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, February 1, 2022.
Annihilation Road by Christine Feehan
(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)
Savin “Savage” Pajari is convinced he’s not worth a damn thing. He’s not like his brothers. He’s a sadistic monster, a killer—a man no woman could truly love. So it completely throws him when a stranger risks her life for his, pushing him out of the way and taking the hit that would have sent him six feet under. If he had any kind of sense, he’d leave her alone, but Savage can’t get the woman with a smart mouth and no sense of self-preservation out of his head. With one kiss, he’s lost.
Seychelle Dubois has spent her entire life not feeling much of anything, until Savage comes along and sets her whole body on fire. Kissing him was a mistake. Letting him get close would be a catastrophe. He’s the most beautiful—and damaged—man she’s ever met. He has a way of getting under her skin, and what he’s offering is too tempting to resist.
Seychelle knows so little about Savage or the dangerous world of Torpedo Ink, but his darkness draws her like a moth to a flame. Loving him could mean losing herself completely to his needs—needs she doesn’t understand but is eager to learn. But what Savage teaches her could destroy her.
Readers’ Note: This is the sixth book in the Torpedo Ink Series. If you’d like to start reading from the beginning of the series, checkout book 1 – Judgement Road.
Find Me: A Novel by Alafair Burke
(Available Formats: Print Book, CD audiobook & eBook)
The fate of Hope Miller, as her friends in Hopewell, N.J., know her, drives Edgar finalist Burke’s scintillating sixth novel featuring NYPD Det. Ellie Hatcher (after 2014’s All Day and a Night). Fifteen years earlier, Manhattan defense lawyer Lindsay Kelly pulled Hope, who had lost her memory, out of an overturned vehicle on a road near Hopewell. Lyndsay became Hope’s best friend, mentor, and protector. Now, in search of a fresh start, Hope moves to East Hampton, Long Island. Lindsay’s fears that her friend will be lost without her are quickly realized after Hope disappears, the only clue a drop of blood matching a DNA sample related to a Wichita, Kans., serial killer. The subsequent death of an East Hampton businessman leads the police to believe Hope is not a victim but a villain. Enter Ellie, whose late father was so obsessed with his investigation into the Wichita serial killer that he died by suicide. While Hope and Lindsay’s deep friendship takes center stage, Ellie’s intelligence, insight, and lingering grief over her father will keep readers turning the pages. Appealing characters match the meticulous plotting. Burke reinforces her place in the top rank of suspense writers. Starred Publishers Weekly Review
Five Tuesdays in Winter: Stories by Lily King
(Available Formats: Print Book, eBook, downloadable audiobook & Hoopla instant checkout eBook)
National Book Critics Circle award winner King (Euphoria) delivers a rich and varied collection filled with characters whose lives are transformed by old and new acquaintances, addiction, and the written word. In the opener, “Creature,” teenage narrator Carol finds summer employment as a nanny while she reads Jane Eyre, a novel that has strange and fascinating resonances for her. In “When in the Dordogne,” the narrator, a “martini baby, conceived after one too many in late July 1971,” struggles in the wake of his father’s failed suicide. “The Man at the Door,” the collection’s finest entry, finds a writer who’s also a mother experiencing the heaven of her avocation—“This morning, however, a sentence rose, a strange unexpected chain of words meeting the surface in one long gorgeous arc”—before being quickly brought back down to earth: “The baby bleated through the monitor. She’d only managed to get three sentences on the page.” These stories crackle and shine, and King is a master of the thumbnail portrait: she can create a fully realized life in a single paragraph and then alter it in breathtaking ways. This is a must for fans of the short story. Starred Publishers Weekly Review
Heading Out To Wonderful: A Novel by Robert Goolrick
(Available Formats: Print Book, eBook, downloadable audiobook, Hoopla instant checkout eBook & audiobook)
Goolrick’s tale of doomed love resonates like a folk ballad, with the language of the Blue Ridge Mountains and its people giving this novel its soul. Just after WWII, 39-year-old veteran Charlie Beale arrives in smalltown Brownsburg, Va., hoping for a brighter future. He offers his services to the local butcher, Will Haislett, and works his way into the good graces of Haislett’s family, especially five-year-old Sam. But even as Charlie finds acceptance, he remains apart in Brownsburg: he attends services in every church before finally finding redemption in an African-American Episcopal service; he buys up more land than he needs; and he makes a big mistake by falling for Sylvan Glass, the young wife of wealthy, old, vulgar Harrison Glass, who bought Sylvan at 17 “like a head of cattle.” Sylvan, an outsider like Charlie, dreams of Hollywood, while Charlie simply yearns for a place to call home. Goolrick (A Reliable Wife) tells their story from multiple perspectives, most poignantly that of Sam’s, a boy trying to make sense of the unfolding tragedy. Like any good ballad, the narrative builds slowly to its violent climax, packs an emotional punch, and then haunts readers with its quintessentially American refrain. Publishers Weekly Review
Hotel Portofino by J. P. O’Connell
(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)
For fans of Downton Abbey and The Crown… welcome to Hotel Portofino, where romance, revelry, and intrigue await. A heady historical drama about a British family who opens an upper-class hotel on the magical Italian Riviera during the Roaring Twenties.
Hotel Portofino has been open for only a few weeks, but already the problems are mounting for its owner Bella Ainsworth. Her high-class guests are demanding and hard to please. And she’s being targeted by a scheming and corrupt local politician, who threatens to drag her into the red-hot cauldron of Mussolini’s Italy.
To make matters worse, her marriage is in trouble, and her children are still struggling to recover from the repercussions of the Great War. All eyes are on the arrival of a potential love match for her son Lucian, but events don’t go to plan, which will have far-reaching consequences for the whole family.
Set in the breathtakingly beautiful Italian Riviera, Hotel Portofino is a story of personal awakening at a time of global upheaval and of the liberating influence of Italy’s enchanting culture, climate, and cuisine on British “innocents abroad.”
I’d Walk With My Friends If I Could Find Them by Jesse Goolsey
(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)
The suggestive title contains this novel in miniature: a community of soldiers confronts harrowing choices on the battlefield and eventually faces loss, fragmentation, and meaninglessness in civilian life. In Afghanistan, in 2004, seasoned vet Armando Torres cites a Marine Corps slogan to newly arrived Wintric Ellis: “Be polite, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.” This paradox haunts the two of them as well as Big Dax, a soldier even more hardened than Torres. After establishing some of the boredom and horrors of war, the novel dips into the past. We see the logic of Wintric’s decision to enlist two weeks after high school graduation, for he’s come of age in a Northern California town that offers little that he values. The story then skips to Torres’ past in Colorado Springs, where we meet his smartass, cynical father, imprisoned for unintentionally killing a man after setting a forest fire, and his mother, soon to be horribly injured in a car crash. Big Dax, we learn, has grown up in Rutherford, New Jersey, and is overly influenced by his risk-taking, amoral friend, Alston. On their return from duty, they all find that, at home as in Afghanistan, nothing quite makes sense. Wintric marries his girlfriend, Kristen, who naively believes that “the war won’t live in him forever.” Torres returns to his family, where his wife anxiously asks him, “Did you kill anyone this time?” And Big Dax links up with a serious girlfriend, Nicholle, whom he marries; she carries the baggage of a pathologically disturbed and dangerous brother. By the end of the novel we realize the war has intimately shaped the men’s lives without giving them meaning. Like its major characters, a novel that is appropriately fragmented and without a center. Kirkus Review
Many Selves of Katherine North by Emma Geen
(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)
In the not-so-distant future, 19-year-old Katherine North, known as Kit, works for a corporation that specializes in zoological research, ShenCorp. Kit’s work involves projecting her consciousness into different animals to better understand their behaviors. Kit is asked by ShenCorp to assist customers with their own jumps into various animals, which she does with the personal goal of helping people to understand animals. However, when she realizes that people are not changed by the experience, the new job creates an ethical dilemma for Kit, who truly loves and values animals. Kit is also rethinking her career, because she has started to notice anomalies during her jumps and feels herself acting uncharacteristically. Kit’s experiences as an animal are some of the best moments in the novel, because they allow Geen’s lyrical prose to truly shine. The varied terminology Geen creates to reinforce her world can be a barrier to comprehending all of the details, but this book is a great match for readers who were fans back in the day of the popular teen series Animorphs. – Booklist Review
The Pretender’s Lady by Alan Gold
(Available Formats: Print Book)
From the author of The Lost Testament comes the true love of Bonnie Prince Charlie, her adventures in America, and her lasting legacy.
In the page-turning popular genre trail-blazed by Antonia Fraser and Phillippa Gregory, The Pretender’s Lady, Alan Gold’s meticulously researched novel, opens history’s pages on a peerless woman who helped change the course of history and whose legend lives on in Scotland today—Flora MacDonald.
She was the most famous Scotswoman of her day, having single-handedly saved Bonnie Prince Charlie. This is her fictionalized life story—her relations with the Prince, her flight to America, Ben Franklin’s influence, and her return to Britain to lobby for peace.
But what’s hidden from history, and revealed now for the first time in Gold’s dazzling fiction, is the result of Flora and Charlie’s love: a beautiful and talented boy raised on an American farm. Only she knows his true heritage and his claim to the world’s greatest throne. And only the genius of Ben Franklin understands how to use this naive boy to influence their young country.
The Replacement Life by Boris Fishman
(Available Formats: Print Book & Hoopla instant checkout eBook)
The debut novel from Fishman shines with a love for language and craft. Minsk-born 25-year-old Slava Gelman has made it to the bottom of top-tier journalism. He’s junior staff at Century magazine, and he’s just been given a shot at a byline. But the death of his Holocaust-survivor grandmother throws self-involved Slava’s life out of focus. His grandfather—a quick-to-brag but resourceful man who “gets things”—pressures Slava into forging a restitution claim letter for Slava’s deceased grandmother, then spreads the news around his South Brooklyn neighborhood of Slava’s availability to write such fraudulent letters. Soon, Slava finds himself sharing secrets with strangers whose war stories, full of “the oddly specific details he had come to learn make a narrative feel authentic,” leave him feeling much closer to his grandmother. Fishman’s description of the precious information that grandparents pass down is beautiful; their memories have been a burden for Slava, whose grandfather’s meandering stories about Soviet life leave him “feeling like a failure because he was letting gold slip away in a fast-moving river,” but he learns their real value in the course of this forging scheme. Writers like Slava, and like Fishman, have a responsibility to do justice to the beauty in the details, and Fishman achieves that handily here. Starred Publishers Weekly Review
Vein of Iron by Ellen Glasgow
(Available Formats: Print Book)
Vein of Iron, by Ellen Glasgow, is published today. That it will go immediately into the best-seller lists is inevitable. And this popularity reflects credit not on Miss Glasgow as much as it does on the reading public. When a book as fine and as true and as thoughtful as Vein of Iron is given general acclaim—and I’d like to bet that it will be—it seems to me that literature is pretty safe here in America. I’m a little tired of authors “too good to be popular” and the idea that only shallow and tawdry books sell. Vein of Iron is rich in emotion and understanding, with a profound feeling for the fullness of life in the past and the present. And those who love Ellen Glasgow need not be told that her prose is beautiful—I’ve never known it as lovely as in Vein of Iron. The story is laid in the village of Ironside, in Shut In Valley, Virginia, and in the city of Queenborough. The most delightful as well as the most heartrending scenes are laid in Ironside. In this village the Fincastles have lived since they took the land from the Indians. They were simple people and just, with duty and religion more important than happiness, but with happiness found in small things. They were poor—had always been poor—but they still lived in “the manse,” and there was enough to eat… Vein of Iron Summary | Thyra Samter Winslow, “The First Reader, ” New York World-Telegram, 29 August 1935|
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.