Suggested Reading April 20, 2020

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 available through the Digital Catalog.

Recommended Reads:

Afterlife by Julie Alverez (Format: eBook)

A Most-Anticipated Book of the Year: O, The Oprah Magazine * The New York Times * The Washington Post *Vogue * Bustle * BuzzFeed * Ms. Magazine *The Millions * The Huffington Post * PopSugar * The Lily * Goodreads * Library Journal * LitHub * Electric Literature

The first adult novel in almost fifteen years by the internationally bestselling author of In the Time of the Butterflies and How the García Girls Lost Their Accents

“A stunning work of art that reminds readers Alvarez is, and always has been, in a class of her own.” —Elizabeth Acevedo, National Book Award-winning author of the New York Times bestseller The Poet X

Antonia Vega, the immigrant writer at the center of Afterlife, has had the rug pulled out from under her. She has just retired from the college where she taught English when her beloved husband, Sam, suddenly dies. And then more jolts: her bighearted but unstable sister disappears, and Antonia returns home one evening to find a pregnant, undocumented teenager on her doorstep. Antonia has always sought direction in the literature she loves—lines from her favorite authors play in her head like a soundtrack—but now she finds that the world demands more of her than words.

Afterlife is a compact, nimble, and sharply droll novel. Set in this political moment of tribalism and distrust, it asks: What do we owe those in crisis in our families, including—maybe especially—members of our human family? How do we live in a broken world without losing faith in one another or ourselves? And how do we stay true to those glorious souls we have lost?

After Sundown by Linda Howard & Linda Jones (Format: eBook)

Danger brings together two guarded hearts in a battle for survival in this irresistible story from New York Times bestselling authors Linda Howard and Linda Jones.

Sela Gordon, the shy owner of a Tennessee general store, finds safety in solitude. But if anyone can pierce her protective shell it’s the handsome, mysterious ex-military man living alone in the wilds of Cove Mountain. For two years, he’s kept his distance—until the day he appears to warn her that a catastrophic solar storm capable of taking down the power grid is coming. Now, Sela must find the courage to become the leader Wears Valley needs.

Bitter experience has taught Ben Jernigan it’s best to look out for number one. For two years the former soldier has lived in a self-imposed exile, using a top-notch security system to keep people away. But he had to let Sela know about the impending threat—and now the quiet and undeniably sexy woman is making it too easy for him to lower his guard.

As panic spreads, Sela and Ben discover that in the dark, cut off from the outside world, there’s no more playing it safe—in life or in love.

Big Lies in a Small Town: A Novel by Diane Chamberlain (Format: eBook)

From New York Times bestselling author Diane Chamberlain comes a novel of chilling intrigue, a decades-old disappearance, and one woman’s quest to find the truth…

“A novel about arts and secrets…grippingly told…pulls readers toward a shocking conclusion.”—People magazine, Best New Books

North Carolina, 2018:
Morgan Christopher’s life has been derailed. Taking the fall for a crime she did not commit, her dream of a career in art is put on hold—until a mysterious visitor makes her an offer that will get her released from prison immediately. Her assignment: restore an old post office mural in a sleepy southern town. Morgan knows nothing about art restoration, but desperate to be free, she accepts. What she finds under the layers of grime is a painting that tells the story of madness, violence, and a conspiracy of small town secrets.

North Carolina, 1940:
Anna Dale, an artist from New Jersey, wins a national contest to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. Alone in the world and in great need of work, she accepts. But what she doesn’t expect is to find herself immersed in a town where prejudices run deep, where people are hiding secrets behind closed doors, and where the price of being different might just end in murder.

What happened to Anna Dale? Are the clues hidden in the decrepit mural? Can Morgan overcome her own demons to discover what exists beneath the layers of lies?

“Chamberlain, a master storyteller, keeps readers hooked, with a story line that leavens history and social commentary with romance and mystery.”—Lexington Dispatch

The Blessing Way, Leaphorn & Chee Series, Book 1 by Tony Hillerman (Format: eBook)

“Brilliant…as fascinating as it is original.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

From New York Times bestselling author Tony Hillerman, the first novel in his series featuring Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn & Officer Jim Chee who encounter a bizarre case that borders between the supernatural and murder

Homicide is always an abomination, but there is something exceptionally disturbing about the victim discovered in a high, lonely place—a corpse with a mouth full of sand—abandoned at a crime scene seemingly devoid of tracks or useful clues. Though it goes against his better judgment, Navajo Tribal Police Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn cannot help but suspect the hand of a supernatural killer.

There is palpable evil in the air, and Leaphorn’s pursuit of a Wolf-Witch leads him where even the bravest men fear, on a chilling trail that winds perilously between mysticism and murder.

Camino Winds by John Grisham (Format: eBook)

The publication date for Camino Winds is April 27, but you can place a hold on it now!

“The best thriller writer alive.” – Ken Follett

John Grisham, #1 bestselling author and master of the legal thriller, sweeps you away to paradise for a little sun, sand, mystery, and mayhem.

With Camino Winds, America’s favorite storyteller offers the perfect escape.

Welcome back to Camino Island, where anything can happen—even a murder in the midst of a hurricane, which might prove to be the perfect crime . . .

Just as Bruce Cable’s Bay Books is preparing for the return of bestselling author Mercer Mann, Hurricane Leo veers from its predicted course and heads straight for the island. Florida’s governor orders a mandatory evacuation, and most residents board up their houses and flee to the mainland, but Bruce decides to stay and ride out the storm.

The hurricane is devastating: homes and condos are leveled, hotels and storefronts ruined, streets flooded, and a dozen people lose their lives. One of the apparent victims is Nelson Kerr, a friend of Bruce’s and an author of thrillers. But the nature of Nelson’s injuries suggests that the storm wasn’t the cause of his death: He has suffered several suspicious blows to the head.

Who would want Nelson dead? The local police are overwhelmed in the aftermath of the storm and ill equipped to handle the case. Bruce begins to wonder if the shady characters in Nelson’s novels might be more real than fictional. And somewhere on Nelson’s computer is the manuscript of his new novel. Could the key to the case be right there—in black and white? As Bruce starts to investigate, what he discovers between the lines is more shocking than any of Nelson’s plot twists—and far more dangerous.

Camino Winds is an irresistible romp and a perfectly thrilling beach read—# 1 bestselling author John Grisham at his beguiling best.

Code Name Hélène: A Novel (Format: eBook)

Told in interweaving timelines organized around the four code names Nancy used during the war, Code Name Hélène is a spellbinding and moving story of enduring love, remarkable sacrifice and unfaltering resolve that chronicles the true exploits of a woman who deserves to be a household name.

It is 1936 and Nancy Wake is an intrepid Australian expat living in Paris who has bluffed her way into a reporting job for Hearst newspaper when she meets the wealthy French industrialist Henri Fiocca. No sooner does Henri sweep Nancy off her feet and convince her to become Mrs. Fiocca than the Germans invade France and she takes yet another name: a code name.

As LUCIENNE CARLIER Nancy smuggles people and documents across the border. Her success and her remarkable ability to evade capture earns her the nickname THE WHITE MOUSE from the Gestapo. With a five million franc bounty on her head, Nancy is forced to escape France and leave Henri behind. When she enters training with the Special Operations Executives in Britain, her new comrades are instructed to call her HÉLÈNE. And finally, with mission in hand, Nancy is airdropped back into France as the deadly MADAM ANDRÉE, where she claims her place as one of the most powerful leaders in the French Resistance, armed with a ferocious wit, her signature red lipstick, and the ability to summon weapons straight from the Allied Forces.

But no one can protect Nancy if the enemy finds out these four women are one and the same, and the closer to liberation France gets, the more exposed she—and the people she loves—become.

Find Your Path: Honor Your Body, Fuel Your Soul, and Get Strong with the Fit52 Life written & read by Carrie Underwood (Format: Audiobook)

“I want to be healthy and fit 52 weeks of the year, but that doesn’t mean I have to be perfect every day. This philosophy is a year-round common-sense approach to health and fitness that involves doing your best most of the time—and by that I don’t mean being naughty for three days and good for four. I mean doing your absolute best most of the time during every week, 52 weeks of the year.”—Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood believes that fitness is a lifelong journey. She wasn’t born with the toned arms and strong legs that fans know her for. Like all of us, she has to work hard every day to look the way that she does! In FIND YOUR PATH she shares her secrets with readers, with the ultimate goal of being the strongest version of themselves, and looking as good as they feel. Carrie’s book will share secrets for fitting diet and exercise into a packed routine—she’s not only a multi-Platinum singer, she’s a businesswoman and busy mom with two young children. Based on her own active lifestyle, diet, and workouts, FIND YOUR PATH is packed with meal plans, recipes, weekly workout programs, and guidelines for keeping a weekly food and workout journal. It also introduces readers to Carrie’s signature Fit52 workout, which involves a deck of cards and exercises that can be done at home—and it sets her fans on a path to sustainable health and fitness for life. Fit52 begins with embracing the “Pleasure Principle” in eating, making healthy swaps in your favorite recipes, and embracing a long view approach to health—so that a cheat a day won’t derail you.

Throughout the book, Carrie shares her personal journey towards optimal health, from her passion for sports as a kid, to the pressure to look perfect and fit the mold as she launched her career after winning American Idol, to eventually discovering the importance of balance and the meaning of true health. For Carrie, being fit isn’t about crash diets or a workout routine that you’re going to dread. It’s about healthy choices and simple meals that you can put together from the ingredients in your local grocery store, and making the time, every day, to move, to love your body, and to be the best version of yourself.

If It Bleeds written by Stephen King & read by Will Paton (Format: Audiobook)

From #1 New York Times bestselling author, legendary storyteller, and master of short fiction Stephen King comes an extraordinary collection of four new and compelling novellas—Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, The Life of Chuck, Rat, and the title story If It Bleeds—each pulling readers into intriguing and frightening places.

The novella is a form King has returned to over and over again in the course of his amazing career, and many have been made into iconic films, including “The Body” (Stand By Me) and “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” (Shawshank Redemption). Like Four Past Midnight, Different Seasons, and most recently Full Dark, No Stars, If It Bleeds is a uniquely satisfying collection of longer short fiction by an incomparably gifted writer.

Valentine: A Novel written by Elizabeth Wetmore & read by Cassandra Campbell (Format: Audiobook)

A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!

Written with the haunting emotional power of Elizabeth Strout and Barbara Kingsolver, an astonishing debut novel that explores the lingering effects of a brutal crime on the women of one small Texas oil town in the 1970s.

Mercy is hard in a place like this . . .

It’s February 1976, and Odessa, Texas, stands on the cusp of the next great oil boom. While the town’s men embrace the coming prosperity, its women intimately know and fear the violence that always seems to follow.

In the early hours of the morning after Valentine’s Day, fourteen-year-old Gloria Ramírez appears on the front porch of Mary Rose Whitehead’s ranch house, broken and barely alive. The teenager had been viciously attacked in a nearby oil field—an act of brutality that is tried in the churches and barrooms of Odessa before it can reach a court of law. When justice is evasive, the stage is set for a showdown with potentially devastating consequences.

Valentine is a haunting exploration of the intersections of violence and race, class and region in a story that plumbs the depths of darkness and fear, yet offers a window into beauty and hope. Told through the alternating points of view of indelible characters who burrow deep in the reader’s heart, this fierce, unflinching, and surprisingly tender novel illuminates women’s strength and vulnerability, and reminds us that it is the stories we tell ourselves that keep us alive.

Walk The Wire written by David Baldacci & read by Kyf Brewer (Format: Audiobook)

Amos Decker — the FBI consultant with a perfect memory — returns to solve a gruesome murder in a booming North Dakota oil town in the newest thriller in David Baldacci’s #1 New York Times bestselling Memory Man series.

When Amos Decker and his FBI colleague Alex Jamison are called to London, North Dakota, they instantly sense that the thriving fracking town is ripe for trouble. The promise of a second gold rush has attracted an onslaught of newcomers all hoping for a windfall, and the community is growing faster than houses can be built. The sudden boom has also brought a slew of problems with it, including drugs, property crimes, prostitution — and now murder.

Decker and Jamison are ordered to investigate the death of a young woman named Irene Cramer, whose body was expertly autopsied and then dumped in the open — which is only the beginning of the oddities surrounding the case. As Decker and Jamison dig into Irene’s life, they are shocked to discover that the woman who walked the streets by night as a prostitute was a teacher for a local religious sect by day — a sect operating on land once owned by a mysterious government facility that looms over the entire community.

London is a town replete with ruthless business owners, shady government officials, and religious outsiders, all determined to keep their secrets from coming out. When other murders occur, Decker will need all of his extraordinary memory and detective skills, and the assistance of a surprising ally, to root out a killer and the forces behind Cramer’s death. . . before the boom town explodes.

Be well and happy reading!

Linda Reimer, SSCL

Note: Book summaries are from the publisher unless otherwise specified.

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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