Hi everyone, here are our recommended titles for the week, five digital titles, eBooks & downloadable audio books, available through OverDrive and five print titles available through StarCat.
DIGITAL CATALOG SUGGESTIONS:
Caught Dead in Philadelphia, Amanda Pepper Mystery Series, Book 1 by Gillian Roberts (Format: eBook):
The debut of Philly Prep English teacher and accidental sleuth, Amanda Pepper, (and of C.K. Mackenzie, homicide detective) won the World Mystery Convention’s “Anthony” for best first mystery.
When the body of a colleague is found dead in Amanda’s living room, she has to clear herself of suspicion—and make sure she isn’t the next victim as well. And all she’s got as a clue to the real killer’s identity is a locket shaped like Winnie-the-Pooh.
Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas (Format: eBook):
THE NATIONAL BESTSELLER
“This riveting, courageous memoir ought to be mandatory reading for every American.” —Michelle Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of The New Jim Crow
“l cried reading this book, realizing more fully what my parents endured.” —Amy Tan, New York Times bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club and Where the Past Begins
“This book couldn’t be more timely and more necessary.” —Dave Eggers, New York Times bestselling author of What Is the What and The Monk of Mokha
Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, called “the most famous undocumented immigrant in America,” tackles one of the defining issues of our time in this explosive and deeply personal call to arms.
“This is not a book about the politics of immigration. This book––at its core––is not about immigration at all. This book is about homelessness, not in a traditional sense, but in the unsettled, unmoored psychological state that undocumented immigrants like myself find ourselves in. This book is about lying and being forced to lie to get by; about passing as an American and as a contributing citizen; about families, keeping them together, and having to make new ones when you can’t. This book is about constantly hiding from the government and, in the process, hiding from ourselves. This book is about what it means to not have a home.
After 25 years of living illegally in a country that does not consider me one of its own, this book is the closest thing I have to freedom.”—Jose Antonio Vargas, from Dear America
Lady in the Lake: A Novel written by Laura Lippman and read by Susan Bennett (Format: eBook):
The revered New York Times bestselling author returns with a novel set in 1960s Baltimore that combines modern psychological insights with elements of classic noir, about a middle-aged housewife turned aspiring reporter who pursues the murder of a forgotten young woman.
In 1966, Baltimore is a city of secrets that everyone seems to know—everyone, that is, except Madeline “Maddie” Schwartz. Last year, she was a happy, even pampered housewife. This year, she’s bolted from her marriage of almost twenty years, determined to make good on her youthful ambitions to live a passionate, meaningful life.
Maddie wants to matter, to leave her mark on a swiftly changing world. Drawing on her own secrets, she helps Baltimore police find a murdered girl—assistance that leads to a job at the city’s afternoon newspaper, the Star. Working at the newspaper offers Maddie the opportunity to make her name, and she has found just the story to do it: a missing woman whose body was discovered in the fountain of a city park lake.
Cleo Sherwood was a young African-American woman who liked to have a good time. No one seems to know or care why she was killed except Maddie—and the dead woman herself. Maddie’s going to find the truth about Cleo’s life and death. Cleo’s ghost, privy to Maddie’s poking and prying, wants to be left alone.
Maddie’s investigation brings her into contact with people that used to be on the periphery of her life—a jewelery store clerk, a waitress, a rising star on the Baltimore Orioles, a patrol cop, a hardened female reporter, a lonely man in a movie theater. But for all her ambition and drive, Maddie often fails to see the people right in front of her. Her inability to look beyond her own needs will lead to tragedy and turmoil for all sorts of people—including the man who shares her bed, a black police officer who cares for Maddie more than she knows.
Rebel of the Sands, Rebel of the Sands Series, Book 1 by Alwyn Hamilton (Format: eBooks):
The New York Times bestselling novel by the Goodreads Choice Awards Best Debut Author of 2016, published in 15 countries!
Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic. For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female. Amani Al’Hiza is all three. She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.
Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.
This startlingly original Middle-East-meets-Wild-West fantasy reveals what happens when a dream deferred explodes—in the fires of rebellion, of romantic passion, and the all-consuming inferno of a girl finally embracing her power.
Sarum: The Novel of England written by Edward Rutherfurd and read by Wanda McCaddon (Format: Downloadable Audiobook):
In Sarum, Edward Rutherfurd weaves a compelling saga of five English families whose fates become intertwined over the course of centuries. While each family has its own distinct characteristics, the successive generations reflect the changing character of Britain. We become drawn not only into the fortunes of the individual family members, but also the larger destinies of each family line.
Meticulously researched and epic in scope, Sarum covers the entire sweep of English civilization: from the early hunters and farmers, the creation of Stonehenge, the dawn of Christianity, and the Black Death; through the Reformation, the wars in America, the Industrial Age, and the Victorian social reforms; up through the World War II invasion of Normandy and the modern-day concerns of a once-preeminent empire.
PRINT BOOK SUGGESTIONS:
Beirut Hellfire Society: A Novel by Rawi Hage
A searing and visionary novel set in war-torn 1970s Beirut, from an author praised for his “fierce poetic originality” (Boston Globe) and “uncompromising vision” (Colm Tóibín).
On a ravaged street overlooking a cemetery in Beirut’s Christian enclave, we meet an eccentric young man named Pavlov, the son of a local undertaker. When his father meets a sudden and untimely death, Pavlov is approached by a colorful member of the mysterious Hellfire Society―an anti-religious sect that, among many rebellious and often salacious activities, arranges secret burial for outcasts who have been denied last rites because of their religion or sexuality.
Pavlov agrees to take on his father’s work for the society, and over the course of the novel he becomes a survivor-chronicler of his embattled and fading community at the heart of Lebanon’s civil war. His new role introduces him to an unconventional cast of characters, including a father searching for his son’s body, a mysterious woman who takes up residence on Pavlov’s stairs after a bombing, and the flamboyant head of the Hellfire Society, El-Marquis.
Deftly combining comedy with tragedy, gritty reality with surreal absurdity, Beirut Hellfire Society asks: What, after all, can be preserved in the face of certain change and imminent death? The answer is at once propulsive, elegiac, outrageous, profane, and transcendent―and a profoundly moving fable on what it means to live through war.
Copperhead by Alexi Zentner:
“One of the bravest, most bracing novels I’ve read in years.” –Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
Jessup’s stepfather gave him almost everything good in his life–a sober mother, a sister, a sense of home, and the game of football. But during the years that David John spent in prison for his part in a brutal hate crime, Jessup came to realize that his stepfather is also a source of lethal poison for his family. Now it’s Jessup’s senior year, and all he wants to do is lay low until he can accept one of the football scholarships that will be his ticket out of town.
So when his stepfather is released from prison, Jessup is faced with an impossible choice: condemn the man who saved his family or accept his part in his family’s legacy of bigotry. Before he can choose a side, Jessup will cause a terrible accident and cover it up–a mistake with the power to ruin them all.
Told with relentless honesty and a ferocious gaze directed at contemporary America’s darkest corners, Copperhead vibrates with the energy released by football tackles and car crashes and asks uncomfortable questions about the price we pay–and the mistakes we’ll repeat–when we live under the weight of a history we’ve yet to reckon with. Alexi Zentner unspools the story of boys who think they’re men and of the entrenched thinking behind a split-second decision, and asks whether hatred, prejudice, and violence can ever be unlearned.
A Prayer for Travelers by Ruchika Tomar:
“Sometimes characters come along that demand a new kind of novel. The young women at the center of Ruchika Tomar’s A Prayer for Travelers – elusive Penny and wounded Cale – are two spirits hitchhiking through geographies of dislocation and desire. The human collisions in Tomar’s novel are emotionally seismic, and they leave us haunted and unsettled.”–Adam Johnson, author of The Orphan Master’s Son
Cale Lambert, a bookish loner of mysterious parentage, lives in a dusty town near the California-Nevada border, a place where coyotes scavenge for backyard dogs and long-haul truckers scavenge for pills and girls. Cale was raised by her grandfather in a loving, if codependent, household, but as soon as she’s left high school his health begins an agonizing decline. Set adrift for the first time, Cale starts waitressing at the local diner, where she reconnects with Penélope Reyes, a charismatic former classmate running mysterious side-hustles to fund her dreams. Penny exposes Cale to the reality that exists beyond their small town, and the girls become inseparable—-until one terrifying act of violence shatters their world. When Penny vanishes without a trace, Cale must set off on a dangerous quest across the desert to find her friend, and discover herself.
An audacious debut, told in deftly interwoven chapters, A Prayer for Travelers explores the complicated legacy of the American West and the trauma of female experience.
Theme Music by T. Marie Vandelly:
Dixie Wheeler, the narrator of Vandelly’s chilling, enthralling debut, was the sole survivor of a massacre in which her father, Bill, took an ax and, just before breakfast one Thanksgiving, killed his wife and their three sons—ages 15, eight, and four—before slitting his own throat. Only 18-month-old Dixie was left unharmed in their Franconia, Va., home. The press nicknamed her “Baby Blue” because that Badfinger song was playing when the police arrived. When the Wheeler house comes on the market 25 years later, listed as a “stigmatized property,” Dixie impulsively buys it, despite vehement objections from her boyfriend and the aunt who raised her. Dixie furnishes it with the family’s furniture that was stored in the garage of her late uncle, who was adamant that Bill was innocent. The suspense rises as Dixie hears noises, finds items moved or missing, hallucinates about her dead family, and taps into her own dark side. Driven by a believable plot and populated with realistic characters, this delicious mix of horror, ghost story, and mystery marks Vandelly as a writer to watch. –-Publishers Weekly Review
This is How You Lose The Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone:
Two time-traveling agents from warring futures, working their way through the past, begin to exchange letters—and fall in love in this thrilling and romantic book from award-winning authors Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone.
Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading.
Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future.
Except the discovery of their bond would mean death for each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win that war. That’s how war works. Right?
Cowritten by two beloved and award-winning sci-fi writers, This Is How You Lose the Time War is an epic love story spanning time and space.
The Trouble with Gravity by Richard Panek
“A thoughtful meditation on the mythic, cultural, philosophical and, yes, scientific implications of what happens when a wet potato or a crystal vase slips from your hand.”—Billy Collins
A mind-bending exploration of gravity, the universe’s greatest mystery.
What is gravity? Nobody knows—and just about nobody knows that nobody knows. How something so pervasive can also be so mysterious, and how that mystery can be so wholly unrecognized outside the field of physics, is one of the greatest conundrums in modern science. But as award-winning author Richard Panek shows in this groundbreaking book, gravity is a cold case that we are closer to cracking than ever—and whose very investigation has yielded untold truths about the cosmos and humanity itself.
Part scientific detective story, part metaphysical romp, The Trouble with Gravity is a revelation: the first in-depth, accessible study of this ubiquitous, elusive force. Gravity and our efforts to understand it, Panek reveals, have shaped not only the world we inhabit, but also our bodies, minds, and culture. Its influence can be seen in everything from ancient fables to modern furniture, Dante’s Inferno to the pratfalls of Laurel and Hardy, bipedalism to black holes. As we approach the truth about gravity, we should also be prepared to know both our universe and ourselves as never before.
Have a great week!
Linda Reimer, SSCL
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:
*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.