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:
Good Riddance written by Elinor Lipman and read by Mia Barron (Format: Downloadable Audiobook):
Daphne Maritch doesn’t quite know what to make of the heavily-annotated high-school yearbook she inherits from her mother. The late June Winter Maritch was the teacher to whom the class of ’69 had dedicated its yearbook, and she, in turn, went on to attend every reunion. Each year, she scribbled notes and observations after each one—not always charitably—and noted who overstepped boundaries of many kinds. In a fit of de-cluttering, Daphne throws the yearbook away. But when it’s found in the recycling bin by a neighbor/documentary filmmaker, the yearbook’s mysteries—not to mention her own family’s—take on a whole new urgency, and Daphne finds herself entangled in a series of events both poignant and absurd.
The Green Years by Karen Wolff (Format: eBook):
When eight-year-old Harry Spencer’s father returns from WWI with a missing arm, his father’s bitterness shatters their relationship. Though confused and brokenhearted, Harry is determined to make something of himself. Endeavoring with heart and sometimes-humorous results, he sets out on his path in life, working in his granddad’s store, selling medicinal salves, washing windows, and falling in love.
This historical coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of small-town life will tug at your heartstrings as Harry discovers who he is, who his father is, and how to heal the past.
I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening) A Guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversations by Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth A. Silvers (Format: Downloadable Audiobook):
Two friends on opposite sides of the aisle provide a practical guide to grace-filled political conversation while challenging readers to put relationship before policy and understanding before argument.
More than ever, politics seems driven by conflict and anger. People sitting together in pews every Sunday have started to feel like strangers, loved ones at the dinner table like enemies. Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers say there is a better way.
As working moms on opposite ends of the political spectrum and hosts of a fast-growing politics podcast, Holland and Silvers have learned how to practice engaging conversation while disagreeing. In I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening), they share principles on how to give grace and be vulnerable when discussing issues that affect families, churches, the country, and the world.
The Long Flight Home by Alan Hlad (Format: eBook):
It is September 1940—a year into the war—and as German bombs fall on Britain, fears grow of an impending invasion. Enemy fighter planes blacken the sky around the Epping Forest home of Susan Shepherd and her grandfather, Bertie. After losing her parents to influenza as a child, Susan found comfort in raising homing pigeons with Bertie. All her birds are extraordinary to Susan—loyal, intelligent, beautiful—but none more so than Duchess. Hatched from an egg that Susan incubated in a bowl under her grandfather’s desk lamp, Duchess shares a special bond with Susan and an unusual curiosity about the human world.
Thousands of miles away in Buxton, Maine, a young crop-duster pilot named Ollie Evans has decided to travel to Britain to join the Royal Air Force. His quest brings him to Epping and to the National Pigeon Service, where Susan is involved in a new, covert assignment. Codenamed Source Columba, the mission aims to air-drop hundreds of homing pigeons in German-occupied France. Many will not survive. Those that do make the journey home to England can convey crucial information on German troop movements—and help reclaim the skies from the Luftwaffe.
The friendship between Ollie and Susan deepens as the mission date draws near. When Ollie’s plane is downed behind enemy lines, both know how remote the chances of reunion must be. Yet Duchess’s devotion and her singular sense of duty will become an unexpected lifeline, relaying messages between Susan and Ollie as war rages on—and proving, at last, that hope is never truly lost.
Peculiar Questions and Practical Answers: A Little Book of Whimsy and Wisdom from the Files of the New York Public Library by New York Public Library & Barry Blitt (Format: eBook):
Have you’ve ever wondered if you can keep an octopus in a private home? Do you spend your time thinking about how much Napoleon’s brain weighed? If so, Peculiar Questions and Practical Answers is the book for you. The New York Public Library has been fielding questions like these ever since it was founded in 1895. Of course, some of the questions have left the librarians scratching their heads…
“In what occupations may one be barefooted?”
“What time does a bluebird sing?”
“What does it mean when you’re being chased by an elephant?”
“What kind of apple did Eve eat?”
“How many neurotic people are there in the U.S.?”
In Peculiar Questions and Practical Answers, the staff of the NYPL has dug through the archives to find thoughtful and often witty answers to over one hundred of the oddest, funniest, and most whimsical questions the library has received since it began record-keeping over seventy-five years ago. One of The New Yorker’s best-known and beloved illustrators, Barry Blitt, has created watercolors that bring many of the questions hilariously to life in a book that answers, among others, the question “Does anyone have a copyright on the Bible?”
The Tiger’s Prey by Wilbur Smith & Tom Harper (Format: eBook):
The New York Times bestselling author of Desert God and Pharaoh adds another chapter to his popular historical saga featuring the seafaring Tom Courtney, the hero of Monsoon and Blue Horizon, with this magnificent swashbuckling saga set in the eighteenth century and packed with action, violence, romance, and rousing adventure.
Tom Courtney, one of four sons of master mariner Sir Hal Courtney, once again sets sail on a treacherous journey that will take him across the vast reaches of the ocean and pit him against dangerous enemies in exotic destinations. But just as the winds propel his sails, passion drives his heart. Turning his ship towards the unknown, Tom Courtney will ultimately find his destiny—and lay the future for the Courtney family.
Wilbur Smith, the world’s greatest storyteller, once again recreates all the drama, uncertainty, and courage of a bygone era in this thrilling saga of the sea.
10 Women Who Changed Science And The World by Catherine Whitlock & Rhodri Evans:
From two-time Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie to physicist Chien-Shiung Wu and obstetrical anesthesiologist Virginia Apgar, M.D., this book celebrates the lives and hard-earned accomplishments of ten women from around the world who forever changed astronomy, physics, chemistry, medicine, and biology.
It has been more than a century since the Nobel Prize in science was first awarded to a woman. And after Marie Curie’s 1911 accolade, seventeen other women—including two in 2018—have been so honored (Curie won the award a second time). This book explores the lives of Curie, three other female Nobel Prize winners, and six other women who broke through gender discrimination in a variety of fields to help shape our world with their extraordinary discoveries and inventions.
What drove these remarkable women to cure previously incurable diseases, disprove existing theories, or identify new sources of energy? Despite living during periods when the contribution of women was often disregarded, if not ignored, these resilient women persevered with their research. By daring to ask “How?” and “Why?” and laboring against the odds, each of these women, in her own way, made the world a better place.
1. Virginia Apgar
2. Rachel Carson
3. Marie Curie
4. Gertrude Elion
5. Dorothy Hodgkin
6. Henrietta Leavitt
7. Rita Levi-Montalcini
8. Lise Meitner
9. Elsie Widdowson
10. Chen-shiung Wu
The American Short Story: A Collection Of The Best Known And Most Memorable Short Stories By The Great American Authors:
This entertaining collection–a panoramic survey of American literature–presents over two hundred years of great American short stories in more than 1,000 pages. From Washington Irving to Joyce Carol Oates, our nation’s best writers are showcased at the top of their form.
Selections from America’s first great quartet of fiction writers–Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe and Herman Melville–open this extraordinary volume and reflect the birth of a distinctly American literature. The short story form blossomed during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, giving rise to superb works of realism, naturalism, and regionalism. The American Short Story explores these traditions fully, with a wonderful sampling of writings from Ambrose Bierce, Edward Everett Hale, Mark Twain, Bret Harte, Sarah Orne Jewett, Joel Chandler Harris, Frank Norris, Stephen Crane, Theodore Drieser, Henry James, Edith Wharton and many others. Stories like F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Babylon Revisited” and Ernest Hemingway’s “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” capture the brilliance of “The Lost Generation” writers; the rich tradition of Southern storytelling come to life in works by William Faulkner, Katherine Anne Porter, Eudora Welty, Thomas Wolfe, and Flannery O’Connor; and, in works ranging from the sentimental to the satirical, the hard-hitting to the hilarious, writers like Saul Bellow, James Baldwin, John Updike, and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. illuminate the experiences of America’s extraordinarily diverse population.
Auntie Poldi And The Vineyards of Etna by Mario Giordano:
When prosecco-loving Auntie Poldi retired to Sicily from Germany, she never dreamt her tranquil days would be interrupted by murder. But Sicily had other plans, and Poldi found herself honor-bound to solve the disappearance of her beloved (and cute) handyman. Now, she’s finally ready for some peace and quiet–interrupted by romantic encounters with handsome Chief Inspector Montana, of course–when the water supply to her neighborhood is cut off and a dear friend’s dog is poisoned, tell-tale signs that a certain familial organization is flexing their muscle. Poldi knows there will be no resolution without her help. She soon finds a body in a vineyard, tangles with the Mafia, and yet again makes herself unpopular in the pursuit of justice. But once wine and murder mix, how could she possibly stay away?
Mary Bell Washington: The Story Of George Washington’s Mother by Craig Shirley:
The Mother of the Father of our Country.
Mary Ball Washington was an unlikely candidate to be the mother of history’s most famous revolutionary. In fact, George Washington’s first fight for independence was from his controlling, singular mother.
Stubborn, aristocratic Mary Ball Washington was entrenched in the Old World ways of her ancestors, dismissing the American experiment even as her son led the successful rebellion against the crown. During his youth, ambitious George dove into the hard-scrabble work of a surveyor and rose through the ranks of the fledgling colonial army, even as his overprotective mother tried to discourage these efforts.
Mary’s influence on George was twofold. Though she raised her eldest son to become one of the world’s greatest leaders, Mary also tried many times to hold him back. While she passed down her strength and individuality to George, she also sought to protect him from the risks he needed to take to become a daring general and president. But it was this resistance itself which fanned the spark of George’s independence into a flame. The constant tug of war between the two throughout the early years helped define George’s character.
In Mary Ball Washington, New York Times bestselling author Craig Shirley uncovers startling details about the inner workings of the Washington family. He vividly brings to life a resilient widow who singlehandedly raised six children and ran a large farm at a time when most women’s duties were relegated to household matters. Throughout, Shirley compares and contrasts mother and son, illuminating the qualities they shared and the differences that divided them.
A significant contribution to American history, Mary Ball Washington is the definitive take on the relationship between George and Mary Washington, offering fresh insight into this extraordinary figure who would shape our nation—and the woman who shaped him.
Strange Tombs by Syd Moore:
Halloween in Essex and the Mystery and Suspense creative writing course at old Ratchette Hall is off to a satisfyingly creepy start. But things take a turn for the worse when the course administrator is discovered dead, clutching a marble finger to his chest. For why would anyone, undead or alive, want to kill mild-mannered Graham? Luckily Rosie Strange and Sam Stone are on the case. Soon, however, they are digging up more questions than answers: who are the unearthly howls emanating from neighbouring Witch Wood every night? How has a stone crusader, on display in the church, managed to lose a finger? And, more sinister yet, why is one of the tombs missing a corpse?
Have a great week!
Linda Reimer, SSCL
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