Suggested Reading July 26, 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, August 2, 2022.

An Appetite For Violets: A Novel by Martine Bailey

(Available Formats: Print Book)

An Appetite for Violets

Biddy Leigh, a poor fatherless cottager, has reached the pinnacle of happiness in life as undercook at Mawton Hall with marriage to the handsome Jem in her future, but her plans go awry with the unexpected arrival of Lady Carinna, the absent old master’s very young, very demanding new wife. Not only is Lady Carinna impetuous and imperious, she is also abruptly seized with a sudden desire to travel to her uncle’s estate in Italy and insists on Biddy’s accompanying her, plunging that unflappable young lady into mysteries and adventures that challenge her to the utmost of her considerably resourceful nature. As we follow Biddy and her companions on their continental travels, we are treated to her gastronomic journal filled with sensual and revealing details. VERDICT Debut novelist (and award-winning amateur cook) Bailey whips up a tasty confection of history, mystery, and intrigue. Fans of such 18th-century writers as James Boswell, Tobias Smollett, Henry Fielding, and Samuel Richardson will savor this delicious read. – Starred Library Journal

The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser

(Available Formats: Print Book & Large Print)

The Bookshop of Second Chances

A woman desperate to turn a new page heads to the Scottish coast and finds herself locked in a battle of wills with an infuriatingly aloof bookseller in this utterly heartwarming debut, perfect for readers of Evvie Drake Starts Over.

“Humor and charm abound. . . . [This] love story hits the spot.”—Publishers Weekly

Thea Mottram is having a bad month. She’s been let go from her office job with no notice—and to make matters even worse, her husband of nearly twenty years has decided to leave her for one of her friends. Bewildered and completely lost, Thea doesn’t know what to do. But when she learns that a distant great uncle in Scotland has passed away, leaving her his home and a hefty antique book collection, she decides to leave Sussex for a few weeks. Escaping to a small coastal town where no one knows her seems to be exactly what she needs.

Almost instantly, Thea becomes enamored with the quaint cottage, comforted by its cozy rooms and lovely but neglected garden. The locals in nearby Baldochrie are just as warm, quirky, and inviting. The only person she can’t seem to win over is bookshop owner Edward Maltravers, to whom she hopes to sell her uncle’s book collection. His gruff attitude—fueled by an infamous, long-standing feud with his brother, a local lord—tests Thea’s patience. But bickering with Edward proves oddly refreshing and exciting, leading Thea to develop feelings she hasn’t experienced in a long time. As she follows a thrilling yet terrifying impulse to stay in Scotland indefinitely, Thea realizes that her new life may quickly become just as complicated as the one she was running from.

The Church of Baseball: The Making of Bull Durham: Home Runs, Bad Calls, Crazy Fights, Big Swings, and a Hit by Ron Shelton

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The Church of Baseball

From the award-winning screenwriter and director of cult classic Bull Durham, the extremely entertaining behind-the-scenes story of the making of the film, and an insightful primer on the art and business of moviemaking.

“This book tells you how to make a movie—the whole nine innings of it—out of nothing but sheer will.” —Tony Gilroy, writer/director of Michael Clayton and The Bourne Legacy

“The only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the church of baseball.” —Annie in Bull Durham

Bull Durham, the breakthrough 1988 film about a minor league baseball team, is widely revered as the best sports movie of all time. But back in 1987, Ron Shelton was a first-time director and no one was willing to finance a movie about baseball—especially a story set in the minors. The jury was still out on Kevin Costner’s leading-man potential, while Susan Sarandon was already a has-been. There were doubts. But something miraculous happened, and The Church of Baseball attempts to capture why.

From organizing a baseball camp for the actors and rewriting key scenes while on set, to dealing with a short production schedule and overcoming the challenge of filming the sport, Shelton brings to life the making of this beloved American movie. Shelton explains the rarely revealed ins and outs of moviemaking, from a film’s inception and financing, screenwriting, casting, the nuts and bolts of directing, the postproduction process, and even through its release. But this is also a book about baseball and its singular romance in the world of sports. Shelton spent six years in the minor leagues before making this film, and his experiences resonate throughout this book.

Full of wry humor and insight, The Church of Baseball tells the remarkable story behind an iconic film.

Daughter of Redwinter by Ed McDonald

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Daughter of Redwinter

Raine is a young woman with a forbidden gift: she can see and speak to the dead. If discovered, a public stoning is the best she could hope for. She’s survived for 17 years by keeping her mouth–and heart–closed. Caring about people isn’t practical in Raine’s knife-edged world, so naturally when she rescues a helpless woman pursued by men wielding powerful magic, it all goes to hell. The woman was carrying a page from a cursed book, and if not for these men–warrior magicians called Draoihn–she would have raised an ancient evil. Raine accompanies the Draoihn to Redwinter as a witness, hoping to learn magic, the kind that might help her survive rather than get her killed. McDonald’s thrilling coming-of-age fantasy, first in a series, also excels as a suspenseful mystery, as Raine is approached by different factions investigating the theft of the cursed page. McDonald’s medieval fantasy world feels lived-in, with a robust history, an intricate magic system, and a host of fascinating characters, but Raine herself–vulnerable but fierce, direct, and almost ruthlessly practical–is the heart of this memorable story. – Booklist Review

Hokuloa Road: A Novel by Elizabeth Hand

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Hokuloa Road

After COVID grinds his carpentry work in Maine to a halt, Grady Kendall takes a long shot and applies for a job as caretaker in Hawaii at an isolated island estate on Hokuloa Road owned by eccentric millionaire Wesley Minton. Grady’s fantasies of a Hawaiian paradise take a dark turn, however, when he’s warned upon arrival that the island tends to punish its inhabitants, and a glaring memorial to dozens of recently vanished people lends foreboding weight to those words. Later, on his own after Minton decamps to an outpost on sacred Hokuloa Point, Grady is confronted by evidence of the island’s lore: an otherworldly, dog-like creature appears near his cottage. When Grady links the creature’s warnings to the disappearance of a woman he befriended on the plane to Hawaii, he realizes he’s been chosen to either find the missing or join them. Horror collides with amateur sleuthing here as the island’s protective spirits seek justice for a predator’s crimes against its sacred space and its adopted people. Hand, author of the iconic 12 Monkeys, is a master at genre-blending stories that feature carefully dosed supernatural malevolence. Here, she wields that mix of horror and thriller to draw together a cast of sympathetically awkward, fiercely loyal outcasts. Another strange, satisfying winner.

The Metavers And How It Will Revolutionize Everything by Mathew Ball

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The Metaverse

In this thorough guide to the future of the internet, Ball, the former global head of strategy for Amazon Studios, introduces readers to the metaverse, “a massively scaled and interoperable network of real-time rendered 3D virtual worlds that can be experienced synchronously and persistently by an effectively unlimited number of users.” In the first section, Ball explores some of the metaverse’s precursors, which largely consist of online video games such as Minecraft and Fortnite that allow players from all over the world to jump into the same in-game locations and have a shared experience. The second part covers technological challenges to making the metaverse a reality, notably outdated infrastructure and a lack of low-latency connections (which are required to efficiently transmit large amounts of data through a network). The final section predicts how metaverse technology might change people’s lives: education and dating could be reimagined, he posits, and the most exciting prognostications are for the entertainment business, where filmmakers are using real-time rendering engines for sets and greater interactivity is coming for movies and TV shows. Informative and accessible, this is worth a look for anyone curious about what’s around the digital corner. Publishers Weekly Review

The Path of Thorns by A. G. Slatter

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The Path of Thorns

Slatter returns to her Sourdough universe (following All the Murmuring Bones) for a standalone dark, feminist fairy tale. Asher Todd arrives at Morwood manor as a governess carrying a dark secret. She’s there to exact revenge against the family and fulfill a promise to her mother, all using forbidden witchcraft that she must keep a secret or risk arrest and execution. She hastily puts a sinister scheme into action, but her plans go awry as she finds the Morwoods have dark motives of their own. The more Asher’s forced to pivot, the more she becomes entangled in the web of secrets and lies she has woven, and the greater the cost of her eventual victory becomes. Slatter’s careful prose gradually builds a delicious tension, culminating in a genuinely satisfying twist. The tale draws inspiration from a medley of European folklore and creatures, and delves deeply into their thematic implications, interrogating motherhood, obligation, and toxic family dynamics. Boasting an unflinchingly morally gray heroine and all the grit and nuanced political awareness of Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver or Ava Reid’s The Wolf and the Woodsman, this is a truly enthralling fantasy. – Publishers Weekly Review

The Sizzle Paradox by Lily Menon

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The Sizzle Paradox

Two best friends fake date to try to discover the perfect formula for love.

Not only is Lyric Bishop unlucky in love, but she’s beginning to feel like a fraud. She’s in her penultimate year at Columbia as an experimental psychology doctoral student, and her focus on sexual chemistry should make her a pro at dating. But other than the fact that she’s a self-proclaimed “picky bitch,” she can’t seem to solve her biggest problem yet: the Sizzle Paradox. Lyric rates her romantic and sexual partners by the Sizzle Paradox Scale—scoring elements like “pre-sex sexual chemistry” or “initiation to kiss”—but the more she’s into a guy, the less chance they have at a healthy, committed relationship, hence the paradox. Everyone thinks that she should date her hot best friend and roommate, Kian Montgomery, but hooking up with him would be a “disaster of civilization-ending proportions.” Lyric and Kian “live and thrive” in the friend zone, and neither of them would ever do anything to ruin their bond. Besides, Kian is a total lady’s man and goes through women like “sheets of paper,” though he’s starting to become bored with the no-strings-attached lifestyle. So when Lyric’s thesis reaches a roadblock, Kian volunteers to tutor her with a few fake dates to help them both crack the Sizzle Paradox once and for all. Menon’s latest novel follows the unbeatable rom-com blueprint of laugh-out-loud moments (“I scowl at him; he doesn’t need to make it sound like I’m some repulsive species of sea cucumber”) and sweltering sex scenes (“Everything about him is an aphrodisiac: his voice that’s barely a rumbling growl in the dark like thunder on a steamy night”). While at times Lyric can prove frustratingly clueless and immature when faced with her romantic prospects, readers will no doubt find her and Kian’s friendship endearing and their blistering chemistry unmistakable. Starred Kirkus Review

Stephen King Two-For: Blaze & The Regulators by Richard Bachman (Stephen King writing pseudonymously)

Blaze

(Available Formats: Print Book & CD audiobook)

Blaze

Master storyteller Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman) presents this gripping and remarkable New York Times bestselling crime novel about a damaged young man who embarks on an ill-advised kidnapping plot—a work as taut and riveting as anything he has ever written.
Once upon a time, a fellow named Richard Bachman wrote Blaze on an Olivetti typewriter, then turned the machine over to Stephen King, who used it to write Carrie. Bachman died in 1985 (“cancer of the pseudonym”), but this last gripping Bachman novel resurfaced after being hidden away for decades—an unforgettable crime story tinged with sadness and suspense.
Clayton Blaisdell, Jr., was always a small-time delinquent. None too bright either, thanks to the beatings he got as a kid. Then Blaze met George Rackley, a seasoned pro with a hundred cons and one big idea. The kidnapping should go off without a hitch, with George as the brains behind their dangerous scheme. But there’s only one problem: by the time the deal goes down, Blaze’s partner in crime is dead. Or is he?

– –

The Regulators

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

The Regulators

Master storyteller Stephen King presents the classic, terrifying New York Times bestseller of those caught between the surreal forces of good versus evil in a small suburban Ohio town.
“The red van rolls past…humming and glinting. …Things are happening fast now, although no one on Poplar Street realizes it yet.”

It’s a gorgeous midsummer afternoon along Poplar Street in the peaceful suburbia of Wentwort, Ohio, where life is as pleasant as you ever dreamed it could be. But that’s all about to end in blaze of gunfire and sudden violence, forever shattering the tranquility and the good times here. For the physical makeup of Poplar Street itself is now being transformed into a surreal landscape straight out of the active imagination of the innocent and vulnerable Seth Garin—an autistic boy who’s been exposed to and possessed by a horrific, otherworldly force of evil, one with sadistic and murderous intent and who is willing to use whatever means necessary to grow ever stronger.

Switchboard Soldiers by Jennifer Chiaverini

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print, CD audiobook & eBook)

Switchboard Soldiers

Chiaverini’s enchanting latest (after The Women’s March) highlights the heroic efforts of a group of women who helped the U.S. war effort during WWI. After the U.S. joins the war in 1917, General Pershing discovers there’s a lack of adequate phone service in Europe. The Army then recruits French-and-English-speaking American women as telephone operators to serve in France in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, including Barnard-educated telephone operator Grace Banker, talented French vocalist Marie Miossec, and Belgian-born Valerie DeSmedt from Los Angeles. After undergoing training in New York, the women travel to France by ship, encountering the dangerous waters patrolled by German U-boats. Marie, who met a soldier on the train to New York, keeps writing to him, holding out hope that they may reunite after the war ends. As the women work tirelessly to ensure lines of communication remain open, they discover the meaning of true friendship and the resilience needed to live in sparse quarters while working long hours in less than ideal circumstances. Chiaverini brings her singular characters to life, including real historical figures, as they become united in the quest to serve their country. Fans of historical fiction will be captivated. – Publishers Weekly Review

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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