Suggested Reading: November 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 now published on Wednesdays.

And the next Suggested Reading posting will be published on Wednesday, November 30, 2022.

52 Ways to Walk The Surprising Science of Walking for Wellness and Joy, One Week at a Time by Annabel Streets

(Available Formats: Print Book)

52 Ways To Walk

The newest work by fiction and nonfiction author Streets (who also writes under the name Annabel Abbs) continues her research on walking that began in Windswept: Walking the Paths of Trailblazing Women. Her new book takes readers through a year’s worth of intentional walks, one week at a time. Streets here encourages readers to plan walks in advance and focus on either external factors (e.g., landscape) or internal factors (e.g., spiritual direction), in order to recontextualize walking: the walk itself should be the goal, instead of a means of going from point A to point B. Walks themed around sounds or smells challenge readers to think about sensory perception or reengage with surroundings. Walkers are encouraged to think about both comfort and safety prior to stepping out; Streets acknowledges privilege, stating that walking is not necessarily a safe activity for all. Each short chapter encompasses a bit of science as a framework and ends with a list of tips to help readers maximize their experiences.

VERDICT Recommended for walkers looking to add more variety to their routines, as well as readers looking for motivation to get outside and move. – Library Journal Review

And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle by Jon Meacham

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

And There Was Light

Pulitzer Prize-winning and best-selling Meacham’s expert biography enlarges the view of Lincoln’s life by vividly rendering mood and setting. Readers will feel menace hovering over Lincoln as he travels to Washington, D.C., for his first inauguration and imagine that they are in the crowd, mud, and sudden burst of sunlight at his second. Meacham’s portraits of Lincoln’s family and contemporaries include a more balanced view of Mary Lincoln than is usually offered and startling and unsettling examples of Andrew Johnson’s racism and drunkenness. Meacham’s clear, compelling, and detailed accounts of Lincoln’s childhood and the campaign for the 1864 election illuminate key aspects of his life that are not always covered. Meacham also greatly emphasizes Lincoln’s religious beliefs at every stage and shares some Lincoln witticisms not found elsewhere. The book is well-researched and up-to-date, and its informatively captioned maps, paintings, and photographs enhance the narrative. In the epilogue, Meacham traces Lincoln’s legacy to the present and concludes this fresh and revealing addition to the vast Lincoln canon with some of the best last words in any book. – Booklist

The Best Short Stories 2022: The O. Henry Prize Winners, edited by Valeria Luiselli

(Available Formats: eBook)

The Best Short Stories of 2022

This impressive anthology, the first in the series to include work in translation, is a showcase for Luiselli’s keen eye for literary quality. Many speak to the pandemic’s new normal. In the opener, “Screen Time” by Alejandro Zambra, translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell, the parents of a two-year-old boy resolve to keep his early childhood free of screens. Later, when the family’s in lockdown, the couple reconsiders and discusses sharing their world of television and movies with their son. Daniel Mason’s “The Wolves of Circassia” follows an older couple and their care worker, Seini, who moves in with them during the lockdown, along with the couple’s son and grandson. As Seini grows isolated from her own family and fatigued from her increased responsibilities, the household’s uneasy balance is threatened. Politics feature in the uncanny “Where They Always Meet” by Christos Ikonomou, translated from the Greek by Karen Emmerich, in which a journalist meets a woman who claims to be the granddaughter of Stalin, her existence covered up by the state; and in the wildly inventive and fantastical “Dengue Boy” by Michel Nieva, translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer, featuring a class-conscious pubescent boy who’s bullied for being half mosquito. These stories surprise and illuminate. – Publishers Weekly Review

A Cosmic Kind of Love by Samantha Young

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

Cosmic Kind Of Love

Young’s (Much Ado About You) latest is an emotional contemporary romance. The digital files that event planner Hallie Goodman receives from her new bride-to-be’s inspiration portfolio include not only mood boards but also some very personal messages from the bride’s ex, Captain Christopher Ortiz, a Mexican American astronaut, recorded during his months aboard the International Space Station. Hallie wasn’t planning on watching the videos and reading NASA’s golden boy’s transmissions, but when her return email bounces back, she begins to pen her own diary-like letters, thinking she is sending them into the void. When NASA IT actually forwards Hallie’s messages to Chris, he begins to fall for the pink-haired woman via her confessions of family strife, work woes, and hope for the future. Both Hallie and Chris fall in love with the idealized person captured in their transmissions, but when they meet they must mesh their out-of-space expectations with their messy realities back on Earth.

VERDICT Recommended for readers who appreciate exploring complicated family dynamics and a search for identity along with a romance arc. Library Journal Review

Dinosaurs: A Novel by Lydia Millet

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


Gil decides to walk from Manhattan to Arizona. “He had nowhere to be and no one who needed him.” Millet follows her climate-crisis drama, A Children’s Bible (2020), with an intriguing portrait of a lonesome man trying to do good in a grim world. The sorrowful heir of immense wealth, bruised and confused by the abrupt end to a love affair, Gil heads to the desert hoping for a new orientation to life. He buys a castle-like house bordering public lands with one neighboring home in view made of glass, its alluring occupants unwitting actors on an exposed domestic stage. Psychotherapist Ardis is beautiful and kind. Ted travels a lot for his global infrastructure projects. Teen Clem is “glued to her phone,” and young Tom longs for companionship. Gil volunteers at a woman’s shelter, keeps Tom company, and becomes fascinated with birds, feathered “descendants of dinosaurs.” Intricate conflicts and conundrums develop at a meditative pace as patient, generous Gil tries to suss out the feelings of others while contending with his own painful memories. Anguish and tenderness mesh with piquant humor as Millet, empathic and imaginative, reveals her humble hero’s Batman-like backstory. Birds, bats, humans, and many other creatures may be facing extinction, but the desert is an ongoing marvel and love still thrives. – Booklist Review

The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare by Kimberly Brock

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

The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare

When 36-year-old Alice’s father dies, she discovers he has left her the family estate, Evertell, which the two had abandoned more than 20 years earlier when Alice’s mother died. Thinking to sell the property, which lies eight miles from Savannah, Alice travels there with her 13-year-old daughter, Penn, and finds the estate maintained by its caretaker, Sonder, whom Alice has known since they were teenagers. To her delight, Alice discovers in Evertell’s family chapel the lost book of Eleanor Dare, one of two survivors of the lost colony of Roanoke. The nearly 400-year-old commonplace book has passed through generations of Eleanor’s female descendants (Evertell heirs, it is said, could always find their way home). But is Evertell to be home to heirs Alice and Penn, and what of the emerging relationship between Alice and Sonder? Though sometimes slow paced and, arguably, too long, this romantic novel is redeemed by its characters and their search for their identity and heritage. Expect the book to attract an eager audience of readers who enjoy women’s fiction. – Booklist Review

The Mountain In The Sea: A Novel written by Ray Nayler, read by Eunice Wong

(Available Formats: Downloadable Audiobook & Print Book)

The Mountain In The Sea

Eunice Wong narrates a fascinating thriller in which humanity confronts a potential intellectual equal. Dr. Ha Nguyen jumps at the opportunity to study a new species of octopus said to have achieved hyperintelligence. She is ushered to a remote archipelago populated only by the octopuses, a security agent, and a degrading android. Wong complements the narrative wonderfully with consistent and distinct characters and a steadfast delivery of the narrative. The story is tightly focused, and the narration keeps it feeling both entertaining and contemplative. The theme of the nature of consciousness is equal parts intriguing, thrilling, and eerie. Best of all, it’s always compellingly narrated, making for a performance that’s difficult to pause. – AudioFile Review

Our America: A Photographic History by Ken Burns

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Our America

From one of our most treasured filmmakers, a pictorial history of America—a stunning and moving collection of some of Ken Burns’s favorite photographs, with an introduction by Burns, and an essay by longtime MoMA photography curator Sarah Hermanson Meister

Burns has been making documentaries about American history for more than four decades, using images to vividly re-create our struggles and successes as a nation and a people. As much as anyone alive today, he understands the soul of our country.

In Our America, Burns has assembled the images that, for him, best embody nearly two hundred years of the American experiment, taken by some of our most reknowned photographers and by others who worked in obscurity. We see America’s vast natural beauty as well as its dynamic cities and communities. There are striking images of war and civil conflict, and of communities drawing together across lines of race and class. Our greatest leaders appear alongside regular folks living their everyday lives. The photos talk to one another across boundaries and decades and, taken together, they capture the impossibly rich and diverse perspectives and places that comprise the American experience.

Two Old Broads: Stuff You Need to Know That You Didn’t Know You Needed to Know by Dr. M. E. Hecht & Whoopi Goldberg

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Two Old Broads

Retired orthopedic surgeon and aging expert Hecht and actress/The View host Goldberg (author of Is It Just Me?) submit a series of reminders for self-care and preventative-care as well as spirited living. These self-defining two “old broads” who became friends later in life offer alternating perspectives on creating a world full of zest and sparkle in the senior years. Hecht and Goldberg combine their wits and bold life experiences to invite women to live with as much inventiveness as possible. Practical tips such as how to work with doctors and discuss difficult issues with family members are juxtaposed against lifestyle approaches such as accentuating the positive, indulging in artistic dates, and hiring some help. The coauthors also urge readers to actively defy age exclusion and pursue social connections and continuous learning. A good life may be as simple as laughing more and checking for hearing loss.

VERDICT While this advice is not new, it is a fun, often sassy reminder that no one is just a number. For all public libraries. – Library Journal Review

A World Of Curiosities by Louise Penny

(Available Formats: eBook, Downloadable Audiobook, Print Book & CD audiobook)

Note: This title will be published on Tuesday, November 29 – but you can place a hold for the digital copy, eBook & Downloadable Audiobook, now!

World of Curiosities

Bestseller Penny’s virtuoso 18th novel featuring Chief Insp. Armand Gamache of the Québec Sûreté (after 2021’s The Madness of Crowds) blends nuanced characterization with nail-biting suspense. Siblings Fiona and Sam Arsenault return to Three Pines more than a decade after Gamache investigated the bludgeoning murder of their mother, Clotilde. His inquiry revealed that Clotilde had prostituted her children, then 13 and 10, at the time of the killing. During the case, he met his future number two and son-in-law, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, who came to a different conclusion than his own. Gamache stayed involved in Fiona’s life, even aiding her graduate studies in engineering. The Arsenaults’ arrival coincides with several murders, which seem connected to an unusual painting found concealed in a hidden room in Three Pines. It first appears to be a duplicate of The Paston Treasure, a cryptic 17th-century assemblage of items known as A World of Curiosities, but anachronistic elements, such as a digital watch, have been added. Penny adds crucial details about Gamache’s backstory and satisfactorily resolves a plotline tease from earlier in the series. This tale of forgiveness and redemption will resonate with many. – Starred Publishers Weekly Review

Reader’s Note: If you’re new to this series, and would like to start reading it from the beginning check out book one – Still Life.

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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