Suggested Reading August 23, 2022

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.

And the next Suggested Reading posting will be published on Tuesday, August 30, 2022.

Banned Books: The World’s Most Controversial Books, Past and Present by DK Books

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Banned Books

Immerse yourself in the stories behind the most shocking and infamous books ever published!

Censorship of one form or another has existed almost as long as the written word, while definitions of what is deemed “acceptable” in published works have shifted over the centuries, and from culture to culture.

Banned Books explores why some of the world’s most important literary classics and seminal non-fiction titles were once deemed too controversial for the public to read – whether for challenging racial or sexual norms, satirizing public figures, or simply being deemed unfit for young readers. From the banning of All Quiet on the Western Front and the repeated suppression of On the Origin of the Species, to 1984, Fahrenheit 45, Catcher in the Rye and Huckleberry Fin, this must-have volume examines the astonishing role that some banned books have played in changing history.

Packed with eye-opening insights into the history of the written word, and the political and social climate during the period of suppression or censorship, this is a must-read for anyone interested in literature, creative writing, politics, history, or the law.

Delve into this compelling collection of the world’s most controversial books to discover:

– Covers a broad range of genres and subject areas in fiction and non-fiction, ranging from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to Spycatcher

– Offers informative insights into society, politics, law, and religious beliefs, in different countries around the world

– Features images of first editions and specially commissioned illustrations of the books’ authors

– Includes extracts from the banned books along with key quotations about them

– Completely global in scope

A must-have volume for avid readers and literary scholars alike, alongside those with an interest in the law, politics and censorship, Banned Books profiles a selection of the most infamous, intriguing and controversial books ever written, whilst offering a unique perspective on the history of the written word, with insights into the often surprising reasons books have been banned throughout history and across the world.

Whether as a gift or self-purchase, this brilliant book is a must-have addition to the library of curious thinkers, borrowers and lifelong learners. If you enjoy Banned Books, then why not try Great Loves – the first title in DK’s quirky new hardback series, full of insightful and intriguing topics.

Dark Music by David Lagercrantz

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Dark Music

In Stockholm, soccer referee Jamal Kabir is murdered shortly after a confrontation with hot-headed soccer dad Giuseppe Costa. Officer Micaela Vargas, newly assigned to homicide, was raised in the same rough neighborhood as Costa, and new colleagues hope that this connection will draw out a confession. Instead, a consultation with renowned interrogation expert Hans Rekke lends support to Micaela’s growing conviction that Costa’s volatility doesn’t fit the scene’s evidence, which suggests a well-planned murder. Micaela manages to clear Costa but is booted from the case. Redemption comes later, when a chance meeting with Rekke grows into an off-the-books investigation of Kabir’s murder, which reaches back to the persecution of Soviet-trained musicians in Taliban-controlled Kabul and the Swedish government’s well-concealed role in CIA counter-terrorism operations.

Former journalist Lagercrantz, applauded by many for his novels continuing Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, has created a complex, Holmes-and-Watson alliance here that’s enhanced by brooding Scandinavian atmosphere, nuanced internal conflicts, and sharp-edged cultural divides. A well-constructed series starter, offering more to come. In Stockholm, soccer referee Jamal Kabir is murdered shortly after a confrontation with hot-headed soccer dad Giuseppe Costa. Officer Micaela Vargas, newly assigned to homicide, was raised in the same rough neighborhood as Costa, and new colleagues hope that this connection will draw out a confession. Instead, a consultation with renowned interrogation expert Hans Rekke lends support to Micaela’s growing conviction that Costa’s volatility doesn’t fit the scene’s evidence, which suggests a well-planned murder. Micaela manages to clear Costa but is booted from the case. Redemption comes later, when a chance meeting with Rekke grows into an off-the-books investigation of Kabir’s murder, which reaches back to the persecution of Soviet-trained musicians in Taliban-controlled Kabul and the Swedish government’s well-concealed role in CIA counter-terrorism operations. Former journalist Lagercrantz, applauded by many for his novels continuing Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, has created a complex, Holmes-and-Watson alliance here that’s enhanced by brooding Scandinavian atmosphere, nuanced internal conflicts, and sharp-edged cultural divides. A well-constructed series starter, offering more to come. Booklist Review

Forest Walking: Discovering the Trees and Woodlands of North America by Peter Wohlleben

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

Forest Walking

Forester Wohlleben and editor Billinghurst reconvene for this enlightening look at the power of forests (after The Hidden Life of Trees). Being in the woods can force one to slow down and offers an opportunity to hone senses, the authors write, and they offer a guide to navigating woodland areas. This includes tips for seasonal walks, wildlife spotting, foraging, and outdoor attire, and they suggest some activities for children, too, such as painting with mud on a tree trunk and learning to play the beech leaf, which makes a squeaking sound when blown. Along the way, Wohlleben and Billinghurst provide insight into how forests operate: “Thrifty red spruces,” for example, “engineer an ecosystem” in soil that lacks nutrients, and even dead trees serve as homes for wildlife and provide nutrients to the earth. Trees “shape the soil, the climate, the frequency of fire, and the path taken by water in the surrounding landscape.” The survey is poetic and full of marvels, and readers will be encouraged by the authors’ insistence that a simple walk is all one needs to find adventure. This beautifully written homage will have readers ready to get outside. – Starred Publishers Weekly Review

Fox Creek by William Kent Krueger

(Available Formats: Print Book, eBook & downloadable audiobook)

Fox Creek

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

The Lost Ticket by Freya Sampson

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Frank Weiss met a red-haired artist on the 88 bus in London in 1962, and promptly lost her number. Sixty years later and in the early stages of dementia, he rides the 88 route, hoping to run into her again. Red-haired Libby is fresh off a breakup with nothing to do but babysit her nephew. One day on the bus, she sketches a punk with a mohawk hairdo, who promptly turns around and yells at her. When Libby meets Frank, she feels compelled to find his lost (potential) love, and Frank insists she enlist the help of his carer–who turns out to be the punk. Dylan thinks Libby’s idea to plaster the route with missed-connection signs is a bad one, but he helps anyway. As they work, they meet people whose lives Frank has touched, while Frank faces the fact that he may not be able to live independently anymore. As she did in The Last Chance Library (2021), Sampson corrals a cast of misfits for a common cause, resulting in a funny, sweet, tearjerker of a tale. – Booklist Review

Murder in Westminster by Vanessa Riley

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Murder In Westminister

Multipublished, multigenre author Riley’s (A Duke, the Spy, an Artist, and a Lie; Sister Mother Warrior) new historical mystery series is set in Regency-era England and introduces Lady Abigail Worthing. Lady Worthing has an ongoing feud with her next-door neighbor, Stapleton Henderson, over boundary issues and disruptions. From her side, it’s her dog Teacup who causes problems, and from Henderson’s, his estranged wife Juliet. The battling neighbors are forced to become uneasy allies when Juliet is found murdered at the border between their properties and his alibi includes Abigail. Abigail fears suspicion could fall upon her because of her racial background, and Henderson likely worries that Juliet’s profligate behavior will make him a likely suspect. Each has reasons to maintain the fake alibi but conclude that the best way to make it all go away is to unmask the true murderer. VERDICT Riley’s introduction to Lady Worthing is a bit overstuffed with plot and subplots, but fans of Regency-era historical mysteries featuring intelligent heroines (such as Andrea Penrose’s Lady Arianna or Tasha Alexander’s Lady Emily) will find this series a welcome addition to the genre. – Library Journal Review

One Person, One Vote: A Surprising History of Gerrymandering in America
by Nick Seabrook

(Available Formats: Print Book)

One Person One Vote

Seabrook, a professor of political science and public administration at the University of North Florida and an expert on election law, gives readers an illuminating look into the history of gerrymandering. Although the term has varying definitions, it is, broadly speaking, “a concerted effort to make the votes of certain groups of people matter more than the votes of others.” Beginning with examples of gerrymandering in the Middle Ages, Seabrook moves quickly to the American colonies, profiling George Burrington, governor of the province of North Carolina. His ostentatious personality and equally brash election meddling is an early example of disturbing practices that continue to this day. Originating from the actions of Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry, the word gerrymandering is now commonly used in conjunction with redistricting litigation, district line redrawing, and continual failures of the court systems to address brazen injustices, including voter disenfranchisement, that are baked into efforts to win at all costs. With elections on the horizon, One Person One Vote is a timely and trustworthy review of legislative manipulations that reinforce entrenched powers that be and further undermine disadvantaged constituencies. – Booklist Review

Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

Other Birds

In Allen’s charming latest (after First Frost), a motley cast inhabit a condo building on a South Carolina island. Recent high school graduate Zoey Hennessey leaves behind her father and stepmother in Tulsa, Okla., to spend the summer in her deceased mother’s apartment in the Dellawisp, named after the birds who stalk the residents. There, Zoey is disappointed to find little in the way of clues about the life of her late Cuban immigrant mother, Paloma Fernandez Hennessey, but she does encounter a cast of intriguing and quirky neighbors, including Charlotte, a henna artist raised in a cult who is at first reluctant to become Zoey’s friend and hides a major secret. Lizbeth Lime, a hoarder killed by a falling bookshelf on Zoey’s first night at the condo, providing an impetus for the plot as Zoey is hired by the manager to clear out Lizbeth’s apartment, then gets help from Charlotte. Allen skillfully weaves the various threads, as vignettes narrated by ghosts of former building residents provide further context as the plot unfurls, shedding light on the mysterious birds and absent figures such as Lizbeth’s estranged son and her reclusive sister. This will move readers. – Publishers Weekly Review

Peg and Rose Solve a Murder: A Charming and Humorous Cozy Mystery by Laurien Berenson

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Peg & Rose Slove A Murder

Murder, She Wrote meets The Golden Girls in the award-winning author’s brand-new series! Two cantankerous septuagenarians, opposites in every way, put aside their differences to stop a killer… if they don’t throttle each other first!

Rose Donovan looks for the good in everyone. With her sister-in-law, Peg, that sometimes requires a lot of searching. Even a sixty-something former nun like Rose has her limits, and gruff Peg Turnbull sure knows how to push them. But after forty years of bickering, they’re attempting to start over, partnering up to join the local bridge club.

Peg and Rose barely have a chance to celebrate their first win before one of the club’s most accomplished players is killed in his home. As the newest members, the sisters-in-law come under scrutiny and decide to start some digging of their own. Bridge is typically seen as a wholesome pastime, yet this group of senior citizens harbors a wealth of vices, including gambling, cheating, and adultery . . .

By comparison, Peg and Rose’s fractious relationship is starting to feel almost functional. But as their suspect list narrows, they’re unaware that their logic has a dangerous flaw. And they’ll have to hope that their teamwork holds steady when they’re confronted by a killer who’s through with playing games . . .

The Spear Cuts Through Water by Simon Jimenez

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Spear Cuts Through Water

Jimenez (The Vanished Birds) crafts an elusive, layered epic that thoroughly rewards its demands. In an outpost of an unnamed country ruled by a ruthless emperor and his three sons, the Terrors, commander Uhi Araya convinces Keema of the Daware Tribe, a one-armed mercenary, to swear an oath to deliver a spear to someone near the capital. Shortly thereafter, the outpost is sacked and Keema flees with Jun, an elite guard, and the goddess Jun has freed from her prison. Together with a disabled, telepathic tortoise and the dying deity, they crisscross the country with a plot to find allies among the increasingly discontented people and end the cruel reign of the Terrors. Jimenez interweaves this sprawling journey with flash-forwards following an unnamed character whose family possesses the spear generations later as they watch their grandmother’s stories of these heroes unfold via the dream-accessed Inverted Theater. The rapidly shifting perspectives and slippery plot make for a steep barrier to entry, but the beautiful prose and inventive worldbuilding pay dividends. Though this won’t be for everyone, committed readers who enjoy piecing together stories will be blown away. – 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.

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.

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