Suggested Reading November 16, 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 23, 2022.

Bleeding Heart Yard by Elly Grifiths

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Bleeding Heart Yard

A reunion of the class of 1998 at London’s posh Manor Park school, “where trendy lefties send their kids,” provides the backdrop for this stunning standalone from Edgar winner Griffiths (The Postscript Murder). One attendee, Det. Sgt. Cassie Fitzherbert, believes she pushed a classmate to his death on the rails of an abandoned underground tube station 21 years earlier, but could her memory be faulty? At Manor Park, Cassie was close friends with members of the Group, who used to meet in the attic of the home of Garfield Rice, now a Conservative MP. Every Group member has since had a successful career, except for EFL teacher Anna Vance, who’s “definitely hiding something.” Past crushes, jealousies, and buried passions surface, culminating in Rice’s “unexplained” death in the loo, traces of cocaine on his lips. The stabbing murder of another MP at a dining club in Bleeding Heart Yard, a courtyard in Holborn, raises the stakes. Jaw-dropping red herrings, headbanging twists and turns, and Rashomon-like alternating narratives add to the briskly paced plot, which builds to a reconstruction of the original crime and a bombshell revelation. Donna Tartt fans won’t be able to put this one down.

Distant Thunder by Stuart Woods

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

Distant Thunder

Published not quite three months after his death, this is Woods’ sixty-third Stone Barrington novel (but possibly not the last, as at least one more appears to be in the pipeline). Cop turned private investigator/attorney Barrington has a problem: a dead man has washed up onto his property after a big storm. Who is the man? Well, that’s the question that will cause Barrington much consternation and see him going up against U.S. government agents and foreign elements. When a series runs as long as this one has (it launched in 1991, with sometimes as many as four books published in a single year), there usually comes a point when it begins to feel tired. Not so with the indefatigable Stone Barrington. The series always followed something of a formula, with the superwealthy Barrington cavorting and romancing his way around the globe, but somehow Woods managed to keep the characters fresh, the escapist plots interesting enough, and the villains intriguing. This one checks all the boxes. Booklist Review

Essential: How The Pandemic Transformed The Long Fight For Worker Justice by Jamie J, McCallum

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Essential

The Covid-19 pandemic inaugurated a rare national conversation on justice for the working class, according to this enlightening analysis. Sociologist McCallum (Worked Over) highlights the tragic experiences of blue-collar workers caught in the grips of the pandemic, including a Houston mother of four forced to live out of her car after the local eviction moratorium ended, and a Burmese immigrant who fell sick while working 15-hour days at a Colorado meatpacking plant and slipped into a fatal coma soon after her grandson was born. According to McCallum, these and other calamities sparked an “awakening” that united essential workers across industries. Amazon workers formed the first labor union in the company’s history; Massachusetts nurses picketed for 301 days to end cost-cutting staff furloughs and mandatory overtime; Chicago teachers refused to return to overcrowded, poorly ventilated classrooms. McCallum delves into the long-festering tensions behind these actions, including the “tectonic shift” in risk distribution across society, as corporations and governments raised employee healthcare premiums while simultaneously increasing work hours. His solutions include continued labor actions, passage of the Green New Deal, and shorter work hours. Interweaving deeply affecting personal stories with whip-smart structural analysis, this is a revealing diagnosis of America’s ills and an invigorating call for change. – Publishers Weekly Review

The Most Likely Club by Elyssa Friedland

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The Most Likely Club

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been”–George Eliot . . . or Melissa Levin-Levine, depending on who you’re asking. When Melissa graduated from Bellport Academy in 1997, she was voted “Most Likely to Win the White House.” Twenty-five years later, the only thing she’s winning is a game of virtual Scrabble, if that. Her friend Tara isn’t having the success she thought she would either, teaching children to cook instead of owning a Michelin-starred restaurant. Priya is a doctor but hasn’t cured cancer and is struggling to find work-life balance. The only one out of their friend group to find their destined success is Suki, with a makeup company that has landed her on the Forbes 400 list. But when the group (minus Suki) reunites at their twenty-fifth high-school reunion, they realize dreams don’t have to have a shelf life. Friedland’s latest (after Last Summer at the Golden Hotel, 2021) is a novel that touts the message “success is what you make it.” Funny, heartwarming, and relatable, The Most Likely Club proves to be another success for Friedland. – Booklist Review

The Pasta Queen: A Just Gorgeous Cookbook: 100+ Recipes And Stories by Caterina Munno

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The Pasta Queen

TikTok star Munno, whose Italian ancestors were dried pasta makers as far back as the 1880s, shares a mix of go-to classics and family recipes in her luscious debut. Before getting to the recipes, Munno provides a brief history of pasta and lays out some helpful cooking tips (“Treat the recommended cooking time on a box of dried pasta as a guide, not law, to tell you when the pasta is al dente”), and novices will appreciate the detailed directions for making from-scratch pasta (the explanation for how to shape tortellini runs to multiple paragraphs). Classic recipes include spicy penne all’arrabbiata, and spaghetti all’amatriciana with guanciale and Pecorino Romano. Easy everyday recipes make use of leftover pasta, such as timballo di pasta (baked pasta) with salami, ham, or sausage. The American-inspired recipes—silky mac and cheese, penne with creamy salmon—offer nourishing comfort food. Those who want to put their skills to the test can try their hands at one of the recipes that encourage experimentation, such as a lemony pesto that calls for lemon, mint, and pistachios, the proportions of which can be changed based on flavor preferences and what one has on hand. Thorough and infectiously jubilant, this spirited celebration of Italy’s most famous food is a winner. – Starred Publishers Weekly Review

The Secret Garden of Yanagi Inn by Amber Logan

(Available Formats: Large Print)

Secret Garden of Yanagi Inn

Cracked doesn’t always mean broken.

Grieving her mother’s death, Mari Lennox travels to Kyoto, Japan to take photographs of Yanagi Inn for a client. As she explores the inn and its grounds, her camera captures striking images, uncovering layers of mystery shrouding the old resort—including an overgrown, secret garden on a forbidden island. But then eerie weeping no one else in the inn seems to hear starts keeping her awake at night.
Despite the warnings of the staff, Mari searches the deep recesses of the old building to discover the source of the ghostly sound, only to realize that her own family’s history is tied to the inn, its mysterious, forlorn garden… and the secrets it holds.

Station Eternity by Mur Lafferty

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Station Eternity

Mallory Viridian has found herself involved in murder cases throughout her life. Being surrounded by death has made her a suspect and an outcast, so when she receives the opportunity to take sanctuary on the sentient space station Eternity, she takes it. However, the station then agrees to allow more humans aboard, and Mallory knows her time is up. After the Earth shuttle arrives, humans and aliens begin to die, and the station itself is in jeopardy. Mallory must yet again solve the murders before others perish, but maybe this time she can finally figure out why she has been the nexus for so much death. Mallory’s loneliness and desire for peace make her an interesting protagonist as she looks for connections and answers. The time jumps in the story add interest as well and slowly unwrap the truths until the final reveals. The aliens are well-developed and lend both complexity and humor to this thrilling puzzle. VERDICT Lafferty (Hugo-nominated for Six Wakes) creates a clever and suspenseful sci-fi mystery, with intriguing characters and attentive worldbuilding. – Starred Library Journal Review

The Twist of a Knife by Anthony Horowitz

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

The Twist of a Knife

Fair-play whodunits don’t come much funnier than bestseller Horowitz’s brilliant fourth mystery featuring a fictionalized version of himself as the bumbling sidekick to former detective inspector Daniel Hawthorne (after 2021’s A Line to Kill). Hawthorne had convinced Horowitz to write three books chronicling some of Hawthorne’s private investigations. With that contract fulfilled, Horowitz declines his partner’s request to write another. Later, following the London debut of Horowitz’s comic thriller play, Mindgame, theater critic Harriet Throsby pens a savage review, threatening the production’s prospects. When she’s found fatally stabbed in her home with a dagger given to Horowitz by the play’s producer that bears Horowitz’s fingerprints, he’s arrested. The damning evidence mounts as his hair is found on Throsby’s blouse, and video footage shows someone fitting his description near the crime scene right before the stabbing. When Horowitz is released while the investigation proceeds, he persuades Hawthorne to join him in probing the possible guilt of those involved in staging Mindgame. Clues are adroitly hidden in plain sight. This humorous homage to golden age closed-circle mysteries is not to be missed. – Starred Publishers Weekly

The Ways We Hide: A Novel by Kristina McMorris

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

The Ways We Hide

Set during the 1940s with occasional flashbacks, McMorris’ latest (after Sold on a Monday, 2018) introduces the reader to Fenna Vos, who works with fellow stage musician Charles in a traveling show that pays homage to Houdini with daring escapes from locked items. The power struggle between the two of them soon comes to a head. An unusual offer from an audience member entices Fenna to take a chance at something new as an unconventional wartime civil servant in London working for MI9. Her choice sets her on the path for an unusual and personally fraught future where she is forced to come to a reckoning with all the parts of her past that she has hidden from others, but most of all from herself. Readers will be drawn into Fen’s frustrations, anger, terror, joy, and constant drive to innovate when new challenges are put in her way. This is no fairy tale, and the ending is satisfying rather than happy, as befits a story set during wartime. Readers interested in historical fiction, Houdini’s illusions, Depression-era United States, wartime London, and the Nazi Resistance in Holland will be quickly captured by the realistic characters and situations. – Booklist Review

The World We Make by N. K. Jemisin

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The World We Make

This follow-up to 2020’s The City We Became picks up where the that volume left off, with the various avatars of New York City and its boroughs settling into their new powers while maintaining a watchful eye on the alien city that almost destroyed them. The avatars discover that despite her dependence on Aislyn, the traitorous Staten Island avatar, the Woman in White has resumed her attack on the city via a xenophobic candidate for mayor, hoping to weaken it enough for her to resume her all-out assault. While Neek (the primary avatar of New York City) and the other borough avatars work to combat this new assault, Aislyn begins to have doubts about her alliance with her new “”friend”” as the alien city’s presence begins to affect her family, her neighbors, and the borough itself. Jemisin brings her living-city saga to a satisfying conclusion, maintaining a sense of energy and excitement throughout, even as she sketches in more of the multiverse of multiverses underpinning her urban (in a more literal sense than usual) fantasy setting. – Booklist 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.

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 & Book Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

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