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:

The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs (Format: eBook):

#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs brings readers into the lush abundance of Sonoma County, in a story of sisters, friendship and the invisible bonds of history that are woven like a spell around us.

Tess Delaney loves illuminating history; returning stolen treasures to their rightful owners and filling the spaces in people’s hearts with stories of their family legacies. But Tess’s own history is filled with gaps: a father she never met, and a mother who spent more time traveling than with her daughter.

Then the enigmatic Dominic Rossi arrives on her San Francisco doorstep with the news that the grandfather she’s never met is in a coma and that she’s destined to inherit half of a hundred-acre apple orchard estate called Bella Vista. The rest is willed to Isabel Johansen, the half sister she never knew she had. Isabel is everything Tess isn’t, but against the rich landscape of Bella Vista, with Isabel and Dominic by her side, Tess begins to discover a world where family comes first and the roots of history run deep.

A Catered Halloween by Isis Crawford (Format: eBook):

With the promise of a hefty commission and some valuable word-of-mouth for their catering business, A Little Taste of Heaven, sisters Bernadette and Libby Simmons agree to cater the charity haunted house being staged at the old Peabody School. But when wealthy socialite Amethyst Applegate is found dead in the haunted house, Bernie and Libby wonder if a murderer might also be lurking about Peabody’s gloomy halls. . .

While almost everyone Amethyst ever met might have a motive for killing her, not everyone had access to the Peabody School. All Bernie and Libby know is if they don’t solve this mystery soon, they might become the next stars in a real-life horror flick. . .

“Fun. . .well-plotted. . .. A selection of delectable seasonal recipes rounds out the volume.” –Publishers Weekly

Fruit of the Drunken Tree: A Novel by Ingrid Rojas Contreras (Format: eBook):

“One of the most dazzling and devastating novels I’ve read in a long time…Readers of Fruit of the Drunken Tree will surely be transformed.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Simultaneously propulsive and poetic, reminiscent of Isabel Allende…Listen to this new author’s voice — she has something powerful to say.”—Entertainment Weekly

A mesmerizing debut set in Colombia at the height Pablo Escobar’s violent reign about a sheltered young girl and a teenage maid who strike an unlikely friendship that threatens to undo them both

Seven-year-old Chula and her older sister Cassandra enjoy carefree lives thanks to their gated community in Bogotá, but the threat of kidnappings, car bombs, and assassinations hover just outside the neighborhood walls, where the godlike drug lord Pablo Escobar continues to elude authorities and capture the attention of the nation.

When their mother hires Petrona, a live-in-maid from the city’s guerrilla-occupied slum, Chula makes it her mission to understand Petrona’s mysterious ways. But Petrona’s unusual behavior belies more than shyness. She is a young woman crumbling under the burden of providing for her family as the rip tide of first love pulls her in the opposite direction. As both girls’ families scramble to maintain stability amidst the rapidly escalating conflict, Petrona and Chula find themselves entangled in a web of secrecy that will force them both to choose between sacrifice and betrayal.

Inspired by the author’s own life, and told through the alternating perspectives of the willful Chula and the achingly hopeful Petrona, Fruit of the Drunken Tree contrasts two very different, but inextricably linked coming-of-age stories. In lush prose, Rojas Contreras has written a powerful testament to the impossible choices women are often forced to make in the face of violence and the unexpected connections that can blossom out of desperation.

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Format: eBook):

The Mayan god of death sends a young woman on a harrowing, life-changing journey in this dark, one-of-a-kind fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore.

“A spellbinding fairy tale rooted in Mexican mythology . . . Gods of Jade and Shadow is a magical fairy tale about identity, freedom, and love, and it’s like nothing you’ve read before.”—Bustle

The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own.

Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it—and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true.

In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City—and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.

Praise for Gods of Jade and Shadow

“A dark, dazzling fairy tale . . . a whirlwind tour of a 1920s Mexico vivid with jazz, the memories of revolution, and gods, demons, and magic.”—NPR

“Snappy dialog, stellar worldbuilding, lyrical prose, and a slow-burn romance make this a standout. . . . Purchase where Naomi Novik, Nnedi Okorafor, and N. K. Jemisin are popular.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“A magical novel of duality, tradition, and change . . . Moreno-Garcia’s seamless blend of mythology and history provides a ripe setting for Casiopea’s stellar journey of self-discovery, which culminates in a dramatic denouement. Readers will gladly immerse themselves in Moreno-Garcia’s rich and complex tale of desperate hopes and complicated relationships.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Casiopea is not a damsel in distress, but rather a young woman coming of age in a time where music, myth, art and exploration thrum colorfully around her. . . . Readers will be floored by Moreno-Garcia’s painstaking attention to detail. Her descriptions of the emotionally charged interactions between realistic human characters and otherworldly gods, witches and demonic forces are unforgettable, as are the fairy-tale and folktale aspects of the plot.”—BookPage (starred review)

The Transpacific Experiment How China and California Collaborate and Compete for Our Future written by Matt Sheehan and read by P.J. Ochlan (Format: Downloadable eBook):

Tensions between the world’s superpowers are mounting in Washington, D.C., and Beijing. But between these hubs of high-level politics, an entirely new reality is emerging. Yet the People’s Republic of China and the state of California have built deep and interdependent socioeconomic exchanges that reverberate across the globe, and these interactions make California a microcosm of the most important international relationship of the twenty-first century. In The Transpacific Experiment, journalist Matt Sheehan chronicles the real people who are making these connections. Sheehan tells the story of a Southern Californian mayor who believes a Chinese electric bus factory will save his town from meth labs and skinheads. He follows a celebrated Chinese AI researcher who leaves Google to challenge his former employer from behind the Great Firewall. Sheehan joins a tour bus of wealthy Chinese families shopping for homes in the Bay Area, revealing disgruntled neighbors and raising important questions about California’s own prejudices. Sheehan’s on-the-ground reporting reveals movie sets in the “Hollywood of China,” Chinese immigrants who support Donald Trump, and more. Each of these stories lays bare the new reality of twenty-first-century superpowers: the closer they get to one another, the more personal their frictions become.

PRINT BOOK SUGGESTIONS:

Adeline by Mark Torres:

From the author of the widely acclaimed debut novel A Stirring in the North Fork, Mark Torres’ next installment, Adeline, is a fast-paced, gripping tale about the mysterious death of an innocent young woman wrongly committed to a notorious mental asylum in 1977. The ever-determined Savoy Graves returns to try and unmask the sinister fiend, only to find himself plunged deep into the dangerous and dark world of a maniacal secret society willing to guard its identity at all cost. Will Graves achieve justice for this long-buried unsolved murder? And if so, what personal sacrifices will he be forced to make?

A Book of Bones by John Connolly:

Private Investigator Charlie Parker returns in this heart-pounding thriller as he seeks revenge against the darkest forces in the world, from the internationally bestselling author of the acclaimed The Woman in the Woods.

He is our best hope.

He is our last hope.

On a lonely moor in northern England, the body of a young woman is discovered. In the south, a girl lies buried beneath a Saxon mound. To the southeast, the ruins of a priory hide a human skull.

Each is a sacrifice, a summons. And something in the darkness has heard the call.

Charlie Parker has also heard it and from the forests of Maine to the deserts of the Mexican border, from the canals of Amsterdam to the streets of London, he will track those who would cast the world into darkness.

Parker fears no evil—but evil fears him.

With John Connolly’s signature “blend of crime and supernatural horror” (Crime Reads), A Book of Bones is a terrifying and suspenseful thrill ride that will keep you guessing until the very last page.

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout:

#1 New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout continues the life of her beloved Olive Kitteridge, a character who has captured the imaginations of millions of readers.

Prickly, wry, resistant to change yet ruthlessly honest and deeply empathetic, Olive Kitteridge is “a compelling life force” (San Francisco Chronicle). The New Yorker has said that Elizabeth Strout “animates the ordinary with an astonishing force,” and she has never done so more clearly than in these pages, where the iconic Olive struggles to understand not only herself and her own life but the lives of those around her in the town of Crosby, Maine. Whether with a teenager coming to terms with the loss of her father, a young woman about to give birth during a hilariously inopportune moment, a nurse who confesses a secret high school crush, or a lawyer who struggles with an inheritance she does not want to accept, the unforgettable Olive will continue to startle us, to move us, and to inspire moments of transcendent grace.

The Shadow King: A Novel by Maaza Mengiste:

A gripping novel set during Mussolini’s 1935 invasion of Ethiopia, The Shadow King takes us back to the first real conflict of World War II, casting light on the women soldiers who were left out of the historical record.

With the threat of Mussolini’s army looming, recently orphaned Hirut struggles to adapt to her new life as a maid in Kidane and his wife Aster’s household. Kidane, an officer in Emperor Haile Selassie’s army, rushes to mobilize his strongest men before the Italians invade. His initial kindness to Hirut shifts into a flinty cruelty when she resists his advances, and Hirut finds herself tumbling into a new world of thefts and violations, of betrayals and overwhelming rage. Meanwhile, Mussolini’s technologically advanced army prepares for an easy victory. Hundreds of thousands of Italians—Jewish photographer Ettore among them—march on Ethiopia seeking adventure.

As the war begins in earnest, Hirut, Aster, and the other women long to do more than care for the wounded and bury the dead. When Emperor Haile Selassie goes into exile and Ethiopia quickly loses hope, it is Hirut who offers a plan to maintain morale. She helps disguise a gentle peasant as the emperor and soon becomes his guard, inspiring other women to take up arms against the Italians. But how could she have predicted her own personal war as a prisoner of one of Italy’s most vicious officers, who will force her to pose before Ettore’s camera?

What follows is a gorgeously crafted and unputdownable exploration of female power, with Hirut as the fierce, original, and brilliant voice at its heart. In incandescent, lyrical prose, Maaza Mengiste breathes life into complicated characters on both sides of the battle line, shaping a heartrending, indelible exploration of what it means to be a woman at war.

The Waters and the Wild by Mercedes Lackey & Rosemary Edghill:

NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLING AUTHOR. ENTRY #10 IN MERCEDES LACKEY’S CELEBRATED SERRATED EDGE URBAN FANTASY SERIES!

Deeply depressed Olivia, whose parents are divorcing, is ripe for manipulation. And swimming star Blake is looking for someone just like her. Although her friend tries to warn her, Olivia falls for his ploys and accepts an invitation to go to the Adirondack resort camp of Lake Endor with him and his family.

But all is not as it seems at the hundred year old resort. Not only does Olivia discover that Blake is not the guy she thought he was, there is something sinister afoot at the lake.

There is something lying beneath the waters of Lake Endor. Something not of this world.
Will Olivia be drawn under or will she allow true friends to draw her from the lure of oblivion?

Have a great week!

Linda Reimer, SSCL

Online Catalog Links:

StarCat

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

ABOUT LIBRARY APPS:

You can access digital library content, i.e. eBooks & downloadable audiobooks, on PCs, Macs and mobile devices.

For mobile devices simply download the Libby app, for eBooks & downloadable audiobooks, or the RB Digital app, for on-demand magazines, from your app store to get started. And if you’re using a PC or Mac simply click on the following links: https://stls.overdrive.com/ or https://www.rbdigital.com/stlschemungcony/service/magazines/landing?

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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