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:

Hawaii by James A. Michener (Format: eBook):

Pulitzer Prize–winning author James A. Michener brings Hawaii’s epic history vividly to life in a classic saga that has captivated readers since its initial publication in 1959. As the volcanic Hawaiian Islands sprout from the ocean floor, the land remains untouched for centuries—until, little more than a thousand years ago, Polynesian seafarers make the perilous journey across the Pacific, flourishing in this tropical paradise according to their ancient traditions. Then, in the early nineteenth century, American missionaries arrive, bringing with them a new creed and a new way of life. Based on exhaustive research and told in Michener’s immersive prose, Hawaii is the story of disparate peoples struggling to keep their identity, live in harmony, and, ultimately, join together.

 

In the Night Wood by Dale Bailey (Format: eBook):

In this contemporary fantasy, the grieving biographer of a Victorian fantasist finds himself slipping inexorably into the supernatural world that consumed his subject.

Failed father, failed husband, and failed scholar, Charles Hayden hopes to put his life back together with a new project: a biography of Caedmon Hollow, the long-dead author of a legendary Victorian children’s book, In the Night Wood, and forebear of his wife, Erin. Deep in mourning from the loss of their young daughter, they pack up their American lives, Erin gives up her legal practice, and the couple settles in Hollow’s remote Yorkshire mansion.

In the neighboring village, Charles meets a woman he might have loved, a child who could have been his own daughter, and the ghost of a self he hoped to bury.

Erin, paralyzed by her grief, immerses herself in pills and painting images of a horned terror in the woods.

In the primeval forest surrounding Caedmon Hollow’s ancestral home, an ancient power is stirring, a long-forgotten king who haunts the Haydens’ dreams. And every morning the fringe of darkling trees presses closer.

Soon enough, Charles and Erin will venture into the night wood.

Soon enough, they’ll learn that the darkness under the trees is but a shadow of the darkness that waits inside us all.

 

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock: A Novel written by Imogen Hermes Gowar & read by Juliet Stevenson (Format: Downloadable Audiobook):

“Historical fiction at its finest, combining myth and legend with the brutal realities of the past. . . . Comparisons will be drawn to the works of contemporary authors Sarah Waters and Michael Faber . . . but The Mermaid and Mrs

Hancock has more in common with the novels of Dickens and Austen.” —Irish Times
In 1780s London, a prosperous merchant finds his quiet life upended when he unexpectedly receives a most unusual creature—and meets a most extraordinary woman—in this much-lauded, atmospheric debut that examines our capacity for wonder, obsession, and desire with all the magnetism, originality, and literary magic of The Essex Serpent.

One September evening in 1785, Jonah Hancock hears an urgent knocking on his front door near the docks of London. The captain of one of Jonah’s trading vessels is waiting eagerly on the front step, bearing shocking news. On a voyage to the Far East, he sold the Jonah’s ship for something rare and far more precious: a mermaid. Jonah is stunned—the object the captain presents him is brown and wizened, as small as an infant, with vicious teeth and claws, and a torso that ends in the tail of a fish. It is also dead.

As gossip spreads through the docks, coffee shops, parlors and brothels, all of London is curious to see this marvel in Jonah Hancock’s possession. Thrust from his ordinary existence, somber Jonah finds himself moving from the city’s seedy underbelly to the finest drawing rooms of high society. At an opulent party, he makes the acquaintance of the coquettish Angelica Neal, the most desirable woman he has ever laid eyes on—and a shrewd courtesan of great accomplishment. This meeting sparks a perilous liaison that steers both their lives onto a dangerous new course as they come to realize that priceless things often come at the greatest cost.

Imogen Hermes Gowar, Britain’s most-heralded new literary talent, makes her debut with this spellbinding novel of a merchant, a mermaid, and a madam—an unforgettable confection that explores obsession, wonder, and the deepest desires of the heart with bawdy wit, intrigue, and a touch of magic.

 

One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season written by Chris Ballard and read by Mike Chamberlain (Format: Downloadable Audiobook):

In 1971, a small-town high school baseball team from rural Illinois, playing with hand-me-down uniforms and peace signs on their hats, defied convention and the odds. Led by an English teacher with no coaching experience, the Macon Ironmen emerged from a field of 370 teams to represent the smallest school in Illinois history to make the state final, a distinction that still stands. There the Ironmen would play against a Chicago powerhouse in a dramatic game that would change their lives forever.

In this gripping, cinematic narrative, Chris Ballard tells the story of the team and its coach, Lynn Sweet: a hippie, dreamer, and intellectual who arrived in Macon in 1966, bringing progressive ideas to a town stuck in the Eisenhower era. Beloved by students but not administration, Sweet reluctantly took over the ragtag team, intent on teaching the boys as much about life as baseball. Together they embarked on an improbable postseason run that buoyed a small town in desperate need of something to celebrate.

Engaging and poignant, One Shot at Forever is a testament to the power of high school sports to shape the lives of those who play them, and it reminds us that there are few bonds more sacred than that among a coach, a team, and a town.

 

Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle (Format: Downloadable Audiobook):

The highly anticipated new book from the acclaimed author of The Accident Season is a gorgeous, twisty story about things gone missing, things returned from the past, and a group of teenagers, connected in ways they could never have imagined.

One stormy Irish summer night, Olive and her best friend, Rose, begin to lose things. It starts with simple items like hairclips and jewelry, but soon it’s clear that Rose has lost something much bigger, something she won’t talk about, and Olive thinks her best friend is slipping away.

Then seductive diary pages written by a girl named Laurel begin to appear all over town. And Olive meets three mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel, and her twin brother, Rowan, secretly squatting in an abandoned housing estate. The trio are wild and alluring, but they seem lost too—and like Rose, they’re holding tight to painful secrets.

When they discover the spellbook, it changes everything. Damp, tattered and ancient, it’s full of hand-inked charms to conjure back things that have been lost. And it just might be their chance to find what they each need to set everything back to rights.

Unless it’s leading them toward things that were never meant to be found…

 

PRINT BOOK SUGGESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

Kaddish.com by Nathan Englander:

When his father dies, it is his responsibility as the surviving son to recite the Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead, every day for eleven months. To the horror and dismay of his mother and sisters, Larry refuses–thus imperiling the fate of his father’s soul. To appease them, and in penance for failing to mourn his father correctly, he hatches an ingenious if cynical plan, hiring a stranger through a website called Kaddish.com to recite the daily prayer and shepherd his father’s soul safely to rest.

 

Lot: Stories by Bryan Washington:

In the city of Houston – a sprawling, diverse microcosm of America – the son of a black mother and a Latino father is coming of age. He’s working at his family’s restaurant, weathering his brother’s blows, resenting his older sister’s absence. And discovering he likes boys.

Around him, others live and thrive and die in Houston’s myriad neighborhoods: a young woman whose affair detonates across an apartment complex, a ragtag baseball team, a group of young hustlers, hurricane survivors, a local drug dealer who takes a Guatemalan teen under his wing, a reluctant chupacabra.

Bryan Washington’s brilliant, viscerally drawn world vibrates with energy, wit, and the infinite longing of people searching for home. With soulful insight into what makes a community, a family, and a life, Lot explores trust and love in all its unsparing and unsteady forms.

 

The Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine:

The Lsel Ambassador, Mahit Dzmare, arrives for her first assignment to Teixcalaan, only to discover that her predecessor is dead and the technology used on Lsel that could allow her to communicate with him is not working. It doesn’t take her long to figure out that sabotage and murder are likely involved. With the help of her Teixcalaan Guide, Three Seagrass; some newfound allies; and her own abilities, Mahit navigates a political minefield. Revolution from within the Empire begins even as a new threat looms over her home of Lsel. Mahit must protect her home at all costs, in this complex world in which poetry is the language of history, culture, and communication. This is a complicated and dense space opera that may take teens some time to get into. But mature lovers of science fiction who are ready to make the jump from Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert, or Andre Norton have much to enjoy here. VERDICT For avid sci-fi fans.—Connie Williams, Petaluma Public Library, CA

 

Stone Cold Heart by Laura Griffin:

New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin “delivers another top-notch thriller” (RT Book Reviews) in her beloved Tracers series, about a leading forensic anthropologist who uncovers eerie clues in a high-stakes case that threatens to deliver her to the doorstep of a cold-blooded murderer.

When local rock climbers stumble upon abandoned human bones in a remote Texas gorge, Sara Lockhart is the first to get the call. She has a reputation as one of the nation’s top forensic anthropologists, and police detective Nolan Hess knows she is just the expert he needs to help unravel this case. Although evidence is scarce, Nolan suspects the bones belong to a teenage climber who vanished last summer.

But as Sara unearths strange clues, she finds chilling similarities to a case from her past—a case that now threatens to rock Nolan’s community. While Sara digs deep for answers, the stakes rise higher as another young woman disappears without a trace. Investigators work against the clock as Sara races to discover the truth, even if her harrowing search brings her face to face with a stone-cold killer.

 

Tomorrow There Will Be Sun by Dana Reinhardt:

Writer Jenna Carlson books a luxury villa for her husband Peter’s 50th birthday. Jenna’s both fond and resentful of Peter’s charismatic best friend and business partner, Solly Solomon, who’s also celebrating his 50th. Years ago, Solly left Jenna’s close friend Maureen for the younger Ingrid, who accompanies them to Puerto Vallarta. Jenna exercises her control-freak tendencies on her obnoxious 16-year-old daughter Clem, whose texts she monitors via an app. Also on the trip is Malcolm, Solly and Maureen’s good-natured 17-year-old son, who’s gotten into some trouble at his school. Peter’s beautiful assistant Gavriella won’t stop calling him; Jenna interrogates him and takes his non-answer to mean that Solly is having an affair and Peter is covering for him. Jenna’s insecurities are further triggered when Ingrid reveals that she’s written a book that, after Jenna reads it, turns out to be quite good, while Jenna continues to struggle with writer’s block. Her well-meaning, busybody nature leads her to confrontations with both Clem—regarding cheating on her boyfriend with Malcolm—and Ingrid, the results of which force Jenna to reflect on her blind spots. Reinhardt adroitly navigates the mind of a memorable and unreliable narrator and delivers a page-turner that’s both charming and thoughtful.

Have a great week!

Linda, SSCL

Online Catalog Links:Add New

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

*Magazines are available for free and on demand! You can check out magazines and read them on your computer or download the RBDigital app from your app store and read them on your mobile devices.

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.

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