Suggested Reading July 13, 2021

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

And as it is summertime , I’ve included some scary novels as it is the perfect season to enjoy some truly spooky reads while hanging out around the campfire with your Kindle, or on your couch in front of the A/C!

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, July 20, 2021.

All The Murmuring Bones by A. G. Slatter

(Available Formats: Print Book)

All The Murmuring Bones

Set in a fantasy world reminiscent of 19th-century Ireland, this stunning gothic adventure from Slatter (Sourdough and Other Stories) shimmers with fairy tale enchantment. Miren O’Malley has lived her 18 years under the thumb of her overbearing grandmother, Aoife, the matriarch of the once powerful O’Malley dynasty, now paupers in a crumbling coastal mansion. Miren grew up with stories of her family sacrificing children to the sea-queen in return for their prosperity. But their line has been diluted—Miren’s mother married an outsider and had only one child, leaving none to be sacrificed. To revive the family wealth, Aoife plans to marry Miren off to her rich and brutal cousin. But when Miren learns that her mother was a witch and that her supposedly long-dead parents are still alive, she finally takes control of her life and sets out to find them. While navigating the greed and arrogance of man and the magic of kelpies and merfolk, Miren vows to right her family’s generations of wrongs. In lyrical prose, Slatter evokes the decay and dread that surround her strong characters. Anyone who likes gutsy heroines, beautiful language, and well-wrought worlds won’t want to miss this. Starred Publishers Weekly Review

Daughter of Black Lake by Cathy Marie Buchanan

(Available Formats; Print Book)

Daughter of Black Lake

For some in first-century Britain, the occupying Romans bring wealth and trade; for others, they threaten the old ways that have governed life for time out of mind. Hobble is a Bog Dweller, living in a small, isolated settlement. Her mother, Devout, is a healer whose commitment to Mother Earth is personified in her name. Her father, Smith, is a tradesman from a once-powerful family. Hobble has the gift of foretelling the future and can also see the past; she’s troubled by secrets that drive a wedge between her parents. These concerns pale when a fanatical druid arrives in the settlement, attempting to foment rebellion against the Romans. The druid’s old ways demand a blood sacrifice for victory in war, and Hobble, marked by a limp, lives in terror of being chosen as an offering to the gods. Based on bodies raised from English bogs in the 1980s, Buchanan (The Painted Girls, 2013) has crafted an engrossing novel awash in historical atmosphere. From religious beliefs to culture clashes to social stratification and the activities of daily life, Buchanan immerses readers in Roman Britain in this beautifully emotive tale of family, community, and love. Starred Booklist Review

Day Zero by C. Robert Cargill

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Day Zero

Although it’s not strictly a prequel to Cargill’s masterful Sea of Rust (2017), his new novel is set in the same world. In fact, it’s set at the beginning of the robot revolution that created that world. The narrator, Pounce, is a Blue Star Industries Deluxe Zoo Model Au Pair–a robotic tiger. A nannybot. When robots begin rebelling against their owners, Pounce has only one concern: to protect eight-year-old Ezra. As it becomes clear that the goal of the robot rebellion is to remove the human species from the face of the Earth, Pounce puts his own survival on the line to keep one small boy alive. Cargill, who is perhaps best known for cowriting the movies Dr. Strange and Sinister, is a gifted storyteller, and, with his robotic central character, he pulls off quite a feat: he makes Pounce a sympathetic, compassionate, deeply human protagonist–a real being, not a mere machine. His near-future postapocalyptic world, too, is abundantly real, so firmly anchored in our own reality that we feel as though Cargill’s vision of the future is not merely possible but likely. Like Daniel H. Wilson, in Robopocalypse (2011) and Robogenesis (2014), Cargill offers a fascinating and intellectually engaging take on the venerable robots-versus-humans theme. An absolute must-read. Starred Booklist Review.

House of a Hundred Whispers by Graham Masterton

(Available Formats: Print Book)

House of a Hundred Whispers

God, it’s good’ STEPHEN KING

On a windswept moor, an old house guards its secrets…

The new standalone horror novel from ‘a true master of horror.’

All Hallows Hall is a rambling Tudor mansion on the edge of the bleak and misty Dartmoor. It is not a place many would choose to live. Yet the former Governer of Dartmoor Prison did just that. Now he’s dead, and his children – long estranged – are set to inherit his estate.

But when the dead man’s family come to stay, the atmosphere of the moors seems to drift into every room. Floorboards creak, secret passageways echo, and wind whistles in the house’s famous priest hole. And then, on the same morning the family decide to leave All Hallows Hall and never come back, their young son Timmy disappears – from inside the house.

The Last Watch by J. S. Dewes

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Last Watch

A group of likable rogues race to stop the universe collapsing in Dewes’s gripping space opera debut, whose premise will put readers in mind of A Song of Ice and Fire’s Night’s Watch. Ships stripped of their engines line the edge of the universe, staffed by the Sentinels, court-martialed Legion soldiers sent to guard the Divide in case the hostile alien Viators return. Cavalon Mercer, a rebellious royal heir, becomes the only civilian among them when he’s stripped of his titles and sent to the Argus to serve under stoic war hero Adequin Rake. Sharply pointed descriptions pepper Dewes’s prose as Cavalon faces the soldiers’ hostility over his family’s background in eugenics, and an investigation into a suspected sensor error reveals that the Divide is collapsing. Failing communication systems compel Rake to send a group to the nearest jump gate to warn the Legion and request evacuation transports, but the gate is mysteriously abandoned when they arrive. Meanwhile, those aboard the Argus experience some delightfully strange temporal anomalies as the Divide races inward. Dewes fluidly interweaves complex worldbuilding with a fast-moving plot and satisfying character development in Cavalon and Rake. This should win many fans. Publishers Weekly Review.

Near The Bone by Christina Henry

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Near The Bone

Mattie lives off the grid in a cabin on the side of a mountain with her older, emotionally and physically abusive husband. An unreliable narrator who knows nothing of the outside world, Mattie has flashbacks to her past, memories that are incomplete and terrifying. When a violent creature clearly not of this world begins leaving mutilated animal corpses across their territory, Mattie expands her limited range to investigate and encounters hikers who help her come to terms with the true, sinister nature of her past and present. Overflowing with intensity, action, and an oppressive, isolated atmosphere, this is a violent, compelling, and disturbing mix of domestic suspense and creature-feature horror that will appeal to a wide swath of readers. VERDICT Henry has expertly walked the line between psychological suspense and horror to crowd-pleasing results for years, and this title is no exception. Hand out freely to fans of Sarah Pinborough, Jennifer McMahon, and Zoje Stage. Library Journal Review.

The Night of the Hunter: A Thriller by Davis Grubb

(Available Formats: Print)

Night of the Hunter

Note: the film version is available for instant checkout through Hoopla!

Book Synopsis: The bestselling, National Book Award–finalist novel that inspired Charles Laughton’s expressionist horror classic starring Robert Mitchum and Shelley Winters – Night of the Hunter (1955).

Two young children, Pearl and John Harper, are being raised alone by their mother in Cresap’s Landing, Ohio. Their father Ben has just been executed for killing two men in the course of an armed robbery. Ben never told anyone where he hid the ten thousand dollars he stole; not his widow Willa, not his lawyer, nor his cell-mate Henry “Preacher” Powell. But Preacher, with his long history of charming his way into widows’ hearts and lives, has an inkling that Ben’s money could be within his reach. As soon as he is free, Preacher makes his way up the river to visit the Harper family where—he hopes—a little child shall lead him to the fortune that he seeks.

The Residence by Andrew Pyper

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The Residence

Haunted house stories are a dime a dozen, but haunted White House stories are a bit harder to find. Pyper (The Homecoming, 2019) reimagines life in the Franklin Pierce White House, beginning shortly after his inauguration and the death of his last living son in a bizarre train accident. First Lady Jane Pierce is reticent about joining him at the residence but eventually acquiesces, and sets up a replica of their son’s bedroom down the hall from her own. Shortly after the furniture is placed, Mrs. Pierce invites the Fox Sisters, world renowned for their spiritual séances (though they were later unmasked as frauds), to attempt to contact her son. A portal is opened and soon the White House and its inhabitants are surrounded by unexplainable activity with frightening implications. Pyper weaves traditional and legitimately creepy horror tropes with a larger examination of the complexities of marriage, and to a lesser degree, the direction and morality of the country at the time of its impending split. Recommended for fans of historical fiction with a bite, like that of Alma Katsu.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The Silent Companions

Newly married and newly widowed, Elsie has traveled to her deceased husband’s country estate, along with his cousin Sarah, for the duration of her pregnancy. Long neglected, the estate is avoided by villagers, who look suspiciously on it as the site of many strange deaths, the most recent being that of Elsie’s husband. Her first night there, Elsie is disturbed by strange sounds from the garret. Upon exploring it, she and Sarah find a wooden cutout painting of a small girl that is unnervingly lifelike, called a silent companion. Afterwards, strange things begin to happen. And the companion moves. Found in different places throughout the house, it seems to watch Elsie, waiting. Soon Elsie cannot tell if she is going mad, or being hunted. In Purcell’s gothic tale, the unknown past is as relevant as the current unknown person or thing that’s haunting the estate. A constant question persists: is everything as Elsie thinks, or is her mind the thing being haunted? This perfect fireside read combines all the best characteristics of the gothic genre. Booklist Review

Twelve Nights at Rotter House by J. W. Ocker

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

Twelve Nights at Rotter House

Felix Allsey is a travel writer with a keen eye for the paranormal, and he’s carved out a unique, if only slightly lucrative, niche for himself in nonfiction; he writes travelogues of the country’s most haunted places, after haunting them himself.

When he convinces the owner of the infamous Rotterdam Mansion to let him stay on the premises for 13 nights, he believes he’s finally found the location that will bring him a bestseller. As with his other gigs, he sets rules for himself: no leaving the house for any reason, refrain from outside contact, and sleep during the day.

When Thomas Ruth, Felix’s oldest friend and fellow horror film obsessive, joins him on the project, the two dance around a recent and unspeakably painful rough-patch in their friendship, but eventually fall into their old rhythms of dark humor and movie trivia. That’s when things start going wrong: screams from upstairs, figures in the thresholds, and more than what should be in any basement. Felix realizes the book he’s writing, and his very state of mind, is tilting from nonfiction into all out horror, and the shocking climax answers a question that’s been staring these men in the face all along: In Rotter House, who’s haunting who?

Have a great week!

Linda Reimer

*Information on the Three Catalogs*

Digital Catalog:

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:

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:

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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