Suggested Reading April 26, 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, May 3, 2023.

Burning Season by Kiki Swinson

Burning Season

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

National bestselling author Kiki Swinson’s novels set it off with killer plot twists, merciless characters—and an unsparing portrayal of Southern struggling, lying, betraying . . . and dying. Now everything is on the line as a female firefighter desperate for money gets caught up in a man-made disaster . . .

Set your schemes . . .
A volunteer Virginia Beach firefighter, Alayna Curry faces death every day—and is proud to carry on her retired father’s legacy. But with cash always tight and her long-time boyfriend Levi pressuring her to give up what she loves to make more money, she knows she needs more cash flow to stay afloat. . .

Set your traps . . .
All Alayna has to do is keep quiet about a scheme to burn down buildings for insurance-hungry “clients.” And for a while she’s on fire from the rush, making insane cash—and finding new passion in all the wrong places. But when the money suddenly stops rolling in—and one “client” after another pushes back against the deal—Alayna and the rest of the crew stop watching out for each other and start fighting for their lives . . .

Set your life on fire . . .
Now with the cops turning up the heat and every firefighter for themselves, Alayna must walk an impossible line to get out from under. But between betrayal, secrets, and broken duty, will what loyalty she has left be the one thing that burns her life to the ground for good?

The Curious Case of Dassoukine’s Trousers by Fouad Laroui

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

Curious Trousers

Moroccan-born Laroui, a professor of French literature at the University of Amsterdam, makes his English-language debut with this Prix Goncourt-winning story collection. Laroui uses a wry, dry, knowing style to address identity and otherness, showing how focus on such issues defines the immigrant experience. In “Born Nowhere,” for instance, a young Moroccan man in a cafe complains more and more loudly to another about the wrong birth place and date on his identity card until a woman reprimands them for shaming their land of birth, “because I’m Moroccan…even though I was born in Vietnam to a Russian father. Incidentally, am I really a woman?” In “Dislocation,” a triumph of content and style, a Utrecht-based Moroccan man considers what it would be like to live in “a world where everything is foreign,” then repeats that idea in ever-expanding paragraphs as he argues that he’s “French in the head” while eventually acknowledging that he’s seen as an outsider. Yet the story has an unexpectedly affirmative ending. VERDICT Terrific stuff, insightful and often blackly funny. – Library Journal Review

Forget What You Know by Christina Dodd

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

Forget What You Know

Flower propagator Zoey Phoenix may have irrevocably shattered his heart when she divorced him two years ago, but that doesn’t mean Luca Damezas wants to kill Zoey now. But someone wants Zoey permanently out of the picture, which leaves Luca no choice but to agree to serve as her bodyguard while she recuperates from a nearly fatal car accident. Further evidence of pending danger presents itself when the two arrive in the remote Pacific Coast village of Gothic and discover someone has tossed Zoey’s home and workplace. Could a clue to what the killer is looking for be buried somewhere in Zoey’s shadowy memories of her past? Or would it be safer for Zoey if she simply forgets whatever it is she might know? Dodd (Point Last Seen, 2022) deftly loads up the extraordinarily entertaining plot of her latest thrilling and chilling entry in her Gothic-set novels, making it all work with a cinematic flair that Hitchcock would envy, an inventively imaginative cast of characters that includes a former professional wrestler, and a sense of wit so dry it would be perfectly at home in Death Valley. – Booklist Review

Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

(Available Formats: Print Book & Downloadable Audiobook)

Fourth Wing

Romance author Yarros (The Things We Leave Unfinished) blends the epic tale of a reluctant dragon rider’s coming-of-age with a sexy dark academia aesthetic in her astounding debut fantasy. Fearsome General Sorrengail demands that her children follow in her footsteps as dragon riders—even her youngest, Violet, who has trained her whole life to be a scribe like her late father. Forced to join a deadly war academy, Violet is unprepared to perform the fatal tasks all cadets must complete to become dragon riders. The odds are stacked against her due both to her delicate stature and to her mother’s reputation: it was Sorrengail who gave the order to execute all separatists in the last rebellion. The rebels’ orphaned children have all been conscripted to the academy, putting a target on Violet’s back. Worse, her own brooding but handsome wing leader, third-year student Xaden Riorson, is the son of the separatists’ leader. Meanwhile, the wards that protect the city are failing, but as danger draws nearer, clever Violet grows stronger, discovering that riding dragons may be her destiny after all. Yarros’s worldbuilding is intricate without being overbearing, setting the stage for Violet’s satisfying growth into a force to be reckoned with. Readers will be spellbound and eager for more.

A Girl Called Samson: A Novel by Amy Harmon

(Available Formats: Print Book)

A Girl Called Samson

From New York Times bestselling author Amy Harmon comes the saga of a young woman who dares to chart her own destiny in life and love during the American Revolutionary War.

In 1760, Deborah Samson is born to Puritan parents in Plympton, Massachusetts. When her father abandons the family and her mother is unable to support them, Deborah is bound out as an indentured servant. From that moment on, she yearns for a life of liberation and adventure.

Twenty years later, as the American colonies begin to buckle in their battle for independence, Deborah, impassioned by the cause, disguises herself as a soldier and enlists in the Continental army. Her impressive height and lanky build make her transformation a convincing one, and it isn’t long before she finds herself confronting the horrors of war head-on.

But as Deborah fights for her country’s freedom, she must contend with the secret of who she is—and, ultimately, a surprising love she can’t deny.

Infamous by Lex Croucher

(Available Formats: Print Book)


Named a Most Anticipated Romance of 2023 by Goodreads and Bookpage
Twenty-two-year-old aspiring writer Edith (“Eddie”) Miller and her best friend Rose have always done everything together―from climbing trees and sneaking bottles of wine, to extensive kissing practice. But Rose has started talking about marriage, and Eddie is horrified. Why can’t they continue as they always have?

Then Eddie meets charming, renowned poet Nash Nicholson––a rival of Lord Byron, if he does say so himself––and he welcomes her into his world of eccentric artists and boundary-breaking visionaries. When Eddie receives an invitation to Nash’s crumbling Gothic estate in the countryside, promising inspiration (and time to finish her novel, a long-held dream), she eagerly agrees. But the pure hedonism and debauchery that ensues isn’t exactly what she had in mind, and Eddie soon finds herself torn between her complicated feelings for Rose and her equally complicated dynamic with Nash, whose increasingly bad behavior doesn’t match up to her vision for her literary hero.
Will Eddie be forced to choose between her friendship with Rose and her literary dreams––or will she be able to write her own happily ever after?

The King’s Coat by Dewey Lambdin

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The King's Coat

1780: Seventeen-year-old Alan Lewrie is a brash, rebellious young libertine. So much so that his callous father believes a bit of navy discipline will turn the boy around. Fresh aboard the tall-masted Ariadne, Midshipman Lewrie heads for the war-torn Americas, finding—rather unexpectedly—that he is a born sailor, equally at home with the randy pleasures of the port and the raging battles on the high seas. But in a hail of cannonballs comes a bawdy surprise…

The King’s Coat introduces us to Alan Lewrie, hero of Dewey Lambdin’s acclaimed series of naval adventures, which have often been compared to those by C.S. Forester and Patrick O’Brian.

Reader’s Note: This is the first book in the Alan Lewrie Series

Made in the U.S.A. by Billie Letts

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

Made In The USA

In a second Letts title where a pivotal event occurs at a Wal-Mart (the first was the author’s bestseller Where the Heart Is), two long-neglected kids have to fend for themselves—and quickly. After their father’s ex-girlfriend, Floy, who is their guardian, drops dead at the chain’s Spearfish, S.D., megastore, 15-year-old Lutie McFee persuades her 11-year-old brother, Fate, to take off in Floy’s Pontiac to their long-gone dad’s last known address, a fleabag hotel in Las Vegas. There, they discover discouraging secrets about their father’s whereabouts. Lutie gets fake working papers and a string of dead-end jobs. But with the threat of foster care looming, Lutie and trivia-mad Fate are soon at the mercy of child predators. Letts (whose son Tracy won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama) manages this potentially maudlin or lurid material with a frank lyricism, delivering a heartbreaking tale about love, loss and survival that will stick with the reader long after the last page is turned. – Starred Publishers Weekly Review

Mastering the Art of French Murder by Colleen Cambridge

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

Mastering The Art of French Murder

This enchanting series launch from Cambridge (A Trace of Poison) pairs a fictional amateur sleuth with Julia Child for a murder investigation in postwar Paris. The night after Child’s sister, Dort, hosts a party at Child’s apartment, a guest is found dead in the basement—and the murder weapon is one of Child’s knives. Tabitha Knight, a hopeless cook and fellow American expat who’s befriended Child in hopes some of her culinary skills might rub off on her, takes interest in the crime. Tabitha’s investigation leads her to a local English-language theater where Dort worked with the victim, and where most of the suspects are rehearsing an Agatha Christie play. While Tabitha serves as a competent narrator for this spry, sturdy whodunit, Cambridge captures Child’s distinct voice and energy so perfectly—especially as she prepares meals like Madame Poulet and Monsieur Jambon—that readers will wish the chef played a larger role. Still, expect to leave this vacation hoping for a return trip

Old Home Town: A Novel by Rose Wilder Lane

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Old Home Town

In Old Home Town, Rose Wilder Lane has recreated small-town society of pre-World War I America with a precise feeling for decorum, dress, and kitchen dialogue. Like Sherwood Anderson in Winesburg, Ohio, she describes a community through the stories of certain memorable citizens. The overlay of nostalgia cannot hide some sharp observations about marriage and women’s rights.

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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