Suggested Reading March 2, 2021

Hi everyone, here are our recommended reads for the week.

Format Note: Under each book title you’ll find a list of all the different formats that specific title is available in; including: Print Books, Large Print Books, CD Audiobooks, eBooks & Downloadable Audiobooks from the Digital Catalog (OverDrive & Libby apps) and Hoopla eBooks & Hoopla Downloadable Audiobooks (Hoopla App).

*More information on the three catalogs is found at the end of the list of recommended reads*

Weekly Suggested Reading postings are published on Tuesdays. The next Suggested Reading posting will be published on Tuesday, March 9, 2021.

Broke in America: Seeing, Understanding, and Ending US Poverty
by Joanne Samuel Goldblum & Colleen Shaddox

(Available Formats: eBook & Hoopla instant checkout eBook)

An exploration of why so many Americans are struggling financially.

Goldblum, founder of the National Diaper Bank Network, and journalist Shaddox argue that the systems that should protect our citizens are broken and that poverty results from flawed policies—compounded by racism, sexism, and other ills—rather than people’s “bad choices.” Federal programs for the poor often fall far short of their aims: The U.S. has only 36 affordable housing units available for every 100 extremely low-income families; roughly 1 in 3 households on Navajo reservations lack plumbing; and inadequate counsel by public defenders can lead to harsher penalties for crimes or time in “debtors’ prisons” for those unable to pay fines or court fees. An overarching problem is that the U.S. determines eligibility for government benefits with an outdated and “irrationally low” federal poverty level of $21,720 for a family of three, which doesn’t take into account necessities such as child care when women work outside the home. The authors credibly assert that it makes more sense to define poverty as an inability to afford basic needs in seven areas—“water, food, housing, energy, transportation, hygiene, and health”—each of which gets a chapter that draws on academic or other studies and interviews with people like a Baltimore resident who had to flush his toilet with bottled water after the city shut it off due to an unpaid bill. In a plainspoken primer in the spirit of recent books like Anne Kim’s Abandonedand Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s Tightrope, Goldblum and Shaddox interweave macro analyses with examples of micro interventions that might work in any community. A Head Start teacher in Lytle, Texas, says her program saw benefits just from giving toothbrushes (and a chance to use them at a classroom sink) to children who had none at home: “They come here, and they scrub like there’s no tomorrow.”

A down-to-earth overview of the causes and effects of poverty and possible remedies. –Kirkus Reviews

A Dance in Donegal by Jennifer Deibel

(Available Formats: Hoopla instant checkout eBook)

All of her life, Irish-American Moira Doherty has relished her mother’s descriptions of Ireland. When her mother dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1920, Moira decides to fulfill her mother’s wish that she become the teacher in Ballymann, her home village in Donegal, Ireland.

After an arduous voyage, Moira arrives to a new home and a new job in an ancient country. Though a few locals offer a warm welcome, others are distanced by superstition and suspicion. Rumors about Moira’s mother are unspoken in her presence but threaten to derail everything she’s journeyed to Ballymann to do. Moira must rely on the kindness of a handful of friends-and the strength of Sean, an unsettlingly handsome thatcher who keeps popping up unannounced-as she seeks to navigate a life she’d never dreamed of … but perhaps was meant to live.

Jennifer Deibel’s debut novel delights the senses, bringing to life the sights, sounds, smells, and language of a lush country and a colorful people. Historical romance fans will embrace her with open arms.

Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler

(Available Formats: eBook)

A woman in a tailspin discovers that her boyfriend is an anonymous online conspiracy theorist in this “absolutely brilliant take on the bizarre and despicable ways the internet has warped our perception of reality” (Elle, One of the Most Anticipated Books of the Year).

On the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration, a young woman snoops through her boyfriend’s phone and makes a startling discovery: he’s an anonymous internet conspiracy theorist, and a popular one at that. Already fluent in internet fakery, irony, and outrage, she’s not exactly shocked by the revelation. Actually, she’s relieved—he was always a little distant—and she plots to end their floundering relationship while on a trip to the Women’s March in DC. But this is only the first in a series of bizarre twists that expose a world whose truths are shaped by online lies.

Suddenly left with no reason to stay in New York and increasingly alienated from her friends and colleagues, our unnamed narrator flees to Berlin, embarking on her own cycles of manipulation in the deceptive spaces of her daily life, from dating apps to expat meetups, open-plan offices to bureaucratic waiting rooms. She begins to think she can’t trust anyone—shouldn’t the feeling be mutual?

Narrated with seductive confidence and subversive wit, Fake Accounts challenges the way current conversations about the self and community, delusions and gaslighting, and fiction and reality play out in the internet age.

Family Tree by Susan Wiggs

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print, CD Audiobook, eBook, Downloadable Audiobook & Hoopla instant checkout eBook & Audiobook)

Part 1 of the Switchback, Vermont series

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes a powerful, emotionally complex story of love, loss, the pain of the past – and the promise of the future. Sometimes the greatest dream starts with the smallest element. A single cell, joining with another. And then dividing. And just like that, the world changes. Annie Harlow knows how lucky she is. The producer of a popular television cooking show, she loves her handsome husband and the beautiful Los Angeles home they share. And now, she’s pregnant with their first child. But in an instant, her life is shattered. And when Annie awakes from a yearlong coma, she discovers that time isn’t the only thing she’s lost. Grieving and wounded, Annie retreats to her old family home in Switchback, Vermont, a maple farm generations old. There, surrounded by her free-spirited brother, their divorced mother, and four young nieces and nephews, Annie slowly emerges into a world she left behind years ago: the town where she grew up, the people she knew before, the high-school boyfriend turned judge. And with the discovery of a cookbook her grandmother wrote in the distant past, Annie unearths an age-old mystery that might prove the salvation of the family farm.

Family Tree is the story of one woman’s triumph over betrayal, and how she eventually comes to terms with her past. It is the story of joys unrealized and opportunities regained. Complex, clear-eyed and big-hearted, funny, sad, and wise, it is a novel to cherish and to remember.

Happy Trail by Daisy Prescott

(Available Formats: Hoopla instant checkout eBook)

Part 1 of the Park Ranger series

A man of few words, Ranger Jay Daniels values the calm, quiet solitude of the Great Smoky Mountains. Never quite fitting in with either side of his family, he prefers the company of birds and trees to people.

Yeah, he’d most definitely prefer a bird-any bird, any bird at all, take a vulture for instance-to the human-tornado hybrid that just blew onto his peaceful stretch of the Appalachian Trail.

The path of true love never has run smooth for Olive Perry. After getting dumped and promptly abandoned in the middle of her multi-month hike, Olive swears off men. Determined to finish the long trek by herself, she doesn’t need a prince-or broody and taciturn ranger-to save her.

Yet, when an early snowstorm threatens the mountains, and Ranger Daniels is charged with getting hikers to safety, that includes hot-tempered Olive Perry. Snowed in and forced to share an abandoned cabin, can Olive’s heated intensity melt Jay’s cool reserve?

And if so, will this happy trail lead to true love? Or will their time together be just another bump in the road?

‘Happy Trail’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book#1 in the Park Ranger series.

Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn

(Available Formats: Print Book, Hoopla instant checkout eBook & Audiobook)

Part 1 of the Smythe-Smith Quartet series

Once again, #1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn transports her readers to historical romance heaven! Quinn’s Just Like Heaven is the dazzling first installment of a delightful quartet of Regency Era-set tales featuring the romantic exploits of the well-meaning but less-than-accomplished Smythe-Smith musicians-in this case, a beautiful violinist in the pitiful group who has her sights set on marrying the last unwed Bridgerton…unless her handsome, love-struck guardian has anything to say about it. Bridgerton fans will cry, “Encore!”-as will every reader who adores England’s Regency period and great love stories that are smart, witty, and lighthearted.

Left To Die by Lisa Jackson

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print, eBook, Downloadable Audibook, Hoopla instant checkout eBook & Audiobook)

Part 1 of the To Die series

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jackson comes the chilling, riveting novel that first introduced Detectives Selena Alvarez and Regan Pescoli, hunting for a serial killer who is both savior and executioner…

In the lonely woods around Grizzly Falls, Montana, the first body is discovered, stripped naked and tied to a tree. Alvarez and Pescoli have been hoping for a career-making case, but this is a nightmare. The killer stages car accidents on icy, isolated roads and “rescues” his victims. He toys with them, heals them, earns their trust . . . before subjecting them to a slow, agonizing death.

When Jillian Rivers opens her eyes, she’s trapped in a mangled car. Then a stranger, claiming to be a trail guide, pries her free. Though she’s grateful, something about him sets Jillian on edge. And if she knew what was lying in wait for her, she’d be truly terrified . . .

Even with the FBI involved, Selena and Regan have nothing to go on but a series of cryptic notes, and the unsettling knowledge that there is much worse to come. Piece by piece, the killer’s brutal plan is taking shape. But his final move will be the most shocking-and personal-of all.

The Orphan Collector by Ellen Marie Wiseman

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print, eBook, Hoopla instant checkout eBook)

Ellen Marie Wiseman, acclaimed author of What She Left Behind and The Life She Was Given, weaves the stories of two very different women into a page-turning novel as suspenseful as it is poignant, set amid one of history’s deadliest pandemics.

In the fall of 1918, thirteen-year-old German immigrant Pia Lange longs to be far from Philadelphia’s overcrowded streets and slums, and from the anti-German sentiment that compelled her father to enlist in the U.S. Army, hoping to prove his loyalty. But an even more urgent threat has arrived. Spanish influenza is spreading through the city. Soon, dead and dying are everywhere. With no food at home, Pia must venture out in search of supplies, leaving her infant twin brothers alone…

Since her baby died days ago, Bernice Groves has been lost in grief and bitterness. If doctors hadn’t been so busy tending to hordes of immigrants, perhaps they could have saved her son. When Bernice sees Pia leaving her tenement across the way, she is buoyed by a shocking, life-altering decision that leads her on a sinister mission: to transform the city’s orphans and immigrant children into what she feels are “true Americans.”

As Pia navigates the city’s somber neighborhoods, she cannot know that her brothers won’t be home when she returns. And it will be a long and arduous journey to learn what happened-even as Bernice plots to keep the truth hidden at any cost. Only with persistence, and the courage to face her own shame and fear, will Pia put the pieces together and find the strength to risk everything to see justice at last.

Parable Of The Sower by Octavia E. Butler

(Available Formats: Print Book, eBook, Hoopla instant checkout eBook & Audiobook)

Part 1 of the Earthseed series

In 2025, with the world descending into madness and anarchy, one woman begins a fateful journey toward a better future. Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods remaining on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Behind the walls of their defended enclave, Lauren’s father, a preacher, and a handful of other citizens try to salvage what remains of a culture that has been destroyed by drugs, disease, war, and chronic water shortages. While her father tries to lead people on the righteous path, Lauren struggles with hyperempathy, a condition that makes her extraordinarily sensitive to the pain of others. When fire destroys their compound, Lauren’s family is killed and she is forced out into a world that is fraught with danger. With a handful of other refugees, Lauren must make her way north to safety, along the way conceiving a revolutionary idea that may mean salvation for all mankind. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Octavia E. Butler, including rare images from the author’s estate.

Two’s Company by Jill Mansell

(Available Formats: eBook & Hoopla instant checkout eBook)

What happens when a relationship is too good to be true…?

Life’s a dream for perfect celebrity couple Jack and Cass Mandeville. With killer style, A-list day jobs, and an envious marriage, the Mandevilles have captured the hearts of the people and the affections of the press. Their lives couldn’t be more picture perfect—that is, until Jack turns forty and his world turns upside down when a stunning, and strikingly intelligent, redhead named Imogen interviews the couple for a high-profile magazine. Like a bolt of lightning, Jack is hit with a midlife crisis of epic proportions, bursting Jack and Cass’s proverbial bubble.

This drastic turn of events sends their entire family, friends, local community, and fans around the country, into a tailspin. Cass can only hope Jack will snap out of it soon, but it’s too late already—nothing will ever be the same again…

New York Times and USA Today bestseller Jill Mansell delivers laugh-out-loud antics and a perfect ending!

Have a great week!

Linda Reimer

*Information on the Three Catalogs*

Digital Catalog: https://stls.overdrive.com/

The Digital Catalog, a catalog containing eBooks, downloadable audiobooks, Digital Magazines and a handful of streaming videos, has two companion apps, Libby & OverDrive. Libby is the app for newer devices and the OverDrive app should be used for older devices and Amazon tablets.

All card holders of all Southern Tier Library System member libraries can check out items from the Digital Catalog.

Hoopla Catalog: https://www.hoopladigital.com/

The Hoopla Catalog features instant checkouts of eBooks, downloadable audiobooks, comic books, albums, movies and TV series. Patron check out limit is 6 items per month.

Hoopla is a Southeast Steuben County Library service available to all Southeast Steuben County Library card holders.

The Hoopla App is available for Android or Apple devices and most smart TVs & media streaming players.

StarCat: The catalog of physical/traditional library materials: https://starcat.stls.org

Card holders of all Southern Tier Library System member libraries can access StarCat to search for and request materials available at libraries through out the Southern Tier Library System.

The StarCat app is called Bookmyne and is available for Apple and Android devices.

Note: Book summaries are from the respective publishers unless otherwise specified.

Have questions or want to request a book?

Feel free to call the library! Our telephone number is 607-936-3713.

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

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