Suggested Reading January 18, 2023

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, January 25, 2023

A Bad Day For Sunshine by Darynda Jones

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

Bad Day For Sunshine

After Sunshine “Sun” Vicram moves back to her hometown of Del Sol, NM, she’s elected as the new sheriff in a race she never entered, thanks to her well-meaning parents. While Sun faces her first day on the job, her 14-year-old daughter Auri starts at the local high school, where she is soon targeted by bullies. Events rapidly deteriorate for the new sheriff, with a missing deputy, an escaped prisoner, and an abducted teen. With the help of various deputies and other law enforcement officers, and Auri, Sun must unravel all the mysteries and find the missing teen. As the investigations continue, Sun is also forced to face her own history and tell her daughter the truth about their past. Jones (Summoned to the Thirteenth Grave) departs from her usual paranormal fiction and creates a smart and sassy mother-daughter team in a small-town setting where anything can happen. VERDICT Though readers may find it difficult to keep track of the minor characters, this series opener provides plenty of action. Recommended for fans of Linda Castillo and J.A. Jance. – Library Journal

House of Wolves by James Patterson & Brian Sitts

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print, CD Audiobook & eBooks)

House of Wolves

James Patterson and Mike Lupica are the thriller dream team! Jenny Wolf’s murdered father leaves her in charge of a billion-dollar empire—and a family more ruthless than Succession’s Roys and Yellowstone’s Duttons.

The Wolfs, the most powerful family in California, have a new head–thirty-six-year-old former high school teacher Jenny Wolf.

That means Jenny now runs the prestigious San Francisco Tribune.

She also controls the legendary pro football team, the Wolves.

And she has a murdered father to avenge—if she can survive the killers all around her.

An unforgettable family drama by two writers at the top of their craft.

Leech by Hiron Ennes

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Leech

DEBUT Ennes’s novel is an amalgam of multiple genres that mutates into something truly unique. In an isolated mining town, a baron’s doctor has died mysteriously, and the Institute sends a replacement (who narrates this story) to find out what happened. The Institute is more than just a guild of doctors; all of its members are a hivemind, all parts of an organism dedicated to keeping watch over humanity. This doctor, and subsequently the Institute, discovers a new kind of parasite spreading throughout the baron’s chateau, which could usurp the Institute’s rung on the evolutionary ladder. Ennes blends several different genres here, including science fiction, postapocalyptic fiction, gothic horror, and body horror, turning them into a delightfully original work that explores multiple themes including identity and autonomy. Readers must really pay attention to the story, since the narrator is used to being one of many bodies, but for their efforts they also get to watch the narrator evolve away from the Institute’s influence. VERDICT The fascinating world and original narrator that Ennes creates in their debut produce a sublime gothic sci-fi tale that grows into a story greater than the sum of its parts. -Library Journal

Mitford Affair by Marie Benedict

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

Mitford Affair

Benedict (Her Hidden Genius) delves into the Mitford family’s fatal attraction to fascism and Hitler in her captivating latest. Set in 1930s England before WWII, Diana, the middle child of six sisters and a brother, is a famous beauty who is married to Bryan Guinness, heir to the brewing fortune. Diana, 22, leaves Bryan for “fascist gadabout” Sir Oswald Mosley, founder of the British Union of Fascists. Diane later teaches her children the Hitler salute, and her connections to elite Nazis keep Mosley’s BUF afloat until the political tide turns against them when WWII looms. Younger sister Unity, 18, hoping to help Great Britain prevent war with Germany, is a fierce Nazi sympathizer and antisemite, and her obsession with Hitler leads her to join his inner circle—a decision followed by dire consequences. When the oldest Mitford sister, 29-year-old novelist Nancy, grasps the precise nature of her sisters’ visits to Germany, she sleuths out Diana’s and Mosley’s treasonous scheme to start up a radio station for spreading Nazi propaganda, and outs them to her cousin Winston Churchill. This engaging tale of genteel spies shifts easily between the sisters’ perspectives and provides timely insight on British fascists and supporters of appeasement. Benedict’s silky-smooth page-turner is sure to please her fans. – Publishers Weekly

The Most Likely Club by Elyssa Friedland

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

The Most Likely Club

In the delightful latest from Friedland (Last Summer at the Golden Hotel), four women celebrate their 25th high school reunion. Of the four, only Suki Hammer, whose school superlative was “Most Likely to Join the Forbes 400,” feels fulfilled. Melissa Levin, meanwhile, divorced her high school sweetheart and worries about her weight; Tara Taylor aspired to be a chef before she was sexually assaulted by a culinary celebrity; and Priya Chowdhury, a doctor, second-guesses her successes after overhearing her colleagues’ racist and sexist comments about her. A lot of the details are delivered in exposition, such as a magazine article that outlines how Suki manages to keep up a successful and happy life. Furthermore, a glut of 1990s references—Tara’s “Courtney Love” look, coveted Oakley sunglasses—eventually slips into overkill. Still, Friedland keeps up a steady supply of clever lines to convey the women’s mix of excitement and dread over the big event (“Like a migraine, the weekend of the reunion arrived without warning”). The author also does a good job with the heavier themes—in addition to the racism and sexism, there are nuanced accounts of Tara’s sexual assault and Melissa’s eating disorder. Overall, this strikes a fine balance between lighthearted and serious. – Publishers Weekly

Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer

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

Only Time Will Tell

With his latest, Archer delivers another page-turning, heart-stopping saga, with delightful twists, and a surprise ending. This first title from the Clifton Chronicles introduces readers to Harry Clifton, a boy growing up in Bristol whose father mysteriously died a full year before his birth, supposedly killed in WWI. Though Harry dreams of becoming a stevedore like his Uncle Stan, crazy Old Jack Tar shows Harry the truths of the stevedore life and becomes his surrogate father. After hearing an angelic treble voice, Harry decides to join the choir and learns to read. The choir in turn gains him a scholarship to boys’ boarding school St. Bede’sâa gateway to the life his mother wants for him, far from the harbor and shipping industry. He meets scholarly Deakins and wealthy Giles Barrington, who become his best friends, and the three strive to gain acceptance to Bristol Grammar School. Though Giles’ father has a particular aversion to Harry, the boys’ friendship proves stronger than any paternal dictates. While Archer hasn’t revealed how many books will make up this saga (which will span one hundred years), readers will surely wait for the next with bated breath. – Publishers Weekly Review

Putin by Philip Short

(Available Formats: Print Book & Large Print)

Putin

Vladimir Putin has had his finger in almost every international political pie of the 21st century. To understand what drives the man and how he controls post-Soviet Russia, journalist Short (Mao: A Life) explores the totality of Putin’s life. Details of his infancy, childhood, and schooling in St. Petersburg, his marriage, life as a KGB operative in Dresden, and his nascent political career in St. Petersburg add context to the man who has presided over Russia for two decades. Extensive research including interviews with acquaintances from childhood through adulthood, observers from multiple countries, and information regarding his family life flesh out as closely as currently possible the truths and lies that comprise the Putin mystique. Sketches of Russian life during the Brezhnev, Gorbachev, and Yeltsin eras put Putin’s obsession with regaining respect for Russia in context. VERDICT Short has written a remarkable biography, rich in facts and details, of Putin’s life and career. This book will appeal to readers with an interest in Russia, world history, biographies of world leaders, and current events.-Starred Library Journal Review

Rough Sleepers: Dr. Jim O’Connell’s urgent mission to bring healing to homeless people by Tracy Kidder

(Available Formats: Downloadable Audiobook)

Rough Sleepers

Pulitzer winner Kidder (A Truck Full of Money) spotlights in this poignant account the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, “the country’s largest medical system wholly devoted to the care of homeless people.” At the center of the narrative is Jim O’Connell, the program’s founding physician and organizer of its Street Team, which ministers to people who shun shelters and live “mainly outside or in makeshift quarters.” According to Kidder, the Health Care for the Homeless Program works against the grain of corporate medicine by emphasizing continuity of care and the importance of listening attentively to and spending time with homeless people. Interwoven with O’Connell’s story are those of his patients, including Tony Columbo, who spent 18 years in prison for sexual assault and struggles with substance abuse and mental disorders. Drawing on five years’ worth of reporting, Kidder vividly portrays life on the streets and in the program’s health clinics, and sheds light on various legal and policy matters, though the focus is less on the institutional forces that contribute to chronic homelessness than on the individual lives it touches. Keenly observed and fluidly written, this is a compassionate report from the front lines of one of America’s most intractable social problems. – Publishers Weekly Review

The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka

(Available Formats: Print Book & Hoopla Instant Checkout Audiobook)

Seven Moons of Maali Almeida

An Instant National Bestseller • One of The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2022 • An NPR Book We Loved in 2022 • Named a Best Fiction book of 2022 by the Washington Post, Times (UK), Financial Times, and The Guardian.

Winner of the 2022 Booker Prize, The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida is a searing satire set amid the mayhem of the Sri Lankan civil war.

Colombo, 1990. Maali Almeida—war photographer, gambler, and closet queen—has woken up dead in what seems like a celestial visa office. His dismembered body is sinking in the serene Beira Lake and he has no idea who killed him. In a country where scores are settled by death squads, suicide bombers, and hired goons, the list of suspects is depressingly long, as the ghouls and ghosts with grudges who cluster round can attest. But even in the afterlife, time is running out for Maali. He has seven moons to contact the man and woman he loves most and lead them to the photos that will rock Sri Lanka.

Ten years after his prize-winning novel Chinaman established him as one of Sri Lanka’s foremost authors, Shehan Karunatilaka is back with a “thrilling satire” (Economist) and rip-roaring state-of-the-nation epic that offers equal parts mordant wit and disturbing, profound truths.

The Sleeping Car Porter by Suzette Mayr

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

Sleeping Car Porter

WINNER OF THE 2022 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY TOP 20 LITERARY FICTION BOOKS OF 2022

OPRAH DAILY: BOOKS TO READ BY THE FIRE

THE GLOBE 100: THE BEST BOOKS OF 2022

CBC BOOKS: THE BEST CANADIAN FICTION OF 2022

When a mudslide strands a train, Baxter, a queer Black sleeping car porter, must contend with the perils of white passengers, ghosts, and his secret love affair

The Sleeping Car Porter brings to life an important part of Black history in North America, from the perspective of a queer man living in a culture that renders him invisible in two ways. Affecting, imaginative, and visceral enough that you’ll feel the rocking of the train, The Sleeping Car Porter is a stunning accomplishment.

Baxter’s name isn’t George. But it’s 1929, and Baxter is lucky enough, as a Black man, to have a job as a sleeping car porter on a train that crisscrosses the country. So when the passengers call him George, he has to just smile and nod and act invisible. What he really wants is to go to dentistry school, but he’ll have to save up a lot of nickel and dime tips to get there, so he puts up with “George.”

On this particular trip out west, the passengers are more unruly than usual, especially when the train is stalled for two extra days; their secrets start to leak out and blur with the sleep-deprivation hallucinations Baxter is having. When he finds a naughty postcard of two queer men, Baxter’s memories and longings are reawakened; keeping it puts his job in peril, but he can’t part with the postcard or his thoughts of Edwin Drew, Porter Instructor.

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 Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

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