Suggested Reading November 2, 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, November 9, 2022.

The Come Up: An Oral History of the Rise of Hip-Hop by Jonathan Abrams

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The Come Up

Firsthand accounts from more than 300 interviewees provide a vivid picture of how the sound of hip-hop changes with the times and regions in Abrams’s (All the Pieces Matter) essential oral history of the genre. Each chapter presents a time capsule of specific locations, along with in-depth discussions about artists, producers and record labels that some interviewees feel heavily impacted the music, including Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, DJ Marley Marl, N.W.A., and various people at Def Jam Recordings. Most of the conversations have a laid-back, talking-among-friends vibe. Backstories on seminal songs and microbiographies of artists and DJs from the South and Midwest contribute to a reminiscent feel. One thing absent, however, is more information about women rappers. The book briefly mentions MC Lyte, Salt-N-Pepa, and Queen Latifah, among others, but rarely discusses them in more detail. As a whole, however, this oral history on the evolution of hip-hop during its first 50 years is a labor of love and respect. Includes a selected bibliography.

VERDICT Recommended for music historians, hip-hop fans, and casual listeners who want to add to their playlists.—Library Journal Review

Friends, Lovers And The Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir by Mathew Perry

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Friends Lovers & The Big Terrible Thing

“Hi, my name is Matthew, although you may know me by another name. My friends call me Matty. And I should be dead.”

So begins the riveting story of acclaimed actor Matthew Perry, taking us along on his journey from childhood ambition to fame to addiction and recovery in the aftermath of a life-threatening health scare. Before the frequent hospital visits and stints in rehab, there was five-year-old Matthew, who traveled from Montreal to Los Angeles, shuffling between his separated parents; fourteen-year-old Matthew, who was a nationally ranked tennis star in Canada; twenty-four-year-old Matthew, who nabbed a coveted role as a lead cast member on the talked-about pilot then called Friends Like Us. . . and so much more.

In an extraordinary story that only he could tell—and in the heartfelt, hilarious, and warmly familiar way only he could tell it—Matthew Perry lays bare the fractured family that raised him (and also left him to his own devices), the desire for recognition that drove him to fame, and the void inside him that could not be filled even by his greatest dreams coming true. But he also details the peace he’s found in sobriety and how he feels about the ubiquity of Friends, sharing stories about his castmates and other stars he met along the way. Frank, self-aware, and with his trademark humor, Perry vividly depicts his lifelong battle with addiction and what fueled it despite seemingly having it all.

Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing is an unforgettable memoir that is both intimate and eye-opening—as well as a hand extended to anyone struggling with sobriety. Unflinchingly honest, moving, and uproariously funny, this is the book fans have been waiting for.

Going Rogue: Rise and Shine Twenty-Nine by Janet Evanovich

(Available Formats: Print Book & CD audiobook)

Going Rogue

Evanovich’s twenty-ninth Stephanie Plum novel proves that the sassy New Jersey bail-bonds agent is as irrepressible as she was in her first outing, One for the Money (1994). In her latest (mis)adventure, Plum investigates the kidnapping of her sleazy cousin, Vinnie, who runs the bail-bonds company where Stephanie works, and Connie, the office manager. Their disappearances seem related to a valuable coin that Vinnie took as surety for a customer’s bond, but the coin, worth millions, has also vanished, and a mystery caller threatens dire repercussions if it isn’t returned to him in 24 hours. When the bail-bonds office is blown up, and someone stun-guns Stephanie, she knows her adversaries aren’t kidding around. Fortunately, Stephanie has help in rounding up the baddies, and that’s good news for her fans, who can’t get enough of the series’ stellar supporting cast: Stephanie’s feisty, gun-toting grandma; her first-string boyfriend, cop Joe Morelli; her “back-up” boyfriend, Ranger, the super-handsome, super-sexy, ex-military hunk who owns a high-end security firm; flamboyant and foul-mouthed office assistant Lula; and even Joe’s weird, spell-casting grandma. Irreverent, raucous, bawdy, and always laugh-out-loud hilarious, this is Evanovich at her brilliant best.

HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Over multiple series and stand-alones, Evanovich has produced 43 New York Times best-sellers in the last 26 years. Booklist Review

No Plan B by Lee & Andrew Childs

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

No Plan B

In the new Jack Reacher novel, the former military cop witnesses a homicide: a man pushes a woman under a bus. The police seem content to write it off as an accident, but the detective in charge of the case isn’t happy about that and asks Reacher (unofficially, of course) to find out what happened and why. This is the twenty-seventh installment in the Reacher series, and the third co-written by Lee Child and his younger brother, Andrew, before Andrew takes over when Lee’s retirement kicks in; but the writing is as crisp as it was in the very first novel, 1997’s Killing Floor. Reacher continues to be one of thrillerdom’s most compelling characters, a big man with an unswerving sense of justice who prefers to use his mind to get out of a jam, but who’s also perfectly comfortable using his fists as required. Reacher fans may have been worried about how the baton pass between brothers would affect the delicate chemistry of the series–particularly the tone and the balance between action and reflection–but so far, so good.

HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Reacher still rules, even with two names on the title page. – Booklist Review

Now Is Not The Time To Panic: A Novel by Kevin Wilson

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Now Is Not The Time

Note: This book is being published November 8; but you can request a copy now!

 If the Coalfield Panic were to happen today, it would dominate the news cycle for 10 minutes before it got subsumed by another, more sensational story. In middle-of-nowhere Tennessee in 1996, Frankie Budge and her new friend, Zeke, create a poster and plaster it all over town as performance art. Unfortunately, the poster catches people’s imagination for all the wrong reasons, and it stays in the larger public consciousness for longer than Frankie and Zeke ever wanted. The signature slogan is Frankie’s, “The edge is a shantytown filled with gold seekers. We are fugitives, and the law is skinny with hunger for us.” To the two teenage misfits in Coalfield, the writing sounds subversive yet safe. But once the narrative gets out of control, it creates serious and lasting damage, enough to cast a long shadow on Frankie’s adult life. Wilson (Nothing to See Here, 2020) has developed a story that is a precise capture of adolescence and of two vibrant teens whose everyday dilemmas, weaknesses, and triumphs are utterly endearing. If the denouement feels a little pat, it is more than made up for by the crisp dialogue and the zipping story line that takes us there. – Booklist Review

The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer

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

The Outcasts of Time

This vividly descriptive time-travel adventure by the acclaimed author of “The Time Traveler’s Guide” series reads like historical fiction, but given the surreal plot, becomes a story about the love and devotion between two brothers caught in an impossible situation. Journeying home on a cold, bleak day in December 1348, brothers John and William face death as they become victims of the Black Plague. Then a voice comes and offers them a chance to live for six more days, but each day will be 99 years apart in the future. With brotherly loyalty, they accept in hopes of redeeming their souls. So begins a quest through six centuries. In order to survive, the brothers quickly adjust to changing customs, religious beliefs, inventions, food, clothing, and laws. They stay true to each other and their moral beliefs but wonder how they can be redeemed in the end.

VERDICT The period immersion in this unusual tale of time travel and redemption comes close in detail and tone to Jack Finney’s Time and Again and From Time to Time, as well as Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series. Highly recommended. – Library Journal Review

Photo Finished by Christin Brecher

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

Photo Finished

This sparkling series launch from Brecher (the Nantucket Candle Maker mysteries) introduces struggling photographer Liv Spyers, who lives in a basement studio next to her grandparents’ West Village locksmith shop, where she sometimes helps out. One morning outside the shop, she runs into Regina Montague, the owner of New York’s premier photography studio, who needs a key made. After admiring the photos on view in Liv’s studio window, Regina offers her a job taking pictures at the Holiday Ball held at the Pierre Hotel, the original photographer having quit at the last minute. Liv seizes this opportunity of a lifetime, but during the ball she discovers Regina hovering over the bloody body of millionaire venture capitalist Charlie Archibald. Her career may be doomed unless she can clear Regina of murder charges. Photos Liv took at the elite event may point to the real killer. Meanwhile, an antique safe in her grandparents’ shop holds an important clue to the murder. Distinctive characters complement a well-paced plot that takes several unexpected twists and turns. Brecher has upped her game with this superior cozy. – Publishers Weekly Review

Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know by Ben Bowlin & Matt Frederick

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Stuff They Don't Want You To Know

Bowlin, Matt Frederick, and Noel Brown bring their podcast to print, examining conspiracy theories and bizarre conjectures. They seek to answer why the government would lie, how conspiracy theories get traction with the general public, and what the average person can do to dig out the truth. Biological warfare (weaponized deer ticks?) and UFOs (Roswell?) share space with factual information on the Tuskegee Study and verified experiments that exposed unknowing New York City subway riders to purportedly harmless chemicals. VERDICT Readable and interesting, with spots of wry humor. Sources are generally referenced in text or footnotes, leaving readers free to agree or disagree and research further in response to the authors’ conclusions. – Library Journal Review

Theft Of An Idol by Dana Stabenow

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Theft Of An Idol

When Cleopatra’s most beloved actress disappears, her new Eye of Isis must solve a case that will lead to the darkest corners of Alexandria.

From the palaces of Alexandria reigns Cleopatra – seventh of her name, avatar of the goddess Isis, ruler of the Kingdom of Egypt – surrounded by riches untold. Through the streets of her great city bustle scholars and sailors, politicians and priests. For those with the means, it is a comfortable life.

But not all are invited to share in the wealth of Egypt’s first city. For the peasants and farmers, their lives lie in the hands of the gods and the harvest. Unless, that is, they can find other methods to feed their families. Other, less savoury methods.

When Herminia, one of Alexandria’s most beloved actresses, disappears on the eve of a great performance, Cleopatra sets Tetisheri, her Eye, to investigate. In her search for the truth, Tetisheri will uncover a mystery that will take her to the city’s darkest corners…

Reader’s Note: This is the third book in the Eye of Isis mystery series; if you’d like to start reading the series from the beginning, checkout book 1: Death Of An Eye.

We Are The Light by Matthew Quick

(Available Formats: Print Book & CD audiobook)

We Are The Light

A survivor of a mass shooting confronts his grief in this illuminating epistolary novel from Quick (The Silver Linings Playbook). In small-town Majestic, Penn., high school counselor Lucas Goodgame wrestles with the loss of his wife, Darcy, through a series of letters to his Jungian analyst, Karl Johnson. Darcy, along with Karl’s wife and 15 others, were murdered in a theater during a screening of a “classic Christmas movie.” (The allusion appears to be It’s a Wonderful Life—Lucas details how Darcy visits him every night as a winged angel.) When the shooter’s 18-year-old brother, Eli, starts camping out in Lucas’s back yard, Darcy’s angel assures him, “That boy is the way forward.” Lucas decides to mentor Eli, and with the help of the filmmaker-theater owners, the pair collaborate on a monster movie to help Eli work through his demons. The effort helps Lucas as much as it does Eli, giving Lucas the structure he’d been missing from the sessions with Karl, which stopped for reasons that only become clear later in the narrative. Quick adds credible details of moviemaking and dynamic secondary characters to a crackling narrative, which builds to an excruciatingly honest disclosure. The author’s fans will love this. Publishers Weekly Review

Have a great week!

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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