Hi everyone, here are our recommended titles for the week, five digital titles available through OverDrive and five print titles available through StarCat.

(Note: Click on the photo of the item you’d like to request or check out)

Digital Suggestions Of The Week:

The Book Club: A Women’s Fiction Novel about the Power of Friendship by Mary Alice Monroe:

Mary Alice Monroe invites you to meet five remarkable characters as she explores the power of friendship with tenderness, honesty and understanding.

On the surface, it is a monthly book club. But for five women, it is so much more. For Eve Porter, whose husband’s sudden death cheats her of every security she had planned on, the club is a place of sanctuary. For Annie Blake, a brilliant attorney intent on starting a family late in life, it is the chance to finally let down her guard and dream of other possibilities. For Doris Bridges, it is her support group as she acknowledges her dying marriage and finds the ultimate freedom in her husband’s betrayal. For Gabriella Rivera, the “perfect” wife, mother and friend who offers support to everyone but is afraid to ask for it herself, it is a sense of community. And for Midge Kirsch, an artist who has always lived her life against the grain, it is a haven of acceptance.

They are five women from different walks of life, embracing the challenge of change. And as they share their hopes and fears and triumphs, they will hold fast to the true magic of the book club—friendship.

Liar, Liar by Lisa Jackson:

In this riveting page-turner from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jackson, a woman searches for the mother she hasn’t seen in twenty years, and uncovers a nightmare of greed and deception . . .

In death, Didi Storm is finally getting the kind of publicity that eluded her in life. Twenty years ago, the ex-beauty queen worked the Vegas strip as a celebrity impersonator, too busy trying to make it big to spare much time for her daughter, Remmi. Shortly before she leaped from a San Francisco building, Didi’s profile was rising again, thanks to a tell-all book. To Detective Dani Settler, it looks like a straightforward suicide, or perhaps a promotional stunt gone wrong. But Remmi knows the truth isn’t so simple. Because though the broken body on the sidewalk is dressed in Didi’s clothes and wig, it isn’t Didi.

Remmi was fifteen when she last saw her mother. Their parting came in the aftermath of a terrible night in the Mojave desert when Remmi—who’d secretly stowed away in Didi’s car en route to meet her crush, Noah Scott—instead became witness to a mysterious rendezvous. Didi handed over one of her newborn twins to a man Remmi didn’t recognize. Subsequently, Didi disappeared, as did Remmi’s other half-sibling. Remmi has pleaded with the authorities to find them, but there have been no clues. Yet she’s always had the sense that someone is watching her . . .

If the victim isn’t Didi, who is it—and what’s the connection? Remmi is shocked when Noah resurfaces. He was also in the desert that night, and now runs his own PI firm. He too believes it’s time to find out what really happened. As they and Detective Settler dig deeper, the truth about Remmi’s missing family begins to emerge . . . a story of ruthless ambition and twisted lies that someone will kill again and again to keep hidden . . .

Murder in Paradise (downloadable audiobook) by James Patterson & Doug Allyn with multiple readers:

3 pulse-pounding stories from the world’s #1 bestselling writer in one book! THE LAWYER LIFEGUARD with Doug Allyn: Are you the lawyer who got blown up with his girlfriend? Defense lawyer Brian Lord survived the car bomb that killed his fiancee. Out of work and out of his mind, he takes on a lifeguard job at the beach. But there’s one wave he’ll never see coming… THE SHUT-IN with Duane Swierczynski: A woman who has solar urticaria, an uncommon allergy to the sun, watches the outside world through a flying drone as she is confined to her studio apartment. But when her high-tech toy records a vicious murder, she’s determined to track down the killer—a killer who knows she’s being watched. THE DOCTOR’S PLOT with Benjamin Percy: Abi Brenner is the new medical examiner in the Napa Valley, a dream job in a dream location. But her fairy tale will take a terrifying turn when she uncovers a series of murders —with one sinister thing in common.

Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America (downloadable audiobook) by Alissa Quart & read by Carly Robins:

“Brilliant—a keen, elegantly written, and scorching account of the American family today. Through vivid stories, sharp analysis and wit, Quart anatomizes the middle class’s fall while also offering solutions and hope.”— Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed

Families today are squeezed on every side—from high childcare costs and harsh employment policies to workplaces without paid family leave or even dependable and regular working hours. Many realize that attaining the standard of living their parents managed has become impossible.

Alissa Quart, executive editor of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, examines the lives of many middle-class Americans who can now barely afford to raise children. Through gripping firsthand storytelling, Quart shows how our country has failed its families. Her subjects—from professors to lawyers to caregivers to nurses—have been wrung out by a system that doesn’t support them, and enriches only a tiny elite.

Interlacing her own experience with close-up reporting on families that are just getting by, Quart reveals parenthood itself to be financially overwhelming, except for the wealthiest. She offers real solutions to these problems, including outlining necessary policy shifts, as well as detailing the DIY tactics some families are already putting into motion, and argues for the cultural reevaluation of parenthood and caregiving.

Written in the spirit of Barbara Ehrenreich and Jennifer Senior, Squeezed is an eye-opening audiobook. Powerfully argued, deeply reported, and ultimately hopeful, it casts a bright, clarifying light on families struggling to thrive in an economy that holds too few options. It will make listeners think differently about their lives and those of their neighbors.

Wild Wicked Scot: The Highland Grooms Series, Book 1 by Julia London:

Wicked intrigue unfolds as an unlikely marriage leads to a path of risky desire in the lush, green Scottish Highlands

Born into riches and groomed in English luxury, Margot Armstrong didn’t belong in a Scottish chieftain’s devil-may-care world. Three years ago she fled their marriage of convenience and hasn’t looked back—except to relive the moments spent in wild, rugged Arran McKenzie’s passionate embrace. But as their respective countries’ fragile unity threatens to unravel, Margot must return to her husband to uncover his role in the treachery before her family can be accused of it.

Red-haired, green-eyed Margot was Arran’s beautiful bride. Her loss has haunted him, but her return threatens everything he has gained. As the Highland mists carry whispers of an English plot to seize McKenzie territory, he must outmaneuver her in games of espionage…and seduction. But even as their secrets tangle together, there’s nothing to prevent love from capturing them both and leading them straight into danger.

Print Suggestions Of The Week:

Hiking Waterfalls in Pennsylvania: A Guide to the State’s Best Waterfall Hikes by Johnny Molloy:

Hiking Waterfalls in Pennsylvania includes detailed hike descriptions, maps, and color photos for some of the state’s most scenic waterfall hikes. Hike descriptions include history, local trivia, and GPS coordinates. Hiking Waterfalls in Pennsylvania will take you through state and national parks, forests, monuments and wilderness areas, and from popular city parks to the most remote and secluded corners of the area to view the most spectacular waterfalls.

How Hard Can It Be?: A Novel (audiobook on CD) written by Allison Pearson and read by Poppy Miller:

Look, I was doing OK. I got through the oil spill on the road that is turning forty. Lost a little control, but I drove into the skid just like the driving instructors tell you to and afterwards things were fine again, no, really, they were better than fine.

Kate Reddy had it all: a nice home, two adorable kids, a good husband. Then her kids became teenagers (read: monsters). Richard, her husband, quit his job, taking up bicycling and therapeutic counseling: drinking green potions, dressing head to toe in Lycra, and spending his time―and their money―on his own therapy. Since Richard no longer sees a regular income as part of the path to enlightenment, it’s left to Kate to go back to work.

Companies aren’t necessarily keen on hiring 49-year-old mothers, so Kate does what she must: knocks a few years off her age, hires a trainer, joins a Women Returners group, and prepares a new resume that has a shot at a literary prize for experimental fiction.

When Kate manages to secure a job at the very hedge fund she founded, she finds herself in an impossible juggling act: proving herself (again) at work, dealing with teen drama, and trying to look after increasingly frail parents as the clock keeps ticking toward her 50th birthday. Then, of course, an old flame shows up out of the blue, and Kate finds herself facing off with everyone from Russian mobsters to a literal stallion.

Surely it will all work out in the end. After all, how hard can it be?

Hilarious and poignant, How Hard Can It Be? brings us the new adventures of Kate Reddy, the beleaguered heroine of Allison Pearson’s groundbreaking New York Times bestseller I Don’t Know How She Does It.

The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah:

“If you enjoyed Sarah’s Key and Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale, then this wonderful book by Ann Mah is for you.” — Tatiana de Rosnay

Sweetbitter meets The Nightingale in this page-turning novel about a woman who returns to her family’s ancestral vineyard in Burgundy and unexpectedly uncovers a lost diary, an unknown relative, and a secret her family has been keeping since World War II.

To become one of only a few hundred certified wine experts in the world, Kate must pass the notoriously difficult Master of Wine examination. She’s failed twice before; her third attempt will be her last chance. Suddenly finding herself without a job and with the test a few months away, she travels to Burgundy to spend the fall at the vineyard estate that has belonged to her family for generations. There she can bolster her shaky knowledge of Burgundian vintages and reconnect with her cousin Nico and his wife, Heather, who now oversee day-to-day management of the grapes. The one person Kate hopes to avoid is Jean-Luc, a talented young winemaker and her first love.

At the vineyard house, Kate is eager to help her cousin clean out the enormous basement that is filled with generations of discarded and forgotten belongings. Deep inside the cellar, behind a large armoire, she discovers a hidden room containing a cot, some Resistance pamphlets, and an enormous cache of valuable wine. Piqued by the secret space, Kate begins to dig into her family’s history—a search that takes her back to the dark days of World War II and introduces her to a relative she never knew existed, a great–half aunt who was a teenager during the Nazi occupation.

As she learns more about her family, the line between resistance and collaboration blurs, driving Kate to find the answers to two crucial questions: Who, exactly, did her family aid during the difficult years of the war? And what happened to six valuable bottles of wine that seem to be missing from the cellar’s collection?

The Melody: A Novel by Jim Crace:

From the Booker Prize-shortlisted author of Harvest, Quarantine, and Being Dead, a tender new novel about music, celebrity, local intrigue, and lost love–all set by the Mediterranean Sea

Aside from his trusty piano, Alfred Busi lives alone in his villa overlooking the waves. Famed in his town for his music and songs, he is mourning the recent death of his wife and quietly living out his days, occasionally performing the classics in small venues–never in the stadiums he could fill when in his prime. On the night before receiving his town’s highest honor, Busi is wrested from bed by noises in his courtyard and then stunned by an attacking intruder–his hands and neck are scratched, his face is bitten. Busi can’t say what it was that he encountered, exactly, but he feels his assailant was neither man nor animal.

The attack sets off a chain of events that will cast a shadow on Busi’s career, imperil his home, and alter the fabric of his town. Busi’s own account of what happened is embellished to fan the flames of old rumor–of an ancient race of people living in the surrounding forest–and to spark new controversy: something must finally be done about the town’s poor, the feral vagabonds at its edges, whose numbers have been growing. All the while Busi, weathering a media storm, must come to terms with his wife’s death and decide whether to sing one last time.

In trademark crystalline prose, Jim Crace portrays a man taking stock of his life and looking into an uncertain future, all while bearing witness to a community in the throes of great change–with echoes of today’s most pressing social questions.

Pretend I’m Dead by Jen Beagin:

Jen Beagin’s quirky, moving, “frank and unflinching” (Josh Ferris) debut novel introduces an unforgettable character, Mona—almost twenty-four, emotionally adrift, and cleaning houses to get by. Handing out clean needles to drug addicts, she falls for a recipient she calls Mr. Disgusting, who proceeds to break her heart in unimaginable ways.

In search of healing, Mona decamps to Taos, New Mexico, for a fresh start, where she finds a community of seekers and cast-offs, all of whom have one or two things to teach her—the pajama-wearing, blissed-out New Agers, the slightly creepy client with peculiar tastes in controlled substances, the psychic who might really be psychic. But always lurking just beneath the surface are her memories of growing up in a chaotic, destructive family from which she’s trying to disentangle herself, and the larger legacy of the past she left behind.

The story of Mona’s journey to find her place in this working-class American world is at once hilarious and wonderfully strange, true to life and boldly human, and introduces a stunningly one-of-a-kind new voice in American fiction.

Have a great week!

Linda, SSCL

Online Catalog Links:

StarCat

The catalog of physical materials, i.e. print books, DVDs, audiobooks on CD etc.

The Digital Catalog (OverDrive)

The catalog of e-books, downloadable audiobooks and a handful of streaming videos.

Freegal Music Service

This music service is free to library card holders and offers the option to download, and keep, three free songs per week and to stream three hours of commercial free music each day:

RBDigital

Digital magazines on demand and for free! Back issues are available and you can even choose to be notified by email when the new issue of your favorite magazine is available.

About Library Apps:

You can access digital library content on PCs, Macs and mobile devices. For mobile devices simply download the OverDrive, Freegal or Zinio app from your app store to get started. If you have questions call the library at: 607-936-3713 and one of our Digital Literacy Specialists will be happy to assist you.

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

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