Suggested Reading September 14, 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 (Libby app) 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.

And the next Suggested Reading posting will be published on Tuesday, September 21, 2021.

Black Wings Has My Angel by Elliott Chaze (New York Review of Books)

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

Black Wings Has My Angel

During the 1950s, Gold Medal Books introduced authors like Jim Thompson, Chester Himes, and David Goodis to a mass readership eager for stories of lowlife and sordid crime. Today many of these writers are admired members of the literary canon, but one of the finest of them of all, Elliott Chaze, remains unjustly obscure. Now, for the first time in half a century, Chaze’s story of doomed love on the run returns to print in a trade paperback edition.

When Tim Sunblade escapes from prison, his sole possession is an infallible plan for the ultimate heist. Trouble is it’s a two-person job. So when he meets Virginia, a curiously well-spoken “ten-dollar tramp,” and discovers that the only thing she cares for is “drifts of money, lumps of it,” he knows he’s met his partner. What he doesn’t suspect is that this lavender-eyed angel might just prove to be his match.

Black Wings Has My Angel careens through a landscape of desperate passion and wild reversals. It is a journey you will never forget

The City Of Good Death by Priyanka Champaneri

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

City of Good Death

In Champaneri’s ambitious, vivid debut, the dying come to the holy city of Kashi to die a good death that frees them from the burden of reincarnation. Pramesh Prasad has managed Shankarbhavan, a hostel in the city, for almost 10 years. When the body of his cousin, Sagar, is found in the Ganges, Pramesh is forced to confront the past he left behind when he ran away from his village to pursue an education and turned his back on Sagar, with whom he’d been inseparable. In Kashi, he married Shobha, daughter of the hostel’s previous manager, who’s dismayed with the presence of Sagar’s ghost, which threatens Shankarbhavan’s reputation by causing residents to resist their deaths. Shobha encourages Pramesh to return with her to his village to meet with Sagar’s widow, Kamna, believing that the two women can solve the problem if they talk to each other. In sharp prose, Champaneri explores the power of stories—those the characters tell themselves, those told about them, and those they believe—such as an ingrained narrative of Kamna as a “shameless woman” in Pramesh’s village, which Shobha, mindful of women’s oppression in their society, gradually chips away at. This epic, magical story of death teems with life. – Publishers Weekly Review

The Ice: A Novel by Louis Charbonneau

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The Ice

This timely, credible and suspenseful eco-thriller begins when marine biologist Kathy McNeely finds oil-soaked penguins in a part of Antarctica where no oil spills have been recorded. What seems at first the residue of an earlier disaster soon acquires more sinister implications as McNeely, her Russian and American associates, and maverick archeologist Brian Huxley are caught in the web of TERCO–a U.S. conglomerate that has found something worth killing for beneath the Antarctic ice. Experienced adventure novelist Charbonneau ( Intruder ) convincingly presents the psychological and technical problems of Antarctic survival. His description of the final race, made by tractor and dog sled, to discover the real cause of the oil spill and stave off environmental disaster is gripping. Though the characters are conventional, they are appealing–including the huskies, whose personalities become as distinct as those of their masters. But the real protagonist of The Ice is Antarctica itself. Charbonneau’s passion for this last unspoiled land infuses the book and inspires the reader. Even cynics will applaud as TERCO is frustrated by “a bunch of goddamn birds” and the people who care for what the penguins represent.

The Library of Legends: A Novel by Janie Chang

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

Library of Legends

In the year 1937, Japanese bombers began raids over China. In an effort to save the lives of the students of Minghua University and the 500-year-old collection of myths and folklore known as the Library of Legends, the university’s teachers make a daring plan: Each student is given one book of the 147-volume collection to carry thousands of miles to China’s western provinces. Nineteen-year-old student Hu Lian undertakes the task not just for the sake of her school and the priceless volumes, but also to find her mother, who was forced out of her home and sought shelter in Shanghai. It soon becomes evident that, in spite of the perils of the journey, the students and teachers seem to be under the protection of supernatural beings, guardian spirits who have been awakened and who also have their own path to take–one that may change China forever. VERDICT Chang (Dragon Springs Road) has created a lovely novel that is both joyful and lighthearted and deeply tragic as she explores a culture and people who are forced to accept that their country will never be the same following the war and the departure of the spirits that protected their land for centuries. – Library Journal Review

The Immortals by Amit Chaudhuri

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The Immortals

In 1980s Bombay, a highly regarded voice teacher and his affluent sixteen-year-old student enter into a relationship that will have unexpected and lasting consequences in their lives, and the lives of their families. With exquisitely sensuous detail, quiet humor, and unsentimental poignancy, Amit Chaudhuri paints a luminous portrait of the spiritual and emotional force behind a revered Indian tradition; of two fundamentally different but intricately intertwined families; and of a society choosing between the old and the new.

No Witness But The Moon by Suzanne Chazin

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

No Witness But The Moon

A police officer in upstate New York faces the agony of having killed a man.Taking a call about a home invasion with shots fired, Jimmy Vega rushes to the scene and finds two Latino men running from the house. The one with the gun, homeowner Ricardo Luis, immediately puts down his weapon while Jimmy chases the other one. When the man refuses to put his hands up after they speak in Spanish and turns with a hand jammed into his pocket, Jimmy shoots and kills him. Jimmy is horrified when a search discloses nothing but an old photograph in the dead man’s pocket. Soon after he’s put on leave until an investigation can clear him, the man is identified as the father of a woman who babysits for Jimmy’s girlfriend, attorney Adele Figueroa, who runs La Casa, a Latino community center. The incident unleashes a firestorm of bad publicity. Adele, pressed to condemn Jimmy or lose her job, finds her faith in him wavering, especially when a neighbor at the death scene claims Jimmy executed the man in cold blood. When Jimmy learns that the dead man was the superintendent of the apartment building in the Bronx where his mother lived and died violently, he feels he must investigate. But he’s recognized, and only the intervention of an old friend saves him from mob violence. Fighting his fears and his newly sharpened temper, Jimmy links his shooting and his mother’s murder to a scheme to extort money from illegal immigrants. Chazin’s pulse-pounding procedurals (A Blossom of Bright Light, 2015, etc.) excel at plucking stories from the headlines. This one combines a complex mystery with a heartbreaking look at both sides of police shootings. – Kirkus Review

Out In The Open: A Novel by Jesús Carrasco

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

Out In The Open

A boy, escaping an abusive environment, encounters and befriends an elderly goatherd; together, traveling by night and resting under cover by day, they bond as they struggle to satisfy their basic survival needs–eating, drinking, voiding, sleeping–with the four elements playing pivotal roles, often to their advantage but sometimes not. While scouting for water by himself, the boy is kidnapped by a crippled bounty hunter, from whom he escapes, only to wind up in the clutches of his evil pursuers, the bailiff and his deputy. He and the goatherd confront the captors in a stunning and violent climax that brings the story full circle, with the boy as forsaken as when the tale began. The bare-bones narration and skeletal dialog reflect the stark, drought-ravaged terrain, a withered, austere wasteland set in a chaotic, desolate state. The characters’ general anonymity gives an almost parable-like feel to a story of salvation and fragile hope as a downpour closes the novel. VERDICT A dynamite debut by a writer whose dark and symbolic view of an ominous society seems frighteningly realistic. Library Journal Review

Roman Crazy: A Novel by Alice Clayton & Nina Bocci

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

Roman Crazy

A delicious, sexy, laugh-out-loud modern romance about a newly single woman and her journey to find love again, from New York Times bestselling author Alice Clayton and debut author Nina Bocci.

Avery Bardot steps off the plane in Rome, looking for a fresh start. She’s left behind a soon-to-be ex-husband in Boston and plans to spend the summer with her best friend Daisy, licking her wounds—and perhaps a gelato or two. But when her American-expat friend throws her a welcome party on her first night, Avery’s thrown for a loop when she sees a man she never thought she’d see again: Italian architect Marcello Bianchi.

Marcello was the man—the one who got away. And now her past is colliding with her present, a present where she should be mourning the loss of her marriage and—hey, that fettuccine is delicious! And so is Marcello…

Slipping easily into the good life of summertime in Rome, Avery spends her days exploring a city that makes art historians swoon, and her nights swooning over her unexpected what was old is new again romance. It’s heady, it’s fevered, it’s wanton, and it’s crazy. But could this really be her new life? Or is it just a temporary reprieve before returning to the land of twin-set cardigans and crustless sandwiches?

A celebration of great friendship, passionate romance, and wonderful food, Roman Crazy is a lighthearted story of second chances and living life to the fullest.

The Slave And The Free by Suzy McKee Charnas

 (Available Formats: Print Book)

The Slave And The Free

The Slave And The Free by Suzy McKee Charnas – contains the first two books of the Hold Fast Chronicles “Walk To The End Of The World”, and “Motherlines.”

About the plot of the first book Walk To The End Of The World:

After a nuclear holocaust humanity survives in isolated enclaves of feudalism, scratching a meagre existence among the ruins of their world. One such community, the Holdfast, has evolved a mythology which holds women responsible, for the cataclysm, and they are now treated as an inferior caste -“Fems”- dominated and degraded by men and valued only as breeding animals and slaves. Holdfast society is rigidly structured with the older men, the Seniors, having absolute authority over the younger juniors. When Eykar Bek flouts that authority by deserting his post two other men, Captain Kelmz and the renegade Servan d Layo, are sent out to find and capture him. Instead, all three elect to go in search of Bek’s half-legendary father Maggomas. Now pursued by the forces of the Seniors, the trio fall in with Alldera, a female slave with a mission of her own -to find and enlist the aid of the Free Fems rumoured to exist beyond the Holdfast. Their travels take them the length and breadth of the Holdfast, reaching an unexpected and shocking conclusion in the distant town of ‘Troi. Walk to the End of the World is both an engrossing adventure story and a penetrating (but never strident) examination of human gender relationships. The imaginative background detail and convincing character development recall the novels of Ursula K Le Guin – but Suzy McKee Charnas is a new, original and welcome addition to the ranks of sf novelists. Fantastic Fiction Overview

The Well by Catherine Chanter

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

The Well

Fortysomething couple Ruth and Mark leave behind exhausting work schedules and criminal accusations in London to make a fresh start at a small farm in the English countryside. Their new home is named the Well after a mysterious water source on the property that has never run dry. As their land continues to flourish inexplicably in a country beset with a decade-long drought, the couple find themselves surrounded by hostilities once more. Ruth and Mark attempt to farm while battling with the media, angry neighbors, and devout cults come to worship the rain. Relationships, both familiar and spiritual, buckle under the tension. In the end, the pair’s blessings prove fatal and they realize how much they had to lose. VERDICT This timely mix of environmental and psychological storytelling illustrates how in an era of increasing climate change ecological dramas become family dramas. This powerful novel is more emotional than political, but as a story foreshadowing a very possible future, it will strike a chord with readers of fiction and nonfiction alike. Library Journal Review

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.

New York Times Bestsellers September 19, 2021

Hi everyone, here is the weekly list of New York Times Bestsellers.

Each title is followed by a listing of which formats it is available in for check out within the three catalogs: StarCat (Print, Large Print & CD Audiobooks), The Digital Catalog (eBook & Downloadable Audiobook) and the Hoopla Catalog (Hoopla instant checkout eBook & Hoopla Audiobook).

For more information on the three catalogs skip to the section below the bestselling titles*

New York Times Bestseller blog postings are published on Sundays; and the next New York Times Bestselling blog posting will be published on Sunday, September 19, 2021.

FICTION

BILLY SUMMERS by Stephen King

(Print Book, Large Print, CD Audiobook & eBook)

Billy Summers

A killer for hire who only takes out bad guys seeks redemption as he does one final job.

COMPLICATIONS by Danielle Steel

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print & CD Audiobook)

Complications

A September night, guests at the reopening of an exclusive Paris hotel experience love, tragedy and political intrigue

THE HEART PRINCIPLE by Helen Hoang

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

The Heart Principle

The third book in the Kiss Quotient series. A violinist with a viral video explores a new relationship after being hurt by her boyfriend.

INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE by V.E. Schwab

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

Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

A Faustian bargain comes with a curse that affects the adventure Addie LaRue has across centuries.

IT ENDS WITH US by Colleen Hoover

(Available Formats: Print Book & Downloadable Audiobook)


A battered wife raised in a violent home attempts to halt the cycle of abuse.

THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME by Laura Dave

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

The Last Thing He Told Me

Hannah Hall discovers truths about her missing husband and bonds with his daughter from a previous relationship.

LIGHTNING STRIKE by William Kent Krueger

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

The 18th book in the Cork O’Connor mystery series. The 12-year-old son of a small town sheriff who rules a man’s death as a suicide suspects another cause.

LOVE SONGS OF W.E.B. DU BOIS by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

Ailey Pearl Garfield endeavors to embrace her full heritage by digging into the stories of her ancestors who were Indigenous, Black and white.

MALIBU RISING by Taylor Jenkins Reid

(Available Formats: Print Book & Downloadable Audiobook)

Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of summer. But over the course of 24 hours, their lives will change forever.

THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY by Matt Haig

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

Nora Seed finds a library beyond the edge of the universe that contains books with multiple possibilities of the lives one could have lived.

THE MADNESS OF CROWDS by Louise Penny

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

The 17th book in the Chief Inspector Gamache series. Gamache is tasked with providing security for a statistics professor whose views are repulsive to him.

MIDNIGHT LIBRARY by Matt Haig:

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print, CD Audiobook, eBook & downloadable audiobook)

Midnight Library

Nora Seed finds a library beyond the edge of the universe that contains books with multiple possibilities of the lives one could have lived.

NINE PERFECT STRANGERS by Liane Moriarty

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

Nine Perfect Strangers

A romance writer becomes fascinated by the owner and director of a health resort.

THE NOISE by James Patterson and J. D. Barker

(Available Formats: Print Book & Large Print)

The Noise

A strange vibration rises out of a forest near Mount Hood.

THE PAPER PALACE by Miranda Cowley Heller

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The Paper Palace

After an extramarital dalliance, Elle must choose between her husband and her childhood love.

PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION by Emily Henry

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

Opposites Poppy and Alex meet to vacation together one more time in hopes of saving their relationship.

PRESIDENT’S DAUGHTER by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

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

Matthew Keating, a past president and former Navy SEAL, goes on his own to find his abducted teenage daughter.

PROJECT HAIL MARY by Andy Weir

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

Ryland Grace awakes from a long sleep alone and far from home, and the fate of humanity rests on his shoulders.

THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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

Seven Husbands of Eveyln Hugo

A movie icon recounts stories of her loves and career to a struggling magazine writer.

A SLOW FIRE BURNING by Paula Hawkins

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print & downloadable audiobooks)

A Slow Fire Burning

Three women come under scrutiny when a young man is found gruesomely murdered in a London houseboat.

THE SONG OF ACHILLES by Madeline Miller

(Available Formats: Print Book, eBook & downloadable audiobook)

Song of Achilles

A reimagining of Homer’s “Iliad” that is narrated by Achilles’ companion Patroclus.

WE WERE NEVER HERE by Andrea Bartz

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

We Were Never Here

Will the secrets Emily shares with Kristen about violent incidents in the past ruin her life?

WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by Delia Owens

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

Where The Crawdads Sing
In a quiet town on the North Carolina coast in 1969, a young woman who survived alone in the marsh becomes a murder suspect.

NON-FICTION:

AMERICAN MARXISM by Mark R. Levin

(Available Formats: Print Book)

American Marxism

The Fox News host gives his take on the Green New Deal, critical race theory and social activism.

THE BODY KEEPS THE SCORE by Bessel van der Kolk

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

How trauma affects the body and mind, and innovative treatments for recovery.

BORN A CRIME by Trevor Noah

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print, CD Audiobook & eBook)

A memoir about growing up biracial in apartheid South Africa by the host of “The Daily Show.”

BRAIDING SWEETGRASS by Robin Wall Kimmerer

A botanist and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation espouses having an understanding and appreciation of plants and animals.

CASTE by Isabel Wilkerson

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

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist examines aspects of caste systems across civilizations and reveals a rigid hierarchy in America today.

CRYING IN H MART by Michelle Zauner

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

The daughter of a Korean mother and Jewish-American father, and leader of the indie rock project Japanese Breakfast, describes creating her own identity after losing her mother to cancer.

DOPAMINE NATION by Anna Lembke

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Dopamine Nation

The medical director of Stanford Addiction Medicine explores the neuroscience and behaviors that inform the relationship between pleasure and pain.

EDUCATED by Tara Westover

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

The daughter of survivalists, who is kept out of school, educates herself enough to leave home for university.

GREENLIGHTS by Matthew McConaughey

(Available Formats: Print Book, Audiobook on CD & Downloadable Audiobook)

The Academy Award-winning actor shares snippets from the diaries he kept over the last 35 years.

THE PREMONITION by Michael Lewis

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

The Premonition

Stories of skeptics who went against the official response of the Trump administration to the outbreak of Covid-19. The profiles include a local public-health officer and a group of doctors nicknamed the Wolverines.

THE RECKONING by Mary L. Trump

(Available Formats: eBook, Downloadable Audiobook & CD Audiobook)

The Reckoning

The author of “Too Much and Never Enough” examines potential trauma caused by current and historical events.

SAPIENS by Yuval Noah Harari

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print, CD audiobook, eBook & downloadable audiobook)

Sapiens

How Homo sapiens became Earth’s dominant species.

THE SISTERS OF AUSCHWITZ by Roxane van Iperen

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Sisters of Auschwitz

Janny and Lien Brilleslijper from Amsterdam were sent by train to Auschwitz when the Jewish safehouse they created in the woods was discovered.

THINK AGAIN by Adam Grant

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

An examination of the cognitive skills of rethinking and unlearning that could be used to adapt to a rapidly changing world.

UNTAMED by Glennon Doyle

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

The activist and public speaker describes her journey of listening to her inner voice.

WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU? by Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey

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

What Happend To You

An approach to dealing with trauma that shifts an essential question used to investigate it.

Happy reading!

Linda Reimer, SSL

*Information on the Three Catalogs*

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

The Digital Catalog 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 check outs of eBooks, downloadable audiobook, comic books, albums and streaming videos. Patron check out limit is 4 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.

Also of Note: If a New York Times Bestseller isn’t yet available in any of the three catalogs; you can contact the library and request to be notified when it becomes available.

Southeast Steuben County Library Tel: 607-936-3713

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

New York Times Bestsellers September 12, 2021

Hi everyone, here is the weekly list of New York Times Bestsellers.

Each title is followed by a listing of which formats it is available in for check out within the three catalogs: StarCat (Print, Large Print & CD Audiobooks), The Digital Catalog (eBook & Downloadable Audiobook) and the Hoopla Catalog (Hoopla instant checkout eBook & Hoopla Audiobook).

For more information on the three catalogs skip to the section below the bestselling titles*

New York Times Bestseller blog postings are published on Sundays; and the next New York Times Bestselling blog posting will be published on Sunday, September 12, 2021.

FICTION

BILLY SUMMERS by Stephen King

(Print Book, Large Print, CD Audiobook & eBook)

Billy Summers

A killer for hire who only takes out bad guys seeks redemption as he does one final job.

BOMBSHELL by Sarah MacLean

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

The first book in the Hell’s Belles series.

COMPLICATIONS by Danielle Steel

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print & CD Audiobook)

Complications

A September night, guests at the reopening of an exclusive Paris hotel experience love, tragedy and political intrigue

INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE by V.E. Schwab

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

Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

A Faustian bargain comes with a curse that affects the adventure Addie LaRue has across centuries.

IT ENDS WITH US by Colleen Hoover

(Available Formats: Print Book & Downloadable Audiobook)


A battered wife raised in a violent home attempts to halt the cycle of abuse.

THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME by Laura Dave

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

The Last Thing He Told Me

Hannah Hall discovers truths about her missing husband and bonds with his daughter from a previous relationship.

LIGHTNING STRIKE by William Kent Krueger

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

The 18th book in the Cork O’Connor mystery series. The 12-year-old son of a small town sheriff who rules a man’s death as a suicide suspects another cause.

LOVE SONGS OF W.E.B. DU BOIS by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

Ailey Pearl Garfield endeavors to embrace her full heritage by digging into the stories of her ancestors who were Indigenous, Black and white.

MALIBU RISING by Taylor Jenkins Reid

(Available Formats: Print Book & Downloadable Audiobook)

Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of summer. But over the course of 24 hours, their lives will change forever.

THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY by Matt Haig

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

Nora Seed finds a library beyond the edge of the universe that contains books with multiple possibilities of the lives one could have lived.

THE MADNESS OF CROWDS by Louise Penny

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

The 17th book in the Chief Inspector Gamache series. Gamache is tasked with providing security for a statistics professor whose views are repulsive to him.

NINE PERFECT STRANGERS by Liane Moriarty

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

Nine Perfect Strangers

A romance writer becomes fascinated by the owner and director of a health resort.

THE NOISE by James Patterson and J. D. Barker

(Available Formats: Print Book & Large Print)

The Noise

A strange vibration rises out of a forest near Mount Hood.

THE PAPER PALACE by Miranda Cowley Heller

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The Paper Palace

After an extramarital dalliance, Elle must choose between her husband and her childhood love.

PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION by Emily Henry

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

Opposites Poppy and Alex meet to vacation together one more time in hopes of saving their relationship.

PRESIDENT’S DAUGHTER by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

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

Matthew Keating, a past president and former Navy SEAL, goes on his own to find his abducted teenage daughter.

PROJECT HAIL MARY by Andy Weir

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

Ryland Grace awakes from a long sleep alone and far from home, and the fate of humanity rests on his shoulders.

THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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

Seven Husbands of Eveyln Hugo

A movie icon recounts stories of her loves and career to a struggling magazine writer.

WE WERE NEVER HERE by Andrea Bartz

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

We Were Never Here

Will the secrets Emily shares with Kristen about violent incidents in the past ruin her life?

WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by Delia Owens

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

Where The Crawdads Sing
In a quiet town on the North Carolina coast in 1969, a young woman who survived alone in the marsh becomes a murder suspect.

NON-FICTION:

AMERICAN MARXISM by Mark R. Levin

(Available Formats: Print Book)

American Marxism

The Fox News host gives his take on the Green New Deal, critical race theory and social activism.

THE BODY KEEPS THE SCORE by Bessel van der Kolk

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

How trauma affects the body and mind, and innovative treatments for recovery.

BORN A CRIME by Trevor Noah

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print, CD Audiobook & eBook)

A memoir about growing up biracial in apartheid South Africa by the host of “The Daily Show.”

BRAIDING SWEETGRASS by Robin Wall Kimmerer

A botanist and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation espouses having an understanding and appreciation of plants and animals.

CASTE by Isabel Wilkerson

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

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist examines aspects of caste systems across civilizations and reveals a rigid hierarchy in America today.

CRYING IN H MART by Michelle Zauner

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

The daughter of a Korean mother and Jewish-American father, and leader of the indie rock project Japanese Breakfast, describes creating her own identity after losing her mother to cancer.

EDUCATED by Tara Westover

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

The daughter of survivalists, who is kept out of school, educates herself enough to leave home for university.

GREENLIGHTS by Matthew McConaughey

(Available Formats: Print Book, Audiobook on CD & Downloadable Audiobook)

The Academy Award-winning actor shares snippets from the diaries he kept over the last 35 years.

HERO OF TWO WORLDS by Mike Duncan

(Available Formats: Print Books)

An overview of Marquis de Lafayette’s career on both sides of the Atlantic during the Age of Revolution.

I ALONE CAN FIX IT by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker

I Alone Can Fix It

The Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters examine Trump’s final year in office, with a focus on the key players around him.

THE RECKONING by Mary L. Trump

(Available Formats: eBook, Downloadable Audiobook & CD Audiobook)

The Reckoning

The author of “Too Much and Never Enough” examines potential trauma caused by current and historical events.

THINK AGAIN by Adam Grant

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

An examination of the cognitive skills of rethinking and unlearning that could be used to adapt to a rapidly changing world.

UNTAMED by Glennon Doyle

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

The activist and public speaker describes her journey of listening to her inner voice.

WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU? by Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey

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

What Happend To You

An approach to dealing with trauma that shifts an essential question used to investigate it.

Happy reading!

Linda Reimer, SSL

*Information on the Three Catalogs*

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

The Digital Catalog 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 check outs of eBooks, downloadable audiobook, comic books, albums and streaming videos. Patron check out limit is 4 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.

Also of Note: If a New York Times Bestseller isn’t yet available in any of the three catalogs; you can contact the library and request to be notified when it becomes available.

Southeast Steuben County Library Tel: 607-936-3713

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

Suggested Listening September 3, 2021

Hi everyone, welcome to our Suggested Listening posting for this week!

Suggested Listening postings are published on Fridays; and our next Suggested Listening posting will be published on Friday, 10, 2021.

This week, just in time for the long weekend, we have a Labor Day Collection featuring a mix of historical, country, folk and modern tunes.

9 to 5 by Dolly Parton

From The Album: The Essential Dolly Parton (2011) & other albums too – including Dolly Parton Live From London, available for instant checkout through Hoopla.

Bread & Roses by Judy Collins

From The Album: Bread & Roses (1976), available for instant checkout through Hoopla.

Carpal Tunnel by John O’Connor

From The Album: Classic Labor Songs From Smithsonian Folkways (2007) by various artists

Blowing Down This Road by Woody Guthrie

From The Album: Dust Bowl Ballads (1940)

A Hard Days Night by The Beatles

From The Album: A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

I’m Going Home by Menhaden Chanteymen

Recorded live and unavailable on any album.

I’m Union And I’m Proud by Eddie Starr

From The Album: Classic Labor Songs From Smithsonian Folkways (2007) by various artists

I’ve Been Working On The Railroad by Pete Seeger

From The Album: American Favorite Ballads, Vols. 1-5 (2009)

Joe Hill by Paul Robeson

From The Album: Live At Carnegie Hall (2006)

Manic Monday by The Bangles

From The Album: A Different Light (1986)

More Than A Paycheck by Sweet Honey & The Rock

From The Album: Breaths (2006)

Nation Working Woman’s Holiday by Sammy Kershaw

From The Album: The Definitive Sammy Kershaw (1994)

Ordinary Man by Christy Moore

From The Album: On The Road (2017)

Scottish Waulking Song

Recorded by the University of Edinburgh, School of Scottish Studies

Sixteen Tons by Tennessee Ernie Ford

From The Album: Sixteen Tons (1955)

Solidarity Forever by Pete Seeger

From The Album: If I Had a Hammer: Songs of Hope and Struggle (2006)

Takin’ Care of Business by Bachman-Turner Overdrive

From The Album: Best of BTO (1974)

There Is Power In A Union by Billy Bragg

From The Album: Must I Paint You a Picture?: The Essential Billy Bragg (2016)

This Land Is Your Land by Woody Guthrie

From The Album: The Best Of Woody Guthrie (2016)


Three Miles Down by Gil Scott-Heron

From The Album: Secrets (1978)

We Shall Not Be Moved/Roll The Union On by Joe Glazer

From The Album: Classic Labor Songs From Smithsonian Folkways (2007) by various artists

Which Side Are You On? By the Almanac Singers

From The Album: Pete Seeger, the Almanac Singers & the Song Swappers (1955)

Workin’ Man Blues by Merle Haggard

From The Album: The Best Of The Capital Years (1969)

Working For A Livin’ by Huey Lewis & The News

From The Album: Picture This (1982)

Working Man’s Ph.D by Aaron Tippin

From The Album: Call of the Wild (1993)

Working On The Highway by Bruce Springsteen

From The Album: Born In The U.S.A. (1984)

Hoopla Recommend Album of the Week

Labor Day Moods by Various Artists

Labor Day Moods

This album features bright, upbeat band music by a variety of groups including

The Boston Pops Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra & The United States Marine Band.

And from the album, the song:

Fanfare For The Common Man performed by The President’s Own United States Marine Band:

Have a great weekend,

Linda Reimer, SSCL

REFERENCES:

Print References

The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits by Joel Whitburn

Online References

Banas, E. (2020, September 4). 6 Classic Tunes For Your Labor Day Playlist. 105.7 WRORK 80’s & More! https://wror.com/2020/09/04/labor-day-playlist-classic-rock-songs/


Classic Labor Songs from Smithsonian Folkways. (n.d.). Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Retrieved September 3, 2021, from https://folkways.si.edu/classic-labor-songs-from-folkways/american-folk-struggle-protest/music/album/smithsonian


Impola, K. (2020, September 6). Folk Songs for Labor Day. Iowa Public Radio. https://www.iowapublicradio.org/ipr-music/2020-09-06/folk-songs-for-labor-day


Rothberg, P. (2019, September 2). Top 10 Labor Day SOngs. The Nation. https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/top-ten-labor-day-songs/

Online Catalog Links:

StarCat

The catalog of physical materials, i.e. print books, DVDs, audiobooks on CD, etc.

The Digital Catalog, web version of Libby

The catalog of e-books, downloadable audiobooks and a handful of streaming videos.

The Libby App

Libby

Libby is the companion app to the Digital Catalog and may be found in the Apple & Google app.

Hoopla

A catalog of instant check out items, including eBooks, downloadable audiobooks, comic books, TV shows and movies for patrons of the Southeast Steuben County Library.

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

Suggested Reading August 31, 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.

And as I’m taking a couple of vacation days next week, the next Suggested Reading posting will be published in two weeks on Tuesday, September 14, 2021.

And this week, we have a theme! All the books on this list can be classified as futuristic or dystopian!

American War: A Novel by Omar El Akkad

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

American War

Award-winning journalist Akkad’s gripping and frightening debut novel takes off from current American political and environmental issues to imagine a bleak and savage not-too-distant future. During a long second American civil war, the Chestnut family, consisting of a mother, son, and twin daughters, are moved to a refugee camp in what’s left of a region of Mississippi in the year 2081. There, one of the daughters, Sarat, grows into a strong and independent soul who is recruited by a shadowy operative to conduct missions against the northern borders. She assassinates a high-ranking leader of the North’s military, leading to reprisals and her eventual capture. She is tortured by the North, then finally released and moves back south with her injured brother and his family. Later, she’s offered the chance to perform one final deadly mission in order to sabotage the peace talks that are finally taking place between the two bitter enemy regions. VERDICT Well written, inventive, and engaging, this relentlessly dark tale introduces a fascinating character in Sarat. Highly recommended. Starred Library Journal Review

The Book of The Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Book of the Unnamed Midwife

Elison’s gripping and grim first novel, which won the Philip K. Dick Award in its previous, small press publication, tells the story of an unnamed woman who survives a plague that wipes out most of humankind in just weeks, leaving 10 male survivors for every woman. Years after the initial wave of the terrible disease, all pregnancies still end in the death of the baby, and most also kill the mother. Told by turns through the diary of the protagonist, the diaries of other survivors, and third-person narration, the tale covers her several years of wandering, dressed as a man, from San Francisco, where she had worked as a nurse and midwife, through the dangerous, near-empty western U.S., where marauding groups of men try to enslave any woman they meet or are occasionally recruited into polyamorous “hives” dominated by one alpha woman. Eventually, she finds a stable, caring community where the inhabitants allow their members to find their own appropriate gender roles; at last she can live without fear, be the person she wants to be, and practice her trade for the betterment of everyone.

The story is beautifully written in a stripped down, understated way, though frequently gruesome in its depiction of rapes, murders, and stillbirths. The protagonist, who sometimes calls herself Karen, or Dusty, or Jane, is beautifully realized as a middle-aged, bisexual woman with considerable skills, an indomitable will, and great adaptability, though she suffers considerably and is far from a superwoman. A prologue and an epilogue set long after the events of the main narrative (and reminiscent of the concluding chapter of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale) hint at a positive future, leaving the reader with a glimmer of optimism in the midst of despair. This fine tale should particularly appeal to readers of earlier feminist dystopias such as The Handmaid’s Tale, Suzy McKee Charnas’s Walk to the Edge of the World series, and P.D. James’s The Children of Men. Many questions are left unanswered at the book’s end, but a sequel is forthcoming. Starred Publishers Weekly Review

The Road To Nowhere Series:
1. The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (2014)
2. The Book of Etta (2017)
3. The Book of Flora (2019)

By The Waters of Babylon by Stephen Vincent Benet

(Available Formats: Print Book & free online)

Selected Works of Stephen Vincent Benet V 2

By The Waters of Babylon is a neat tale of a young man going on quest; at first it seems the tale is set in the past but as the story unfolds the reader realizes it is instead set in the future. I’ll say no more about the plot – except to say I first read this short story in middle school and loved it.

For those who prefer paper, the story is included in volume 2 of the print collection The Selected Works of Stephen Vincent Benet which our library owns.

Here is the link to the PDF of the short story; found on the Broome Tioga BOCES site:

Click to access 13_By%20the%20Waters%20of%20Babylon%20by%20Stephen%20Vincent%20Benet.pdf

The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman

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

Country of Ice Cream Star

Newman’s latest depicts a dystopian future in which America has been decimated by “Posies,” a powerful plague that leaves few living beyond 20 years of age. Ice Cream Star, the novel’s 15-year-old narrator, is a member of the Sengles tribe of the Massa Woods, which was once Massachusetts. Ice Cream’s brother, Driver, the 18-year-old leader of the Sengles, has just begun coughing—the first telltale sign of the plague. During a standard raid of an abandoned neighborhood for left-behind supplies, Ice Cream and her fellow raiders capture Pasha, a stranger to Massa, who is a shocking 30 years old and knows a rumor about a Posies cure. Ice Cream begins her harrowing adventure to find it and save her brother—and maybe the rest of the country in the process. Written entirely in the broken English of these short-lived children, now generations removed from the plague’s onset, Newman’s novel is ambitious, taking on race, sex, class, religion, politics, and war all at once. What sets the work apart is its unapologetic narrator, whose fantastically unbridled, wholly teenage point of view renders each page a pleasure to read. Starred Publishers Weekly Review

The Dead Lands by Benjamin Percy

(Available Formats: Print Book & Large Print)

The Dead Lands

A century and a half after a deadly pandemic and nuclear exchange, what remains of St. Louis has become Sanctuary, a walled city surrounded by the desert known as the Dead Lands. The government is growing more oppressive as conditions worsen, and then a strange, black-eyed young woman rides out of the west claiming there is a green land where the rain falls and everything grows. The rulers of Sanctuary can’t afford to allow hope into the metropolis, but a small group, including museum curator Lewis Meriwether and city guard Mina Clark, break out and head up the Missouri River to find this land of Oregon. Pursued by hunters from the city and surrounded by deadly dangers, both human and not, this small band of explorers must keep heading west until they discover just what is waiting for them on the shores of the Pacific. VERDICT Percy’s sophomore outing (after the acclaimed Red Moon) is not only a compelling postapocalyptic adventure populated by fascinating characters but a clever riff on the Lewis and Clark expedition. Fans of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Paolo Bacigalupi’s Ship Breaker, and Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven will embrace this literary vision of humanity’s first steps back up the ladder of civilization after near-extinction disasters. Library Journal Review

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print & CD Audiobook)

The Dog Stars

Outdoor life has been the focus of Heller’s award-winning nonfiction. In his gripping first novel, his gift for action and appreciation for prowess and courage fuel a harrowing yet charming postapocalyptic tale. The book’s complex spell is cast by its tough yet sensitive can-do narrator, Hig. Happiest while trout fishing, he’s a skilled hunter, daring pilot, and poet turned outdoorsy writer. Hig misses his wife, who died in the nation-crushing pandemic, dearly loves his dog, and is both leery of and grateful for Bangley, an older guy of few words but immense tenacity, military know-how, and firepower. They are holed up in a small Colorado airport, fighting off intermittent assaults by bands of murderous survivors. Richly evocative yet streamlined journal entries propel the high-stakes plot while simultaneously illuminating Hig’s nuanced states of mind as isolation and constant vigilance exact their toll, along with his sorrow for the dying world as global warming worsens. Hig takes long, risky, meditative walks; tends the garden; and stubbornly takes to the air in a 1956 Cessna, searching for some remnant of civilization. Heller’s surprising and irresistible blend of suspense, romance, social insight, and humor creates a cunning form of cognitive dissonance neatly pegged by Hig as an apocalyptic parody of Norman Rockwell a novel, that is, of spiky pleasure and signal resonance. Starred Booklist Review

Gather The Daughters: A Novel by Jennie Melamed

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Gather The Daughters

Melamed’s haunting and powerful debut blazes a fresh path in the tradition of classic dystopian works. In her searing portrayal of a utopian society gone wrong, four girls share their stories of life on a sheltered island where they are ostensibly safe from the war- and disease-torn wastelands that their ancestors had escaped generations earlier. The darker truths behind their heavily patriarchal society—in which girls must submit first to their fathers, then to their husbands—emerge over the course of a year marked by a devastating plague and a quietly assembled rebellion. Led by 17-year-old Janey Solomon, who is holding her body’s development at bay to retain any lingering shreds of adolescent freedom, the island’s daughters begin to ask forbidden questions: Why do so many women mysteriously bleed out in childbirth after defying the island’s traditions? Is there habitable land beyond their shores? Can any of them choose to stray from their assigned fate? It’s a chilling tale of an insular culture grounded in “the art of closing off the world to those who seek it.” Melamed’s prose is taut and precise. Her nuanced characters and honest examination of the crueler sides of human nature establish her as a formidable author in the vein of Shirley Jackson and Margaret Atwood.

The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln: A Novel by Stephen L. Carter

(Available Formats: Print Book & CD Audiobook)

Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln

What if Abraham Lincoln had not been killed by John Wilkes Booth? What if he survived the assassination attempt and lived on to face the vociferous criticism of Republican Radicals and others in the aftermath of the Civil War? What if the criticism reached the level of a call for impeachment, charging Lincoln with planning to impose martial law on the nation’s capital? Into such tumult steps Abigail Canner, a young, educated black woman challenging the conventions of the period, who goes to work as a clerk for the law firm defending Lincoln against impeachment. Among her compatriots are a taciturn partner unsure he wants to be involved in the impeachment, a rising young attorney engaged to marry into a prominent political family, and a peg-legged investigator who has been been acquitted of murdering his wife’s lover. Their defense hinges on the mysterious disappearance of a list of conspirators against Lincoln. This novel has all the juicy stew of post Civil War Washington, with the complexities of race, class, and sex mixed in. Carter draws on historical documents and a vivid imagination to render a fascinating mix of murder mystery, political thriller, and courtroom drama. Starred Library Journal Review

Island In The Sea of Time by S. M. Stirling

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

Island in Sea of Time

A cosmic disturbance transports the island of Nantucket and its inhabitants over three thousand years back in time to the shores of a Stone Age America. In addition to coping with the day-to-day problems of survival and the trauma of losing all connection with the modern world, the residents of the time-stranded island find their lives complicated by the presence of native tribes across the water. Stirling’s imaginative foray into time travel should also please fans of alternate history. Library Journal Review

Librarian Note: I’ve read this one and loved it! The long running series the author wrote about, that compliments this one, and tells the story of what happened to the people of the 20th Century that were left behind in the 20th Century, when the slice of Nanutket, and its surrounding water, were transported 3,000 years in the past is called the Change series; and it gets more attention – and that is a good series too – but this one is, by far, my favorite of the two. LR

The Nantucket Trilogy
1. Island In The Sea of Time
2. Against The Tide of Years
3. On The Oceans of Eternity

One Second After by William R. Forstchen

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

One Second After

In this entertaining apocalyptic thriller from Forstchen, a high-altitude nuclear bomb of uncertain origin explodes, unleashing a deadly electromagnetic pulse that instantly disables almost every electrical device in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. Airplanes, most cars, cellphones, refrigerators—all are fried as the country plunges into literal and metaphoric darkness. History professor John Matherson, who lives with his two daughters in a small North Carolina town, soon figures out what has happened. Aided by local officials, Matherson begins to deal with such long-term effects of the disaster as starvation, disease and roving gangs of barbarians. While the material sometimes threatens to veer into jingoism, and heartstrings are tugged a little too vigorously, fans of such classics as Alas, Babylon and On the Beach will have a good time as Forstchen tackles the obvious and some not-so-obvious questions the apocalypse tends to raise.

The John Matherson Triology:
1. One Second After (2009)
2. One Year After (2015)
3. The Final Day (2017)

The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

The Salt Line

Jones’ latest is a dystopian tale set in the near future when the world is overrun by horrific miner ticks that kill all whom they bite. The Salt Line refers to a chemical border that demarcates zones protected from the ticks. Life in these zones is much like that in Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story (2010), a manufactured world where all interactions are controlled through ubiquitous social-media apps. The story is told from the perspectives of Edie, Marta, and Wes, who are part of a group on a very expensive excursion to the dangerous world outside of the zones. After they are all mysteriously kidnapped, the narrative twists and turns as the reasons for their capture unfold. This mystery-like structure keeps the reader guessing as Jones switches seamlessly from evocative pastoral descriptions of North Carolina and Tennessee to action-packed scenes of violence. Along the way, she explores themes of environmental degradation, technological dependence, and corporate greed. At once dark, disturbing, and highly enjoyable, this is a timely novel bursting with ideas. Booklist Review

The Years of Rice and Salt: A Novel by Kim Stanley Robinson

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

Years of Rice & Salt

Having revolutionized the novel of planetary exploration with his Nebula- and Hugo-winning Mars trilogy (Red Mars, etc.), Robinson is attempting to do the same to another genre with this highly realistic and credible alternate history. It’s the 14th century, and the Black Death has swept through Europe, killing not 30% or 40% of the population but 99%. With Europeans now no more than a historical curiosity, the empires of China and Islam spread rapidly across the world. India, caught between superpowers, struggles to maintain its independence until, fueled by a scientific renaissance, its forces besiege and conquer the great city that in our world would be called Constantinople. The New World is discovered by the Chinese, who rapidly settle the west coast, while an Islamic fleet lands at the mouth of the Mississippi. Eventually, the enlightened Indian nation of Travancore comes to the aid of the beleaguered native people of the New World. New technologies appear as the centuries go by and, as often as not, are applied to military ends. Adding a mystical balance and a human note to this counterfactual history is a small cast of recurring characters who live through each episode of the book as soldiers, slaves, philosophers and kings. Dying, they spend time in the afterlife, only to be reborn into the next era, generally with no knowledge of their past lives. Robinson, who has previously demonstrated his mastery of alternate history in the classic short story “The Lucky Strike” and his Three Californias sequence, has created a novel of ideas of the best sort, filled to overflowing with philosophy, theology and scientific theory. Starred Publishers Weekly Review

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

Who Fears Death

Now optioned as a TV series for HBO, with executive producer George R. R. Martin!
An award-winning literary author enters the world of magical realism with her World Fantasy Award-winning novel of a remarkable woman in post-apocalyptic Africa.

In a post-apocalyptic Africa, the world has changed in many ways; yet in one region genocide between tribes still bloodies the land. A woman who has survived the annihilation of her village and a terrible rape by an enemy general wanders into the desert, hoping to die. Instead, she gives birth to an angry baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand. Gripped by the certainty that her daughter is different—special—she names her Onyesonwu, which means “Who fears death?” in an ancient language.

It doesn’t take long for Onye to understand that she is physically and socially marked by the circumstances of her conception. She is Ewu—a child of rape who is expected to live a life of violence, a half-breed rejected by her community. But Onye is not the average Ewu. Even as a child, she manifests the beginnings of a remarkable and unique magic. As she grows, so do her abilities, and during an inadvertent visit to the spirit realm, she learns something terrifying: someone powerful is trying to kill her.

Desperate to elude her would-be murderer and to understand her own nature, she embarks on a journey in which she grapples with nature, tradition, history, true love, and the spiritual mysteries of her culture, and ultimately learns why she was given the name she bears: Who Fears Death.

Zone One by Colson Whitehead

(Available Formats: Print Book & CD Audiobook)

Zero One

While the revolution will not be televised, the apocalypse and what comes after, at least according to Whitehead (Sag Harbor), will have sponsors. It will even have an anthem, the brilliantly self-referential “Stop! Can You Hear the Eagle Roar?” (theme from Reconstruction). As we follow New Yorker and perpetual B-student “Mark Spitz” over three harrowing days, Whitehead dumpster dives genre tropes, using what he wants and leaving the rest to rot, turning what could have been another zombie-pocalypse gore-fest into the kind of smart, funny, pop cultureâfilled tale that would make George Romero proud. While many stories in this genre are set in a devastated nowheresville, Whitehead plants his narrative firmly in New York City, penning a love letter to a Manhattan still recognizable after the event referred to only as “Last Night.” Far from the solemn affair so often imagined, the apocalypse in Whitehead’s hands is filled with the kind of dark humor one imagines actual survivors adopting in order to stave off madness. The author sometimes lets the set pieces he’s so good at run long, but otherwise succeeds brilliantly with a fresh take on survival, grief, 9/11, AIDS, global warming, nuclear holocaust, Katrina, Abu Ghraib, Pol Pot’s Year Zero, Missouri tornadoes, and the many other disasters both natural and not that keep a stranglehold on our fears and dream. Starred Publishers Weekly Review

Also check out some of these classic dystopian novels

1984 by George Orwell (Originally published in 1949)

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

1984

A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick

With extraordinary relevance and renewed popularity, George Orwell’s 1984 takes on new life in this edition.

“Orwell saw, to his credit, that the act of falsifying reality is only secondarily a way of changing perceptions. It is, above all, a way of asserting power.”—The New Yorker

In 1984, London is a grim city in the totalitarian state of Oceania where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston Smith is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be.

Lionel Trilling said of Orwell’s masterpiece, “1984 is a profound, terrifying, and wholly fascinating book. It is a fantasy of the political future, and like any such fantasy, serves its author as a magnifying device for an examination of the present.” Though the year 1984 now exists in the past, Orwell’s novel remains an urgent call for the individual willing to speak truth to power.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (Originally published in 1932)

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

Brave New World

Originally published in 1932, this outstanding work of literature is more crucial and relevant today than ever before. Cloning, feel-good drugs, anti-aging programs, and total social control through politics, programming, and media—has Aldous Huxley accurately predicted our future? With a storyteller’s genius, he weaves these ethical controversies in a compelling narrative that dawns in the year 632 AF (After Ford, the deity). When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.

A powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations, Brave New World is both a warning to be heeded and thought-provoking yet satisfying entertainment.

The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard (Originally published in 1962)

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The Drowned World

The Drowned World imagines a terrifying world in which global warming has melted the ice caps and primordial jungles have overrun a tropical London. Set during the year 2145, this novel follows biologist Dr. Robert Kearns and his team of scientists as they confront a cityscape in which nature is on the rampage and giant lizards, dragonflies, and insects fiercely compete for domination. Both an unmatched biological mystery and a brilliant retelling of Heart of Darkness—complete with a mad white hunter and his hordes of native soldiers—this “powerful and beautifully clear” (Brian Aldiss) work becomes a thrilling adventure with “an oppressive power reminiscent of Conrad” (Kingsley Amis).

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (Originally published in 1953)

(Available Formats: Print Book, CD Audiobook, Audio Playaway, Downloadable Audiobook, Hoopla instant checkout audiobook & DVD)

Fahrenheit 451

The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning, along with the houses in which they were hidden.

Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires. And he enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and he had never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs or the joy of watching pages consumed by flames, never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid. Then Guy met a professor who told him of a future in which people could think. And Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (Originally published in 1985)

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

The Handmaid's Tale CD

Before The Testaments, there was The Handmaid’s Tale: an instant classic and eerily prescient cultural phenomenon, from “the patron saint of feminist dystopian fiction” (New York Times).

The Handmaid’s Tale is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States and is now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men in its population.

The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment’s calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid’s Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and a tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.

The Stand by Stephen King (Originally published in 1978)

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

The Stand

The tie-in edition of the nine-part CBS All Access series starring Whoopi Goldberg, Alexander Skarsgard, and James Marsden.

When a man escapes from a biological testing facility, he sets in motion a deadly domino effect, spreading a mutated strain of the flu that will wipe out 99 percent of humanity within a few weeks.

The survivors who remain are scared, bewildered, and in need of a leader. Two emerge—Mother Abagail, the benevolent 108-year-old woman who urges them to build a peaceful community in Boulder, Colorado; and Randall Flagg, the nefarious “Dark Man,” who delights in chaos and violence. As the dark man and the peaceful woman gather power, the survivors will have to choose between them—and ultimately decide the fate of all humanity.

References

100 Great Works Of Dystopian Fiction Tales about a world gone wrong. (n.d.). Vulture. Retrieved August 31, 2021, from https://www.vulture.com/article/best-dystopian-books.html

Beckett, L. (2020, March 16). A dystopian reading list: books to enjoy while in quarantine. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/mar/15/books-to-read-while-quarantined-coronavirus

Dystopian, Apocalyptic, and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction. (n.d.). Madison Public Library. Retrieved August 31, 2021, from https://www.madisonpubliclibrary.org/reading-and-viewing/book-lists/dystopian-apocalyptic-and-post-apocalyptic-fiction

Katwala, A. (2019, August 31). 11 of the best dystopian novels everyone should read. Wired. https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-dystopian-novels-books

Quimbly, C. (2020, November 19). 38 Best Dystopian Novels Everyone Should Read. Oprah. https://www.oprahdaily.com/entertainment/books/g29549145/best-dystopian-novels/

Have a great week & holiday weekend!

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.