Suggested Reading March 12, 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 16, 2021.

The Conductors by Nicole Glover

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Inventively mixing mystery, magic, and alternate history, Glover’s nail-biting debut takes readers to Reconstruction era Philadelphia. Henrietta “Hetty” and Benjamin “Benjy” Rhodes—both adept at sigil magic that draws on the constellations—are famed conductors for the Vigilance Society, which shepherded enslaved Black people to freedom along the Underground Railroad. Stories of their trips into the South are legendary in their Philadelphia community even a decade after the Civil War.

Now, Hetty and Benjy use their magical and analytical skills as detectives, dealing with missing person cases, murders, and other crimes the white police force chooses to overlook. But when one of their friends turns up dead and their suspicions fall close to home, they’ll need to work out who in their community is not who they say they are. The pace is relaxed but the tension steadily builds as Glover weaves each detail into a satisfying mystery.

Frequent flashbacks to Hetty and Benjy’s thrilling exploits as conductors on the Underground Railroad reveal how Hetty’s tough choices during the Civil War led to her life today. Readers will be surprised but gratified by an ending that shows just how past actions inform the present in unexpected ways. Glover is a writer to watch. Starred Publishers Weekly Review

Confident Women: Swindlers, Grifters, and Shapeshifters of the Feminine Persuasion by Tori Telfer

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Keep your hand firmly on your wallet as Telfer (Lady Killers) takes you from the court of Marie Antoinette to Harlem’s occult scene to the aftermath of 9/11. She shines a spotlight on infamous grifters, adventuresses, imposters, and femmes fatales—each exhibiting brazen confidence and the uncanny ability to sell an outlandish story. Her rogues gallery is divided into four con artist categories—the Glitterati, the Seers, the Fabulists, and the Drifters—with memorable examples highlighting each section. Telfer can coherently summarize an intentionally convoluted scheme, such as a real estate swindle targeting China’s elite, while acknowledging the human cost. She also embraces the morbid humor of situations such as Roxie Ann Rice performing a trick play on the NFL with information gleaned from an issue of Ebony. Then there’s the outright tragic, including those who profit from disasters or the ill-fated Bonny Lee Bakley, who desperately wanted to marry a Hollywood star. VERDICT Readers who appreciate a well-executed sting will enjoy this thoroughly researched yet breezy guide to notorious women.—Terry Bosky, Madison, WI for Library Journal

Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire by Jen Hatmaker

(Available Formats: Hoopla instant checkout eBook & Audiobook)

The Guide to Being Glorious You

New York Times bestselling author Jen Hatmaker, with cheeky candor and fearlessness, guides readers to a deep dive into how they are wired and provides them with the tools to walk in that identity with freedom and guts.

Stuck in people-pleasing or fear, many women hide and pretend, then end up sidelined in their own lives. But what they want is to be brave, to claim every gift, dream, quirk, and emotion inside, to stop performing and start living.

Beloved New York Times bestselling author Jen Hatmaker understands the struggle to find firm footing in a culture that operates from stereotypes and often unreachable expectations. In this new book, she offers women encouragement, challenge, and humor as she helps them identify everything that makes them tick and gain the confidence to live it all out. She leads them through five self-reflective categories-who I am, what I need, what I want, what I believe, and how I connect-and helps them:

• identify the exact ways they pretend, and learn instead how to be genuine at all times, in all ways, in all contexts;

• be empowered to say yes and no without guilt;

• learn to voice both their spiritual questions and convictions; and

• opt out of drama and into healthy adult relationships.

With wry humor, earnest passion, and been-there insight, Jen calls women to the life-giving freedom of leaning into the identity, convictions, and community they’ve been given.

Floret Farm’s Discovering Dahlias by Erin Benzakein

(Available Formats: Hoopla instant checkout eBook)

A Guide to Growing and Arranging Magnificent Blooms

A stunning guide to growing, harvesting, and arranging gorgeous dahlia blooms from celebrated farmer-florist and New York Times bestselling author Erin Benzakein, founder of Floret Flower Farm.

World-renowned flower farmer and floral designer Erin Benzakein reveals all the secrets to growing, cultivating, and arranging gorgeous dahlias. These coveted floral treasures come in a dazzling range of colors, sizes, and forms, with enough variety for virtually every garden space and personal preference, making them one of the most beloved flowers for arrangements.

In these pages, readers will discover:

• Expert advice for planting, harvesting, and arranging garden-fresh dahlias

• A simple-to-follow overview of the dahlia classification system

• An A–Z guide with photos and descriptions of more than 350 varieties

• Step-by-step how-to’s for designing show-stopping dahlia bouquets that elevate any occasion

Expert Author: Erin Benzakein’s gorgeous flowers are celebrated throughout the world. Her book Floret Farm’s A Year in Flowers was a New York Times bestseller and her first book, Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden, won the American Horticultural Society Book Award.

Filled with Wisdom: Overflowing with hundreds of lush photographs and invaluable advice, DISCOVERING DAHLIAS is an essential resource for gardeners and a must-have for anyone who loves flowers, including flower lovers, avid and novice gardeners, floral designers, florists, small farmers, stylists, and designers.

The Girl In The Painting by Tea Cooper

(Available Formats: Hoopla instant checkout eBook)

A young prodigy in need of family.A painting that shatters a woman’s peace.And a decades-old mystery demanding to be solved.

Australia, 1906

Orphan Jane Piper is nine years old when philanthropist siblings Michael and Elizabeth Quinn take her into their home to further her schooling. The Quinns are no strangers to hardship. Having arrived in Australia as penniless immigrants, they now care for others as lost as they once were.

Despite Jane’s mysterious past, her remarkable aptitude for mathematics takes her far over the next seven years, and her relationship with Elizabeth and Michael flourishes as she plays an increasingly prominent part in their business.

But when Elizabeth reacts in terror to an exhibition at the local gallery, Jane realizes no one knows Elizabeth after all-not even Elizabeth herself. As the past and present converge and Elizabeth’s grasp on reality loosens, Jane sets out to unravel her story before it’s too late.

From the gritty reality of the Australian goldfields to the grand institutions of Sydney, this compelling novel presents a mystery that spans continents and decades as both women finally discover a place to call home.

“Combining characters that are wonderfully complex with a story spanning decades of their lives, The Girl in the Painting is a triumph of family, faith, and long-awaited forgiveness. I was swept away!” -Kristy Cambron, bestselling author of The Paris Dressmaker and the Hidden Masterpiece novels

Irish Eyes written by Mary Kay Andrews and read by Hillary Huber

(Available Formats: Print Book & Hoopla instant checkout audiobook)

Callahan Garrity is the owner of House Mouse, a cleaning service that tidies up after Atlanta’s elite. She’s also a former cop and a part-time sleuth. She and her coterie of devoted helpers can ransack a house for clues faster than it takes a fingerprint to set. When Callahan Garrity gets caught in a liquor store holdup on the way home from a St. Paddy’s Day party, one of her best friends is shot. Callahan and her House Mouse cleaning crew dive into the investigation-only to discover that her old friend might have been working both sides of the law as an accomplice in a string of robberies. It will take every trick they’ve got to pierce the veil of secrecy surrounding an Irish police organization and prove that the case is more than it seems.

The eighth book in the Callahan Garrity series; if you’d like to start with the first book – it is Every Crooked Nanny.

The Irish Girl: A Novel by Santa Montefiore

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

Ireland. The early twentieth century. Two girls on the cusp of womanhood. A nation on the brink of war. Read their story – and see why JOJO Moyes says that “Nobody does epic romance like Santa Montefiore.” Born on the ninth day of the ninth month in the year 1900, Kitty Deverill grows up in Castle Deverill, on the sunning green ghills of West Cork, Ireland – the same place her ancestors have always dwelled. She isn’t fully Irish, as the son of the local veterinarian likes to tease her; but this doesn’t stop Kitty and Jack O’Leary from falling in love…

Bridie Doyle, daughter to Castle Deverill’s cook, cherishes her friendship with Kitty. Yet she can’t help dreaming of someday having wealth, having glamour, having… more. And when she discovers Kitty’s darkest secret, Bridie finds herself growing to resent the girl in the castle who seems to have it all. As Irish and British forces collide in Southern Ireland, Jack enlists to fight – and Kitty throws herself into the cause for Irish liberty, running messages and ammunition between the rebels. But, her allegiance to her family and her friends will soon be tested… and when Castle Deverill comes under attack, the only home and life she’s ever known are threatened.

A powerful story of love, loyalty, and friendship, The Girl in the Castle is an exquisitely written novel set against the magical, captivating landscape of Ireland – perfect for fans of DOWNTON ABBEY and KATE MORTON.

The Irish Girl was originally published with the title The Girl in the Castle and is available in large print form under that title.

The Library At The Edge Of The World by Felicity Hayes-McCoy

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

November 2017 Library Reads Pick In the bestselling tradition of Fannie Flagg and Jenny Colgan comes Felicity Hayes-McCoy’s U.S. debut about a local librarian who must find a way to rebuild her community and her own life in this touching, enchanting novel set on Ireland’s stunning West Coast. As she drives her mobile library van between villages of Ireland’s West Coast, Hanna Casey tries not to think about a lot of things. Like the sophisticated lifestyle she abandoned after finding her English barrister husband in bed with another woman. Or that she’s back in Lissbeg, the rural Irish town she walked away from in her teens, living in the back bedroom of her overbearing mother’s retirement bungalow. Or, worse yet, her nagging fear that, as the local librarian and a prominent figure in the community, her failed marriage and ignominious return have made her a focus of gossip.

With her teenage daughter, Jazz, off traveling the world and her relationship with her own mother growing increasingly tense, Hanna is determined to reclaim her independence by restoring a derelict cottage left to her by her great-aunt. But when the threatened closure of the Lissbeg Library puts her personal plans in jeopardy, Hanna finds herself leading a battle to restore the heart and soul of the Finfarran Peninsula’s fragmented community. And she’s about to discover that the neighbors she’d always kept at a distance have come to mean more to her than she ever could have imagined. Told with heart and abundant charm, The Library at the Edge of the World is a joyous story about the meaning of home and the importance of finding a place where you truly belong.

Book 1 of the Finfarran series

Mike Nichols: A Life by Mark Harris

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Editor and journalist Harris’s (Five Came Back) engrossing, pull-no-punches biography of American movie and theater director Mike Nichols (1931–2014) presents both well-known and more obscure portions of his subject’s life and work through a chronological arrangement, with copious excerpts from interviews with actors, writers, designers, and other creative folks.

The author divides the narrative into two- or three-year chunks, examining Nichols’s Jewish family’s escape from Germany on the cusp of World War II; his early successes in clubs, radio, and television as a duo with Elaine May; and his collaborations with Neil Simon on Broadway and his renown for movies such as The Graduate. Neither avoiding nor emphasizing Nichols’s excesses of consumption and failed marriages, Harris creates a fully rounded portrait of a person who could command the respect and support of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and master his craft yet still feel insecure when confronted with disappointment.

VERDICT A compelling storyteller, Harris sweeps readers up into the whirlwind of Nichols’s life. Likely to become the definitive book about Nichols, Harris’s exhaustive take should have widespread appeal, especially given the dearth of currently available literature about this important and influential entertainment icon.—Barry Zaslow, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH for Library Journal

That Sounds Fun: The Joys of Being an Amateur, the Power of Falling in Love, and Why You Need a Hobby by Annie F. Downs

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

We know there are certain things we must have to survive—food, shelter, and safety to name a few. But there are also aspects of life that truly allow us to be joyful and fulfilled. For popular podcaster and bestselling author Annie F. Downs, fun is close to the top of that list. Few would argue that having fun doesn’t enrich our lives, but so much gets in the way of prioritizing it. Tough days, busyness, and feelings that are hard to talk about keep us from the fun that’s out there waiting to be found.

With That Sounds Fun, Annie offers an irresistible invitation to understand the meaning of fun, to embrace it and chase it, and to figure out what, exactly, sounds fun to you—then do it! Exploring some research and sharing some thoughts behind why fun matters, she shows you how to find, experience, and multiply your fun. With her signature storytelling style and whimsical vulnerability, Annie is the friend we all need to guide us back to staying true to ourselves and finding the fun we need.

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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