Suggested Reading May 17, 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 24, 2023.

Between Two Strangers by Kate White

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Between Two Strangers

Skyler Moore, a talented artist but not a successful one, is baffled when a man–a total stranger, apparently–leaves her a small fortune in his will. Later, she figures out that she did meet the man once, but how does a decade-old, one-night stand lead to this surprise inheritance? The dead man’s family isn’t exactly thrilled with this turn of events either, hurling nasty accusations at Skyler. In her quest to understand, she uncovers some old secrets that could change her life even more than the inheritance has already changed it. White, whose The Second Husband (2022) was an intricate and very suspenseful thriller, turns in another fine performance here. The writing sizzles, the mystery of the inheritance is intriguing, and the characters are vivid. Readers who have yet to read White’s fiction are in for a real treat; longtime fans know what to expect. For domestic thriller devotees, White delivers the goods. – Booklist Review

Fractal Noise by Christopher Paolini

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Fractal Noise

July 25th, 2234: The crew of the Adamura discovers the anomaly.

On the seemingly uninhabited planet Talos VII: a circular pit, 50 kilometers wide.
Its curve not of nature, but design.

Now, a small team must land and journey on foot across the surface to learn who built the hole and why.
But they all carry the burdens of lives carved out on disparate colonies in the cruel cold of space.

For some the mission is the dream of the lifetime, for others a risk not worth taking, and for one it is a desperate attempt to find meaning in an uncaring universe.

Each step they take toward the mysterious abyss is more punishing than the last.

And the ghosts of their past follow.

Identity by Nora Roberts

(Available Formats: Print Book)


The #1 New York Times-bestselling author’s terrifying new thriller about one man’s ice-cold malice, and one woman’s fight to reclaim her life.

Former Army brat Morgan Albright has finally planted roots in a friendly neighborhood near Baltimore. Her friend and roommate Nina helps her make the mortgage payments, as does Morgan’s job as a bartender. But after she and Nina host their first dinner party—attended by Luke, the flirtatious IT guy who’d been chatting her up at the bar—her carefully built world is shattered. The back door glass is broken, cash and jewelry are missing, her car is gone, and Nina lies dead on the floor.

Soon, a horrific truth emerges: It was Morgan who let the monster in. “Luke” is actually a cold-hearted con artist named Gavin who targets a particular type of woman, steals her assets and identity, and then commits his ultimate goal: murder.

What the FBI tells Morgan is beyond chilling. Nina wasn’t his type. Morgan is. Nina was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. And Morgan’s nightmare is just beginning. Soon she has no choice but to flee to her mother’s home in Vermont. While she struggles to build something new, she meets another man, Miles Jameson. He isn’t flashy or flirtatious, and his family business has deep roots in town. But Gavin is still out there hunting new victims, and he hasn’t forgotten the one who got away.

Lie Maker by Linwood Barclay

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The Lie Maker

In this twisty, fast-paced thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Find

You First and Take Your Breath Away, a man desperately tries to track down his father—who was taken into witness protection years ago—before his enemies can get to him.

Your dad’s not a good person. Your dad killed people, son.

These are some of the last words Jack Givins’ father spoke to him before he was whisked away by witness protection, leaving Jack and his mother to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives as best they could.

Years later, Jack is a grown man with problems of his own. He’s a talented but struggling author, barely scraping by on the royalties from his moderately successful first book. So when the U.S. Marshals approach him with a lucrative opportunity, he’s in no position to turn them down. They’re recruiting writers like Jack to create false histories for people in witness protection—people like Jack’s father.

The coincidence is astonishing to Jack at first, but he soon realizes this may be a chance to find his dad. Only there’s one problem—Jack’s father hasn’t made contact with his handlers recently, and they have no idea where he is. He could be in serious danger, and Jack may be the only one who can find him.

But how will he find a man he’s never truly known? A man who has done terrible things in his lifetime and made some deadly enemies in the process—enemies who wouldn’t think twice about using his own son against him.

Night Travelers by Armando Lucas Orrea

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Night Travelers

Correa (The Daughter’s Tale) unfurls a stunning multigenerational story involving WWII Germany and the Cuban Revolution. In 1931 Berlin, poet Ally Keller gives birth to Lilith, her daughter with jazz musician Marcus, a Black German man. After Marcus goes missing, and as Germany marches toward war, Ally fears Lilith may be targeted by the Nazis because of her skin color, so she begs her Jewish neighbors, Beatrice and Albert Herzog, to take seven-year-old Lilith with them to Cuba. As Lilith adapts to life in Cuba with the Herzogs, she befriends Martín Bernal, and they eventually marry. But Martín’s alliance with Batista’s government puts him in danger when Fidel Castro comes to power, forcing him to leave Lilith and their daughter Nadine alone after he is captured, and Lilith arranges for Nadine to leave Cuba for the U.S., where she’s adopted by an American couple. Years later, Nadine attends college in Germany, and while working as a scientist at a research center in Berlin, her interest in her heritage leads her to information about her birth mother’s early years. Correa makes palpable the sacrifices made by Ally and Lilith for their children’s survival, and the taut pacing keeps the pages flying. Readers will be deeply moved. – Publishers Weekly Starred Review

The Old Lion: A Novel of Theodore Roosevelt by Jeff Shaara

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The Old Lion

Historical novelist Shaara explores the enormously consequential life of Theodore Roosevelt through the man’s own point of view. Solid biographies of Roosevelt already exist, of course, but fiction is the only vehicle for suggesting what his thoughts might have been. This novel races through his career, seemingly trying not to miss a single adventure, battle, or victory, even if only in passing. TR writes the well-received The Naval War of 1812 and later becomes assistant secretary of the Navy. No, wait–he’s governor of New York, fighting corruption. But that was yesterday, and today he’s leading his men up San Juan Hill. Next to him, a fellow Rough Rider says “There’s not a Spanish bullet made that can kill me” just before being shot in the mouth. In a flash, it would seem, Roosevelt is the Republican candidate for vice president. Pages later, President McKinley is shot and lingers near death. Suddenly TR realizes, “Good Godfrey. I’ll be the president of the United States.” Contemporary writer and biographer Hermann Hagedorn interviews him from time to time and asks questions about his battles and accomplishments that might not otherwise fit in with the storyline. Oh yes, I did help settle the coal strike…but don’t ask me about that damn Medal of Honor. And the Panama Canal triumph must be squeezed in somehow. The author deeply admires his subject, as many people do. But Shaara’s tone occasionally drifts toward hagiography. Deep in the Brazilian jungle, near the river still called Rio Roosevelt, TR and his son Kermit suffer “open sores and boils” as they accompany a scientific expedition, and the locals love him for it: “Roosevelt’s illness and agony could not sway their beliefs that here, before them, stood a king.” One novel cannot completely deal with all that Roosevelt packed into the six decades of life he predicts for himself. “I know you, Teddy,” says his wife, Edith. “You have mountains to climb, and no one can stop you.” Indeed, nothing stops him but his heart. A glowing tribute to a Rushmore-worthy president. The Old Lion himself would have called it “dee-lightful!” – Kirkus Review

Summer Reading by Jenn McKinlay

(Available Formats: Print Book & Downloadable Audiobook)

Summer Reading

McKinlay’s charming latest (after It Happened One Christmas Eve) opens with a meet-cute no reader will forget and blooms into a multifaceted story replete with lovable characters, mouthwatering descriptions of food, and a vicarious vacation to Martha’s Vineyard. After up-and-coming Boston chef Samantha Gale is passed over for promotion by a boss who seems more concerned about her gender and her dyslexia than her qualifications, she quits her restaurant job and heads to her family’s summer home to spend a month licking her wounds while chaperoning her teenage half-brother. She’s not looking for romance, but when she meets Ben Reynolds, she can’t ignore their attraction. But Ben is the town’s new library director and books are his life, while Sam’s severe dyslexia has left her with a lifelong hatred of reading. She’s initially worried that this difference will make them incompatible, but Ben’s enthusiasm proves infectious, and he soon encourages her to write a cookbook of her own. McKinlay handles Sam’s dyslexia with sensitivity and heart, and all editions of the book will be published in “a dyslexic friendly font.” The well-developed emotional growth between the protagonists makes their connection feel real. This is a keeper. – Publishers Weekly Review

Summer Stage by Meg Mitchell Moore

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Summer Stage

Moore (Vacationland) brings summer theatre to life in her sparkling latest. When movie star Timothy Fleming’s ex-wife, Gertie, asks him to help find a location to stage Much Ado About Nothing, Timothy is eager to oblige. His career is at a crossroads, and he knows losing Gertie, also an actor, was his “biggest mistake,” so he books a theater on Block Island, where he grew up, on the condition that he be the director. Timothy’s sister, Amy, a married mother of two who has put her own dreams of being a playwright on the back burner, is made production manager. Home for the summer is Amy’s 19-year-old daughter, Sam, a child actor whose recent work won her TikTok fame but ended in scandal. Soon they’re all working on the island, where old resentments are brought to light regarding Timothy and Amy’s mother as well as Sam’s childhood spent pursuing acting in Los Angeles. Pulling the reader through is the unlikely production, with its backstage dramas and lackluster ticket sales. The relationships feel real and engaging, and the dialogue is sharp and snappy, with smart writing that examines familial relationships with insight and aplomb. This one’s equally charming and satisfying. – Starred Publishers Weekly Review

The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

True Love Experiment

Romance novelist Felicity “Fizzy” Chen is going through a dry spell in both her professional and personal lives. She hasn’t been on a date in over a year and has been unable to write for nearly as long. Fizzy agrees to be the leading lady in producer Connor Prince’s new dating show, The True Love Experiment, in hopes of both getting some inspiration for her next novel and maybe finding her own perfect match, but sparks unexpectedly fly between Fizzy and Connor instead of Fizzy and the show’s “hero” suitors. Can Fizzy and Connor (who would much rather be filming nature documentaries) overcome the roadblocks in their way and find true love in their own accidental experiment? Readers will appreciate the witty dialogue, chemistry that practically leaps off the page, and believable conflicts, as well as the opportunity to check in with The Soulmate Equation’s Jess and River in Lauren’s latest (after Something Wilder).

VERDICT Both Lauren’s loyal fans and all contemporary romance readers will appreciate this sexy, swoony, heartfelt novel. – Library Journal Review

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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