Hi everyone, here are our recommended titles for the week, five digital titles available through OverDrive and five print titles available through StarCat.
DIGITAL SUGGESTIONS OF THE WEEK:
The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge written by M. T. Anderson and read by Gildart Jackson (Format: Downloadable Audibook):
A National Book Award Winner
Uptight elfin historian Brangwain Spurge is on a mission: survive being catapulted across the mountains into goblin territory, deliver a priceless peace offering to their mysterious dark lord, and spy on the goblin kingdom—from which no elf has returned alive in more than a hundred years. Brangwain’s host, the goblin archivist Werfel, is delighted to show Brangwain around. They should be the best of friends, but a series of extraordinary double crosses, blunders, and cultural misunderstandings throws these two bumbling scholars into the middle of an international crisis that may spell death for them—and war for their nations. A hilarious and biting social commentary that could only come from the likes of National Book Award winner M. T. Anderson and Newbery Honoree Eugene Yelchin, this tale is rife with thrilling action and a comic disparity that suggests the ultimate victor in a war is perhaps not who won the battles but who gets to write the history.
Feast Your Eyes: A Novel written and read by Myla Goldberg (Format: Downloadable Audiobook):
The first novel in nearly a decade from Myla Goldberg, the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Bee Season—a compelling and wholly original story about a female photographer grappling with ambition and motherhood, a balancing act familiar to women of every generation.
Feast Your Eyes, framed as the catalogue notes from a photography show at the Museum of Modern Art, tells the life story of Lillian Preston: “America’s Worst Mother, America’s Bravest Mother, America’s Worst Photographer, or America’s Greatest Photographer, depending on who was talking.” After discovering photography as a teenager through her high school’s photo club, Lillian rejects her parents’ expectations of college and marriage and moves to New York City in 1955. When a small gallery exhibits partially nude photographs of Lillian and her daughter Samantha, Lillian is arrested, thrust into the national spotlight, and targeted with an obscenity charge. Mother and daughter’s sudden notoriety changes the course of both of their lives and especially Lillian’s career as she continues a life-long quest for artistic legitimacy and recognition.
Narrated by Samantha, Feast Your Eyes reads as a collection of Samantha’s memories, interviews with Lillian’s friends and lovers, and excerpts from Lillian’s journals and letters—a collage of stories and impressions, together amounting to an astounding portrait of a mother and an artist dedicated, above all, to a vision of beauty, truth, and authenticity.
Game of Thrones: A Song of Fire and Ice Series, Book 1 written by George R. R. Martin and read by Roy Dotrice (Format: Downloadable Audiobook):
If you’ve watched the series, check out the books, or listen to them – there is always more detail in the books!
And without further ado, here’s the overview of the story that many of us know so well:
Winter is coming. Such is the stern motto of House Stark, the northernmost of the fiefdoms that owe allegiance to King Robert Baratheon in far-off King’s Landing. There Eddard Stark of Winterfell rules in Robert’s name. There his family dwells in peace and comfort: his proud wife, Catelyn; his sons Robb, Brandon, and Rickon; his daughters Sansa and Arya; and his bastard son, Jon Snow. Far to the north, behind the towering Wall, lie savage Wildings and worse—unnatural things relegated to myth during the centuries-long summer, but proving all too real and all too deadly in the turning of the season.
Yet a more immediate threat lurks to the south, where Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, has died under mysterious circumstances. Now Robert is riding north to Winterfell, bringing his queen, the lovely but cold Cersei, his son, the cruel, vainglorious Prince Joffrey, and the queen’s brothers Jaime and Tyrion of the powerful and wealthy House Lannister—the first a swordsman without equal, the second a dwarf whose stunted stature belies a brilliant mind. All are heading for Winterfell and a fateful encounter that will change the course of kingdoms.
Meanwhile, across the Narrow Sea, Prince Viserys, heir of the fallen House Targaryen, which once ruled all of Westeros, schemes to reclaim the throne with an army of barbarian Dothraki—whose loyalty he will purchase in the only coin left to him: his beautiful yet innocent sister, Daenerys.
The Lost History of Dreams: A Novel by Kris Waldherr (Format: eBook):
“Rich descriptions and hints of supernatural presence that never cross into melodrama…Waldherr writes that ‘love stories are ghost stories in disguise.’ This one, happily, succeeds as both.” —Kirkus Reviews, (starred review)
A post-mortem photographer unearths dark secrets of the past that may hold the key to his future, in this captivating debut novel in the gothic tradition of Wuthering Heights and The Thirteenth Tale.
All love stories are ghost stories in disguise.
When famed Byronesque poet Hugh de Bonne is discovered dead of a heart attack in his bath one morning, his cousin Robert Highstead, a historian turned post-mortem photographer, is charged with a simple task: transport Hugh’s remains for burial in a chapel. This chapel, a stained glass folly set on the moors of Shropshire, was built by de Bonne sixteen years earlier to house the remains of his beloved wife and muse, Ada. Since then, the chapel has been locked and abandoned, a pilgrimage site for the rabid fans of de Bonne’s last book, The Lost History of Dreams.
However, Ada’s grief-stricken niece refuses to open the glass chapel for Robert unless he agrees to her bargain: before he can lay Hugh to rest, Robert must record Isabelle’s story of Ada and Hugh’s ill-fated marriage over the course of five nights.
As the mystery of Ada and Hugh’s relationship unfolds, so does the secret behind Robert’s own marriage—including that of his fragile wife, Sida, who has not been the same since the tragic accident three years ago, and the origins of his own morbid profession that has him seeing things he shouldn’t—things from beyond the grave.
Kris Waldherr effortlessly spins a sweeping and atmospheric gothic mystery about love and loss that blurs the line between the past and the present, truth and fiction, and ultimately, life and death.
The Sign of the Twisted Candles written by Carolyn Keene and read by Danica Reese:
Another exciting mystery begins for the young detective when her friends Bess and George ask her to investigate a rumor that their wealthy great-granduncle, Asa Sidney, is virtually a prisoner in his own mansion. But solving the mystery and befriending Carol Wipple, the sixteen-year-old foster daughter of the caretakers of the old mansion, nearly costs Nancy the friendship of Bess and George. It takes all of Nancy’s sleuthing ability as well as diplomacy to save it.Nancy braves one danger after another to bring to justice the swindlers who are stealing Asa Sidney’s fortune. With only the sign of the twisted candles to guide her, Nancy uncovers hidden treasure and an amazing letter that ends a family feud and brings unexpected happiness to Carol.
Nancy Drew Series, Book 9
PRINT BOOK SUGGESTIONS OF THE WEEK:
Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan:
New from Ian McEwan, Booker Prize winner and international bestselling author of Atonement and The Children Act
Machines Like Me takes place in an alternative 1980s London. Charlie, drifting through life and dodging full-time employment, is in love with Miranda, a bright student who lives with a terrible secret. When Charlie comes into money, he buys Adam, one of the first synthetic humans and—with Miranda’s help—he designs Adam’s personality. The near-perfect human that emerges is beautiful, strong, and clever. It isn’t long before a love triangle soon forms, and these three beings confront a profound moral dilemma.
In his subversive new novel, Ian McEwan asks whether a machine can understand the human heart—or whether we are the ones who lack understanding.
The Pandora Room: A Novel by Christopher Golden:
From the New York Times bestselling and Bram Stoker Award-winning author comes the sensational new novel that turns ancient lore into a modern-day horror. In one variation on the myth of Pandora’s Box, there were two jars, one for Pandora and one for her sister. One contained blessings of the gods, the other all the world’s curses…
Archaeologist Sophie Durand has spent her life studying ancient mythology and languages. Years of work have led her to the greatest discovery of her career, a subterranean city deep in the heart of Northern Iraq. When Sophie’s team uncovers a secret chamber whose walls are covered in cuneiform, along with a warning from Alexander the Great, history and mythology begin to merge. The writings confirm the Pandora tale of two jars, but the chamber guards only one. It’s a find that could make history, or start a war.
Weird-science expert Ben Walker is called in as the mystery grows ugly. Those who believe the myth want to know which jar was found, the one containing blessings or the one full of curses. Governments rush to lay claim, but jihadi forces aren’t waiting for the dust to settle. Whatever the jars contain, they want it, no matter the cost. For Sophie, Walker, and the others, the Pandora Room may soon become their tomb.
In a novel that breathes new life into the supernatural thriller, Christopher Golden’s pulse-pounding tale is not to be missed.
The Peacock Emporium by Jojo Moyes:
An early work from the #1 New York Times bestselling author, Jojo Moyes, the story of a young woman who opens an eclectic shop and comes to terms with the secrets of her past.
In the sixties, Athene Forster was the most glamorous girl of her generation. Nicknamed the Last Deb, she was also beautiful, spoiled, and out of control. When she agreed to marry the gorgeous young heir Douglas Fairley-Hulme, her parents breathed a sigh of relief. But within two years, rumors had begun to circulate about Athene’s affair with a young salesman.
Thirty-five years later, Suzanna Peacock is struggling with her notorious mother’s legacy. The only place Suzanna finds comfort is in The Peacock Emporium, the beautiful coffee bar and shop she opens that soon enchants her little town. There she makes perhaps the first real friends of her life, including Alejandro, a male midwife, escaping his own ghosts in Argentina.
The specter of her mother still haunts Suzanna. But only by confronting both her family and her innermost self will she finally reckon with the past–and discover that the key to her history, and her happiness, may have been in front of her all along.
The Red Daughter: A Novel by John Burnham Schwarts:
Running from her father’s brutal legacy, Joseph Stalin’s daughter defects to the United States during the turbulence of the 1960s. For fans of We Were the Lucky Ones and A Gentleman in Moscow, this sweeping historical novel and unexpected love story is inspired by the remarkable life of Svetlana Alliluyeva.
“I read this lustrous novel in a single great draught. It is such a fine portrait of Stalin’s daughter—a difficult, complicated, and deeply sympathetic woman.”—Lauren Groff
In one of the most momentous events of the Cold War, Svetlana Alliluyeva, the only daughter of the Soviet despot Joseph Stalin, abruptly abandoned her life in Moscow in 1967, arriving in New York to throngs of reporters and a nation hungry to hear her story. By her side is Peter Horvath, a young lawyer sent by the CIA to smuggle Svetlana into America.
She is a contradictory celebrity: charismatic and headstrong, lonely and haunted, excited and alienated by her adopted country’s radically different society. Persuading herself that all she yearns for is a simple American life, she attempts to settle into a suburban existence in Princeton, New Jersey. But one day an invitation from the widow of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright arrives, and Svetlana impulsively joins her cultlike community at Taliesin West. When this dream ends in disillusionment, Svetlana reaches out to Peter, the one person who understands how the chains of her past still hold her prisoner. Their relationship changes and deepens, moving from America to England to the Soviet Union and back again, unfolding under the eyes of her CIA minders, and Svetlana’s and Peter’s private lives are no longer their own.
Novelist John Burnham Schwartz’s father was in fact the young lawyer who escorted Svetlana Alliluyeva to the United States. Drawing upon private papers and years of extensive research, Schwartz imaginatively re-creates the story of an extraordinary, troubled woman’s search for a new life and a place to belong, in the powerful, evocative prose that has made him an acclaimed author of literary and historical fiction.
Vietnamese Food Any Day: Simple Recipes for True, Fresh Flavors by Andrea Nguyen:
Delicious, fresh Vietnamese food is achievable any night of the week with this cookbook’s 80 accessible, easy recipes.
Drawing on decades of experience, as well as the cooking hacks her mom adopted after fleeing from Vietnam to America, award-winning author Andrea Nguyen shows you how to use easy-to-find ingredients to create true Vietnamese flavors at home—fast. With Nguyen as your guide, there’s no need to take a trip to a specialty grocer for favorites such as banh mi, rice paper rolls, and pho, as well as recipes for Honey-Glazed Pork Riblets, Chile Garlic Chicken Wings, Vibrant Turmeric Coconut Rice, and No-Churn Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream. Nguyen’s tips and tricks for creating Viet food from ingredients at national supermarkets are indispensable, liberating home cooks and making everyday cooking easier.
Have a great week!
Online Catalog Links:
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:
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ABOUT LIBRARY APPS:
You can access digital library content on PCs, Macs and mobile devices. For mobile devices simply download the OverDrive, Freegal or RB Digital app from your app store to get started. If you have questions call the library at 607-936-3713 and one of our tech coaches will be happy to assist you.
Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.