Suggested Reading November 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 (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, November 23, 2021.

The Cartographer’s Secret by Tea Cooper

(Available Formats: Hoopla instant checkout eBook & audiobook)

Cartographer's Secret

A young woman investigates her family’s role in a decades-old mystery in Australian writer Cooper’s moving latest (after The Girl in the Painting). In 1911, 25-year-old Lettie Rawlings’s older brother, Thorne, dies in a boating accident. Lettie’s mother, Miriam, sends her from Sydney to the family’s horse-breeding estate to tell her great-aunt Olivia that she is now the estate’s rightful heir, which Olivia disputes. Though despondent over Thorne’s death, Lettie gets swept up in uncovering both what happened to her aunt Evie Ludgrove, who went missing nearly 20 years ago, as well as the disappearance decades earlier of real-life explorer Ludwig Leichhardt, which had obsessed her late grandfather. Since Olivia and Miriam are estranged, Olivia is initially wary of Lettie’s surprise visit, but they become close as Lettie’s research uncovers Evie’s possible fate, and Lettie makes no claim on the estate. An 1880 narrative follows Evie, a gifted artist and promising mapmaker, who shares her father’s preoccupation with Leichhardt; when a large reward is offered for proof of where Leichhardt died, Evie is determined to claim the reward for the cash-strapped farm, but she vanishes while pursuing a lead. Cooper gets to the heart of a family’s old wounds, puzzles, and obsessions, while providing a luscious historical rendering of the landscape. This layered family saga will keep readers turning the pages.

Christmas In Evergreen: Bells Are Ringing by Lacy Baker

(Available Formats: Hoopla instant checkout eBook & audiobook)

Christmas In Evergreen Bells

Based on a Hallmark Channel original movie

Part of the Christmas in Evergreen series

Welcome back to Evergreen, the town built on Christmas wishes…

And learn what happens after one snow-globe wish comes true.
Life is going great for Hannah, really. She’s fallen in love with her best friend, her brother is getting married, and she’s looking forward to another festive Christmas in Evergreen. Still, between her job, taking charge of the choir, and being the town’s jill-of-all-trades, she’s feeling uninspired…especially when Elliot starts to question his own role in the town.

Hannah finds fresh inspiration in the brand-new Evergreen Christmas Museum, and she volunteers for their storytelling project. When she interviews her fellow Evergreenians, however, she learns that not everyone wants the museum around; specifically Mr. Cooper who owns a third of the building. As Hannah finds herself with more and more responsibilities, and as her relationships with Elliot and her family grow strained, she starts to wonder about what she really wants. Can her love and newly-found purpose survive the changes that loom after the holidays are over?

The Devil’s Reward: A Novel by Emmanuelle De Villepin

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The Devil's Reward

A Parisian grandmother trying to help her daughter through a marital crisis mines the rich history of the family’s past in this first novel to be translated into English by prizewinning French author de Villepin. Eighty-six-year-old Christiane lives alone, missing her late husband. She feels little patience for her daughter Catherine’s marital complaints but is happy to have both Catherine and her daughter, Luna, take refuge with her. “I choose to be resolutely nonconformist and scandalous,” Christiane tells us. “I hate those qualities in young people, but I find them charming among us oldsters.” She chides Catherine for overvaluing the marriage pact and delights her granddaughter, who’s writing a thesis on pedagogical systems, with family stories about Rudolf Steiner. “I’ve had plenty of time to measure what one owes to the sacred and what must not under any circumstances be denied to the profane.” Born in 1929, “spoiled and rather poorly raised” in a château, she recalls an adored and charming father with a motorcycle and side car and a prim, religious mother who terrorized her inadvertently with late-night applications of holy water. As she reminisces, a complex family portrait emerges of privilege and deprivation, anthroposophy and debauchery, suffering and grace. “One can’t deny that old ladies like myself have tons of experience. When things are going to hell, we at least have this advantage: we know the truth—everything always ends badly.” Her beloved father has a dark secret which causes a devastating rupture, and the idyllic childhood of hot air balloons and treasure hunts collapses into social ostracism. “One should not retrace one’s steps,” she muses, “one quickly smells death and abandonment.” Although romantic liaisons are the putative theme here, the deepest relationships are the ones between parents and children. Christiane says, of her daughter, “My greatest love story is her.”A sprightly tour through an old woman’s family secrets reveals that loving someone often requires the ability to forgive and a certain “sleight of hand.”–Kirkus Reviews

Hullabaloo In The Guava Orchard by Kiran Desai

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

Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard

Winner of the 2006 Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction for her second novel The Inheritance of Loss, Kiran Desai is one of the most talented writers of her generation. Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard—Desai’s dazzling debut novel—is a wryly hilarious and poignant story that simultaneously captures the vivid culture of the Indian subcontinent and the universal intricacies of human experience. Sampath Chawla was born in a time of drought into a family not quite like other families, in a town not quite like other towns. After years of failure at school, failure at work, of spending his days dreaming in tea stalls, it does not seem as if Sampath is going to amount to much—until one day he climbs a guava tree in search of peaceful contemplation and becomes unexpectedly famous as a holy man, sending his tiny town into turmoil. A syndicate of larcenous, alcoholic monkeys terrorize the pilgrims who cluster around Sampath’s tree, spies and profiteers descend on the town, and none of Desai’s outrageous characters goes unaffected as events spin increasingly out of control.

The Hummingbird’s Cage by Tamara Dietrich

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Hummingbird's Cage

When Joanna meets the attractive and charming Jim West, she can’t believe her luck. But it doesn’t take long for Jim’s abusive nature to manifest itself. Long separated from family and friends, Joanna has no one to turn to in their small town; she can’t even call the police because Jim is a deputy sheriff for the county. She does her best to protect her young daughter, Laurel, and suffers in silence until the day Bernadette, Jim’s ex, arrives in town. Bernadette survived Jim’s attacks and wants to help Joanna, giving her money and plane tickets. Joanna and Laurel flee but don’t get far. One minute Joanna is seeing Jim’s flashing lights in her rearview mirror, and the next she’s waking up in an old farmhouse. Given shelter and safety there, Joanna begins the process of healing in a peaceful place. VERDICT An abused woman reclaims the power she lost and moves on with her life in this well-written debut story that makes readers hope for more from this talented author. Recommended for fans of Barbara Delinsky and Luanne Rice.-Library Journal Review

Impala by Andrew Diamond

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Impala

Mystery and thriller readers are in for a treat with Impala, a story in which a man trying to change his world battles forces which draw him back into the seedier side of life. Russell can’t back down and can’t let go of anything completely. Neither can the reader let go of the winding, compelling story that is Impala… Impala does a terrific job of crafting a gritty, savvy and devious protagonist who moves through his world with precision and personal angst. The result fine-tunes a personal story and thriller, bringing Russell’s purposes and decisions to life in a series of events that make for a compelling, unexpected mystery that’s hard to put down and satisfyingly complex to the end. — D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

The London House by Katherine Reay

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

London House

Reay’s (Of Literature and Lattes) latest is a complex portrait of a family torn apart by secrets. It covers multiple threads, from the brave women spies in World War II to perspectives on history to the ways in which trauma stops people from accepting the love that they are offered. Caroline Payne is in her late 20s, and the accidental death of her sister 20 years ago and the disintegration of her family loom over her relationships even as she returns to Boston to be near her dying father. A surprise call from an old flame, who’s writing a history article, reminds Caroline of her long-dead British great-aunt, whom the family had disowned for being a Nazi collaborator. Caroline impulsively travels to London to the house her father grew up in, where she reads letters and diaries that bring to life her grandmother and great-aunt, the vivacious “Waite girls.” She learns that the shame of Nazi collaboration that overshadowed her family for 80 years is not quite what it seems. VERDICT For readers who enjoy novels featuring courageous women in World War II. Reay explores the uncertainty of history and how trauma can be carried across generations, but makes clear that it’s never too late for redemption.-Library Journal Review

The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron

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

The Lost Castle

A brooch, diary, and photograph are links to three women living in different periods–the French Revolution, World War II, and the present–in Cambron’s split-time romance. As the revolution breaks out, Aveline and Philippe, Duc Vivey, narrowly escape with their lives as their castle in the Loire Valley is sacked and burned. Ellie Carver watches Alzheimer’s steal her grandmother’s memories until discovery of a family heirloom and a journal sends Ellie to the ruins of a 13th-century castle in France on a journey of revelations about her grandmother, her family, and herself. Cambron’s (The Illusionist’s Apprentice) series launch combines the past and the present in a tale of secret loves, bitter losses, and hopeful beginnings. VERDICT Cambron’s atmospheric settings, historical details, and ability to create well-rounded characters who wend their way into readers’ hearts has garnered her many fans. They will be eagerly awaiting this title. – Library Journal

Moonlight In Winter Park by Samantha Chase

(Available Formats: Hoopla instant checkout eBook & audiobook)

Moonlight In Winter Park

All Hope Cooper needed this year was to have the kind of Christmas her family always cherished. But with her parents gone and her only brother having to work, it doesn’t look like it’s going to work out for her. There’s nothing she can do about her parents, but she most certainly can voice her annoyance at her brother’s boss for making him work out of town all through the holidays.

Beckett James hates the holidays and everything that goes with them. They were important at one time, but now the only thing that mattered was his company and its continued growth and anyone who worked for him better feel the same way. If not, they could find employment elsewhere and good riddance. With a major expansion deal on the line, Beckett needs to focus. What he doesn’t need is Hope to come barging into his mountain retreat demanding that her brother come home immediately due to an emergency.

Suddenly it’s two alone in a snowstorm. Two alone for Christmas. And two alone to fight an attraction that had been there all along. Hope soon begins to realize she may have misjudged Beckett while he comes to see that there really is something special and magical about Christmas. But once they leave their private winter wonderland and return to their normal lives, will the magic still be there?
A modern-day Beauty and the Beast style Christmas.

Ten Thousand Things by Maria Dermout

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The Ten Thousand Things

In Wild, Cheryl Strayed writes of The Ten Thousand Things: “Each of Dermoût’s sentences came at me like a soft knowing dagger, depicting a far-off land that felt to me like the blood of all the places I used to love.” And it’s true, The Ten Thousand Things is at once novel of shimmering strangeness—and familiarity. It is the story of Felicia, who returns with her baby son from Holland to the Spice Islands of Indonesia, to the house and garden that were her birthplace, over which her powerful grandmother still presides. There Felicia finds herself wedded to an uncanny and dangerous world, full of mystery and violence, where objects tell tales, the dead come and go, and the past is as potent as the present. First published in Holland in 1955, Maria Dermoût’s novel was immediately recognized as a magical work, like nothing else Dutch—or European—literature had seen before. The Ten Thousand Things is an entranced vision of a far-off place that is as convincingly real and intimate as it is exotic, a book that is at once a lament and an ecstatic ode to nature and life.

Have a great week!

Linda Reimer

*Information on the Three Catalogs*

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

The Digital Catalog, is an online catalog containing eBooks, downloadable audiobooks, digital magazines and a handful of streaming videos. The catalog, which allows one to download content to a PC, also has a companion app, Libby, which you can download to your mobile device; so you can enjoy eBooks and downloadable audiobooks on the go!

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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