Hi everyone, here are our recommended titles for the week, five digital titles, eBooks & downloadable audiobooks, available through OverDrive and five print titles available through StarCat.

DIGITAL CATALOG RECOMMENDATIONS:

Chasing the Bright Side Embrace Optimism, Activate Your Purpose, and Write Your Own Story by Jess Ekstrom (Format: eBook):

One flicker of hope. That’s all it takes to catapult yourself into the life you’ve always imagined.

Success is not born out of skill, school, where we’re from, who we know, or what we scored on the SAT. None of us were born ready. None of us started life knowing how to fly a plane or launch a company or knit a sweater for our dog.

But we are born with something more important than skills. We’re born with optimism—the initial seed for success. Optimism fuels the belief that you can be the one to create the good the world needs. But you’ve got to hone it. And practice it. And determine to live from it.

In Chasing the Bright Side, Jess Ekstrom shares her own inspirational story of how optimism helped her overcome multiple challenges, and the dynamic ways her mind-set propelled her as a young entrepreneur, international speaker, and philanthropist.

Do you have dreams for yourself and the world that are tucked away in your box of somedays? What would happen if today was the day you opened the box? And what if that box was the key to a better tomorrow?

Jess’s journey will inspire you embrace the power of optimism in your own life, and help you reimagine your purpose so you create good in the world while fulfilling your own dreams—right where you are.

Dachshund Through the Snow, Andy Carpenter Novel, Book 20 by David Rosenfelt (Format: eBook):

This Christmas, lawyer Andy Carpenter and his golden retriever, Tara, can’t say no to helping six-year-old Adam and his dachshund, Simon.

Christmas is the time for giving. Lawyer Andy Carpenter and his wife, Laurie, generously give back year-round, but they always try to do a little something extra around the holidays. Andy’s local pet store has a Christmas tree, where instead of ornaments there are wishes from those in need. This leads Andy to six-year-old Adam, whose selfless plea strikes a chord with Andy and Laurie. Adam asked Santa for a coat for his mother, food for his dachshund, Simon, and for the safe return of his missing father.

It turns out Adam’s father doesn’t want to be found . . . he’s on the run from a murder charge – a murder that Adam’s mother swears he didn’t commit.

With his trademark humor and larger-than-life characters, Rosenfelt never fails to deliver as Andy and his eccentric crew dash to reunite a family in time for Christmas.

Fires of Winter by Roberta Gellis (Format: eBook):

Her noble name made her a threat to the new king.

To remain in favor he would do anything…even accept the hand of his enemy.

The beautiful, cherished daughter of Scottish nobility, Melusine of Ulle had all the privileges of rank. But her family and her life were destroyed by the ravages of war.

A bastard son of an English lord, Bruno of Jernaeve was born with nothing. But through loyalty, cleverness, and brute strength, he carved out a spot at the right hand of the king.

They have nothing in common and every reason to hate each other, but even in the coldest of winters one spark can ignite a fire too hot to tame.

The Tales of Jernaeve series:
Tapestry of Dreams (Book 1)
Fires of Winter (Book 2)

The Pretty One On Life, Pop Culture, Disability, and Other Reasons to Fall in Love with Me by Keah Brown (Format: eBook):

From the disability rights advocate and creator of the #DisabledAndCute viral campaign, a thoughtful, inspiring, and charming collection of essays exploring what it means to be black and disabled in a mostly able-bodied white America.
Keah Brown loves herself, but that hadn’t always been the case. Born with cerebral palsy, her greatest desire used to be normalcy and refuge from the steady stream of self-hate society strengthened inside her. But after years of introspection and reaching out to others in her community, she has reclaimed herself and changed her perspective.

In The Pretty One, Brown gives a contemporary and relatable voice to the disabled—so often portrayed as mute, weak, or isolated. With clear, fresh, and light-hearted prose, these essays explore everything from her relationship with her able-bodied identical twin (called “the pretty one” by friends) to navigating romance; her deep affinity for all things pop culture—and her disappointment with the media’s distorted view of disability; and her declaration of self-love with the viral hashtag #DisabledAndCute.

By “smashing stigmas, empowering her community, and celebrating herself” (Teen Vogue), Brown and The Pretty One aims to expand the conversation about disability and inspire self-love for people of all backgrounds.

Serpent in the Thorns, The Crispin Guest Medieval Mystery by Jeri Westerson (Format: eBook):

The disgraced knight turned inquiry agent searches for a missing relic in this Macavity Award-finalist mystery set in fourteenth century London.

Former knight Crispin Guest is now known in the streets of medieval London as the Tracker—an investigator who can find anything and anyone. What begins as a straightforward case of murder turns complicated when Crispin realizes that the victim was an important courier in possession of a holy artifact—an object so valuable that its absence could start a war between France and England.

Surrounded by possible suspects, Guest will have to use his wiles to navigate both the exclusive halls of King Richard’s court, and the hardscrabble streets of fourteenth century London. In a world full of old friends, mysterious strangers, and dangerous enemies—including the treasonous mastermind who caused Crispin’s fall from grace—Crispin will have to uncover a deadly conspiracy to protect his country, save himself, and perhaps even restore his good name.

PRINT RECOMMENDATIONS:

The Andromeda Evolution by Daniel H. Wilson:

“In 1967, an extraterrestrial microbe came crashing down to Earth and nearly ended the human race. Accidental exposure to the particle — designated The Andromeda Strain — killed every resident of the town of Piedmont, Arizona, save for an elderly man and an infant boy. Over the next five days, a team of top scientists assigned to Project Wildfire worked valiantly to save the world from an epidemic of unimaginable proportions. In the moments before a catastrophic nuclear detonation, they succeeded. In the ensuing decades, research on the microparticle continued. And the world thought it was safe … Deep inside Fairchild Air Force Base, Project Eternal Vigilance has continued to watch and wait for the Andromeda Strain to reappear. On the verge of being shut down, the project has registered no activity — until now. A Brazilian terrain-mapping drone has detected a bizarre anomaly of otherworldly matter in the middle of the jungle, and, worse yet, the tell-tale chemical signature of the deadly microparticle. With this shocking discovery, the next-generation Project Wildfire is activated, and a diverse team of experts hailing from all over the world is dispatched to investigate the potentially apocalyptic threat. But the microbe is growing — evolving. And if the Wildfire team can’t reach the quarantine zone, enter the anomaly, and figure out how to stop it, this new Andromeda Evolution will annihilate all life as we know it.” — Provided by publisher.

Gwendy’s Magic Feather by Richard Chizmar:

Something evil has swept into the small western Maine town of Castle Rock on the heels of the latest winter storm. Sheriff Norris Ridgewick and his team are desperately searching for two missing girls, but time is running out to bring them home alive. In Washington D.C., thirty-seven-year-old Gwendy Peterson couldn’t be more different from the self-conscious teenaged girl who once spent a summer running up Castle Rock’s Suicide Stairs. That same summer, she was entrusted — or some might say cursed — with the extraordinary button box by Richard Farris, the mysterious stranger in the black suit. The seductive and powerful box offered Gwendy small gifts in exchange for its care and feeding until Farris eventually returned, promising Gwendy she’d never see the box again. One day, though, the button box shows up without warning — and without Richard Farris to explain why, or what she’s supposed to do with it. The mysterious reappearance of the box, along with the troubling disappearances in Castle Rock, leads Gwendy home again … where she just might be able to help rescue the missing girls and stop a madman before he does something ghastly. From New York Times bestseller Richard Chizmar comes Gwendy’s Magic Feather, a breathtaking novel that asks whether our lives are controlled by fate or the choices we make — and what price we might have to pay for those choices when we reach for the things we most desire. Prepare to return again to Stephen King’s Castle Rock, the sleepy little town built on a bedrock of deep, dark secrets, which is about to awaken from its quiet slumber once more. — Publisher’s website.

Now You See Them by Elly Griffiths:

Abstract: “The fifth book in the Magic Men series, Now You See Them is a wild mystery with detective Edgar Stephens and the magician Max Mephisto as they investigate a string of presumed kidnappings in the swinging 1960s”– Provided by publisher.

Scarlet Fever: A Novel by Rita Mae Brown:

Abstract: “Frigid February air has settled into the bones of the Blue Ridge Mountains, making for a slow foxhunting season, though “Sister” Jane Arnold’s enthusiasm is not so easily deterred. With the winter chill come tweed coats, blazing fireplaces, and perhaps another to share the warmth with, as the bold hunting scarlets worn by the men in Sister Jane’s hunting club make the hearts of women flutter–until someone’s heart stops entirely. Harry Dunbar, a member of the Jefferson Hunt club with a penchant for antique furniture, is found with his skull cracked at the bottom of the stairs to a local store. There are no telltale signs of foul play–save for the priceless (and stolen) Erté fox ring in his pocket. Sister and her hounds set out to uncover the truth: Was this simply an accident or something much more sinister? Steeped in the deep traditions of Virginia horse country and featuring a colorful cast of characters both two- and four-legged, Scarlet Fever is another spirited mystery from Rita Mae Brown”– Provided by publisher.

She Came to Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman by Erica Armstrong Dunbar:

In the bestselling tradition of The Notorious RBG comes a lively, informative, and illustrated tribute to one of the most exceptional women in American history—Harriet Tubman—a heroine whose fearlessness and activism still resonates today.

Harriet Tubman is best known as one of the most famous conductors on the Underground Railroad. As a leading abolitionist, her bravery and selflessness has inspired generations in the continuing struggle for civil rights. Now, National Book Award nominee Erica Armstrong Dunbar presents a fresh take on this American icon blending traditional biography, illustrations, photos, and engaging sidebars that illuminate the life of Tubman as never before.

Not only did Tubman help liberate hundreds of slaves, she was the first woman to lead an armed expedition during the Civil War, worked as a spy for the Union Army, was a fierce suffragist, and was an advocate for the aged. She Came to Slay reveals the many complexities and varied accomplishments of one of our nation’s true heroes and offers an accessible and modern interpretation of Tubman’s life that is both informative and engaging.

Filled with rare outtakes of commentary, an expansive timeline of Tubman’s life, photos (both new and those in public domain), commissioned illustrations, and sections including “Harriet By the Numbers” (number of times she went back down south, approximately how many people she rescued, the bounty on her head) and “Harriet’s Homies” (those who supported her over the years), She Came to Slay is a stunning and powerful mix of pop culture and scholarship and proves that Harriet Tubman is well deserving of her permanent place in our nation’s history.

Have a great week!

Linda Reimer, SSCL

StarCat

The catalog of physical library materials, i.e. print books, audiobooks on CD, DVDs 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 (eBooks & downloadable audiobooks) or the RB Digital app (on-demand magazines), from your app store to get started. And if you’re using a PC or Mac simply click on the following link: https://stls.overdrive.com/

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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