle’s friends begin to uncover the truth about this complex woman who touched each of their lives and the life of a desperate stranger with love and betrayal, compassion and deceit.

“Miller’s Valley” by Anna Quindlen. For generations the Millers have lived in Miller’s Valley. Mimi Miller tells about her life with intimacy and honesty.

As Mimi eavesdrops on her parents and quietly observes the people around her, she discovers more and more about the toxicity of family secrets, the dangers of gossip, the flaws of marriage, the inequalities of friendship and the risks of passion, loyalty, and love. Home, as Mimi begins to realize, can be “a place where it’s just as easy to feel lost as it is to feel content.”

“Two If By Sea” by Jacquelyn Mitchard. Just hours after his wife and her entire family perish in the Christmas Eve tsunami in Brisbane, American expat and former police officer Frank Mercy goes out to join his volunteer rescue unit and pulls a little boy from a submerged car, saving the child’s life with only seconds to spare.

Not quite knowing why, Frank sidesteps the law, when, instead of turning Ian over to the Red Cross, he takes the boy home to the Midwestern farm where he grew up.

Not long into their journey, Frank begins to believe that Ian has an extraordinary, impossible telepathic gift. As Frank struggles to start over, training horses as his father and grandfather did before him, he meets Claudia, a champion equestrian and someone with whom he can share his life and his fears for Ian. Both know that it will be impossible to keep Ian’s gift a secret forever.

The fight to keep Ian safe from a sinister group who want him back takes readers from the ravaged shores of Brisbane to the middle of America to a quaint English village.

CHANHASSEN LIBRARY

Master Gardener Help Desk: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, May 11. Bring your plant samples and insect disease questions to any of the Yard & Garden Help Desks. Carver/Scott Master Gardeners will help diagnose problems and answer your yard and garden questions.

Great Decisions: Nuclear Negotiations: 1 to 3 p.m., Saturday, May 11. Nuclear weapons have not gone away, and the President Donald Trump administration has brought a new urgency, if not a new approach, to dealing with them. The president has met with Vladimir Putin as the New Start Treaty with Russia comes up for renewal in 2021; the first presidential summit ever with Kim Jong-un occurred to discuss denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula; and President Trump has decertified the Obama nuclear deal with Iran. To what degree should past nuclear talks guide future U.S. nuclear arms control negotiations? Can the art of the deal apply to stabilizing our nuclear future? The speaker is Mark Canning.

Teen Advisory Board: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 14. For ages 13-18, no registration required. Join other teens that have an interest in library programs and more. We meet monthly to help plan programs, activities and volunteer as Teen Advisors. We also enjoy some snacks and discussion about books and more.

CHASKA LIBRARY

Friends of the Chaska Library Meeting: 9 to 10 a.m., Saturday, May 11. Friends of the library groups increase the use of the library through public awareness and cultural programming; advocate for strong public funding of the library; and provide private funding to enhance library services.

Master Gardener Help Desk: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, May 11. Bring your plant samples and insect disease questions to any of the Yard & Garden Help Desks. Carver/Scott Master Gardeners will help diagnose problems and answer your yard and garden questions.

Tails for Reading: 10:30 to noon, Saturday, May 11. Preschool and elementary school-age children are welcome to read books aloud to specially trained therapy dogs to encourage confidence in reading. Presented by North Star Therapy Animals. Children read for a 15-minute session on a first-come, first-served basis. No registration required.

STORYTIME

Storytimes are over for the spring as our librarians are out in the community promoting our summer reading program “A Universe of Stories.” See you for storytime in the summer!

Patrick Jones is branch manager for the Chanhassen and Victoria libraries. He can be reached at pjones@co.carver.mn.us.

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.

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