Hi everyone, here are our recommended reads for the week!
*More information on the three catalogs and available formats is found at the end of the list of recommended reads*
Weekly Suggested Reading postings are published on Tuesdays, except on occasion when it is super busy in Library Land, and then they are published on Wednesdays, as is the case today!
And the next Suggested Reading posting will be published on Tuesday, August 23, 2022.
The Accidental Pinup by Danielle Jackson
(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)
Jackson’s debut drops readers into a loving found family on the verge of extraordinary success in the world of inclusive lingerie. Cassie Harris’s pinup photography business, Buxom Boudoir, is booming with the help of her best friend, Dana, a plus-size model and influencer. Now they’ve turned their combined passion for body inclusive fashion into a line with Luscious Lingerie. Art directing the line’s photography could catapult Cassie’s career, and both she and Dana are sure no one else can translate their vision. Enter Reid Montgomery, the man who consistently scoops Cassie’s dream gigs with similarly styled photography that always focuses on industry standard models—and who now steals the art director gig out from under Cassie. Then Dana’s pregnancy lands her on bed rest just before the launch, leaving the shoot short a model, and Cassie sees a chance to wrest back some creative control by filling in. Cassie and Reid’s ensuing enemies-to-lovers romance charms, but the heart of the story lies in Cassie’s determination to build a career in a world where fat women are often overlooked. A glamorous cast of bold, driven women—and the men who learn to love them—makes this romance a treat. – Publishers Weekly Review
All This Could Be Different: A Novel by Sarah Thankam Mathews
(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)
Sneha, narrator of Mathews’ polished debut, just graduated college and landed in Milwaukee, “”a rusted city where I had nobody, parents two oceans away.”” Between long days working her consulting job in change management (“”I should have majored in Microsoft Excel.””), Sneha amasses fine furniture for her paid-for apartment (negotiated into her contract), surfs the apps, and finds herself in a family of friends, who are a band of warm secondary characters, especially the inimitable Tig. As to her family of origin and the oceans now separating them, there was American-Dream success before there was a complete undoing, before Sneha’s parents did not refuse the money she wired home to India. The distance does nothing to diminish the pressure only-child Sneha feels to make something of herself, nor her constant low-grade fear that they would never accept that she’s queer–a fear she extinguishes with brutal force after her plan to sleep around fails and she falls for Marina. Recounting this heady time a decade or so later, Sneha is a magnetic teller of her tale of finding love, growing up, and summoning the power to change–and choose–her life. Kindred to Brandon Taylor’s stellar Real Life (2020), this novel burrows deep. – Starred Booklist Review
Babysitter by Joyce Carol Oates
(Available Formats: Print Book)
In the late 1970s, in the suburbs of Detroit, someone was abducting and murdering young children. Although there were a few suspects at the time, the killer, who was sometimes called the Babysitter, has never been identified. It is against this backdrop of fear and uncertainty that Oates sets her latest novel, which is based on a short story she published in 2005. Hannah Jarrett, a married mother, is tormented by her decision to follow up on a flirtation with a man she barely knows (even his name is a mystery to her). As she becomes increasingly obsessed with the man, and as her family falls apart around her, Hannah wonders if it’s possible he could be the killer. The novel eludes easy classification. It most resembles a psychological thriller, but with dark, torturous, bloody undercurrents running through it. Oates risks losing squeamish readers here, but that’s hardly a surprise from an author who has long embraced edgy subject matter. Also unsurprising is the quality of the writing: carefully constructed sentences, pitch-perfect dialogue, and a central character who is simultaneously sympathetic and repellent. An outstanding novel from a true modern master who jumps across genres with unrivaled dexterity. – Booklist Review
Breaking the Age Code: How Your Beliefs About Aging Determine How Long and Well You Live by Becca Levy, PhD
(Available Formats: Print Book)
Yale professor and leading expert on the psychology of successful aging, Dr. Becca Levy, draws on her ground-breaking research to show how age beliefs can be improved so they benefit all aspects of the aging process, including the way genes operate and the extension of life expectancy by 7.5 years.
The often-surprising results of Levy’s science offer stunning revelations about the mind-body connection. She demonstrates that many health problems formerly considered to be entirely due to the aging process, such as memory loss, hearing decline, and cardiovascular events, are instead influenced by the negative age beliefs that dominate in the US and other ageist countries. It’s time for all of us to rethink aging and Breaking the Age Code shows us how to do just that.
Based on her innovative research, stories that range from pop culture to the corporate boardroom, and her own life, Levy shows how age beliefs shape all aspects of our lives. She also presents a variety of fascinating people who have benefited from positive age beliefs as well as an entire town that has flourished with these beliefs.
Breaking the Age Code is a landmark work, presenting not only easy-to-follow techniques for improving age beliefs so they can contribute to successful aging, but also a blueprint to reduce structural ageism for lasting change and an age-just society.
Fox Creek by William Kent Krueger
(Available Formats: Print Book, eBook & audiobook)
In Edgar winner Krueger’s outstanding 19th mystery featuring PI Cork O’Connor of Minnesota’s Tamarack County (after 2021’s Lightning Strike), Cork is tending the grill at his burger joint when he’s approached by a stranger who introduces himself as Louis Morriseau. Louis wants the PI to find his wife, Dolores, who he believes is having an affair with Henry Meloux. Cork immediately knows something is wrong, because his friend Henry, an Ojibwe healer, is more than 100 years old. Henry is indeed with Dolores, who’s having a cleansing sweat under the guidance of Cork’s wife, Rainy, who’s also Henry’s great-niece. Dolores later confirms that the stranger is not her husband, Louis, who has been missing. Henry uses his highly developed sense of mysticism to lead Dolores and Rainy deep into the Boundary Waters wilderness to escape two killers pursuing the women. Meanwhile, Cork and Dolores’s brother-in-law, Anton, a tribal cop, follows the killers. Krueger skillfully blends an evocative look at nature’s beauty and peril with Native American lore. Not just regional mystery fans will be enthralled. – Starred Publishers Weekly Review
Girl, Forgotten by Karin Slaughter
(Available Formats: Print Book & CD audiobook)
In Slaughter’s latest thriller, Deputy U.S. Marshall Andrea (“Andy”) Oliver, a rookie on the force, takes an assignment in Baltimore to protect a judge who’s been receiving death threats. For Andy, the assignment has a personal element: the judge is the mother of Emily Vaughn, who was murdered decades earlier, and it is possible that Andy’s biological father, the incarcerated cult leader Nick Harp, was Emily’s killer. Slaughter’s Pieces of Her (2018) introduced Andy, but it focused on her mother, Laura; here the attention turns to Andy, who has grown into a strong woman (much like Laura) and is determined to dig deeper into her complex family history. But can she find her way through 40 years of cover-up and conspiracy to uncover the truth about Emily, who was killed just as she was about to graduate from high school? It’s a terrific premise, and Slaughter really goes to town with it. Layer upon layer of mystery, a great cast of characters, and some genuinely startling twists. This is Slaughter at her best. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Slaughter’s thrillers always draw a crowd, but this one will benefit from the popularity of the Netflix series based on Pieces of Her, which stars Bella Heathcoate as Andy. – Starred Booklist Review
Haven by Emma Donoghue
(Available Formats: Print Book, CD audiobook, eBook & downloadable audiobook)
Skellig Michael, a steep, rocky island off the southwestern Irish coast, is the setting for this atmospheric work, an imagined story about its early human inhabitants. In the seventh century, Artt, a scholar-priest guided by a dream, asks two monks to join him on a pilgrimage to an empty isle “less tainted by the world’s breath.” Excited at achieving a greater life purpose, the elderly Cormac, a talented storyteller and mason, agrees to go, as does Trian, a lanky, adventurous younger man. From the days-long boat journey through their mission to establish an island settlement and worship God appropriately, their work is arduous. Donoghue’s (The Pull of the Stars, 2020) prose glimmers with images of the pristine natural world, including many varieties of sea birds, but as Artt’s sanctimonious piety increasingly challenges common sense, Cormac and Trian wonder if their vows of obedience will doom them. As always, Donoghue extracts realistic emotions from characters interacting within close quarters and delicately explores the demands of faith. This evocative historical novel also works as a cautionary tale about the dangers of religious control. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Donoghue’s readers and all lovers of thought-provoking literary fiction will be looking for this quietly dramatic tale. Booklist
Heartbreaker: A Hell’s Belles Novel by Sarah MacLean
(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)
A brilliant cutpurse and a crusading duke star in this Victorian-set romp. Adelaide Frampton is the daughter of London’s most dreaded criminal. No surprise then that she’s developed keen skills, a repertoire highly useful to those devoted to punishing the untouchable men of London’s elite. The Duke of Clayborn has been watching Addie in ballrooms for years, wondering why he seems to be only one to notice her quick fingers, among other attributes. When they cross paths far outside the social scene, Addie wonders why she has not paid more attention to the duke. Warriors both, they are pulled into the same case, crossing swords and England as they race to save the day. MacLean gathered accolades for the first in her “Hell’s Belles” series (LJ star-earner Bombshell), and this book continues on that high note with a great deal of wit, heart, and heat. Smart writing, deep characterizations, and a zippy pace will keep readers immersed while MacLean’s deft hand at a number of romance tropes simply delights. VERDICT An essential title from a key author, buy in droves and share with fans of Erica Ridley. Starred Library Journal Review
The Housekeeper by Joy Fielding
(Available Formats: Print Book)
Fielding follows up the excellent Cul-de-Sac (2021) with this story of a woman who does the wrong thing for the right reasons. Jodi’s mother is in the advanced stages of Parkinson’s, and her father, while still fairly mobile, is in his late seventies. So Jodi convinces her parents to hire a housekeeper, a woman in her sixties who seems like she’ll be a perfect fit. Appearances can be deceiving. Distracted by a difficult home life–Jody and her novelist husband keep clashing, and he might be having an affair–Jodi misses the early signs of trouble. By the time she figures out that the housekeeper isn’t the person she appeared to be, it could be too late. This is exactly the sort of story Fielding tells superbly. It’s a character-driven thriller, and she excels at creating people who exude the breath of real life. It’s a subtle story, too, relying heavily on subtext and the reader’s ability to put the clues together–again, very much in the author’s wheelhouse. Fielding’s many followers will definitely want to add The Housekeeprer to their TBR lists, and any psychological-thriller readers who aren’t already familiar with Fielding’s work will start backtracking after reading this one. – Booklist Review
Overkill by Sandra Brown
(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print & CD audiobook)
#1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown delivers a riveting thriller in which a conflict of conscience for a former football star and an ambitious state prosecutor swiftly intensifies into a fight for their lives.
Former Super Bowl MVP quarterback Zach Bridger hasn’t seen his ex-wife, Rebecca Pratt, for some time—not since their volatile marriage imploded—so he’s shocked to receive a life-altering call about her. Rebecca has been placed on life support after a violent assault, and he—despite their divorce—has medical power-of-attorney. Zach is asked to make an impossible choice: keep her on life support or take her off of it. Buckling under the weight of the responsibility and the glare of public scrutiny, Zach ultimately walks away, letting Rebecca’s parents have the final say.
Four years later, Rebecca’s attacker, Eban—the scion of a wealthy family in Atlanta—gets an early release from prison. The ludicrous miscarriage of justice reeks of favoritism, and Kate Lennon, a brilliant state prosecutor, is determined to put him back behind bars. Rebecca’s parents have kept her alive all these years, but if her condition were to change—if she were to die—Eban could be retried on a new charge: murder.
It isn’t lost on Zach that in order for Eban to be charged with Rebecca’s murder, Zach must actually be the one to kill her. He rejects Kate’s legal standpoint but can’t resist their ill-timed attraction to each other. Eban, having realized the jeopardy he’s in, plots to make certain that neither Zach nor Kate lives to see the death of Rebecca—and the end of his freedom.
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.
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).
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.