Hi everyone, here are our recommended titles for the week, and while the library is closed the weekly recommendations will all be digital – eBooks & downloadable audiobooks.
DIGITAL CATALOG RECOMMENDATIONS:
The Blood Curse by Emily Gee (Format: eBook)
A curse is ravaging the Seven Kingdoms. Fugitive Osgaardan prince Harkeld is the one person who can destroy it. Guarded by Sentinel mages, pursued by Fithian assassins, he begins the final—and most dangerous—stage of his quest: entering the cursed kingdom of Sault, where drinking even one drop of water means madness and death.
But the mages aren’t the only travelers heading east. Princess Brigitta, abducted by the Fithians, is also bound for Sault—unless she can escape. And in close pursuit is her loyal armsman, Karel.
Young orphan Jaumé is also headed for Sault—where he will be forced to make decisions that will change the fate of the Seven Kingdoms forever.
The Cursed Kingdom’s Trilogy
1. The Sentinel Mage
2. The Fire Prince
3. The Blood Curse
The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial written by Herman Wouk & read by David Selby (Format: Downloadable Audio)
This acclaimed WWII psychological courtroom drama was the sensation of 1954. The play portrays a mutiny of naval officers aboard the U.S.S. Caine whose suspicions concerning their captain’s sanity lead to their rebellion and a subsequent court martial.
The Female Detective by Andrew Forrester (Format: ebook)
The Female Detective is the first novel in British fiction to feature a professional female detective.
Written by Andrew Forrester, it was originally published in 1864. The protagonist is Miss Gladden, or ‘G’ as she is also known – the precursor to Miss Marple, Mma Ramotswe and Lisbeth Salander. Miss Gladden’s deductive methods and energetic approach anticipate those of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, and she can be seen as beginning a powerful tradition of female detectives in these seven short stories. ‘G’ uses similar methods to her male counterparts – she enters scenes of crime incognito, tracking down killers while trying to conceal her own tracks and her identity from others. ‘G’, the first female detective, does much physical detective work, examining crime scenes, looking for clues and employing all manner of skill, subterfuge, observation and charm solve crimes. Like Holmes, ‘G’ regards the regular constabulary with disdain. For all the intrigue and interest of the stories, little is ever revealed about ‘G’ herself, and her personal circumstances remain a mystery throughout. But it is her ability to apply her considerable energy and intelligence to solve crimes that is her greatest appeal, and the reappearance of the original lady detective will be welcomed by fans of crime fiction.
Joe Country by Mick Herron (Format: eBook)
In Slough House, the London outpost for disgraced MI5 spies, memories are stirring, all of them bad. Catherine Standish is buying booze again, Louisa Guy is raking over the ashes of lost love, and new recruit Lech Wicinski, whose sins make him an outcast even among the slow horses, is determined to discover who destroyed his career, even if he tears his life apart in the process.
Meanwhile, in Regent’s Park, Diana Taverner’s tenure as First Desk is running into difficulties. If she’s going to make the Service fit for purpose, she might have to make deals with a familiar old devil . . .
And with winter taking its grip, Jackson Lamb would sooner be left brooding in peace, but even he can’t ignore the dried blood on his carpets. So when the man responsible for killing a slow horse breaks cover at last, Lamb sends the slow horses out to even the score.
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake: A Memoir of a Woman’s Life by Anna Quindlen (Format: Downloadable Audio)
“[Quindlen] serves up generous portions of her wise, commonsensical, irresistibly quotable take on life. . . . What Nora Ephron does for body image and Anne Lamott for spiritual neuroses, Quindlen achieves on the home front.”—NPR
Includes an exclusive conversation between Meryl Streep and Anna Quindlen!
In this irresistible memoir, Anna Quindlen writes about a woman’s life, from childhood memories to manic motherhood to middle age, using the events of her life to illuminate ours. Considering—and celebrating—everything from marriage, girlfriends, our mothers, parenting, faith, loss, to all the stuff in our closets, and more, Quindlen says for us here what we may wish we could have said ourselves. As she did in her beloved New York Times columns, and in A Short Guide to a Happy Life, Quindlen uses her past, present, and future to explore what matters most to women at different ages. Quindlen talks about
Marriage: “A safety net of small white lies can be the bedrock of a successful marriage. You wouldn’t believe how cheaply I can do a kitchen renovation.”
Girlfriends: “Ask any woman how she makes it through the day, and she may mention her calendar, her to-do lists, her babysitter. But if you push her on how she really makes it through her day, she will mention her girlfriends. “
Our bodies: “I’ve finally recognized my body for what it is: a personality-delivery system, designed expressly to carry my character from place to place, now and in the years to come.”
Parenting: “Being a parent is not transactional. We do not get what we give. It is the ultimate pay-it-forward endeavor: We are good parents not so they will be loving enough to stay with us but so they will be strong enough to leave us.”
Candid, funny, and moving, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake is filled with the sharp insights and revealing observations that have long confirmed Quindlen’s status as America’s laureate of real life.
“Classic Quindlen, at times witty, at times wise, and always of her time.”—The Miami Herald
“[A] pithy, get-real memoir.”—Booklist
New Life, No Instructions: A Memoir written and read by Gail Caldwell (Format: Downloadable Audio)
The Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author of Let’s Take the Long Way Home now gives us a stunning, exquisitely written memoir about a dramatic turning point in her life, which unexpectedly opened up a world of understanding, possibility, and connection. New Life, No Instructions is about the surprising way life can begin again, at any age.
“What do you do when the story changes in midlife? When a tale you have told yourself turns out to be a little untrue, just enough to throw the world off-kilter? It’s like leaving the train at the wrong stop: You are still you, but in a new place, there by accident or grace, and you will need your wits about you to proceed.
“Any change that matters, or takes, begins as immeasurably small. Then it accumulates, moss on stone, and after a few thousand years of not interfering, you have a glen, or a waterfall, or a field of hope where sorrow used to be.
“I suppose all of us consider our loved ones extraordinary; that is one of the elixirs of attachment. But over the months of pain and disrepair of that winter, I felt something that made the grimness tolerable: I felt blessed by the tribe I was part of. Here I was, supposedly solo, and the real truth was that I had a force field of connection surrounding me.
“Most of all I told this story because I wanted to say something about hope and the absence of it, and how we keep going anyway. About second chances, and how they’re sometimes buried amid the dross, even when you’re poised for the downhill grade. The narrative can always turn out to be a different story from what you expected.”
Praise for New Life, No Instructions
“Brimming with insights and wisdom . . . As far as I’m concerned, Caldwell can write about whatever she pleases. . . . Unabashed dispatches from lifelong single women are a fairly recent phenomenon. Caldwell has so much more to teach us.”—Kate Bolick, The New York Times Book Review
“Gail Caldwell offers the kind of wisdom and grace you’d wish a friend, sister, or mother might deliver. . . . Fans and new readers alike will find comfort in Caldwell’s voice.”—The Boston Globe
Out of This World by Jill Shalvis (Format: eBook):
“Jill Shalvis is a total original! It doesn’t get any better.” —Suzanne Forster
“Shalvis breaks new ground with this sexy paranormal romance…told from both his and her perspectives.” —Booklist
I SHOULD HAVE STAYED IN BED
Three weeks ago I, Rachel Bond, inherited a bed-and-breakfast. In Alaska. Just this morning I was in my warm bed in LA but now here I am, up north—and this is, like, nosebleed north—sorting it all out. So:
1. Bears and wolves and moose can’t be any worse than LA guys.
2. You’ve heard of “starving artists?” I’m about to faint. So it’s probably time for a change.
3. My good friend Kellan—you’ll like him, unlike me, he’s cool under pressure—suddenly has this animal sexiness I’ve never even seen before.
2. The house chef can’t cook, and the guide can’t read a map.
3. Kellan’s sudden hotness is getting very hard to ignore.
4. I just got hit by lightning.
And I’m not sure if this is a pro or a con just yet, but since that lightning bolt, I can see through everything. As in completely transparent. That was before things started to get really weird . . .
The Sisters of the Winter Wood written by Rena Rossner and read by Ana Clements (Format: Downloadable Audio)
“With luscious and hypnotic prose, Rena Rossner tells a gripping, powerful story of family, sisterhood, and two young women trying to find their way in the world.” —Madeline Miller, author of The Song of Achilles and Circe
An imaginative historical fantasy steeped in rich Jewish culture, Rena Rossner’s debut invites you to enter a world filled with magic, folklore, and the dangers of the woods.
In a remote village surrounded by vast forests on the border of Moldova and Ukraine, sisters Liba and Laya have been raised on the honeyed scent of their Mami’s babka and the low rumble of their Tati’s prayers. But when a troupe of mysterious men arrives, Laya falls under their spell – despite their mother’s warning to be wary of strangers. And this is not the only danger lurking in the woods.
As dark forces close in on their village, Liba and Laya discover a family secret passed down through generations. Faced with a magical heritage they never knew existed, the sisters realize the old fairy tales are true…and could save them all.
Praise for The Sisters of the Winter Wood:
Publishers Weekly: Best Book of 2018: SF/Fantasy/Horror
BookPage: Best Book of 2018: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Waking the Witch, Reflections on Women, Magic, and Power by Pam Grossman
A whip-smart and illuminating exploration of the world’s fascination with witches from podcast host and practicing witch Pam Grossman (The Witch Wave), who delves deeply into why witches have intrigued us for centuries and why they’re more relevant now than ever.
When you think of a witch, what do you picture? Pointy black hat, maybe a broomstick. But witches in various guises have been with us for millennia. In Waking the Witch, Pam Grossman explores the cultural and historical impact of the world’s most magical icon. From the idea of the femme fatale in league with the devil in early modern Europe and Salem, to the bewitching pop culture archetypes in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Harry Potter; from the spooky ladies in fairy tales and horror films to the rise of feminist covens and contemporary witchcraft, witches reflect the power and potential of women.
In this fascinating read that is part cultural analysis, part memoir, Pam opens up about her own journey on the path to witchcraft, and how her personal embrace of the witch helped her find strength, self-empowerment, and a deeper purpose.
A comprehensive meditation on one of the most mysterious and captivating figures of all time, Waking the Witch celebrates witches past, present, and future, and reveals the critical role they have played—and will continue to play—in shaping the world as we know it.
While the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and a Wake-Up Call for Mental Health Care in America by Eli Sanders (Format: eBook)
“Binged Making a Murderer? Try . . . [this] riveting portrait of a tragic, preventable crime.” —Entertainment Weekly
Finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime
Finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize
A Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter’s gripping account of one young man’s path to murder—and a wake-up call for mental health care in America
On a summer night in 2009, three lives intersected in one American neighborhood. Two people newly in love—Teresa Butz and Jennifer Hopper, who spent many years trying to find themselves and who eventually found each other—and a young man on a dangerous psychological descent: Isaiah Kalebu, age twenty-three, the son of a distant, authoritarian father and a mother with a family history of mental illness. All three paths forever altered by a violent crime, all three stories a wake-up call to the system that failed to see the signs.
In this riveting, probing, compassionate account of a murder in Seattle, Eli Sanders, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his newspaper coverage of the crime, offers a deeply reported portrait in microcosm of the state of mental health care in this country—as well as an inspiring story of love and forgiveness. Culminating in Kalebu’s dangerous slide toward violence—observed by family members, police, mental health workers, lawyers, and judges, but stopped by no one—While the City Slept is the story of a crime of opportunity and of the string of missed opportunities that made it possible. It shows what can happen when a disturbed member of society repeatedly falls through the cracks, and in the tradition of The Other Wes Moore and The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, is an indelible, human-level story, brilliantly told, with the potential to inspire social change.
Stay safe and happy reading!
Linda Reimer, SSCL
Note: Book summaries are from the publisher unless otherwise specified.
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