Suggested Reading December 21, 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, December 28, 2021.

The Bookseller’s Tale by Ann Swinfen

(Available Formats: Hoopla instant checkout eBook)

Bookseller's Tale

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.

Evergreen: A Novella by Susan May Warren

(Available Formats: Hoopla instant checkout eBook)


An empty nest has Ingrid Christiansen dreading the upcoming holidays, but her husband, John, couldn’t be more excited about this new season of life. He even has a surprise trip abroad planned. He’s sure she’ll love it. What’s more romantic than Christmas in Paris? Before he can stop her, however, Ingrid agrees to spearhead a major church project. Then their faithful dog, Butterscotch, needs emergency surgery, draining their savings. And then-because disasters strike in threes-an unexpected guest arrives, dredging up old hurts. As a beautiful blanket of snow transforms the north woods into a winter wonderland, a deep chill settles over John and Ingrid’s marriage. With the holidays fast approaching, their only hope of keeping their love evergreen depends on turning the page on the past and embracing a new chapter of their future.

Evergreen is part of Warren’s Christiansen family series. If you’d like to read the series from the beginning check out book one: Take A Chance On Me

The Horse, the Wheel, and Language by David W. Anthony

(Available Formats: Hoopla instant checkout eBook & audiobook)

The Horse, The Wheel and Language

How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World
In this study of language, archeology and culture, Hartwick College anthropology professor Anthony hypothesizes that a proto-Indo-European culture emerged in the Ponto-Caspian steppes 4,000 years ago, speaking an ur-language ancestor to the Romance, German and Slavic family of languages, Sanskrit and modern English. Citing discoveries in the Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan made possible only after the fall of the Iron Curtain brought together Soviet and western scientists, Anthony combines evidence from radioactive dating, demographic analysis of migration patterns, linguistic analysis and the study of epics such as the Iliad and the Rig Veda to substantiate his contention. Central to his thesis is the role of the horse, originally domesticated for food and first ridden to manage herds; only later, with the development of the chariot, were they ridden during combat. Anthony provides a comprehensive, in-depth analysis of his subject, complete with a history of relevant research over the past two centuries (including evidence and opinion that counter his own, such as the now-discredited Aryan race hypothesis). A thorough look at the cutting edge of anthropology, Anthony’s book is a fascinating look into the origins of modern man. Library Journal Review

The Last Daughter of York by Nicola Cornick

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

The Last Daughter of York

For 11 years, Serena Warren has been haunted by the mysterious disappearance of her twin sister, Caitlin. Unable to remember what happened that fateful evening, Serena has tried to move on with her life. Then she receives a call with the news that Caitlin’s body has been found. Hoping to recover her lost memories, Serena travels to her grandparents’ English estate, Minster Lovell, where Caitlin was last seen alive. Six centuries earlier, five-year-old Anne Neville, daughter of nobility, is chosen to wed Francis Lovell. The marriage will solidify allegiances between royal families; but as she grows, Anne must choose between her family and her new husband when the battle to overthrow the king begins. Cornick (The Forgotten Sister, 2020) seamlessly weaves together the stories of two young women, separated by centuries yet bound by their time at Minster Lovell. As the investigation of Caitlin’s death unfolds, the legend of a centuries-old relic is explained. History lovers and mystery fans alike will delight in Cornick’s latest suspenseful, romantic, paranormal tale.

A Little Hope by Ethan Joella

(Available Formats: eBook)

A Little Hope

Wharton, Connecticut, is a sleepy, suburban town, filled in summer with the smell of hydrangeas and the sounds of kids playing soccer and tennis balls smacking country-club pavement. As in many small towns, the connections among its inhabitants are what makes Wharton special. The domino effect of neighbors’ choices impact each other one another far more than they could ever imagine. A chance meeting blossoms into a new relationship, a tragic diagnosis inspires independence, a surprise visitor helps breach an emotional wall, a marriage’s foundation becomes cracked in an instant. In his debut novel, Joella has an eye and ear for suburban pathos, highlighting tragedy and growth in equal parts. Exploring new love, the twists and turns of grief, and the steadfast loyalty of soulmates, A Little Hope is narrated by a diverse ensemble of Wharton residents. Joella pays particular attention to the aftershocks of loss in the residents’ lives, ranging from heartbreak and addiction to cancer, but he doesn’t dwell on the maudlin. Loyal readers of Meg Wolitzer and Matthew Norman will gravitate to this immersive, illuminating novel.

The Orphan Keeper by Camron Wright

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

The Orphan Keeper

Despite having been adopted from India, Taj Rowland is an excelling American teen: senior-class president, a varsity athlete, and popular with his classmates at his all-white Colorado high school. But when he’s matched with an Indian family during a study-abroad program in London, Taj begins to remember pieces of his childhood, including his original name, Chellamuthu, and the family from which he was kidnapped and sold to an orphanage. Hoping to understand more about his identity, Taj immerses himself in Indian culture, starts an import-export company, and eventually marries an Indian woman, Priya, who turns out to have a surprising connection to his past. Armed with a map drawn from memory and accompanied by his business partner, Christopher Raj, Taj returns to India to search for his birth family. Wright (The Rent Collector, 2012) turns the story of the real-life Chellamuthu/Taj into a meditation on identity and the meaning of family, and a novel that is sure to be a book-club favorite. – Booklist Review

On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman

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

On Turpentine Lane

When Faith Frankel moves from Brooklyn back to her hometown of Everton, Mass., she falls in love with a little house on Turpentine Lane. The house, because of rumors about a death that took place there, is well within her salary as a fund-raiser, so despite the asbestos and a failing roof, she decides to buy it. She’s accustomed to challenging projects, starting with Stuart Levine, her longtime boyfriend who has left on a solo hitchhiking expedition with her credit card. No sooner does she move into the house does she learn that the previous owner’s second and third husbands fell down the basement stairs to their deaths. Stuart is unsupportive, so she finally dumps him, encouraged by Nick Franconi, officemate and soon-to-be roommate. Faith and Nick develop a relationship while she tries to solve the mystery of the deaths at Turpentine Lane, her parents’ faltering marriage, and her eligible-bachelor brother’s lack of a significant other. With a witty cast of characters and her usual delightful dialogue and insightful observations of human behavior, Lipman (The Inn at Lake Devine) captures the complications of modern love.

Paradise on the Hudson: The Creation, Loss, and Revival of a Great American Garden by Caroline Seebohm

(Available Formats: Hoopla instant checkout eBook)

Paradise On The Hudson

The Story of Samuel Untermyer and His Gilded Age Garden

Few people today have ever heard of him, but in the early years of the twentieth century, Samuel Untermyer took on the rich, the entrenched establishment, the robber barons, and the most powerful corporations in America. He also turned his estate into one of the most extensive and ambitious gardens of the Gilded Age. Located on the banks of the Hudson, it boasted extravagant structures based on Greek models, 60 greenhouses, and a staff of 60 gardeners. After Untermyer’s death, the garden went into a steep decline, until the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy began a program of restoration that has brought a significant part of the original gardens back to their former glory. Visitors today can experience the grandeur of the garden, and the renovations continue. In Paradise on the Hudson, seasoned writer and garden historian Caroline Seebohm shares all this and more, telling a fascinating story of a dazzling Gilded Age garden created, lost, and re-found. Packed with contemporary and historical photography, this must-read entry into the canon of garden history celebrates an important garden in its former glory and in its current restoration.

The Raven in the Foregate by Ellis Peters

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

The Raven in the Foregate

In a mild December in the year of our Lord 1141, a new priest comes to the parishioners of the Foregate outside the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Father Ailnoth brings with him a housekeeper and her nephew—and a disposition that invites murder.

Brother Cadfael quickly sees that father Ailnoth is a harsh man who, striding along in his black cassock, looks like a doomsaying raven. The housekeeper’s nephew, Benet, is quite different—a smiling lad, a hard worker in Cadfael’s herb garden, but, as Brother Cadfael soon discovers, an impostor. And when Ailnoth is found drowned, suspicion falls on Benet, though many in the Foregate had cause to want this priest dead. Now Brother Cadfael is gathering clues along with his medicinals to treat a case of unholy passions, tragic politics, and perhaps divine intervention.
Readers’ Note: The Raven in the Foregate is the twelfth book in the Brother Cadfael series. If you’d like to start reading the series at the beginning, checkout book one: A Morbid Taste For Bones.

Viewers’s Note: Back in the 1990s Derek Jacoby starred as Cadfael in a fun TV series based on the books; and SSCL owns the entire series on DVD – should you wish to check it out – it is great historical mystery fun!

Splendid by Julia Quinn

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


Based on the phenomenal growth of Quinn’s popularity, and her four-week stint on the New York Times bestseller list with Romancing Mr Bridgerton, it’s the perfect time to revisit Ms Quinn’s ‘splendid’ storytelling.

American heiress Emma Dunster has always been fun-loving and independent with no wish to settle into marriage. She plans to enjoy her Season in London in more unconventional ways than husband-hunting. But this time Emma’s high-jinks lead her into dangerous temptation…
Alexander Ridgely, the Duke of Ashbourne, is a notorious rake who carefully avoids the risk of love…until he plants one reckless kiss on the sensuous lips of this high-spirited innocent…and condemns himself to delicious torment. Little does he know that his passion has touched the very soul of the lovely enchantress…and committed them both to a lifetime of splendid ecstasy.

A bonus just for fun musical recommendation, from the Hoopla catalog:

Licorice Pizza Soundtrack

Licorice Pizza

The soundtrack features twenty classics songs by Sonny & Cher, The Doors, David Bowie, Taj Mahal, Seals & Crofts, James Gang and more!

And including this one!

Stumblin’ In by Suzi Quatro & Chris Norman 

Have a great week!

Linda Reimer

*Information on the Three Catalogs*

Digital Catalog:

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:

The Hoopla Catalog features instant checkouts of eBooks, downloadable audiobooks, comic books, albums, movies and TV series. Patron check out limit is 6 items per month.

Hoopla is a Southeast Steuben County Library service available to all Southeast Steuben County Library card holders.

The Hoopla App is available for Android or Apple devices and most smart TVs & media streaming players.

StarCat: The catalog of physical/traditional library materials:

Card holders of all Southern Tier Library System member libraries can access StarCat to search for and request materials available at libraries through out the Southern Tier Library System.

The StarCat app is called Bookmyne and is available for Apple and Android devices.

Note: Book summaries are from the respective publishers unless otherwise specified.

Have questions or want to request a book?

Feel free to call the library! Our telephone number is 607-936-3713.

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

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