Suggested Reading June 7, 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, June 14, 2022.

21st Century Monetary Policy: The Federal Reserve from the Great Inflation to Covid-19 by Ben S. Bernanke

(Available Formats: Print Book)

21 Century Monetary Policy

Bernanke, former chair of the Federal Reserve of the U.S., sets out to help readers understand how that institution has arrived at where it is today and what the future may look like. He presents a historical view of monetary policy starting in the twentieth century, when the Federal Reserve was created in 1913. The intention was that it would oversee and stabilize America’s lightly regulated and often-dysfunctional banking system and would be responsible for tasks such as setting short- and long-term interest rates. This time period was wrought with inflation fluctuations and also the impact of President Franklin Roosevelt breaking the link between the dollar and gold and mandating that banks be solvent. As Bernanke moves into the twenty-first century, he tackles topics like the global financial crisis, the great recession, the most current presidential influences, COVID, unemployment rates, and how the future of monetary policy could evolve. In a world where $2.15 trillion is floating in the U.S. economy, readers will be intrigued by the history and predictions Bernanke shares. This impressive and accessible book will appeal to historians and educators as well as those who want to understand America’s finances from a historical perspective. HIGH DEMAND BACKSTORY: With the economy perpetually in the news, expect the media to call on Bernanke’s expert analysis. – Booklist Review

The D-Day Warriors Who Led the Way to Victory in World War II by Alex Kershaw

(Available Formats: Print Book & Large Print)

The First Wave

On the early morning of June 6, 1944, thousands of ships of all types dotted the English Channel as far as the eye could see. Hundreds of landing craft plowed through white-capped waves along 60 miles of French beaches to land their cargo of men and materiel to begin the liberation of Nazi-held Europe. Hours earlier, several divisions of British and American paratroopers dropped from the inky darkness to begin the task of securing bridges and crossroads to hinder German responses and pave the way for the main landing forces heading toward the fortified beaches. Historian Kershaw (Avenue of Spies), basing his work on more than 20 years of extensive interviews and other firsthand accounts from D-Day veterans, deftly weaves these stories to put readers in the midst of the battle. The author captures all the mixed feelings of that day: fear, anticipation, excitement, and the selfless acts of courage and heroism encountered in every corner of the battlefield, here focusing on individual soldiers and their stories.

VERDICT Kershaw’s latest will appeal to readers interested in World War II and firsthand accounts of soldiers and their time in battle. – Library Journal

Innocence of Murder on Steep Street: A Novel by Heda Marloius Kovaly

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Innocense

Originally published in Czech in the 1980s under a pseudonym to protect her family, Kovaly’s novel is finally being released in English. She wrote this story in secret while working on Czech translations of Raymond Chandler and Philip Roth. Kovaly’s acclaimed memoir, Under a Cruel Star, details her time in Auschwitz and the communist purges and show trials in Czechoslovakia following the war. Set in Prague in the 1950s, the book takes place in and around a cinema, the perfect location for a missing-person story that quickly escalates into a murder mystery. The draw here isn’t the mystery of who killed the policeman investigating the first murder–even though everyone had a motive and everyone is hiding something–it is the tense atmosphere in which all are guilty of something and yet punished for a different crime. VERDICT Capturing the fear and oppression of living in a police state, this dark novel, reflective of its time and written by a writer who lived her material, will enthrall noir enthusiasts and readers of literary historical fiction. – Library Journal Review

Haven by Kay Hooper

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Haven

Jessie Rayburn returns to her hometown of Baron Hollow, N.C., to excise the personal ghosts of her adolescence in Hooper’s 13th Special Crimes Unit paranormal investigation (after Blood Ties). She’s a psychic investigator with a “singular lack of imagination,” so she’s not particularly surprised to find some real ghosts. What does come as a surprise is that her sister, Emma, is developing her own latent psychic powers, and the locals are being stalked by a serial killer. Jessie’s fellow Haven employee, Nathan Navarro, is on the killer’s trail, as are a journalist and a group of ghost hunters, but they all act in isolation, increasing their risk and lessening their chances of success. The juxtaposition of the idyllic town and the sadistic sociopath makes the horrors of the crimes stand out, but the basic investigative errors made by just about all of the characters seem to come straight from a schlock horror film with the audience yelling, “Don’t go in there!”

Readers’ Note: If you’d like to binge read, starting with the first book in the Bishop/Special Crimes Unit series, check out book 1 Stealing Shadows.

The Messy Lives of Book People by Phaedra Patrick

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

The Messy Lives of Book People

What if you had the chance to step into your favorite author’s shoes? That’s what happens to Liv–wife, mother, aspiring writer, and house cleaner. When the famous recluse and best-selling author Essie dies unexpectedly, Liv learns that Essie’s final wish was for Liv to finish her manuscript on her behalf, while keeping her death a secret. But to accomplish this, Liv must unravel Essie’s past to find a perfect ending for her characters. Liv quickly discovers that nothing pertaining to Essie is as it seems, while her journey shakes up her marriage and family life and calls into question who gets to do “real” writing. Fans of lively fiction will be instantly drawn into the world Patrick (The Secrets of Love Story Bridge, 2020) creates with her signature charming, breezy style which is further enlivened with nods to popular literature. The elusive Essie is part J. D. Salinger and part J. K. Rowling, the plot pairs The Devil Wears Prada with Weekend at Bernie’s, and Patrick imbues this novel about writing a novel with just the right touch of suspense. – Booklist Review

Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance: A Novel by Alison Espach

(Available Formats: Print Book & downloadable audiobook)

Notes On Your Sudden Disppearance

A young woman addresses her older sister, who died when they were teens, in Espach’s inventive and powerful latest (after The Adults). Sally Holt, now 28, continues to find her life shaped by sister Kathy’s absence, prompting her to recount her life story, here unfolded in second-person narration. As a child, Sally is the subject of family concern because of her shyness, while Kathy, three years older, is comfortable in the spotlight and praised for her beauty. Despite the sisters’ contrasting temperaments, they are each other’s closest confidantes as they grow up in 1990s small-town Connecticut. Of particular interest to them both is high school senior Billy Barnes—a dreamy basketball player and the son of the town florist—who is in the grade above Kathy. After Billy saves 13-year-old Sally from drowning at the public pool, he begins dating Kathy, to Sally’s fascination and envy. A car accident involving all three teenagers permanently shifts the Holt family dynamic (“To sue for reckless driving or not to sue? That was the question,” Sally narrates, describing the tension between her parents over what to do about Billy, who was behind the wheel). In the aftermath, Billy and Sally unite in their shared grief and guilt. Espach captures the minutiae of love and loss with unflinching clarity and profound compassion, and pulls off the second-person point of view unusually well. Readers will be deeply moved. – Starred Publishers Weekly Review

Thank You, Goodnight: A Novel by Andy Abramowitz

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Thank You Goodnight

This very funny, deftly done debut follows Teddy Tremble, once a famous rock star, now a stodgy lawyer. When Teddy comes face-to-face with a less than flattering photo hanging in London’s Tate gallery, labeling him a has-been, he is suddenly overtaken by the old fire to write songs. Then legendary producer Sonny Rivers gives Teddy’s new music the green light, and Teddy decides to get the old band back together. His drummer is a devoted teacher and family man and must be cajoled into giving it one more try; the highly dysfunctional lead guitarist, who is living in his ex-wife’s basement, has been waiting for this moment for years. Meanwhile, the female bassist, Teddy’s long-lost love, who never had much use for the trappings of the rock-star lifestyle, just wants to play music. With a good deal of compassion and a great eye for the comic detail, Abramowitz delves a little deeper here than is typical of a rock ‘n’ roll novel. Teddy struggles to let go of the ambition and self-aggrandizement that led to the band’s implosion, and his rebirth is a pleasure to behold. – Booklist Review

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Victoria

Drawing on Queen Victoria’s diaries, which she first started reading when she was a student at Cambridge University, Daisy Goodwin—creator and writer of the new PBS Masterpiece drama Victoria and author of the bestselling novels The American Heiress and The Fortune Hunter—brings the young nineteenth-century monarch, who would go on to reign for 63 years, richly to life in this magnificent novel.

Early one morning, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria is roused from bed with the news that her uncle William IV has died and she is now Queen of England. The men who run the country have doubts about whether this sheltered young woman, who stands less than five feet tall, can rule the greatest nation in the world.

Despite her age, however, the young queen is no puppet. She has very definite ideas about the kind of queen she wants to be, and the first thing is to choose her name.

“I do not like the name Alexandrina,” she proclaims. “From now on I wish to be known only by my second name, Victoria.”

Next, people say she must choose a husband. Everyone keeps telling her she’s destined to marry her first cousin, Prince Albert, but Victoria found him dull and priggish when they met three years ago. She is quite happy being queen with the help of her prime minister, Lord Melbourne, who may be old enough to be her father but is the first person to take her seriously.

On June 19th, 1837, she was a teenager. On June 20th, 1837, she was a queen. Daisy Goodwin’s impeccably researched and vividly imagined new book brings readers Queen Victoria as they have never seen her before.

When Women Were Dragons: A Novel by Kelly Barnhill

(Available Formats: Print Book)

When Women Were Dragons

Newbery winner Barnhill (The Girl Who Drank the Moon) makes her adult debut with a deeply felt exploration of feminism in an alternate fantastical history. Alex Green was a child in Wisconsin in 1955 when over 600,000 American women spontaneously turned into dragons, including her beloved Aunt Marla, and flew away. Alex’s mother brings Marla’s daughter Beatrice to live with them and, like the rest of American society, refuses to even discuss dragons. Alex grows up adoring her younger cousin, and their close friendship assuages the stress she feels from her mother’s pressure to succeed at school, as well as from her chauvinist father. After Alex’s mother dies of cancer, her father moves the girls into a tiny apartment where he offers meager financial support and forbids Alex from shopping at the grocery store, afraid people will think he can’t provide for them. Determined to get to college, Alex plows through high school with the help of a librarian; she also cautions Beatrice over her “dangerous” attraction to images of angry dragons. Meanwhile, flyers promising the truth about the “Great Dragoning” begin to appear around town, and scientists try to determine the cause of the women’s metamorphosis. Barnhill makes palpable Alex’s sense of loss as well as the strictures of mid-century American life. This allegory packs a punch. – Publishers Weekly Review

You Have a Friend in 10A: Stories by Maggie Shipstead:

(Available Formats: Print Book)

You Have A Friend In 10 A

From the Booker Prize nominee and New York Times best-selling author of Great Circle, a piercing, irresistible first collection of short stories exquisite in their craft and audacious in their range
A love triangle plays out over decades on a Montana dude ranch. A hurdler and a gymnast spend a single night together in the Olympic village. Mistakes and mysteries weave an intangible web around an old man’s deathbed in Paris, connecting disparate destinies. On the slopes of an unfinished ski resort, a young woman searches for her vanished lover. A couple’s Romanian honeymoon goes ominously awry, and, in the mesmerizing title story, a former child actress breaks with her life in a Hollywood cult.

In these and other stories, knockout after knockout, Maggie Shipstead delivers another “extraordinary” (New York Times) work of fiction and seals her reputation as a writer of “breathtaking range and skill” (Kirkus Reviews). Rich in imagination and dazzling in its shapeshifting style, You Have a Friend in 10A excavates the complexities of love, sex, and life in ways unsparing and hilarious, sharp-eyed and tender.

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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