Suggested Reading May 3, 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 10, 2023.

Ascension by Nicholas Binge

(Available Formats: Print Book)


A mind-bending speculative thriller in which the sudden appearance of a mountain in the middle of the Pacific Ocean leads a group of scientists to a series of jaw-dropping revelations that challenge the notion of what it means to be human

The only way out is up. . .

An enormous snow-covered mountain has appeared in the Pacific Ocean. No one knows when exactly it showed up, precisely how big it might be, or how to explain its existence. When Harold Tunmore is contacted by a shadowy organization to help investigate, he has no idea what he is getting into as he and his team set out for the mountain.

The higher Harold’s team ascends, the less things make sense. Time moves differently, turning minutes into hours, and hours into days. Amid the whipping cold of higher elevation, the climbers’ limbs numb and memories of their lives before the mountain begin to fade. Paranoia quickly turns to violence among the crew, and slithering, ancient creatures pursue them in the snow. Still, as the dangers increase, the mystery of the mountain compels them to its peak, where they are certain they will find their answers. Have they stumbled upon the greatest scientific discovery known to man or the seeds of their own demise?

Framed by the discovery of Harold Tunmore’s unsent letters to his family and the chilling and provocative story they tell, Ascension considers the limitations of science and faith and examines both the beautiful and the unsettling sides of human nature.

Coronation Year: A Novel by Jennifer Robson

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

Coronation Year

It is Coronation Year, 1953, and a new queen is about to be crowned. The people of London are in a mood to celebrate, none more so than the residents of the Blue Lion hotel. On Coronation Day, Queen Elizabeth in her gold coach will pass by the hotel’s front door, allowing Edie Howard to charge a fortune for rooms and, barring disaster, save her beloved home from financial ruin. When anonymous threats focused on Coronation Day, the Blue Lion, and even the queen herself disrupt their mood of happy optimism, Edie and her friends must race to uncover the truth, save their home, and expose those who seek to erase the joy and promise of Coronation Year.

Don’t Tell Anyone The Secrets I Told You by Lucinda Williams

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Don't Tell Anyone The Secrets I Told You

The iconic singer-songwriter and three-time Grammy winner opens up about her traumatic childhood in the Deep South, her years of being overlooked in the music industry, and the stories that inspired her enduring songs.

Lucinda Williams’s rise to fame was anything but easy. Raised in a working-class family in the Deep South, she moved from town to town each time her father-a poet, a textbook salesman, a professor, a lover of parties-got a new job, totaling twelve different places by the time she was eighteen. Her mother suffered from severe mental illness and was in and out of hospitals. And when Williams was about a year old, she had to have an emergency tracheotomy-an inauspicious start for a singing career. But she was also born a fighter, and she would develop a voice that has captivated millions.

Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl by Renée Rosen

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl

It’s 1938, and a young woman selling face cream out of a New York City beauty parlor is determined to prove she can have it all. Her name is Estée Lauder, and she’s about to take the world by storm, in this dazzling new novel from the USA Today bestselling author of The Social Graces and Park Avenue Summer.

In New York City, you can disappear into the crowd. At least that’s what Gloria Downing desperately hopes as she tries to reinvent herself after a devastating family scandal. She’s ready for a total life makeover and a friend she can lean on—and into her path walks a young, idealistic woman named Estée. Their chance encounter will change Gloria’s life forever.

Estée dreams of success and becoming a household name like Elizabeth Arden, Helena Rubinstein, and Revlon. Before Gloria knows it, she is swept up in her new friend’s mission and while Estée rolls up her sleeves, Gloria begins to discover her own talents. After landing a job at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York’s finest luxury department store, Gloria finds her voice, which proves instrumental in opening doors for Estée’s insatiable ambitions.

But in a world unaccustomed to women with power, they’ll each have to pay the price that comes with daring to live life on their own terms and refusing to back down.

Mott Street: A Chinese American Family’s Story of Exclusion and Homecoming by Ava Chin

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Mott Street

Mott Street follows Chinese American writer Ava Chin, who grew up estranged from her father, as she seeks the truth about her family history-and uncovers a legacy of exclusion and resilience that speaks to the American experience past and present. Chin’s ancestors became lovers, classmates, sworn enemies, and, eventually, through her birth, kin-all while converging at a single Chinatown address

Knowing What We Know: The Transmission of Knowledge, from Ancient Wisdom to Modern Magic by Simon Winchester

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Knowing What We Know

A study of the problematic nature of wisdom.

Prolific historian Winchester brings his insatiable curiosity to a wide-ranging examination of how humans have acquired, retained, and passed on knowledge from ancient times to the information-saturated present. Drawing on abundant research and autobiographical reflections on personal experiences of learning, the author creates an engaging narrative populated by a vast array of individuals, including philosophers, religious figures, polymaths, inventors, and researchers from all over the world: Confucius and Aristotle, Charles Babbage and Thomas Babington Macaulay; Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Tim Berners-Lee, to name a few.

Winchester examines the development of writing systems, the evolution of scrolls into books, and the various innovations for storing knowledge that have taken the form of encyclopedias, libraries, and museums. He considers the impacts of the inventions of paper, the printing press, and newspapers as well as the spread of misinformation and suppression of information by governments or political factions.

Not surprisingly, he devotes much attention to computers, first demonstrated to an amazed public in 1968; the invention of hypertext; the founding of the World Wide Web; the release of Wikipedia in 2001; and the strides being made in artificial intelligence. Winchester’s overriding concern is the future of thinking: “If machines will acquire all our knowledge for us and do our thinking for us, then what, pray, is the need for us to be?” If GPS makes map-reading an antiquated skill, if Wikipedia makes retaining information unnecessary, if calculators do our math problems, what happens to the capacity of our minds? “How, in sum, do we value the knowledge that, thanks to the magic of electronics, is now cast before us in so vast and ceaseless and unstoppable a cascade?” asks the author. “Amid the torrent and its fury, what is to become of thought—care and calm and quiet thoughtfulness? What of our own chance of ever gaining wisdom? Do we need it?”

Erudite, digressive, and brimming with fascinating information. – Kirkus Review

The Rescue by T. Jefferson Parker

(Available Formats: Print Book & CD Audiobook)

The Rescue

Much of this quirky standalone from bestseller Parker (A Thousand Steps) is told from the viewpoint of Joe, a dog trained by the DEA to sniff out drugs but later retired from the agency. Joe is now in Tijuana, Mexico, with “the Roman,” who uses the animal’s incredible nose to help one cartel rob another. In a heist gone wrong, Joe is shot, rescued by a Tijuana kid, and healed by a local vet. Joe is adopted by Bettina Blazak, an American reporter in Laguna Beach, Calif., who writes a story about the dog that goes viral, attracting all kinds of attention. Teddy Delgado, a San Diego boy who raised Joe as a puppy, wants him back, as does the Roman. The robbed cartel wants to steal him—and the DEA wants to use Bettina and Joe to attack the cartels. The tough, stubborn Bettina is determined to keep Joe, though bargaining with a Mexican cartel seems like a fool’s errand. Readers will delight in the highly anthropomorphized Joe, but some may find the marriage of “dog lit” and violent thriller to be a bit awkward. Fans of Spencer Quinn’s Chet and Bernie mysteries will want to check this out. – Publishers Weekly Review

Things I Wish I Told My Mother: A Novel by Susan Patterson

(Available Formats: Print Book & Large Print)

Things I Wish I Told My Mother
A mother and daughter on vacation in Paris unpack a lifetime of secrets and hopes. Every daughter has her own distinctive voice, her inimitable style, and her secrets. Laurie is an artist, a collector of experiences. She travels the world with a worn beige duffel bag. Every mother has her own distinctive voice, her inimitable style, and her secrets. “Dr. Liz,” Laurie’s mother, is an elegant perfectionist who travels the world with a matched set of suitcases. When Laurie surprises her mother with a dream vacation, it brings an unexpected sparkle to her eyes. So begins Things I Wish I Told My Mother.

The Way of the Bear: A Novel by Anne Hillerman

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

Way of the Bear

Fossil harvesting, ancient lore, greed, rejected love and murder combine in this gripping new installment of New York Times bestselling author Anne Hillerman’s Leaphorn, Chee & Manuelito series.

An unexpected death on a lonely road outside of Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument raises questions for Navajo Tribal Police officers Jim Chee and Bernadette Manuelito. Why would a seasoned outdoorsman and well-known paleontologist freeze to death within walking distance of his car? A second death brings more turmoil. Who is the unidentified man killed during a home invasion where nothing much seems to have been taken? Why was he murdered?

The Bears Ears area, at the edge of the Navajo Nation, is celebrated for its abundance of early human habitation sites and the discovery of unique fossils which revolutionized the scientific view of how early animals dealt with their changing world. Chee and Manuelito appreciate the area’s scenery and wealth of human and scientific resources, but their visit to this achingly beautiful place is disrupted by a current of unprecedented violence that sweeps them both into danger. Illicit romance, a fossilized jawbone, hints of witchcraft, and a mysterious disappearance during a blizzard add to the peril.

It takes all of Manuelito’s and Chee’s experience, skill, and intuition to navigate the threats that arise and see justice served.

Where Are The Children Now? By Mary Higgins Clark

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

Where Are The Children Now

A lawyer turned successful podcaster, Melissa has recently married a man whose first wife died tragically, leaving him and their young daughter, Riley, behind. While Melissa and her brother, Mike, help their mom, Nancy, relocate from Cape Cod to the equally idyllic Hamptons, Melissa’s new stepdaughter goes missing. Drawing on the experience of their own abduction, Melissa and Mike race to find Riley to save her from the trauma they still struggle with–or worse.

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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