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
Correspondents by Tim Murphy:
“Murphy artfully connects multiple narratives to produce a sprawling tale of love, family, duty, war, and displacement. It is above all a stinging indictment of the ill-fated war in Iraq and the heavy tolls it continues to exact on its people.”—Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner
The world is Rita Khoury’s oyster. The bright and driven daughter of a Boston-area Irish-Arab family that has risen over the generations from poor immigrants to part of the coastal elite, Rita grows up in a 1980s cultural mishmash. Corned beef and cabbage sit on the dinner table alongside stuffed grape leaves and tabooleh, all cooked by Rita’s mother, an Irish nurse who met her Lebanese surgeon husband while working at a hospital together. The unconventional yet close-knit family bonds over summers at the beach, wedding line-dances, and a shared obsession with the Red Sox.
Rita charts herself an ambitious path through Harvard to one of the best newspapers in the country. She is posted in cosmopolitan Beirut and dates a handsome Palestinian would-be activist. But when she is assigned to cover the America-led invasion of Baghdad in 2003, she finds herself unprepared for the warzone. Her lifeline is her interpreter and fixer Nabil al-Jumaili, an equally restless young man whose dreams have been restricted by life in a deteriorating dictatorship, not to mention his own seemingly impossible desires. As the war tears Iraq apart, personal betrayal and the horrors of conflict force Rita and Nabil out of the country and into twisting, uncertain fates. What lies in wait will upend their lives forever, shattering their own notions of what they’re entitled to in a grossly unjust world.
Epic in scope, by turns satirical and heartbreaking, and speaking sharply to America’s current moment, Correspondents is a whirlwind story about displacement from one’s own roots, the violence America promotes both abroad and at home, and the resilience that allows families to remake themselves and endure even the most shocking upheavals.
Forgiving Waters by Kenneth L. Capps:
When the paths of an old cowboy and two young trespassers—-one black and one white—-cross, many lives are changed forever. Beauregard Lee Kelso grew up in a time of racial division and rampant prejudice. Now, at an age that is way past retirement, he struggles with decisions of his past that won’t allow him peace of mind. Kevin and Leonard are looking for some good fishing in one of the pasture watering holes when they cross onto Kelso’s land. This book is the winner of a 2012 Readers’ Favorite Honorable mention and a Gold (first place) Award in the 2013 Indie Next Generation Award for First Novel.
Out of the Dawn Light by Alys Clare:
“Clare’s captivating first in a new medieval series dramatizes the clash between the old pagan ways and Christianity in 11th-century England. In 1087, with the death of William the Conqueror, the common people are in a rebellious mood. Meanwhile, Lassair, a 14-year-old girl from a Fenland village with special gifts, is learning to be a healer. When two young men ask her to use her skills to locate a hidden treasure, she can’t refuse. Lassair joins the men on an arduous trek across East Anglia to the coast, where they unearth a 500-year-old solid gold relic. This relic, Lassair realizes, has the power to cause immense harm. Clare (The Joys of My Life and 11 other Hawkenlye mysteries) brings the people of the period to vivid life with close attention to such matters as food, clothes and religious belief. Engaging characters, like Lassair’s obnoxious sister and her storytelling grandmother, enhance a well-crafted plot that builds to a chilling climax.” Reed Business Review
Pond: A Novel by Claire-Louise Bennett:
Immediately upon its publication in Ireland, Claire-Louise Bennett’s debut began to attract attention well beyond the expectations of the tiny Irish press that published it. A deceptively slender volume, it captures with utterly mesmerizing virtuosity the interior reality of its unnamed protagonist, a young woman living a singular and mostly solitary existence on the outskirts of a small coastal village. Sidestepping the usual conventions of narrative, it focuses on the details of her daily experience—from the best way to eat porridge or bananas to an encounter with cows—rendered sometimes in story-length, story-like stretches of narrative, sometimes in fragments no longer than a page, but always suffused with the hypersaturated, almost synesthetic intensity of the physical world that we remember from childhood. The effect is of character refracted and ventriloquized by environment, catching as it bounces her longings, frustrations, and disappointments—the ending of an affair, or the ambivalent beginning with a new lover. As the narrator’s persona emerges in all its eccentricity, sometimes painfully and often hilariously, we cannot help but see mirrored there our own fraught desires and limitations, and our own fugitive desire, despite everything, to be known.
Shimmering and unusual, Pond demands to be devoured in a single sitting that will linger long after the last page.
River of Darkness by Rennie Airth:
So you thought British detectives had to focus on “the colonel in the drawing room with a candlestick” solutions? Newcomer Airth blasts that stereotype with this tale of serial murder set in post-World War I Britain, featuring the debut of Inspector John Madden, a veteran whose experiences in the trenches give him an edge in tracking and capturing the killer. Meanwhile, Dr. Helen Blackwell entices Madden to employ psychiatric theories shunned at the time by Scotland Yard to explain and predict the killer’s behavior. Airth develops a situation that presages today’s much-touted psychological profiling and serves to build an almost excruciatingly suspenseful plot. In addition, his deft handling of the emotional aftereffects of war gives the work an added sense of purpose. Fans of Thomas Harris will enjoy this book and can take heart in knowing that another Madden tale is already in the works. Nancy McNicol, Hagaman Memorial Lib., East Haven, CT, Library Journal Review.
PRINT BOOK SUGGESTIONS:
Beijing Payback: A Novel by Daniel Nieh:
“Propulsive. . . . Highly enjoyable. . . . It sets up a sequel, one that I very much look forward to reading.” —The New York Times Book Review
A fresh, smart, and fast-paced revenge thriller about a college basketball player who discovers shocking truths about his family in the wake of his father’s murder
Victor Li is devastated by his father’s murder, and shocked by a confessional letter he finds among his father’s things. In it, his father admits that he was never just a restaurateur—in fact he was part of a vast international crime syndicate that formed during China’s leanest communist years.
Victor travels to Beijing, where he navigates his father’s secret criminal life, confronting decades-old grudges, violent spats, and a shocking new enterprise that the organization wants to undertake. Standing up against it is likely what got his father killed, but Victor remains undeterred. He enlists his growing network of allies and friends to finish what his father started, no matter the costs.
Beyond Charlottesville: Taking a Stand Against White Nationalism by Terry McAuliffe with a forward by John Lewis:
The former governor of Virginia tells the behind-the-scenes story of the violent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville―and shows how we can prevent other Charlottesvilles from happening.
When Governor Terry McAuliffe hung up the phone on the afternoon of the violent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, he was sure Donald Trump would do the right thing as president: condemn the white supremacists who’d descended on the college town and who’d caused McAuliffe to declare a state of emergency that morning. He didn’t. Instead Trump declared there was “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.” Trump was condemned from many sides himself, even by many Republicans, but the damage was done. He’d excused and thus egged on the terrorists at the moment when he could have stopped them in their tracks.
In Beyond Charlottesville, McAuliffe looks at the forces and events that led to the tragedy in Charlottesville, including the vicious murder of Heather Heyer and the death of two state troopers in a helicopter accident. He doesn’t whitewash Virginia history and discusses a KKK protest over the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. He takes a hard real-time behind-the-scenes look at the actions of everyone on that fateful August 12, including himself, to see what could have been done. He lays out what was done afterwards to prevent future Charlottesvilles―and what still needs to be done as America in general and Virginia in particular continue to grapple with their history of racism.
Beyond Charlottesville will be the definitive account of an infamous chapter in our history, seared indelibly into memory, sure to be cited for years as a crucial reference point in the long struggle to fight racism, extremism and hate.
Border Son by Samuel Parker
It’s been years since Edward Kazmierski has seen his wayward son. In fact, it’s been years since he has allowed thoughts of Tyler to even enter his mind. The last place he knew Tyler to be was in an El Paso jail six years ago. Then, in one day, he receives a cryptic phone call telling him that his son needs him in Mexico, another from a federal agent searching for Tyler, and a visit from two men he hopes to never meet again.
South of the border, the chain of events set into motion by an impulsive act will almost certainly lead to death–for Tyler and for those who try to help him. But before Ed can recover his son, he will have to tear down the wall that has been built up between them.
With insight and artistry, Samuel Parker brings the dusty and dangerous streets of a Mexican border town into sharp focus in this suspenseful reimagining of the Prodigal Son story.
The Liberation of Paris: How Eisenhower, De Gaulle, and Von Choltitz Saved the City of Light by Jean Edward Smith:
Prize-winning and bestselling historian Jean Edward Smith tells the dramatic story of the liberation of Paris during World War II—a triumph that was achieved through the remarkable efforts of Americans, French, and Germans, all racing to save the city from destruction.
Following their breakout from Normandy in late June 1944, the Allies swept across northern France in pursuit of the German army. The Allies intended to bypass Paris and cross the Rhine into Germany, ending the war before winter set in. But as they advanced, local forces in Paris began their own liberation, defying the occupying German troops.
Charles de Gaulle, the leading figure of the Free French government, urged General Dwight Eisenhower to divert forces to liberate Paris. Eisenhower’s most senior staff recommended otherwise, but Ike wanted to help position de Gaulle to lead France after the war. And both men were concerned about partisan conflict in Paris that could leave the communists in control of the city and the national government, perhaps even causing a bloodbath like the Paris Commune. Neither man knew that the German commandant, Dietrich von Choltitz, convinced that the war was lost, dissembled and schemed to surrender the city to the Allies intact, defying Hitler’s orders to leave it a burning ruin.
In The Liberation of Paris, Jean Edward Smith puts this dramatic event in context, showing how the decision to free the city came at a heavy price: it slowed the Allied momentum and allowed the Germans to regroup. After the war German generals argued that Eisenhower’s decision to enter Paris prolonged the war for another six months. Was Paris worth this price? Smith answers this question in his superb, dramatic history of one of the great events of World War II—published seventy-five years after the liberation.
Meet Me In Monaco by Hazel Gaynor:
Set in the 1950s against the backdrop of Grace Kelly’s whirlwind romance and unforgettable wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco, New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb take the reader on an evocative sun-drenched journey along the Côte d’Azur in this page-turning novel of passion, fate and second chances…
Movie stars and paparazzi flock to Cannes for the glamorous film festival, but Grace Kelly, the biggest star of all, wants only to escape from the flash-bulbs. When struggling perfumer Sophie Duval shelters Miss Kelly in her boutique to fend off a persistent British press photographer, James Henderson, a bond is forged between the two women and sets in motion a chain of events that stretches across thirty years of friendship, love, and tragedy.
James Henderson cannot forget his brief encounter with Sophie Duval. Despite his guilt at being away from his daughter, he takes an assignment to cover the wedding of the century, sailing with Grace Kelly’s wedding party on the SS Constitution from New York. In Monaco, as wedding fever soars and passions and tempers escalate, James and Sophie—like Princess Grace—must ultimately decide what they are prepared to give up for love.
Book descriptions are provided by the publishers unless otherwise specified.
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.