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 30, 2021.
The Baddest Girl on The Planet by Heather Frese
(Available Formats: Hoopla instant checkout eBook & audiobook)
Frese debuts with an impressive examination of small-town island life in coastal North Carolina. In 2013, 23-year-old Evie Austin is dissatisfied with her underachieving husband, Stephen Oden, and a year later Evie and Stephen are divorced, with Evie and their five-year-old son living in her parents’ house. The author intercuts Evie’s negotiation of single life with Evie’s memories of growing up on the island, where, at nine, she met her childhood bestie, vacationer Charlotte McConnell. As the narrative progresses, Frese toggles through the years to reveal experiences that have defined Evie’s life, among them an unplanned pregnancy at 19 with her high school sweetheart; a strange obsession with Mike Tyson, whom she met while visiting Charlotte in Ohio (“the first man to disappoint” her, after his rape conviction); and an ill-advised trip to Las Vegas with a male pen pal. As the narrative builds to the present day, Evie is faced with the choice to reconcile with Stephen or take a chance on new love. While some of the conceits feel a bit too quirky (“Bad girls make up lots of lies. Sometimes accidentally. Sometimes on purpose,” Evie pronounces, reflecting on her youth), Frese’s dynamic structure and strong voice provide engaging snapshots of Evie throughout the years. Readers will find lots to love.
The Bookseller’s Tale by Ann Swinfen
(Available Formats: Print Book & Hoopla instant checkout eBook)
The death of a scholar, the birth of a detective…
Oxford, Spring 1353. When young bookseller Nicholas Elyot discovers the body of William Farringdon floating in the River Cherwell, all the signs point to suicide.
Soon, however, Nicholas discovers evidence of murder.
Who could have wanted to kill this promising student?
As Nicholas and his close friend Jordain try to unravel what lies behind William’s death, they learn that he was innocently caught up in a criminal plot.
When their investigations begin to involve town, university, and abbey, Nicholas takes a risky gamble – and puts his family in terrible danger in order to uncover the truth.
A thrilling historical mystery full of twists and intrigue, perfect for fans of Ellis Peters, Paul Doherty and E. M. Powell.
Reader’s Note: All six of the Oxford Medieval Mysteries are available for instant checkout through Hoopla – so dive in and binge read!
A Christmas Code by Jacki Delecki
(Available Formats: Hoopla instant checkout audiobook)
Lady Gwyneth Beaumont has long awaited the opportunity to show Viscount James Ashworth that she is no longer the impetuous child who dogged his footsteps. Now a much sought-after debutante, she is determined to prove to the hard-headed rake that she is a grown woman and a worthy participant in both the spy game and the game of love.
Ash, recently returned from three years undercover in France in His Majesty’s service, wants nothing more than to complete his final mission and retire to his bucolic country estate. However, what seemed a simple assignment to protect the Prince Regent at a Christmas party turns into a maze of intrigue, desire, and treachery.
Adding to the perilous secret operation is one problem Ash never anticipated: The appearance of the reckless, enticing Gwyneth, who has blossomed into a gorgeous woman and self-appointed spy. When a snooping Gwyneth uncovers a shocking secret, she puts herself in mortal danger.
Can Ash protect Gwyneth and the Prince from French assailants and, at the same time, win the passionate lady’s heart? Can Ash and Gwyneth both triumph as winners in the game of spies and love?
Listener’s Note: All eleven audios in the Code Breakers series are available for instant checkout through Hoopla – so jump right in and binge listen!
A Christmas in the Alps by Melody Carlson
(Available Formats: Print Book & Hoopla instant checkout eBook)
A Christmas Novella
After a time of heartache and loss, Simone Winthrop discovers a tantalizing letter from her French great-grandmother, which seems to suggest that she is heir to a family treasure. Ever practical, Simone assumes the claim is baseless, but her best friend encourages her to find out for sure. Despite her deep-rooted fear of flying, Simone boards a jet to travel to Paris at Christmastime to uncover the truth.
During the long flight, Simone meets the charming Kyle Larsson, who’s on his way to France to become an apprentice clockmaker. Though they abruptly part ways, an unexpected rendezvous in the French Alps at Simone’s family’s clock factory may lead to the discovery of the family treasure… and so much more.
For anyone who is wearying of staying home, Melody Carlson invites you to spend Christmas with her in the beautiful French Alps this year. So pull on your mittens, tie your scarf tight, and prepare yourself for a magical mountain holiday.
The Days of Afrekete by Asali Solomon
(Available Formats: Print Book & Libby audiobook)
In Rona Jaffe Award winner Solomon’s illuminating latest (after Disgruntled), two middle-aged women who were friends at Bryn Mawr reflect on sexuality, race, and selfhood. While Liselle Belmont prepares to host a dinner party for her husband, Winn, at their house in Philadelphia after his failed state legislative bid, she remembers her mother’s taunts her about her upper echelon lifestyle, habitually delivered with an “acid whoop of laughter.” On a whim, Liselle leaves a phone message with her old friend and lover Selena Octave. Solomon flashes back to the women’s years at Bryn Mawr, where they met in the school’s first Black literature course taught by a Black professor (and which was overcrowded by white students), and digs into the nuances of campus lesbianism and racial politics. Since then, Selena has been in and out of a psychiatric hospital for anxiety, and the two have fallen out of touch. Liselle reflects on her “ever twoness as the Black mistress of a tiny plantation,” complete with a housemaid, and Solomon focuses on Selena’s sensitivity to racial trauma, such as her interest in writing about the MOVE bombing in West Philadelphia in 1985. When Selena finally receives Liselle’s message, and as Liselle frets about Winn’s legal troubles, the outcome is unexpected and powerful. Solomon brings wit and incisive commentary to this pristine take on two characters’ fascinating and painful lives. Starred Publishers Weekly Review
Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon
(Available Formats: Print Book, Libby Book & Libby audiobook)
It’s been seven long years since Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, but at last here is the ninth entry in the enduringly popular “Outlander” series. Reunited 20 years after having been sundered by the Jacobite Rising in 1746, Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall now live in Revolutionary War-era North Carolina with daughter Brianna and her family. The backcountry seems remote, but with their tenants; loyalties split, Jamie and Claire know they can’t avoid the war forever, and Brianna and husband Roger begin to wonder whether returning to the past to escape the dangers of the 20th century was the wisest plan. Meanwhile, Jamie’s son, William Ransom, must come to terms with his paternity. The sixth Starz season of Outlander is filming, and there’s talk of the seventh, so read ahead. Library Journal Review
On A Listener’s Note: Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone is the 9th book in the Outlander series; the first eight books are available on audio for Instant checkout through hoopla. And you can place a hold on the Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone audio through Libby. And of course, you can request all nine print books in the series through StarCat.
How to Live Like a Monk: Medieval Wisdom for Modern Life by Danièle Cybulskie & Anna Lobanova
(Available Formats: Print Book)
In this beautifully illustrated self-help guide, Cybulskie (Life in Medieval Europe), host of The Medieval Podcast, reimagines monastic practices to help readers live with greater peace, simplicity, and purpose. Written for those who want to live like monks and not as monks, Cybulskie shows, first, what monastic life was like in the Middle Ages, before connecting medieval monasticism to modern movements such as minimalism and mindfulness. Through rich, color images and lucid language, Cybulskie introduces famous monastic figures and curious facts about monastic life—like the difference between a monk and a friar, or the ideal layout of a monastery (with “church and cloister in the center and buildings for guests, storage, and schooling surrounding them”). Inviting readers to craft a “rule for life” inspired by cloistered living—while also staying in tune with one’s personal values—Cybulskie encourages readers to take up monks’ examples by embracing simple practices like sharing experiences and knowledge, creating art aimed at lifting souls, or avoiding burnout by easing into commitments. While those looking for an in-depth exploration of medieval monastic life won’t find it, Cybulskie’s light touch and accessible tone makes medieval monastic rules accessible to any reader. Publishers Weekly Review
Resurrecting Midnight by Eric Jerome Dickey
(Available Formats: Print Book & Libby eBook)
Dickey brings us another action-packed, thrilling chapter of assassin Gideons life. In this installment, Gideon is drawn back into the life of an old flame, a con woman named Arizona. Accepting a contract to help her find a package that contains technology that will ensure a multimillion-dollar payoff, Gideon is actually brought face-to-face with the man he thought he killed when he was just a seven-year-old boy. Spanning continents, Gideon finds himself in a war zone in Argentina, fighting the best assassin team in the world, the Four Horsemen. It is in Argentina where Gideon comes face-to-face with truths about Arizona, and also his father, the man he thought he killed those many years ago: Midnight who happens to also be the deadliest of the Four Horsemen. This exciting read will keep Gideon fans at the edge of their seats with fast-paced action that ignites the imagination as if reading a graphic novel or watching an action movie. Booklist Review
The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker
(Available Formats: Print Book & Hoopla instant checkout audiobook)
Swiss author Dicker makes his U.S. debut with an ambitious, multilayered novel of suspense that’s already an international bestseller. In 2008, Marcus Goldman, a Manhattan-based novelist suffering from writer’s block, is under pressure to produce the follow-up to his sensational debut. He turns for help to his mentor, Harry Quebert, whose second novel, The Origin of Evil, was a huge critical and commercial success decades earlier. Marcus travels to Harry’s home in Somerset, N.H., where he comes across letters and photos revealing that Harry had an affair the summer of 1975 with a 15-year-old girl, Nola Kellergan. Harry admits that Nola, who disappeared that same summer, inspired The Origin of Evil. A few months after Marcus’s visit, the chance unearthing of Nola’s remains on Harry’s property leads to his arrest for murder. Marcus sets out to clear Harry’s name—and promises his publisher to write a book about the experience. While at times unwieldy and repetitive, this tale of fame, friendship, loyalty, and fiction versus reality moves at warp speed. Publishers Weekly Review
These Precious Days by Ann Pratchett
(Available Formats: Print Book & Large Print)
In this eloquent collection, novelist Patchett (The Dutch House) meditates poignantly—and often with wry humor—on “what I needed, whom I loved, what I could let go, and how much energy the letting go would take.” In “How to Practice,” Patchett writes of her “journey of digging out” and the feeling of lightness she begins to notice as she gets rid of possessions. In the title essay, she shares the story of Sooki, Tom Hanks’s publicist, whom Patchett invited into her home and offered solace and comfort as Sooki underwent pancreatic cancer treatments: “What Sooki gave me was a sense of order, a sense of God, the God of Sister Nena, the God of my childhood, a belief that I had gone into my study one night and picked up the right book from the hundred books that were there because I was meant to.” Other essays cover the lessons Patchett learned on her first Thanksgiving away from home, insights from a year in which she didn’t go shopping, and what she’s picked up from Snoopy. The elegance of Patchett’s prose is seductive and inviting: with Patchett as a guide, readers will really get to grips with the power of struggles, failures, and triumphs alike. The result is a moving collection not easily forgotten. Starred Publishers Weekly Review
Happy Thanksgiving & Have a great week!
*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.