Suggested Reading October 19, 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 now published on Wednesdays.

And the next Suggested Reading posting will be published on Wednesday, October 26, 2022.

Existential Physics: A Scientist’s Guide to Life’s Biggest Questions by Sabine Hossenfelder

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

Existential Physics

Physicist and self-described “general explainer” Hossenfelder (Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray) offers another excellent book on physics for general readers. She asks what people can learn about themselves through the current understanding of the fundamental laws of nature? What can physics tell one about consciousness, creation, and time? Hossenfelder uses current and historical research to show the deep connections between philosophy and the scientific method. She relates how physicists struggle with language and metaphor in sharing how quantum mechanics addresses big questions with wider audiences. She intersperses short chapters organized by topic with interviews of Nobel Prize winners, Royal Society members, popular science authors and science journalists who answer questions about both spiritual beliefs and scientific pursuits. She concludes with the applications of quantum mechanics to real-life problems such as weather forecasting, development of nuclear power, and regulation of economic systems. VERDICT Recommended for readers interested in philosophy of science and the sorts of questions that current science can and can’t answer.- Library Journal

The Furies: Two Charlie Parker Novels by John Connolly

(Available Formats: Print Book & CD audiobook)


The new Charlie Parker novel is a twofer: two full-length novels under one set of covers. In The Sisters Strange (which began life as an e-book in 2020 and has been extensively rewritten and expanded), a nasty piece of worked called Raum Buker has inexplicably returned to Portland, Maine, and Charlie is concerned his reappearance might have dire consequences for the man’s former lovers. In the title novel, Parker discovers that his clients, who hired him to protect them, are dangerously capable of looking after themselves; the question is, Who or what do they need to be protected from? And, further, why did they hire Charlie in the first place? Although these two novels are each shorter than the average Parker book, they are just as satisfying, with the same attention to character detail and the same elegant writing style. A must-read for the author’s fans and a good introduction to the series for newbies.

The High Notes by Danielle Steel

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

The High Notes

In this heartfelt novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Danielle Steel, a young woman with an unforgettable voice fights for the freedom to pursue her dreams.

Iris Cooper has been singing ever since she can remember, hitting the high notes like no one else. When she is twelve, her father convinces the owner of a bar in Lake City, Texas, to let her perform, and she stuns the audience. In the ensuing years, never staying anywhere for long, father and daughter move from one dusty town to the next, her passion for music growing every time she takes the mike in another roadhouse.

But it is not an easy life for Iris with her father in charge and using her income to pay for gambling, women, and booze. When she starts to tour at age eighteen, she takes on a real manager. Yet he exploits her too, and the singers and musicians she tours with are really the only family she has. It is they who give Iris the courage to finally fly free, leave the tour, and follow her dreams.

After years of enduring the hardships of the road, exploitation, and abuse to do what she loves, Iris’s big chance comes as her talent soars. But at the top at last, Iris still has to fight every step of the way. In The High Notes, Danielle Steel delivers an inspiring story about finding the strength to stand up for yourself and your dreams, no matter what it takes.

Illustrated Black History: Honoring The Iconic And The Unseen by George McCalman

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Illustrated Black History

Graphic designer McCalman expands on his project to paint one “Black history pioneer” every day for a month in this vibrant and stylish portrait collection. The book’s 145 subjects include basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, poet Maya Angelou, and essayist James Baldwin, as well as lesser-known figures like abolitionist Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, who refused to give up her seat in the “colored” section of a Philadelphia trolley car in 1858; James Hemings, who was enslaved by Thomas Jefferson and became the “first American to be trained as a chef in France”; and Baby Esther Jones, the Harlem jazz singer whose “boop-boop-a-doop” was appropriated for the cartoon character Betty Boop. Each pioneer gets a full-page illustration and an accompanying biographical sketch highlighting their achievements; civil rights attorney Eva Jefferson Paterson, for example, “deftly summarized the violent history of American politics” in a televised debate with Vice President Spiro Agnew when she was student government president of Northwestern University. There are also essays from James Beard Award winner Bryant Terry, journalist Patrice Peck, and others about their influences. The portraits, which range from brisk line drawings to saturated watercolors, complement the diversity and unruliness of the people profiled. This vivid survey of Black history leaps off the page.

Lessons by Ian McEwan

(Available Formats: Large Print)


McEwan returns with his best work since the Booker- and NBCC-winning Atonement, a sprawling narrative that stretches from the commencement of the Cold War to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Protagonist Roland Baines, “another inky boy in a boarding school,” is 11 when his piano teacher, Miriam Cornell, begins to groom him for abuse. A sexual relationship ensues, and Roland never recovers from the experience. He grows into a distant underachiever, eventually finding work as a lounge pianist in London and, occasionally, as a journalist. He marries Alissa and has a son, Lawrence, but Alissa disappears when Lawrence is an infant. With help from the police, he tracks her movement to Paris, prompting bittersweet memories of their courtship. In 1986, three-year-old Lawrence obsesses over such events as the Chernobyl disaster while Roland confronts the lingering impact of Miriam’s abuse and Alissa’s sudden reappearance. Alissa then publishes a bestselling (and specious) memoir, which isn’t so nice on Roland. Throughout, McEwan poignantly shows how the characters contend with major historical moments while dealing with the ravages of daily life, which is what makes this so affecting. He also employs lyrical but pared-down prose to great effect, such as the scene of Roland’s father’s funeral: “A thin teenage girl in a tight black trouser suit opened the door of the undertakers and made a formal nod as he entered.” Once more, the masterly McEwan delights. – Starred Publishers Weekly Review

Salem’s Lot: A Novel by Stephen King

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

Salem's Lot

Ben Mears has returned to Jerusalem’s Lot in hopes that exploring the history of the Marsten House, an old mansion long the subject of rumor and speculation, will help him cast out his personal devils and provide inspiration for his new book.

But when two young boys venture into the woods, and only one returns alive, Mears begins to realize that something sinister is at work.

In fact, his hometown is under siege from forces of darkness far beyond his imagination. And only he, with a small group of allies, can hope to contain the evil that is growing within the borders of this small New England town.

With this, his second novel, Stephen King established himself as an indisputable master of American horror, able to transform the old conceits of the genre into something fresh and all the more frightening for taking place in a familiar, idyllic locale.

Something Wicked This Way Comes: A Novel by Ray Bradbury

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

Something Wicked This Way Comes

One of Ray Bradbury’s best-known and most popular novels, Something Wicked This Way Comes, now featuring a new introduction and material about its longstanding influence on culture and genre.

For those who still dream and remember, for those yet to experience the hypnotic power of its dark poetry, step inside. The show is about to begin. Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween a week early. A calliope’s shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. Two boys will discover the secret of its smoke, mazes, and mirrors; two friends who will soon know all too well the heavy cost of wishes…and the stuff of nightmares.

Few novels have endured in the heart and memory as has Ray Bradbury’s unparalleled literary masterpiece Something Wicked This Way Comes. Scary and suspenseful, it is a timeless classic in the American canon.

When The Night Bells Ring: A Novel by Jo Kaplan

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

When The Night Bell Rings

Waynoka and Mads, “Dust Devils,” are traversing a near-future climate-disaster landscape in Nevada, searching for shelter and water in a barren desert when they stumble upon a Silver Rush–era ghost town. They explore an abandoned mine for a possible source of freshwater, but when Mads is badly injured on the descent, the two women are forced to shelter in a natural cave, where they discover the diary of Lavinia, a resident of the town back in 1869. What follows is a harrowing story of survival, told in two time frames–Waynoka as she searches the tunnels in an attempt to find both water and escape, and Lavinia’s diary entries, which unveil the monstrous truth hidden deep within the land itself. The constant unease of each story line is broken only for the brief second it takes to turn the page from one narration to the next, as the tension builds relentlessly until the novel’s shockingly horrific conclusion.

VERDICT Seamlessly blending Western, ancient evil, and climate horror tropes, Kaplan (It Will Just Be Us) has created an immersive, chilling, and compelling tale that fans of Christina Henry and Camilla Sten will devour. – Library Journal Review

Wahala: A Novel by Nikki May

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)


If a reader longs for a novel that resembles a Nollywood movie, May’s debut will satisfy that desire. Anglo Nigerians Ronke, Simi, and Boo are three best friends navigating London, relationships, and ethnic identity. When Simi’s vivacious childhood best friend, Isobel, joins the group, she initially appears to bring out the best of each woman, but slowly her shine begins to fade, and in the ensuing shadows lie the broken lives of this formerly inseparable trio. Equal parts comedy and tragedy, Wahala is a celebration of female friendships and a commentary on the fine lines that shift between friendly competition and jealousy and resentment. May boldly creates flawed characters who share the kind of vaguely offensive opinions you can only express to a best friend, drawing the reader into the intimacy of the dynamics among her alluring characters. May’s exciting and powerful first novel offers twists and turns that will leave the reader questioning how we’re going to get from A to B and loving every part of the ride. – Booklist Review

The Witch’s Cookbook: 50 Wickedly Delicious Witchcraft-Inspired Recipes by Fortuna Noir

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The Witch's Cookbook

Make every meal magical with The Witch’s Cookbook, your very own recipe grimoire!

Chefs and bakers may seem to wield magic in the way they can whip up the most amazing dishes and desserts. But they are nothing compared to the original brewmasters—witches! Featuring over 50 wickedly delicious recipes, The Witch’s Cookbook is your short-and-sweet go-to for quick-and-easy meals with a mystical flair. Each recipe is witchcraft themed and can be made with traditional ingredients, plus a little bit of spellwork and magic, of course.

Get your cauldron bubbling with recipes like:

Toadstool Toppers

Midnight Berry Pavlovas

The Evening Elixir

Thrice Boiled Eggs

And more!

Along with amazing meals to make any time of the year, The Witch’s Cookbook features “Witch Tips” that offer additional spells and blessings for your home and hearth. From breakfast to dessert and everything in between, The Witch’s Cookbook is sure to be your cooking companion for every solstice, full moon, and magical day of the year!

Have a great day!

Linda Reimer

*Information on the three catalogs*

Digital Catalog:

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:

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:

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.

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