Suggested Reading April 27, 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.

April is National Humor Month, and as we’re running out of month, I thought I’d recommend humorous titles this week!

Recommended Reads:

The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion: A Novel by Fannie Flagg (Format: eBook)

The one and only Fannie Flagg, beloved author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven, and I Still Dream About You, is at her hilarious and superb best in this new comic mystery novel about two women who are forced to reimagine who they are.

Mrs. Sookie Poole of Point Clear, Alabama, has just married off the last of her daughters and is looking forward to relaxing and perhaps traveling with her husband, Earle. The only thing left to contend with is her mother, the formidable Lenore Simmons Krackenberry. Lenore may be a lot of fun for other people, but is, for the most part, an overbearing presence for her daughter. Then one day, quite by accident, Sookie discovers a secret about her mother’s past that knocks her for a loop and suddenly calls into question everything she ever thought she knew about herself, her family, and her future.

Sookie begins a search for answers that takes her to California, the Midwest, and back in time, to the 1940s, when an irrepressible woman named Fritzi takes on the job of running her family’s filling station. Soon truck drivers are changing their routes to fill up at the All-Girl Filling Station. Then, Fritzi sees an opportunity for an even more groundbreaking adventure. As Sookie learns about the adventures of the girls at the All-Girl Filling Station, she finds herself with new inspiration for her own life.

Fabulous, fun-filled, spanning decades and generations, and centered on a little-known aspect of America’s twentieth-century story, The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion is another irresistible novel by the remarkable Fannie Flagg.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay: A Novel by Michael Chabon (Format: eBook)

The epic, beloved novel of two boy geniuses dreaming up superheroes in New York’s Golden Age of comics, now with special bonus material by the author—soon to be a Showtime limited series

“It’s absolutely gosh-wow, super-colossal—smart, funny, and a continual pleasure to read.”—The Washington Post Book World

Named one of the 10 Best Books of the Decade by Entertainment Weekly • Finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Los Angeles Times Book Prize

A “towering, swash-buckling thrill of a book” (Newsweek), hailed as Chabon’s “magnum opus” (The New York Review of Books), The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a triumph of originality, imagination, and storytelling, an exuberant, irresistible novel that begins in New York City in 1939.

A young escape artist and budding magician named Joe Kavalier arrives on the doorstep of his cousin, Sammy Clay. While the long shadow of Hitler falls across Europe, America is happily in thrall to the Golden Age of comic books, and in a distant corner of Brooklyn, Sammy is looking for a way to cash in on the craze. He finds the ideal partner in the aloof, artistically gifted Joe, and together they embark on an adventure that takes them deep into the heart of Manhattan, and the heart of old-fashioned American ambition. From the shared fears, dreams, and desires of two teenage boys, they spin comic book tales of the heroic, fascist-fighting Escapist and the beautiful, mysterious Luna Moth, otherworldly mistress of the night. Climbing from the streets of Brooklyn to the top of the Empire State Building, Joe and Sammy carve out lives, and careers, as vivid as cyan and magenta ink.

Spanning continents and eras, this superb book by one of America’s finest writers remains one of the defining novels of our modern American age.

Winner of the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award and the New York Society Library Book Award

I Remember Nothing written and read by Nora Ephron (Format: Audiobook)

Nora Ephron returns with her first audiobook since the astounding success of I Feel Bad About My Neck, taking a cool, hard, hilarious look at the past, the present, and the future, bemoaning the vicissitudes of modern life, and recalling with her signature clarity and wisdom everything she hasn’t (yet) forgotten.

Ephron writes about falling hard for a way of life (“Journalism: A Love Story”) and about breaking up even harder with the men in her life (“The D Word”); lists “Twenty-five Things People Have a Shocking Capacity to Be Surprised by Over and Over Again” (“There is no explaining the stock market but people try”; “Cary Grant was Jewish”; “Men cheat”); reveals the alarming evolution, a decade after she wrote and directed You’ve Got Mail, of her relationship with her in-box (“The Six Stages of E-Mail”); and asks the age-old question, which came first, the chicken soup or the cold? All the while, she gives candid, edgy voice to everything women who have reached a certain age have been thinking . . . but rarely acknowledging.

Filled with insights and observations that instantly ring true—and could have come only from Nora Ephron—I Remember Nothing is pure joy.

I’m A Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson (Format: eBook)

A classic from the New York Times bestselling author of A Walk in the Woods and The Body.

After living in Britain for two decades, Bill Bryson recently moved back to the United States with his English wife and four children (he had read somewhere that nearly 3 million Americans believed they had been abducted by aliens—as he later put it, “it was clear my people needed me”). They were greeted by a new and improved America that boasts microwave pancakes, twenty-four-hour dental-floss hotlines, and the staunch conviction that ice is not a luxury item.

Delivering the brilliant comic musings that are a Bryson hallmark, I’m a Stranger Here Myself recounts his sometimes disconcerting reunion with the land of his birth. The result is a book filled with hysterical scenes of one man’s attempt to reacquaint himself with his own country, but it is also an extended if at times bemused love letter to the homeland he has returned to after twenty years away.

Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog written and read by Dave Barry (Format: Audiobook)

In this “little gem” (Washington Independent Review of Books), Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist and New York Timesbestselling author Dave Barry learns how to age happily from his old but joyful dog, Lucy.

As Dave Barry turns seventy—not happily—he realizes that his dog, Lucy, is dealing with old age far better than he is. She has more friends, fewer worries, and way more fun. So Dave decides to figure out how Lucy manages to stay so happy, to see if he can make his own life happier by doing the things she does (except for drinking from the toilet). He reconnects with old friends and tries to make new ones—which turns out to be a struggle, because Lucy likes people a lot more than he does. And he gets back in touch with two ridiculous but fun groups from his past: the Lawn Rangers, a group of guys who march in parades pushing lawnmowers and twirling brooms (alcohol is involved), and the Rock Bottom Remainders, the world’s oldest and least-talented all-author band. With each new lesson, Dave riffs hilariously on dogs, people, and life in general, while also pondering Deep Questions, such as when it’s okay to lie. (Answer: when scallops are involved.)

Lessons from Lucy shows readers a new side to Dave Barry that’s “touching and sentimental, but there’s still a laugh on every page” (Sacramento Bee). The master humorist has written a witty and affable guide to joyous living at any age.

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (Format: Audiobook)

A new collection from David Sedaris is cause for jubilation. His recent move to Paris has inspired hilarious pieces, including Me Talk Pretty One Day, about his attempts to learn French. His family is another inspiration. You Can’t Kill the Rooster is a portrait of his brother who talks incessant hip-hop slang to his bewildered father. And no one hones a finer fury in response to such modern annoyances as restaurant meals presented in ludicrous towers and cashiers with 6-inch fingernails. Compared by The New Yorker to Twain and Hawthorne, Sedaris has become one of our best-loved authors. “Sedaris is an amazing reader whose appearances draw hundreds, and his performances including a jaw-dropping impression of Billie Holiday singing “I Wish I Were an Oscar Meyer Weiner” are unforgettable. Sedaris’s essays on living in Paris are some of the funniest he’s ever written. At last, someone even meaner than the French! The sort of blithely sophisticated, loopy humour that might have resulted if Dorothy Parker and James Thurber had had a love child.” –Entertainment Weekly on Barrel Fever

“Sidesplitting…Not one of the essays in this new collection failed to crack me up; frequently I was helpless.” –The New York Times Book Review on Naked

Naked Came The Florida Man by Tim Dorsey (Format: eBook)

Can it still be hurricane season? Must be, because here come Serge A. Storms and his perpetually stoned bro, Coleman, in Tim Dorsey’s gonzo crime caper.” –New York Times Book Review

The “compulsively irreverent and shockingly funny” (Boston Globe) Tim Dorsey returns with an insanely entertaining tale in which the inimitable Serge A. Storms sees dead people and investigates a creepy urban myth that may be all too real.

Though another devastating hurricane is raking Florida, its awesome power can’t stop the Sunshine State’s most loyal son, Serge A. Storms, from his latest scenic road trip: a cemetery tour. With his best bro Colman riding shotgun, Serge hits the highway in his ’69 gold Plymouth Satellite, putting pedal to the metal on a grand tour of the past. Beginning in Key West, the sunshine boys’ odyssey includes a forgotten mass grave in Palm Beach county holding the remains of African Americans killed by the Great Hurricane of 1928, and the resting place of one world-famous television dolphin (RIP Flipper) from the 1960s.

But one deadland—a haunted old sugar field—holds more than just the bones of those who’ve passed. For years, local children have whispered about a boogeyman hiding among the stalks. Could it be the same maniac known as Naked Florida man who’s been raising hell all over the place?

There are few things Serge loves more than solving a good mystery and bestowing justice on miscreants who sully his beloved home’s good name. With his partner bong boy, Florida’s psycho superhero will find the truth in this hilariously violent delight—packed with history, lore, and plenty of motel antics—from the insanely ingenious Tim Dorsey.

One For The Money by Janet Evanovich (Format: Audiobook)

Discover where it all began—#1 New York Times bestselling author Janet Evanovich’s first “snappily written, fast-paced, and witty” (USA TODAY) novel in the beloved Stephanie Plum series featuring a feisty and funny heroine who “comes roaring in like a blast of very fresh air” (The Washington Post).

Meet Stephanie Plum, a bounty hunter with attitude. In Stephanie’s opinion, toxic waste, rabid drivers, armed schizophrenics, and August heat, humidity, and hydrocarbons are all part of the great adventure of living in Jersey.

She’s a product of the “burg,” a blue-collar pocket of Trenton where houses are attached and narrow, cars are American, windows are clean, and (God forbid you should be late) dinner is served at six.

Out of work and out of money, Stephanie blackmails her bail-bondsman cousin Vinnie into giving her a try as an apprehension agent. Stephanie knows zilch about the job requirements, but she figures her new pal, el-primo bounty hunter Ranger, can teach her what it takes to catch a crook. Her first assignment: nail Joe Morelli, a former vice cop on the run from a charge of murder one. Morelli’s the inamorato who charmed Stephanie out of her virginity at age sixteen. There’s still powerful chemistry between them, so the chase should be interesting…and could also be extremely dangerous.

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple (Format: eBook)

A brilliant novel from the author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette, about a day in the life of Eleanor Flood, forced to abandon her small ambitions and awake to a strange, new future.

Eleanor knows she’s a mess. But today, she will tackle the little things. She will shower and get dressed. She will have her poetry and yoga lessons after dropping off her son, Timby. She won’t swear. She will initiate sex with her husband, Joe. But before she can put her modest plan into action-life happens. Today, it turns out, is the day Timby has decided to fake sick to weasel his way into his mother’s company. It’s also the day Joe has chosen to tell his office-but not Eleanor-that he’s on vacation. Just when it seems like things can’t go more awry, an encounter with a former colleague produces a graphic memoir whose dramatic tale threatens to reveal a buried family secret.

TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT is a hilarious, heart-filled story about reinvention, sisterhood, and how sometimes it takes facing up to our former selves to truly begin living.

Toucan Keep A Secret by Donna Andrews (Format: eBook)

Toucan keep a secret, if one of them is dead.

Meg Langslow is at Trinity Episcopal Church locking up after an event and checking on the toucan her friend Rev. Robyn Smith is fostering in her office. When she investigates the sound of hammering in the columbarium (the underground crypt where cremated remains are buried), Meg finds the murdered body of an elderly parishioner. Several niches have been chiseled open; several urns knocked out; and amid the spilled ashes is a gold ring with a huge red stone.

The curmudgeonly victim had become disgruntled with the church and ranted all over town about taking back his wife’s ashes. Did someone who had it in for him follow him to the columbarium? Or was the motive grave robbery? Or did he see someone breaking in and investigate? Why was the ruby left behind?

While Chief Burke investigates the murder, Robyn recruits Meg to contact the families of the people whose ashes were disturbed. While doing so, Meg learns many secrets about Caerphilly’s history—and finds that the toucan may play a role in unmasking the killer. Clues and events indicate that a thief broke into the church to steal the toucan the night of the murder, so Meg decides to set a trap for the would-be toucan thief—who might also be the killer.

Toucan Keep a Secret is the twenty-third book in New York Times bestselling author Donna Andrews’ hilarious Mag Langslow mystery series.

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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