Suggested Reading February 15, 2022

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 22, 2022.

Blue Ridge Run by Harry Harrigan

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Blue Ridge Run

Master Sergeant Roman Keane is six hours and one last salute from retirement. After twenty-three years and three combat tours with the 75th Ranger Regiment, he’s got a Silver Star, a titanium knee and a plan to see America on his Road King motorcycle. No more patrols, no more firefights. Nothing more dangerous than passing the old work van rumbling along in front of him as he rides toward Hunter-Stewart and the sunset of his career in the Army. But just as he twists the throttle to pass, a woman’s bare foot smears a bloody print on the van’s back window. Roman turns back to help, triggering a chain of events that puts his brother Virgil and two old friends in the crosshairs of a murderer. Saving them sends Roman on a desperate ride from Savannah to DC, where he discovers that the past he has been trying to forget has not forgotten him. It’s been waiting patiently, holding his secret like a time bomb.

Readers’ note: This is the first book in the Road King Chronicles.

The Bright Side Running Club by Josie Lloyd

(Available Formats: Hoopla instant checkout eBook)

The Bright Side Running Club

Keira Beck is satisfied with her life–she has a happy marriage, two children, and a successful business. Then a diagnosis of breast cancer throws her carefully ordered life into disarray. Soon, she’s undergoing chemotherapy, her teenage daughter is growing more rebellious every day, and her business partner is turning their gift shop into an online business selling cheap tchotchkes. A chance encounter with a runner outside the medical clinic gives Keira a surprising boost of encouragement, and soon she’s joining Tamsin, a fellow patient, for regular runs. They form a running club with other women undergoing treatment, and their shared experience turns them into fast friends. What begins as a morale boost becomes a lifeline as each of the women progresses with her treatment. Lloyd spins a compassionate, big-hearted tale about a woman in crisis and the people who rally around her. While the depiction of breast cancer treatment is realistic, Keira’s wry observations of her situation add a strong dose of humor, keeping the tone light. Readers who enjoy Mary Adkins and Katherine Center will delight in this uplifting, feel-good story. –Booklist Review

Death On The Nile by Agatha Christie

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print, CD audiobook, Hoopla instant checkout eBook & two audiobook versions one read by Kenneth Branagh and the other by David Suchet)

Death On The Nile

Following the success of Murder on the Orient Express directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh, Twentieth Century Fox will next adapt this classic Hercule Poirot mystery for the big screen.
Beloved detective Hercule Poirot embarks on a journey to Egypt in one of Agatha Christie’s most famous mysteries, Death on the Nile.

The tranquility of a cruise along the Nile was shattered by the discovery that Linnet Ridgeway had been shot through the head. She was young, stylish, and beautiful. A girl who had everything . . . until she lost her life.

Hercule Poirot recalled an earlier outburst by a fellow passenger: “I’d like to put my dear little pistol against her head and just press the trigger.” Yet in this exotic setting nothing is ever quite what it seems.

The Disciple of Las Vegas by Ava Lee

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

Disciple of Las Vegas

The first book of an electrifying new series, Ian Hamilton’s The Disciple of Las Vegas introduces Ava Lee: a deadly martial artist with a taste for luxury and a mind like a steel trap.

Fifty million dollars has disappeared into thin air from the accounts of one of the richest men in the Philippines, Tommy Ordonez. His one hope is Ava Lee—sleek, capable forensic accountant and sleuth. With the help of her Triad-connected partner, Uncle, Ava follows the money trail from San Francisco to Costa Rica to the casinos and illegal gambling dens of Las Vegas. Meanwhile, a vengeful adversary from Ava’s past has put out a contract on her life, and the shadowy hit man is close at her heels every step of the way. Will Ava recover the stolen cash without stepping into the crosshairs of a growing list of enemies?

Readers’ Note: This is the first book in the Ava Lee series.

The Kind One by Tom Epperson

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

The Kind One

Screenwriter Epperson (coauthor of the script for One False Move) makes an effortless transition to novel writing with this hard-biting noir set in 1930s Los Angeles. While the contours of the plot will strike many as familiar, the author avoids clichés in his tale of Danny Landon, who works for vicious mobster Bub Seitz (aka “the Kind One”). Danny, who suffers from amnesia, only dimly recalls the events that led to his receiving the epithet “Two Gun Danny,” but finds the accounts he’s been given of his violent past at odds with his current revulsion for bloodshed. When Seitz, a mercurial figure with a hair-trigger temper, asks Landon to keep an eye on his current squeeze, Darla, the two men soon find themselves in conflict. With spare prose, Epperson presents Landon’s inner turmoil plausibly and manages to throw in an occasional turn of phrase that Raymond Chandler might have penned. While this book lacks the depth of James Ellroy’s L.A. noir novels, it’s an impressive debut and deserves to be followed by more. – Publishers Weekly Review

The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera

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

The Last Cuentista

An aspiring young storyteller with retinitis pigmentosa discovers that she’s the only one who remembers life on Earth after waking up 380 years in the future in this suspenseful speculative novel. In the year 2061, a solar flare has altered the course of Halley’s Comet, putting Earth and its inhabitants right in its trajectory. Twelve-year-old Petra Peña, a resourceful Mexican American preteen who longs to follow in her cuentista grandmother’s footsteps and tell stories for a living, successfully boards one of the last ships off-world—as do members of a dangerous, cultlike group called The Collective. When Petra awakens centuries later at the ship’s destination, she quickly realizes that The Collective has wiped the memories—or lives—of her fellow passengers, and she must use her wits and Mexican folklore to protect the remaining humans and avoid the same fate. Through Petra’s gut-wrenching, tenderly crafted narrative arc, author Higuera (Lupe Wong Won’t Dance) explores how story can awaken empathy, hope, and even resistance in an audience. This is the work of a true cuentista: gripping, euphonious (“The wind carried it off far away into the stars”), and full of storytelling magic. Starred Publishers Weekly Review

A Letter To Three Witches by Elizabeth Bass

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

A Letter To The Three Witches

Bass (Life Is Sweet) delivers an enchanting paranormal rom-com replete with laugh-out-loud banter. The Engel cousins are forbidden to practice magic, as punishment for the actions of their great-great-grandfather, whose magic accidentally caused the Dust Bowl. But Tannith—the troublemaker of the “cousin coven,” which also includes Gwen, Milo, and Trudy—leaves magical mayhem in her wake when she dramatically departs the cousins’ hometown of Zenobia, N.Y., leaving behind a letter informing the trio that she’s placed a love spell on one of their significant others, who’ll soon be joining her in New York City. Trudy, whose marriage to her husband, Laird, is crumbling, realizes she has a penchant for accidental enchantments. Milo’s been “dabbling” in spellwork ever since meeting his mayoral candidate boyfriend, Brett. And while Gwen works through insecurities after moving in with her boyfriend, Daniel, she discovers a powerful magical strength. But their illegal spellcasting may incur the wrath of the Grand Council of Witches. Tannith makes for a flat antagonist—the quintessential wicked witch—but as the tale takes on an almost episodic form, moving between quirky blunders, it achieves sitcom-level humor that will have readers cackling. The ending feels a bit tidy, but it’s a charming ride to get there. Fans of Practical Magic will be delighted. Publishers Weekly Review

Miss You by Kate Eberlen

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

Miss You

Have you ever caught a stranger’s eye for a moment too long and wondered, “what if?” In 1997, 18-year-old Tess and her best friend, Doll, are in Florence, Italy, the summer before Tess is supposed to begin university in London. She first encounters the lanky, disheveled Gus when they both wander inside a quiet church. By chance, Tess and Doll see him again on the Ponte Vecchio, where Gus takes a picture for them–but then they’re gone. That momentary connection is all that binds these two together as life hands them obstacles and heartbreaks separately. Gus must deal with the guilt he feels over his older brother’s death in a skiing accident and grabs the chance to reinvent himself at school with a new girlfriend, Lucy, who knows nothing of his past. Tess returns from Italy to the realization that her mother is not only sick, but dying. Who will care for her unusual baby sister, Hope? For Tess, it means forgoing her spot at the same university where Gus is starting over. Debut novelist Eberlen develops two wonderfully distinct storylines, but her characters are carefully connected by proximity and circumstance. It’s as if their shadows are moving in sync from opposite sides of a screen. For readers who like their romance to simmer throughout a story, be warned that Eberlen deals more in missed chances: “In front of me, there was a tall woman with a fidgety little girl in one hand”–if only Tess had turned around. We instead have the pleasure of getting to know Gus and Tess completely before they truly meet each other. It’s a bittersweet moment when their timelines finally converge years later, as there isn’t much time before Eberlen lets the curtain fall. Though at that point it’s already clear: “Sometimes the best things are staring you right in the face, know what I mean?” Eberlen’s characters are so real and deserving of love–thankfully it’s safe to root for them both, and root for them you will. Kirkus Review

Moon Witch, Spider King by Marlon James

(Available Formats: Print Book, eBook coming shortly)

Moon Witch and Spider King

In this second installment of the Dark Star Trilogy, James returns to Iron Age Africa with the story of Sogolon, introduced in Black Leopard, Red Wolf (2019) as a sometime antagonist, sometime ally of Tracker. The first part Sogolon’s story is told in third person as she recounts the days of a youth more than 150 years in the past, where she encounters the Aesi, the sinister chancellor in the court of Fasisi, and discovers the uses of her own fickle magic. Shifting to first person, James describes the family Sogolon makes with a shapeshifting lion, which is devastatingly disrupted by an attack from the Aesi. Spending most of the ensuing century in the bush, Sogolon becomes the “Moon Witch,” a self-appointed vigilante for hire. Sogolon is possibly immortal, but she is also deeply human and filled with rage and bitterness, searching for a purpose as history swirls around her. If Black Leopard, Red Wolf is a penciled comic panel, Moon Witch, Spider King is the version rendered by James the inker: the geography, myth, magic, and people of this epic setting are revisited to add shading and detail in a recursive procedure that results in a vibrant tapestry begging for infinite return trips. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Fans are clamoring for the second in a trilogy that is described as an Afrocentric Game of Thrones. Booklist Review

Woman Last Seen: A Novel by Adele Parks

(Available Format: Hoopla instant checkout audiobook)

Woman Last Seen

Leigh Fletcher: happily married stepmom to two gorgeous boys goes missing on Monday. Her husband, Mark, says he knows nothing of her whereabouts. She went to work and just never came home. Their family is shattered.

Kai Janssen: married to wealthy Dutch businessman Daan and vanishes the same week. Kai left their luxurious penthouse and glamorous world without a backward glance. She seemingly evaporated into thin air. Daan is distraught.

Detective Clements knows that people disappear all the time—far too frequently. Most run away from things, some run toward and others are taken but find their way back. A sad few never return. These two women are from very different worlds. Their disappearances are unlikely to be connected. And yet, at a gut level, the detective believes they might be.

How could these women walk away from their families, husbands and homes willingly? Clements is determined to unearth the truth, no matter how shocking and devastating it may be.

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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