Suggested Reading March 16, 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 23, 2021.

After The People Lights Have Gone Off by Stephen Graham Jones

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

WINNER, Best Collection of the Year, THIS IS HORRORNOMINATED, Best Collection of the Year, BRAM STOKER AWARDS! The fifteen stories in After the People Lights Have Gone Off by Stephen Graham Jones explore the horrors and fears of the supernatural and the everyday. Included are two original stories, several rarities and out of print narratives, as well as a few “best of the year” inclusions. In “Thirteen,” horrors lurk behind the flickering images on the big screen. “Welcome to the Reptile House” reveals the secrets that hide in our flesh. In “The Black Sleeve of Destiny,” a single sweatshirt leads to unexpectedly dark adventures. And the title story, “After the People Lights Have Gone Off,” is anything but your typical haunted house story. With an introduction by Edgar Award winner Joe R. Lansdale, and featuring fifteen full-page illustrations by Luke Spooner, After the People Lights Have Gone Off gets under your skin and stays there.

Cold Mourning by Brenda Chapman, audio read by Michelle St. John

(Available Formats: Downloadable Audiobook, Hoopla instant checkout eBook)

Nominated for the 2015 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel

When murder stalks a family over Christmas, Kala Stonechild trusts her intuition to get results.
It’s a week before Christmas when wealthy businessman Tom Underwood disappears into thin air — with more than enough people wanting him dead.

New police recruit Kala Stonechild, who has left her northern Ontario detachment to join a specialized Ottawa crime unit, is tasked with returning Underwood home in time for the holidays. Stonechild, who is from a First Nations reserve, is a lone wolf who is used to surviving on her wits. Her new boss, Detective Jacques Rouleau, has his hands full controlling her, his team, and an investigation that keeps threatening to go off track.

Old betrayals and complicated family relationships brutally collide when love turns to hate and murder stalks a family.

The Cry of the Sloth by Sam Savage

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

At an age when many authors are pushing stylistic walkers, 68-year-old Savage is just hitting his stride. His new work is every bit as engaging and original as his debut, “Firmin”. Protagonist Andrew Whittaker, like the rat Firmin, is something of a literary lowlife. He’s a writer who is a legend in his own mind, the vexing editor of a marginal literary journal, an incompetent slumlord, an increasingly tired and tiresome bore and boor, a man about to crash from his own imaginary space into a very unforgiving earth. This novel consists of everything he has written over four months: mostly letters but also remnants of his tortuous prose, shopping lists, and diary entries. VERDICT Set in the early Seventies, this book will certainly appeal to boomers and seniors, but it would also be a great read for young adults. Its best audience would be other writers and creative individuals generally, and it would be a delightful reading-group choice. Great for holiday gift-giving, too.Jim Dwyer, California State Univ. Lib., Chico — Starred Library Journal Review

Her Dark Lies by J. T. Ellison, audio read by Brittany Pressley

(Available Formats: Hoopla instant checkout audiobook)

Fast-paced and brilliantly unpredictable, J.T. Ellison’s breathtaking new novel invites you to a wedding none will forget—and some won’t survive.

Jutting from sparkling turquoise waters off the Italian coast, Isle Isola is an idyllic setting for a wedding. In the majestic cliff-top villa owned by the wealthy Compton family, up-and-coming artist Claire Hunter will marry handsome, charming Jack Compton, surrounded by close family, intimate friends…and a host of dark secrets.

From the moment Claire sets foot on the island, something seems amiss. Skeletal remains have just been found. There are other, newer disturbances, too. Menacing texts. A ruined wedding dress. And one troubling shadow hanging over Claire’s otherwise blissful relationship—the strange mystery surrounding Jack’s first wife.

Then a raging storm descends, the power goes out—and the real terror begins…

Klara And The Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro, audio read by Sura Siu

(Available Formats: Print Book & Downloadable Audiobook)

Nobel laureate Ishiguro takes readers to a vaguely futuristic, technologically advanced setting reminiscent of his Never Let Me Go for a surprising parable about love, humanity, and science. Klara is an Artificial Friend (AF), a humanlike robot designed to be a child’s companion. She spends her days watching humans from her perch in the AF store, fascinated by their emotions and hungry to learn enough to help her future owner. Klara, who is solar-powered, reveres the sun for the “nourishment” and upholds “him” as a godlike figure. Klara is eventually bought by teenager Josie and continues to learn about humans through her interactions with Josie’s family and childhood friend. When Josie becomes seriously ill, Klara pleads with the sun to make her well again and confronts the boundary between service and sacrifice. While the climax lends a touch of fantasy, Klara’s relationship with the sun, which is hidden at times by smog, touches on the consequences of environmental destruction. As with Ishiguro’s other works, the rich inner reflections of his protagonists offer big takeaways, and Klara’s quiet but astute observations of human nature land with profound gravity (“There was something very special, but it wasn’t inside Josie. It was inside those who loved her,” Klara says). This dazzling genre-bending work is a delight. –Starred Publisher’s Weekly Review

Laughing Boy: A Navajo Love Story by Oliver La Farge

(Available Formats: eBook & Hoopla instant checkout eBook)

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Laughing Boy is a model member of his tribe. Raised in old traditions, skilled in silver work, and known for his prowess in the wild horse races, he does the Navajos of T’o Tlakai proud. But times are changing. It is 1914, and the first car has just driven into their country. Then, Laughing Boy meets Slim Girl—and despite her “American” education and the warnings of his family, he gives in to desire and marries her.

As Laughing Boy and Slim Girl settle away from traditional villages—their different upbringings clashing within both their relationship and the ever-encroaching culture around them—each of their worlds are thrown into a heart-wrenching turmoil of love, honor, hope, and heritage.

“Compelling in its strength and simplicity, and its fidelity to the deepest impulses of human nature,” Laughing Boy is an unprecedented look at both the Navajo culture and the enduring legacy of tradition and loss that all Americans share (The New York Times).

The Long Fall by Walter Mosley

(Available Formats: Print Book, eBook & Downloadable Audiobook)

Mosley leaves behind the Los Angeles setting of his Easy Rawlins and Fearless Jones series to introduce Leonid McGill, a New York City private detective, who promises to be as complex and rewarding a character as Mosley’s ever produced. McGill, a 53-year-old former boxer who’s still a fighter, finds out that putting his past life behind him isn’t easy when someone like Tony “The Suit” Towers expects you to do a job; when an Albany PI hires you to track down four men known only by their youthful street names; and when your 16-year-old son, Twill, is getting in over his head with a suicidal girl. McGill shares Easy’s knack for earning powerful friends by performing favors and has some of the toughness of Fearless, but he’s got his own dark secrets and hard-won philosophy. New York’s racial stew is different than Los Angeles’s, and Mosley stirs the pot and concocts a perfect milieu for an engaging new hero and an entertaining new series. – Publishers Weekly Review

More News Tomorrow by Susan Richards Shreve

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

In 2007, George Washington University professor Georgianna Grove still grapples with the mysterious tragedy that orphaned her as a small child. In 1941, when Georgianna was 4, her father, William, a Jewish immigrant from Lithuania, went to prison for murdering her mother on a canoe trip to the Wisconsin summer camp he ran. Four years later, William died in prison, leaving Georgianna to face a lonely childhood with unapproachable, anti-Semitic maternal grandparents. In reaction, Georgianna made the concept of “home” central to her research as an anthropologist and has continually welcomed strangers into the house where she raised her own three children. They’d become fatherless themselves at ages 4, 2, and still-in-the-womb when Georgianna’s husband died in Vietnam. On her 70th birthday, Georgianna receives a letter from the only other person from the 1941 canoe trip who’s still alive. At the time, Roosevelt McCrary was an 11-year-old child who had been hired, along with his mother, to work at the camp despite being black. As an adult, Roosevelt became a part owner of the camp and has retired there. Hoping he has information to exonerate William, Georgianna decides to revisit the camp and nearby murder site for the first time. She drags along her family—grown children Venus, Rosie, and Nicolas, whose work on Barack Obama’s campaign hovers in the background; Rosie’s 13-year-old son, Thomas, in the throes of grieving his own father’s recent death; Nicolas’ son, 15-year-old Jesse, and 4-year-old daughter, Oona, coincidentally Georgianna’s age in 1941. Georgianna discovers that her parents’ lives and deaths were more complex and mysterious than she thought and not truly knowable. Shreve creates a spooky atmosphere with stormy weather, eerie parallels between past and present, and at least one threateningly crazy woman. Even spookier is the backdrop of 20th-century racism, anti-Semitism, and anti-immigration feeling that are all too familiar today.

Part gothic novel, part adventure story, but primarily a meditation on surmounting misfortunes that may lie beyond an individual’s control. – Starred Kirkus Review

A Search For Her by Rick Mofina, audio read by Jennifer Jill Araya

(Available Formats: Hoopla instant checkout audiobook)

A missing daughter, a family with secrets, a race for the truth…
At a truck stop near Las Vegas, fourteen-year-old Riley Jarrett vanishes from her family’s RV, turning their cross-country dream of starting over into a nightmare.

Investigators have their work cut out for them. The massive, bustling truck plaza in the desert is the perfect place for someone to disappear-or be taken.

Detectives pursue every chilling lead as all eyes fall to the newly blended family with a tragic past. With the clock ticking down on the likelihood that Riley’s alive, suspicions run deep. Everyone-from Riley’s mom to her stepdad to her stepbrother and her ex-boyfriend-has something to hide. And their secrets could prove deadly.

The Ventriloquists by E.R. Ramzipoor

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

In this triumphant debut inspired by true events, a ragtag gang of journalists and resistance fighters risk everything for an elaborate scheme to undermine the Reich.

The Nazis stole their voices. But they would not be silenced.

Brussels, 1943. Twelve-year-old street orphan Helene survives by living as a boy and selling copies of the country’s most popular newspaper, Le Soir, now turned into Nazi propaganda. Helene’s world changes when she befriends a rogue journalist, Marc Aubrion, who draws her into a secret network that publishes dissident underground newspapers.

The Nazis track down Aubrion’s team and give them an impossible choice: turn the resistance newspapers into a Nazi propaganda bomb that will sway public opinion against the Allies, or be killed. Faced with no decision at all, Aubrion has a brilliant idea. While pretending to do the Nazis’ bidding, they will instead publish a fake edition of Le Soir that pokes fun at Hitler and Stalin-daring to laugh in the face of their oppressors.

The ventriloquists have agreed to die for a joke, and they have only eighteen days to tell it.

Featuring an unforgettable cast of characters and stunning historical detail, E.R. Ramzipoor’s dazzling debut novel illuminates the extraordinary acts of courage by ordinary people forgotten by time. It is a moving and powerful ode to the importance of the written word and to the unlikely heroes who went to extreme lengths to orchestrate the most stunning feat of journalism in modern history.

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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