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; unless I’m swamped because I was on vacation last week – and then, sometimes, the posts come out on Wednesdays!
And the next Suggested Reading posting will be published on Tuesday, October 18, 2022.
The Boys from Biloxi: A Legal Thriller by John Grisham
Publication Date: October 18, but you can put it on hold now!
(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)
#1 New York Times bestselling author John Grisham returns to Mississippi in his most gripping legal thriller yet, the riveting story of two sons of immigrant families who grow up as friends, but ultimately find themselves on opposite sides of the law. Grisham’s trademark twists and turns will keep you tearing through the pages until the stunning conclusion.
For most of the last hundred years, Biloxi was known for its beaches, resorts, and seafood industry. But it had a darker side. It was also notorious for corruption and vice, everything from gambling, prostitution, bootleg liquor, and drugs to contract killings. The vice was controlled by small cabal of mobsters, many of them rumored to be members of the Dixie Mafia.
Keith Rudy and Hugh Malco grew up in Biloxi in the sixties and were childhood friends, as well as Little League all-stars. But as teenagers, their lives took them in different directions. Keith’s father became a legendary prosecutor, determined to “clean up the Coast.” Hugh’s father became the “Boss” of Biloxi’s criminal underground. Keith went to law school and followed in his father’s footsteps. Hugh preferred the nightlife and worked in his father’s clubs. The two families were headed for a showdown, one that would happen in a courtroom.
Life itself hangs in the balance in The Boys from Biloxi, a sweeping saga rich with history and with a large cast of unforgettable characters.
Chorus: A Novel by Rebecca Kauffman
(Available Formats: Print Book)
In a rural Virginia farmhouse, seven children are born to Jim and Marie Shaw in Kauffman’s (The House on Fripp Island, 2020) lovely fourth novel. Readable and compelling chapters move around in time, ranging from 1903 to 1959, and in perspective, exploring how Marie’s death and one sister’s pregnancy at age 15 reverberate in the unfolding of connected, yet individual lives. Some Shaw children thrive while others struggle, yet all are somehow affected. The novel’s arrangement feels meaningful as turning-point moments in the siblings’ lives take center stage, one after the other. In Henry’s chapter, he spends an atypical day alone with his young daughter at the shore. The day is a parenting success, yet readers’ hearts will break with empathy as they understand how Henry’s own mother’s death influences this time separated from his wife. As the title invites us to consider, perhaps the most profound meaning is not taken from a singular experience but from the collective of family members’ voices. Kauffman’s writing style renders complex dynamics in simple, impactful language and scenes. – Booklist Review
Demon Copperhead: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver
(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print, CD Audiobook & eBook)
Kingsolver (Unsheltered) offers a deeply evocative story of a boy born to an impoverished single mother. In this self-styled, modern adaptation of Dickens’s David Copperfield, Demon Copperhead, 11, is the quick-witted son and budding cartoonist of a troubled young mother and a stepfather in southern Appalachia’s Lee County, Va.; eventually, his mother’s opioid addiction places Demon in various foster homes, where he is forced to earn his keep through work (even though his guardians are paid) and is always hungry from lack of food. After a guardian steals his money, Demon hitchhikes to Tennessee in search of his paternal grandmother. She is welcoming, but will not raise him, and sends him back to live with the town’s celebrated high school football coach as his new guardian, a widower who lives in a castle-like home with his boyish daughter, Angus. Demon’s teen years settle briefly with fame on the football field and a girlfriend, Dori. But stability is short-lived after a football injury and as he and Dori become addicted to opioids (“We were storybook orphans on drugs”). Kingsolver’s account of the opioid epidemic and its impact on the social fabric of Appalachia is drawn to heartbreaking effect. This is a powerful story, both brilliant in its many social messages regarding foster care, child hunger, and rural struggles, and breathless in its delivery. Starred Publishers Weekly Review
The Door of No Return by Kwame Alexander
(Available Formats: Print Book, eBook & Downloadable Audiobook)
Kofi lives a simple life, but it is a life he loves. He’s 11, just on the cusp of becoming a man, and he finds that there are things he must tackle before coming of age: proving his strength by beating his cousin at a swimming match, speaking up so that the girl he likes knows that he admires her, and learning what the elders really mean by their coded language. When Kofi’s brother accidentally kills a neighboring chief’s nephew in a wrestling match, Kofi instinctively knows that everything in the world is going to change; he just doesn’t realize how much. Alexander weaves a breathtaking tale that is ripe with the juxtaposing emotions that come with any coming-of-age story. Through Alexander’s verse, readers are reminded of the beauty and unbounded richness that Ghana and her people have to offer. Simultaneously, while offering a picture of mirth and tangible humanity, Alexander immerses readers in the reality of being Asante during the age of slavery. We see Kofi’s humanity slowly ripped away alongside the dehumanization of an entire race. Alexander has written a masterpiece, one that powerfully and truthfully gives agency to the Black voices of the past. Profound and important reading.
HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Alexander is one of the biggest names in kidlit right now, and his ardent fans will be eagerly awaiting his latest. – Starred Booklist Review
The Girl From Guernica by Karen Robards
(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print, eBook, Downloadable Audiobook & Hoopla instant checkout eBook)
In Guernica in 1937, Sibi is living with her sisters and mother, apart from her father in Germany. Civil war is waging and their time in Guernica is becoming precarious. An absorbing scene of a terrible bombing brings tragedy to Sibi’s family and she forms a kinship with an American OSS officer, Griff, who has taken to making sure Sibi and her sisters are safe. Leaving Guernica for Germany, Sibi walks into an entirely different sort of danger when Nazi officers become interested in her story of the Guernica bombing. Having to lie to the press and the world, Sibi despises the Nazis for what they are making her deny. Becoming a spy to assist Griff with gathering German intelligence is her way of fighting back. Tension builds as the danger increases, and Sibi’s relationship with Griff evolves over the years, notwithstanding their separation due to wartime activities. With gripping descriptions of bombings, fearful interrogations, and a blooming love story, Robards (The Black Swan of Paris, 2020) delivers a fantastic, captivating historical romance. – Booklist Review
The Library by Bella Osborne
(Available Formats: Print Book)
An unlikely friendship forms between a sixteen-year-old boy and a seventy-two-year-old woman as they rally the community to save their local library.
Tom is invisible. He happily blends into the background of life. But Farah Shah changes everything. Farah makes Tom want to stand up and be seen – at least by her. So Tom quickly decides the best way to learn about women is to delve into romance novels, and he finds himself at the village library where he befriends 72-year-old Maggie.
Maggie has been happily alone for ten years, at least this is what she tells herself. When Tom comes to her rescue after a library meeting, never did she imagine a friendship that could change her life.
As Maggie helps Tom navigate the best way to ask out Farrah, Tom helps Maggie realize the mistakes of her past won’t define her future.
But when the library comes under threat of closure, it’s up to Tom and Maggie to rally the community and save the library!
Will these two unlikely friends be able to bring everyone together and save their library?
Lightlark by Alex Aster
(Available Formats: Print Book, eBook & Hoopla instant checkout eBook)
Every century, the island of Lightlark emerges from the tempest cloaking it to host the Centennial, a 100-day competition between the rulers of six cursed realms, in this beguiling series opener from Aster (the Emblem Island series). To break the curse, one ruler must die during the contest, thus also destroying their realm. In 500 years, none of the immensely powerful participants has ever volunteered their life, nor has anyone been bested, but now that the curses have rendered their lands irreparable, this Centennial is sure to end in bloodshed. The situation terrifies teenage Wildling realm ruler Isla Crown, who, unlike her predecessors, was born without the Wildlings’ innate ability to control or wield nature, making her vulnerable to the other participants’ powers. While relying on her wits and training to survive, Isla must hide her secret lest she become an obvious target. Though the novel’s mythology is murky and its supporting cast lacks depth, Isla’s courage, determination, and compassion invest readers in her plight, imparting tension and drive. The story hits many well-loved and familiar beats, and sumptuously detailed feints, twists, and betrayal lend vibrancy and intrigue. Characters have varying skin tones. – Booklist Review
Righteous Prey by John Sandford
(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print & CD Audiobook)
A vigilante group calling itself “”The Five”” is killing “people who need to be murdered”–at least that’s what the group’s press releases say. Who are these mysterious killers? Well, basically, they’re the idle rich: people with too much money who are looking for something to spice up their lives. When one of the murders takes place in the Twin Cities, it falls to U.S. marshal Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers, an agent for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, to bring the vigilantes to justice. Between them, Davenport and Flowers have starred in more than 40 novels, and fans have come to know both men quite well. Is there, in fact, anything left for Sandford to say about them? As it turns out, yes: Sandford’s characters seem to have limitless unexplored nooks and crannies to their personalities. And for devotees of the series, it’s always nice to spend time with people we really like. The story is well constructed, too, with some bad people we can’t look away from. A solid entry from a writer who consistently gives his readers just what they want.- Booklist Review
A Turn of the Tide by Kelley Armstrong
(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)
In Thorne Manor there is one locked door. Behind it lies a portal to the twenty-first century, and nothing is going to stop Miranda Hastings from stepping through. After all, she is a Victorian writer of risqué pirate adventures—traveling to the future would be the greatest adventure of them all.
When Miranda goes through, though, she lands in Georgian England…and in the path of Nicolas Dupuis, a privateer accused of piracy. Sheltered by locals, Nico is repaying their kindness by being their “pirate Robin Hood,” stealing from a corrupt lord and fencing smuggled goods on the village’s behalf.
Miranda embraces Nico’s cause, only to discover there’s more to it than he realizes. Miranda has the second sight, and there are ghosts at play here. The recently deceased former lord is desperate to stop his son from destroying his beloved village. Then there’s the ghost of Nico’s cabin boy, who he thought safe in a neighboring city. Miranda and Nico must solve the mystery of the boy’s death while keeping one step ahead of the hangman.
It may not be the escapade Miranda imagined, but it is about to be the adventure of a lifetime.
Voice of Fear by Heather Graham
(Available Formats: Print Book & CD Audiobook)
FBI agent Jordan Wallace is close to cracking the human trafficking case she’s been working, when she does the one thing she should never do: let her guard down. The botched undercover mission is semi-salvaged by the last-minute appearance of criminal psychologist Patrick Law, but Jordan can’t imagine making a worse first impression. Especially when she’s partnered with Patrick moving forward.
Patrick’s innate ability to get inside a criminal’s head is an asset for the Krewe of Hunters. But Jordan wishes she could protect her own thoughts from her new partner. Patrick assures her that both she and her thoughts are safe with him, but Jordan’s less sure about her heart. Letting someone have her back has never been her strong suit, but with a dangerous killer still at large, trusting in Patrick might be the only thing keeping them alive.
Reader’s Note: This is the thirty-eight book in the Krewe of Hunters series; if you’d like to dive and read the series from the beginning checkout book one: Phantom Evil.
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.
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.