Suggested Listening December 25, 2020

Hi everyone, welcome to our Suggested Listening posting for this week!

Our Suggested Listening postings focus on the music of the past, with a few new songs mixed in for good measure.

Suggested Listening postings come out weekly, on Fridays, and the next Suggested Listening posting will be out on Friday, January 1, 2020.

Alicia Keys: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert (2020)

A mini concert by the great singer; recorded live at the NPR Tiny Desk studio(!) in February 2020.

Aretha Franklin Live In Montreaux (full concert)

The great Aretha recorded live in Montreux, Switzerland on June 12th, 1971.

A.R.M.S. Concert (1983) (Genre: Classic Rock)

The original A.R.M.S. (Action Research Into Multiple Sclerosis) concert was held at the Royal Albert Hall on September 20, 1983 and organized by former Small Faces/Faces singer & guitarist Ronnie Lane & his friends to raise funds to research treatment for Multiple Sclerosis, which Lane suffered from.

Lane had some terrific friends agree to play the at this charity concert! The friends included Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Chris Stainton, Steve Winwood, Kenny Jones, Ray Cooper, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, Anthony Fairweather-Jones.

Bonnie Raitt in Concert at the Oakland Coliseum Arena (12/31/1989)

The great blues & rock guitarist and singer was in top form for this concert, recorded live on New Years’ Eve 1989!

Songs include: About To Make Me Leave Home, Talk To Me, Green Lights, Love Me Like A Man, Give It Up Or Let Me Go, Thing Called Love, Love Letter and more!

Chuck Berry’s 1965 Belgium TV Appearance (Complete)

Chuck Berry recorded live Recorded on February 6, 1965!

Chuck sings Maybelline, The Things That I Used To Do, Roll Over Beethoven, Memphis Tennessee, No Particular Place To Go, Johnny B. Goode and more!

Herb Alpert Live at Montreux (1996) (Genre: Pop, Jazz, Easy Listening)

The great trumpet player, Herb Alpert, and his band perform some of his classic songs including Rise, Drivin’ Home, Sneakin’ In, Rendezvous, The Lonely Bull, Spanish Flea, My Funny Valentine, Side Steppin’, Across The Bridge, A Taste Of Honey, Sugar Cane & This Guy’s In Love.

Live at Montreux 1969 by Ella Fitzgerald (Genre: Jazz)

The great jazz singer performs fourteen songs Give Me The Simple Life, This Girl’s In Love With You, I Won’t Dance, A Place For Lovers, That Old Black Magic, Useless Landscape, I Love You Madly, Trouble Is A Man, A Man And A Woman, Sunshine Of Your Love, Well Alright Okay You Win, Hey Jude, Scat Medley & A House Is Not A Home.

The Lost Concert (1964) by The Beach Boys

An early Beach Boys concert: songs include Fun Fun Fun, Long Tall Texan, Little Duece Coop, Surfer Girl, Surfin’ U.S.A., Shut Down, In My Room & Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow.

South Side Soul by John Wright

Jazz pianist John Wright accompanied by Wendell Roberts on bass and Walter McCants on drums with an aptly titled soulful album from 1960; songs include South Side Soul, 47th & Calument, La Salle St. Afater Hours, 63rd And Cotage Groove, 35th Street Blues, Sin Corner & Amen Corner.

Tracy Chapman at Austin City Limits (2003) (Genre: Folk, Pop-Rock)

Tracy performs live on stage for the PBS Austin City Limits Show. Songs include Say Hallelujah, For My Lover, Smoke And Ashes, Fast Car, Telling Stories, You’re The One and more.

Hoopla Pick of the Week

Brothers In Arms (1985) by Dire Straits

Arguable the best Dire Straits album of all!  Songs on the album include So Far Away, Money For Nothing, Walk Of Life, One World, Ride Across The River & Why Worry.

Have a great weekend!

Linda Reimer, SSCL

REFERENCES:

Print References

The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits by Joel Whitburn

Online References

AllMusic: https://www.allmusic.com/

Online Catalog Links:

StarCat

The catalog of physical materials, i.e. print books, DVDs, audiobooks on CD, etc.

The Digital Catalog (OverDrive & Libby Apps)

The catalog of e-books, downloadable audiobooks and a handful of streaming videos.

Hoopla

A catalog of instant check out items, including eBooks, downloadable audiobooks, comic books, TV shows and movies for for patrons of the Southeast Steuben County Library.

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

Suggested Reading December 22, 2020

Hi everyone, here are our recommended reads for the week.

After each title is a list of all the different formats that title available in; including: Print Books, Large Print Books, Audiobooks on CD, eBooks & Downloadable Audiobooks from the Digital Catalog (OverDrive & Libby apps) and Hoopla eBooks & Downloadable Audiobooks (Hoopla App).

*More information on the three catalogs is found at the end of the list of recommended reads*

Weekly Suggested Reading postings are published on Tuesdays.

The next Suggested Reading posting will be published on December 29, 2020.

Big Girl, Small Town: A Novel by Michelle Gallen

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

Majella is happiest out of the spotlight, away from her neighbors’ stares and the gossips of the small town in Northern Ireland where she grew up just after the Troubles. She lives a quiet life caring for her alcoholic mother, working in the local chip shop, watching the regular customers come and go. She wears the same clothes each day (overalls, too small), has the same dinner each night (fish and chips, microwaved at home after her shift ends), and binge-watches old DVDs of the same show (Dallas, best show on TV) from the comfort of her bed.

But underneath Majella’s seemingly ordinary life are the facts that she doesn’t know where her father is and that every person in her town has been changed by the lingering divide between Protestants and Catholics. When Majella’s predictable existence is upended by the death of her granny, she comes to realize there may be more to life than the gossips of Aghybogey, the pub, and the chip shop. In fact, there just may be a whole big world outside her small town.

Told in a highly original voice, with a captivating heroine readers will love and root for, Big Girl, Small Town will appeal to fans of Sally Rooney, Ottessa Moshfegh, and accessible literary fiction with an edge.

Bright And Breaking Sea: A Captain Kit Brightling Novel by Chloe Neill

(Available Formats: Print Book & Hoopla Audiobook)

Taking a break from her Heirs of Chicagoland series (which began with Wild Hunger, 2018), Neill launches a new, magical reimagining of the Napoleonic Wars. Some believe twenty-four year-old Captain Kit Brightling is too young and too female for naval command, but the Queen has faith in her abilities and has assigned Kit and her crew a dangerous covert mission. They are to rescue an agent with intelligence regarding the identity of a traitor working with the exiled Gallic Emperor. Kit can sense the ocean’s currents and, by gently tapping into that power, speed her ship to any destination. She has been ordered to share authority with Rian Grant, Viscount Queenscliff, a former soldier who served with the operative but feels he may be more hindrance than help. Kit soon discovers that Grant is much more than a privileged Aristocratic fop. The diverse crew, sea battles, intrigue, treason, class and gender infighting, and the attraction between Kit and Grant will appeal to fans of historical military fantasies like Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series. Readers will eagerly anticipate the next exciting adventure. Booklist Review

Darling Dahlias And The Voodoo Lily by Susan Wittig Albert

(Available Format: Print Book)

Spring, 1935 finds the little Alabama town of Darling excited about their new local radio station, WDAR. But there are problems brewing at the newspaper, where a trio of new hires causes headaches for editor Charlie Dickens.

That’s not the worst of it, though, as the Dahlias discover when the newest resident at Bessie Bloodworth’s Magnolia Manor is found dead. She had overindulged in a large and very rich chocolate cake—but was something else baked into that cake? If so, one of the Dahlias is likely to find herself at the top of Sheriff Buddy Norris’ suspect list. That would give Darling something to gossip about!

And there’s plenty more to keep the tongues wagging. Will the ladies at the new bakery ever learn to bake bread? What’s happening in Liz Lacy’s love life? Will her new book be a success? And can Voodoo Lil’s special brand of magic keep Violet Sims from taking Cupcake off to Hollywood to become a Shirley
Temple look-alike?

But amid all these mysteries, one thing’s for certain: The Darling Dahlias just keep growing.

The Orchard: A Novel by David Hopen

(Available Formats: Print Book)

A Recommended Book From:

The New York Times * Good Morning America * Entertainment Weekly * Electric Literature * The New York Post * Alma * The Millions * Book Riot

A commanding debut and a poignant coming-of-age story about a devout Jewish high school student whose plunge into the secularized world threatens everything he knows of himself

Ari Eden’s life has always been governed by strict rules. In ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn, his days are dedicated to intense study and religious rituals, and adolescence feels profoundly lonely. So when his family announces that they are moving to a glitzy Miami suburb, Ari seizes his unexpected chance for reinvention.

Enrolling in an opulent Jewish academy, Ari is stunned by his peers’ dizzying wealth, ambition, and shameless pursuit of life’s pleasures. When the academy’s golden boy, Noah, takes Ari under his wing, Ari finds himself entangled in the school’s most exclusive and wayward group. These friends are magnetic and defiant—especially Evan, the brooding genius of the bunch, still living in the shadow of his mother’s death.

Influenced by their charismatic rabbi, the group begins testing their religion in unconventional ways. Soon Ari and his friends are pushing moral boundaries and careening toward a perilous future—one in which the traditions of their faith are repurposed to mysterious, tragic ends.

Mesmerizing and playful, heartrending and darkly romantic, The Orchard probes the conflicting forces that determine who we become: the heady relationships of youth, the allure of greatness, the doctrines we inherit, and our concealed desires.

Persuasion by Iris Johansen

(Available Formats: eBook)

When Eve Duncan’s daughter, Jane MacGuire, becomes a madman’s target, Jane must team up with longtime love interest Seth Caleb in this suspense novel from the #1 bestselling author of Smokescreen.

Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan and ex-Navy Seal Joe Quinn are about to give Seth Caleb their trust for the most important duty of his life: keeping their daughter, Jane MacGuire, safe at any cost. Because Jane’s talent as an artist has brought her to the attention of a madman.

Seth, Jane’s longtime ally and fierce protector, is determined to keep her out of danger, but that becomes nearly impossible when Jane is forced to take matters into her own hands and confronts the man who wants her for himself…and wants Seth Caleb dead.

As Jane and Seth chase down their blood-thirsty adversary, they finally commit to one another — in the culmination of the love story that fans have been waiting for. As the two come face-to-face with danger, one thing is made clear: it will take both of them working together to confront and defeat this evil.

The Relic by Douglas Preston

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

A monster on the loose in New York City’s American Museum of Natural History provides the hook for this high-concept, high-energy thriller. A statue of the mad god Mbwun, a monstrous mix of man and reptile, was discovered by a Museum expedition to South America in 1987. Now, it is about to become part of the new Superstition Exhibition at the museum (here renamed the “New York Museum of Natural History”). But as the exhibition’s opening night approaches, the museum may have to be shut down due to a series of savage murders that seem to be the work of a maniac-or a living version of Mbwun. When the museum’s director pulls strings to ensure that the gala affair takes place, it’s up to a small band of believers, led by graduate student Margo Green, her controversial adviser and an FBI agent who investigated similar killings in New Orleans, to stop the monster-if the culprit is indeed a monster-from going on a rampage. Less horror then action-adventure, the narrative builds to a superbly exciting climax, and then offers a final twist to boot. With its close-up view of museum life and politics, plausible scientific background, sharply drawn characters and a plot line that’s blissfully free of gratuitous romance, this well-crafted novel offers first-rate thrills and chills.

The Silver Shooter by Erin Lindsey

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Erin Lindsey’s third historical mystery The Silver Shooter follows Rose Gallagher as she tracks a monster and searches for treasure in the wilds of the Dakota Territory.

It’s the spring of 1887, and Rose Gallagher is finally coming into her own. She’s the proud owner of a lovely little home near Washington Square, where she lives with her mother and friend Pietro, and she’s making a name for herself as a Pinkerton agent with a specialty in things . . . otherworldly. She and her partner Thomas are working together better than ever, and mostly managing to push aside romantic feelings for one another. Mostly.

Things are almost too good to be true—so Rose is hardly surprised when Theodore Roosevelt descends on them like a storm cloud, hiring them for a mysterious job out west. A series of strange occurrences in the Badlands surrounding his ranch has Roosevelt convinced something supernatural is afoot.

It began with livestock disappearing from the range, their bodies later discovered torn apart by something monstrously powerful. Now people are dying, too. Meanwhile, a successful prospector has gone missing, and rumors about his lost stash of gold have attracted treasure hunters from far and wide – but they keep disappearing, too. To top it all off, this past winter, a mysterious weather phenomenon devastated the land, leaving the locals hungry, broke, and looking for someone to blame.

With tensions mounting and the body count rising, Roosevelt fears a single spark will be all it takes to set the Badlands aflame. It’s up to Rose and Thomas to get to the bottom of it, but they’re against the clock and an unknown enemy, and the west will prove wilder than they could possibly imagine…

That Time Of Year: A Minnesota Life by Garrison Keillor

(Available Formats: Print Book & Hoopla Audiobook)

With the warmth and humor we’ve come to know, the creator and host of A Prairie Home Companion shares his own remarkable story.

In That Time of Year, Garrison Keillor looks back on his life and recounts how a Brethren boy with writerly ambitions grew up in a small town on the Mississippi in the 1950s and, seeing three good friends die young, turned to comedy and radio. Through a series of unreasonable lucky breaks, he founded A Prairie Home Companion and put himself in line for a good life, including mistakes, regrets, and a few medical adventures. PHC lasted forty years, 750 shows, and enjoyed the freedom to do as it pleased for three or four million listeners every Saturday at 5 p.m. Central. He got to sing with Emmylou Harris and Renee Fleming and once sang two songs to the U.S. Supreme Court. He played a private eye and a cowboy, gave the news from his hometown, Lake Wobegon, and met Somali cabdrivers who’d learned English from listening to the show. He wrote bestselling novels, won a Grammy and a National Humanities Medal, and made a movie with Robert Altman with an alarming amount of improvisation.

He says, “I was unemployable and managed to invent work for myself that I loved all my life, and on top of that I married well. That’s the secret, work and love. And I chose the right ancestors, impoverished Scots and Yorkshire farmers, good workers. I’m heading for eighty, and I still get up to write before dawn every day.”

Written In The Stars: A Novel by Alexandria Bellefleur

(Available Formats: Print Book)

“I was hooked from the very first page!” – Christina Lauren, New York Times bestselling author of In a Holidaze
Featured on Shondaland, Oprah Mag, Bustle, Buzzfeed, POPSUGAR, Washington Post, NPR, Culturess, and more. One of Washington Post’s Best Romances of 2020!

With nods to Bridget Jones and Pride & Prejudice, this debut is a delightful #ownvoices queer rom-com about a free-spirited social media astrologer who agrees to fake a relationship with an uptight actuary until New Year’s Eve—with results not even the stars could predict!

After a disastrous blind date, Darcy Lowell is desperate to stop her well-meaning brother from playing matchmaker ever again. Love—and the inevitable heartbreak—is the last thing she wants. So she fibs and says her latest set up was a success. Darcy doesn’t expect her lie to bite her in the ass.

Elle Jones, one of the astrologers behind the popular Twitter account Oh My Stars, dreams of finding her soul mate. But she knows it is most assuredly not Darcy… a no-nonsense stick-in-the-mud, who is way too analytical, punctual, and skeptical for someone as free-spirited as Elle. When Darcy’s brother—and Elle’s new business partner—expresses how happy he is that they hit it off, Elle is baffled. Was Darcy on the same date? Because… awkward.

Darcy begs Elle to play along and she agrees to pretend they’re dating. But with a few conditions: Darcy must help Elle navigate her own overbearing family during the holidays and their arrangement expires on New Year’s Eve. The last thing they expect is to develop real feelings during a faux relationship. But maybe opposites can attract when true love is written in the stars?

“Everything I want from a rom-com: fun, whimsical, sexy.” – Talia Hibbert, USA Today bestselling author of Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Have a great week!

Linda Reimer

*Information on the Three Catalogs*

Digital Catalog: https://stls.overdrive.com/

The Digital Catalog has two companion apps, Libby & OverDrive. Libby is the app for newer devices and the OverDrive app should be used for older devices and Amazon tablets.

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 check outs of eBooks, downloadable audiobook, comic books, albums and streaming videos. Patron check out limit is 4 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.

The StarCat app is called Bookmyne and is available for Apple and Android devices.

Also feel free to call the Southeast Steuben County Library and request titles via tel 607-936-3713.

Have a great week!

Linda Reimer, SSCL

Note: Book summaries are from the respective publishers unless otherwise specified.

Have questions?

Feel free to call the library! Our telephone number is 607-936-3713.

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

Suggested Listening December 18, 2020

Hi everyone, welcome to our Suggested Listening posting for this week!

Our Suggested Listening postings focus on the music of the past, with a few new songs mixed in for good measure.

Suggested Listening postings come out weekly, on Fridays, and the next Suggested Listening posting will be out on Friday, December 25, 2020.

Special Live Concert for Free (online) Alert!

Paul Winter will be playing his 41 Wintsr Solscice Concert today!

Friday, December 18, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. EST –

Just click the following link to see the concert:
https://solsticeconcert.com.

And here is a little info on the concert from Paul Winter’s Youtube page:

Every December since 1980, seven-time Grammy® winner Paul Winter and his colleagues have celebrated the Winter Solstice at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine with a feast of music and dancing from the diversity of cultures and creatures of the world. This December, with their beloved cathedral forum closed for events, their 41st Annual Winter Solstice Celebration will be a unique video presentation that will be available to a worldwide audience.

With a theme of “Everybody Under the Sun,” Paul Winter’s 41st Annual Winter Solstice Celebration will be a retrospective tapestry highlighting iconic performances from the first four decades of the event. This one-of-a-kind video, featuring many pieces that have never before been seen outside the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, will become available on demand at 7:00 p.m. EST, on Friday, December 18 on https://solsticeconcert.com.

And onto our regular music recommendations for the week!

Compared To What by Les McCann & Eddie Harris (Genre: Jazz)

A mellow mid-sixties recording by jazz pianist and vocalist Les McCann & saxophonist Eddie Harris.

A Hard Days’ Night by the Beatles (Genre: Rock, Classic Rock)

The title songs from the 1964 soundtrack; recorded live!

The Long Game by Della Mae (Genre: Americana, Country)

The country/Americana group, now a trio consisting of Celia Woodsmith, Kimber Ludiker and Jenni Lyn with a song from one of the best Americana albums of the year – Headlight.

The Low Sparks of High Heeled Boys by Traffic (Genre: Rock, Classic Rock)

Traffic had an ever changing line-up during its sixties and seventies hey-day; however, the band was always led by super-talented Stevie Winwood, and the group had a flair for long playing rock-jazz songs like this one!

This is the title track from the band’s 1971 album – The Low Sparks of High Heeled Boys.

Midnight At Minton’s by Eddie Lockjaw Davis & Johnny Griffin (Genre: Jazz)

Saxophonists Davis & Griffin join forces to play on this great tune, and the related album Griff & Lock (1960).

Memphis, Tennessee & Johnny B. Goode by John Lennon & Chuck Berry (Genre: Rock, Classic Rock)

A terrific concert clip recorded on the Mike Douglas Show in 1972!

Old Men by Corb Lund (Genre: Americana, Country)

Corb Lund is an Alberta based singer-songwriter and guitarist with a flair for playing Americana music; Old Men is an empowering song from his 2020 release Agricultural Tragic.

Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt (Genre: Vocal, Holiday)

Actress and singer Eartha Kitt with a perennial favorite and a slightly risqué video!

Time To Change by the Brady Bunch (Genre: Pop, Seventies Nostalgia)

A cheerful blast from the past; a clip of the groovy kids singing; from the classic TV show.

Yulesville by Edd “Kookie Byrnes” (Genre: Novelty, Pop)

Edd “Kookie” Byrnes was a popular actor in the fifties and sixties, known for playing the hip character “Kookie”— on the TV series 77 Sunset Strip. Byrnes also appeared in the classic film Grease (1978) as the character Vince Fontaine.

Hoopla Pick of the Week

A collection of songs that hit number 1 on the Billboard pop chart in the 1970s; including What A Fool Believes by the Doobie Brothers, Crocodile Rock by Elton John, Lean On Me by Bill Withers, Let’s Get It On by Marvin Gaye, I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash, Welcome Back by John Sebastian and more!

Have a great weekend!

Linda Reimer, SSCL

REFERENCES:

Print References

The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits by Joel Whitburn

Online References

AllMusic: https://www.allmusic.com/

Online Catalog Links:

StarCat

The catalog of physical materials, i.e. print books, DVDs, audiobooks on CD, etc.

The Digital Catalog (OverDrive)

The catalog of e-books, downloadable audiobooks and a handful of streaming videos.

Hoopla

A catalog of instant check out items, including eBooks, downloadable audiobooks, comic books, TV shows and movies for for patrons of the Southeast Steuben County Library.

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

Suggested Reading December 15, 2020

Hi everyone, here are our recommended reads for the week.

After each title is a list of all the different formats that title available in; including: Print Books, Large Print Books, Audiobooks on CD, eBooks & Downloadable Audiobooks from the Digital Catalog (OverDrive & Libby apps) and Hoopla eBooks & Downloadable Audiobooks (Hoopla App).

*More information on the three catalogs is found at the end of the list of recommended reads*

Weekly Suggested Reading postings are published on Tuesdays.

The next Suggested Reading posting will be published on December 22, 2020.

If you’d like to browse digital collections of holiday eBooks, audiobooks, streaming videos and more visit:

The Digital Catalog (or the OverDrive or Libby app) and you’ll find a collection of holiday romances and general fiction on the homepage found at:

https://stls.overdrive.com/

The Hoopla Catalog (Hoopla app) which features great holiday collections of eBooks, Audiobooks, TV Shows & Movies and can be found at:

https://www.hoopladigital.com

And onto the reading recommendations of the week!

Dark Tides: A Novel by Philippa Gregory

(Available Formats: Print Book & CD Audiobook)

Named a Best Book of the Month by CNN and MSNBC

Named a Most Exciting New Book of Fall by PopSugar

#1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory’s new historical novel tracks the rise of the Tidelands family in London, Venice, and New England.

Midsummer Eve 1670. Two unexpected visitors arrive at a shabby warehouse on the south side of the River Thames. The first is a wealthy man hoping to find the lover he deserted twenty-one years before. James Avery has everything to offer, including the favour of the newly restored King Charles II, and he believes that the warehouse’s poor owner Alinor has the one thing his money cannot buy—his son and heir.

The second visitor is a beautiful widow from Venice in deepest mourning. She claims Alinor as her mother-in-law and has come to tell Alinor that her son Rob has drowned in the dark tides of the Venice lagoon.

Alinor writes to her brother Ned, newly arrived in faraway New England and trying to make a life between the worlds of the English newcomers and the American Indians as they move toward inevitable war. Alinor tells him that she knows—without doubt—that her son is alive and the widow is an imposter.

Set in the poverty and glamour of Restoration London, in the golden streets of Venice, and on the tensely contested frontier of early America, this is a novel of greed and desire: for love, for wealth, for a child, and for home

Eddie’s Boy: A Novel by Thomas Perry

(Available Format: Print Book, Hoopla eBook & Hoopla Audiobook)

Michael Shaeffer is a retired American businessman, living peacefully in England with his aristocratic wife. But her annual summer party brings strangers to their house, and with them, an attempt on Michael’s life. He is immediately thrust into action, luring his lethal pursuers to Australia before venturing into the lion’s den—the States—to figure out why the mafia is after him again, and how to stop them.

Eddie’s Boy jumps between Michael’s current predicament and the past, between the skillset he now ruthlessly and successfully employs and the training that made him what he is. We glimpse the days before he became the Butcher’s Boy, the highly skilled mob hit man who pulled a slaughter job on some double-crossing clients and started a mob war, to his childhood spent apprenticed to Eddie, a seasoned hired assassin. And we watch him pit two prominent mafia families against each other to eliminate his enemies one by one.

He’s meticulous in his approach, using his senior contact in the Organized Crime Division of the Justice Department for information, without ever allowing her to get too close to his trail. But will he be able to escape this new wave of young contract killers, or will the years finally catch up to him

As the San Francisco Chronicle said about this Edgar Award-winning series, “The best thing about Thomas Perry’s thrillers are the devilishly ingenious schemes his protagonists devise to outwit their pursuers . . . Perry can really write.”

Jolene by Mercedes Lackey

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The beloved Elemental Masters series moves to America for the first time in a rich retelling of The Queen of the Copper Mountain, set against the backdrop of Tennessee coal country.

Anna May Jones is the daughter of a coal miner, but a sickly constitution has kept her confined to the house for most of her life. Hoping to improve her daughter’s health—and lessen the burden on their family—Anna’s mother sends her to live with her Aunt Jinny, a witchy-woman and an Elemental Master, in a holler outside of Ducktown.

As she settles into her new life, Anna learns new skills at Aunt Jinny’s side and discovers that she, too, has a gift for Elemental magic that Jinny calls “the Glory”. She also receives lessons from a mysterious and bewitching woman named Jolene, who assures her that, with time, Anna could become even more powerful than her aunt.

But with Anna’s increasing power comes increasing notice. Billie McDaran, the foreman of the Ducktown mine, begins to take an interest in Anna and her abilities—even though Anna has already fallen in love with a young man with a talent for stonecarving.

If she wants to preserve the life she has come to love, Anna must use her newfound powers to oppose the foreman and protect those around her.

Lazarus: A Killer Instinct Novel by Lars Kepler

(Available Formats: Print Book)

One of the best thrillers of the year! Kepler treats us readers to a nonstop roller coaster of suspense, taking us deep into the hearts and minds of perfectly realized characters. And, oh, what a villain! Lazarus is the definition of a one-sitting read!” —Jeffery Deaver, New York Times best-selling author of The Goodbye Man

Sometimes the past won’t stay buried.

All across Europe, the most ruthless criminals are suffering gruesome deaths. At first, it seems coincidental that their underworld affiliations are finally catching up to them. But when two of the victims are found to have disturbing connections to Detective Joona Linna, it becomes clear that there’s a single killer at work. Still, police are reluctant to launch an investigation. If a mysterious vigilante is making their jobs easier, why stand in his way? Joona, however, is convinced this is no would-be hero. These deaths serve a much darker purpose.

Desperate for help, Joona turns to Saga Bauer. If his hunch is correct, she’s one of the few people who stands a chance at bringing this criminal mastermind down. But Saga is fighting her own demons—and the killer knows just how to use them to his advantage. He continues to strike with impunity, and no one, it seems, is safe. When the killer begins targeting those closest to Saga and Joona, it appears more and more likely that Joona has been right all along, and that tracking down the person responsible will force him to confront a ghost from his past . . . the most terrifying villain he’s ever had to face.

Light Ages: The Surprising Story Of Medieval Science by Seb Falk

(Available Formats: Print Book & Hoopla eBook)

Falk, historian at Cambridge University, makes an auspicious if occasionally hard-going debut with this look at the “scientific life of an unknown monk” in 14th-century England. The cleric, John Westwyk, is known only through a handful of obscure manuscripts dealing with the creation of astronomical tables and instruments. Nonetheless, Falk skillfully uses Westwyk as a vehicle to explore the nature of medieval science, arriving at a number of somewhat surprising conclusions. He argues that medieval Christianity, rather than blocking intellectual progress, “took support from science–and, in turn, spurred its progress”; that the denizens of English monasteries, far from being isolated, were “profoundly influenced” by an “international scientific fraternity of Jews and Muslims, Italians and Germans”; and that the period’s healthy scientific debates contradict the “stereotype of the Middle Ages as an era of scholastic conformity.” He also explains that the “study of the natural world was a fundamental part of medieval life,” and that despite settling on many incorrect answers, medieval scholars made significant advances. Falk spends a great deal of time demonstrating the complex mathematics used to understand astronomical patterns and may lose some of his audience in the process. Nonetheless, his enthusiastically delivered study will entrance those fascinated by the history of science or the Middle Ages. Publishers Weekly Review

The Opium Prince by Jasmine Aimaq

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Is the opium prince Daniel Sajadi, the weary protagonist of this searing debut, who tries to fill his father’s very big shoes by helping eradicate Afghanistan’s poppy fields? Or is he the ambitiously named Taj Maleki (crown king), who works his way up from starving orphan to a poppy-field khan? Or is opium itself the prince, controlling as it does the lives of destitute Afghans and the rich foreigners who imbibe the deadly crop? These and many more questions will remain with readers who follow Daniel and Taj through the lead-up to the 1978 communist takeover of Afghanistan, when Daniel kills a little girl, Telaya, with his car, and Taj is involved in getting restitution for her family of Kochi nomads. Offering a piercing look at the Afghan view of foreign aid and patriarchal foreigners, Aimaq, who is half-Afghan and spent part of her life in the country, is a writer to watch. Every carefully described detail here will stay with readers as they examine what they thought they knew about America’s exporting of democracy and its war on drugs. For its worlds-within-worlds quality, give this to David Mitchell fans; it’s also a great choice for book clubs. Starred Booklist Review.

Perestroika In Paris by Jane Smiley

(Available Formats: Print Book)

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Thousand Acres and the New York Times best-selling Last Hundred Years Trilogy, a captivating, brilliantly imaginative story of three extraordinary animals—and a young boy—whose lives intersect in Paris

Paras, short for “Perestroika,” is a spirited racehorse at a racetrack west of Paris. One afternoon at dusk, she finds the door of her stall open and—she’s a curious filly—wanders all the way to the City of Light. She’s dazzled and often mystified by the sights, sounds, and smells around her, but she isn’t afraid. Soon she meets an elegant dog, a German shorthair pointer named Frida, who knows how to get by without attracting the attention of suspicious Parisians. Paras and Frida coexist for a time in the city’s lush green spaces, nourished by Frida’s strategic trips to the vegetable market. They keep company with two irrepressible ducks and an opinionated raven. But then Paras meets a human boy, Etienne, and discovers a new, otherworldly part of Paris: the ivy-walled house where the boy and his nearly-one-hundred-year-old great-grandmother live in seclusion. As the cold weather and Christmas near, the unlikeliest of friendships bloom. But how long can a runaway horse stay undiscovered in Paris? How long can a boy keep her hidden and all to himself? Jane Smiley’s beguiling new novel is itself an adventure that celebrates curiosity, ingenuity, and the desire of all creatures for true love and freedom.

The Rhythm Of War by Brandon Sanderson

(Available Formats: Print Book)

While Dalinar manages the coalition and the battlefront, Shallan and Adolin seek allies among the honorspren. Kaladin, finally forced to acknowledge the consequences of unbroken fighting, seeks new purpose away from the frontlines. Navani continues her work with new fabrial technology. The cost to both sides in a war everyone perceives as determining their very survival is tremendous. While there is plenty of strategy and politics, leading to suitably epic battles, Sanderson plays to his strengths, and the meat of the book is in the discovery of new information, both in history and in the magic system–or natural sciences, depending on how you look at it. There’s also plenty of subterfuge, from a traitorous king to a desperate bid to escape subjugation. The buildup is long and complex, with plenty of digging into how things work and the consequences of war (including the toll on mental health), culminating in an action-packed, falling-dominoes denouement. This may not be the best place to start with Sanderson’s work, but it certainly delivers the dense fantasy epic long-time readers will expect. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Fans have been waiting for the next Stormlight Archive novel since 2017 (after Oathbringer), so get ready. Booklist Review.

Reader’s Note: If you’d to start the series from the beginning, the first book is The Way of Kings.

Without A Brew by Ellie Alexander

(Available Format: Print Book)

Amateur sleuth Sloan Krause delves into a murderous winter wonderland in another delightful mystery from cozy writer Ellie Alexander, Without a Brew.

It’s winter in the Bavarian village of Leavenworth, Washington, which for local brewmaster Sloan Krause means lots of layers, pine and citrus-flavored craft beers, and getting the new guest rooms at Nitro into pristine condition before visitors flood in for IceFest—a local tradition filled with fireworks, ice carving, and winter games of all varieties. But Sloan and her boss Garrett quickly learn that being brewkeepers turned innkeepers may not be as idyllic as it sounded.

While one couple staying with them seems completely smitten, a flashy group arrives in the evening demanding rooms. Sloan and Garrett are less than impressed, but agree to rent to them anyway. The night takes a turn when brewery patron Liv Paxton finishes her frothy pint and, with no previous plan for an overnight stay in Leavenworth, eagerly takes Sloan up on the offer of sanctuary from the snow—until she has a strange run in with some locals and the other guests. Sloan could be imagining things, but when Liv’s room is found trashed the next morning, a hateful message painted on her car, and Liv herself is nowhere to be found, Sloan is convinced another mystery is brewing. With many of the potential suspects hunkering down under Nitro’s roof, she knows her co-workers and friends won’t be safe until she serves up the killer a hoppy pint of justice.

Where The Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda

(Available Formats: Print Books & Hoopla eBook)

In this witty and exuberant collection of feminist retellings of traditional Japanese folktales, humans live side by side with spirits who provide a variety of useful services—from truth-telling to babysitting, from protecting castles to fighting crime.

A busybody aunt who disapproves of hair removal; a pair of door-to-door saleswomen hawking portable lanterns; a cheerful lover who visits every night to take a luxurious bath; a silent house-caller who babysits and cleans while a single mother is out working. Where the Wild Ladies Are is populated by these and many other spirited women—who also happen to be ghosts. This is a realm in which jealousy, stubbornness, and other excessive “feminine” passions are not to be feared or suppressed, but rather cultivated; and, chances are, a man named Mr. Tei will notice your talents and recruit you, dead or alive (preferably dead), to join his mysterious company.

In this witty and exuberant collection of linked stories, Aoko Matsuda takes the rich, millenia-old tradition of Japanese folktales—shapeshifting wives and foxes, magical trees and wells—and wholly reinvents them, presenting a world in which humans are consoled, guided, challenged, and transformed by the only sometimes visible forces that surround them.

Have a great week!

Linda Reimer

*Information on the Three Catalogs*

Digital Catalog: https://stls.overdrive.com/

The Digital Catalog has two companion apps, Libby & OverDrive. Libby is the app for newer devices and the OverDrive app should be used for older devices and Amazon tablets.

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 check outs of eBooks, downloadable audiobook, comic books, albums and streaming videos. Patron check out limit is 4 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.

The StarCat app is called Bookmyne and is available for Apple and Android devices.

Also feel free to call the Southeast Steuben County Library and request titles via tel 607-936-3713.

Have a great week!

Linda Reimer, SSCL

Note: Book summaries are from the respective publishers unless otherwise specified.

Have questions?

Feel free to call the library! Our telephone number is 607-936-3713.

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

New York Times Bestsellers December 20, 2020

Hi everyone, here is the weekly list of New York Times Bestsellers.

Each title is followed by a listing of which formats it is available in for check out within the three catalogs: StarCat (Print, Large Print & Audiobooks on CD), The Digital Catalog (eBook & Downloadable Audiobook) and the Hoopla Catalog (Hoopla eBook, Hoopla Audiobook etc).

For more information on the three catalogs skip to the section below the bestselling titles*

 

The next New York Times Bestselling blog posting will be published on Sunday, January 10, 2021 – Happy holidays!

 

 

FICTION:

AMERICAN DIRT by Jeanine Cummins

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

A bookseller flees Mexico for the United States with her son while pursued by the head of a drug cartel.

 

 

ANXIOUS PEOPLE by Fredrik Backman

(Available Formats: Regular Print & Large Print Book, Audiobook on CD, eBook & Downloadable Audiobook)

A failed bank robber holds a group of strangers hostage at an apartment open house.

 

 

AWAKENING by Nora Roberts

(Available Formats: Print Book & CD Audiobook)

The first book in the Dragon Heart Legacy series. Breen Kelly travels through a portal in Ireland to a land of faeries and mermaids.

 

 

DAYLIGHT by David Baldacci

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print & eBook)

The F.B.I. agent Atlee Pine’s search for her twin sister overlaps with a military investigator’s hunt for someone involved in a global conspiracy.

 

 

DEADLY CROSS by James Patterson

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print & eBook)

The 28th book in the Alex Cross series. An investigation of a double homicide sends Alex Cross to Alabama.

 

 

FORTUNE AND GLORY by Janet Evanovich

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

The 27th book in the Stephanie Plum series. Stephanie deals with a soldier of fortune from Little Havana.

 

 

HOME BODY by Rupi Kaur 

(Available Formats: Hoopla eBook)

Poems and illustrations by the author of “Milk and Honey” and “The Sun and Her Flowers.”

 

 

THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE by V.E. Schwab

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

A Faustian bargain comes with a curse that affects the adventure Addie LaRue has across centuries.

 

 

THE LAW OF INNOCENCE by Michael Connelly

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

The sixth book in the Mickey Haller series. Haller defends himself when police find the body of a former client in his car’s trunk.

 

 

READY PLAYER TWO by Ernest Cline

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print & eBook)

In a sequel to “Ready Player One,” Wade Watts discovers a technological advancement and goes on a new quest.

 

 

THE RETURN by Nicholas Sparks

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

A doctor serving in the Navy in Afghanistan goes back to North Carolina where two women change his life.

 

 

RHYTHM OF WAR by Brandon Sanderson

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The fourth book in the Stormlight Archive series. Technological discoveries and an ensuing arms race change how a war is fought.

 

 

THE SENTINEL by Lee Child and Andrew Child

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

Jack Reacher intervenes on an ambush in Tennessee and uncovers a conspiracy.

 

 

A TIME FOR MERCY by John Grisham

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

The third book in the Jake Brigance series. A 16-year-old is accused of killing a deputy in Clanton, Miss., in 1990.

 

 

THE VANISHING HALF by Brit Bennett

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

The lives of twin sisters who run away from a Southern black community at age 16 diverge as one returns and the other takes on a different racial identity.

 

 

WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by Delia Owens:

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

 

In a quiet town on the North Carolina coast in 1969, a young woman who survived alone in the marsh becomes a murder suspect.

 

 

NON-FICTION:

 

THE ANSWER IS …by Alex Trebek

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

A memoir by the host of the TV game show “Jeopardy!,” from 1984 to 2020.

 

 

BECOMING by Michelle Obama

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

The former first lady describes how she balanced work, family and her husband’s political ascent.

 

 

CASTE by Isabel Wilkerson

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

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist examines aspects of caste systems across civilizations and reveals a rigid hierarchy in America today.

 

 

DOLLY PARTON, SONGTELLER by Dolly Parton with Robert K. Oermann

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

The country music icon offers insights on 175 of her songs

 

 

GREENLIGHTS by Matthew McConaughey

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

The Academy Award-winning actor shares snippets from the diaries he kept over the last 35 years.

 

 

HILLBILLY ELEGY by J.D. Vance

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

A Yale Law School graduate looks at the struggles of the white working class through the story of his own childhood.

 

 

HUMANS by Brandon Stanton:

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

Photos and stories of people from over 40 countries collected by the creator of “Humans of New York.”

 

 

IS THIS ANYTHING? by Jerry Seinfeld

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

The comedian shares material he collected in an accordion folder over the last 45 years.

 

 

KILLING CRAZY HORSE by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

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

The ninth book in the conservative commentator’s Killing series focuses on conflicts with Native Americans.

 

LET US DREAM by Pope Francis and Austin Ivereigh:

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church shares difficult experiences and mines lessons from the pandemic.

 

 

THE MAMBA MENTALITY by Kobe Bryant:

(Available Format: Print Book & eBook)

 

Various skills and techniques used on the court by the late Los Angeles Lakers player.

 

 

MODERN WARRIORS by Pete Hegseth

(Available Formats: Not yet available in any catalog)

The Fox News host and former combat veteran interviews soldiers about the different kinds of battles they encountered. Not available in any catalog.

 

 

NO TIME LIKE THE FUTURE by Michael J. Fox

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

The actor discusses the challenges he has faced with Parkinson’s disease and other setbacks that caused him to reassess his outlook.

 

 

A PROMISED LAND by Barack Obama

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

In the first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama offers personal reflections on his formative years and pivotal moments through his first term.

 

 

SAVING FREEDOM by Joe Scarborough

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

The MSNBC host and former congressman describes the struggles Harry Truman faced before and during his time as president.

 

 

THE SPLENDID AND THE VILE by Erik Larson:

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

An examination of the leadership of the prime minister Winston Churchill.

 

 

UNTAMED by Glennon Doyle

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

The activist and public speaker describes her journey of listening to her inner voice.

 

 

Be well and read on!

Linda Reimer, SSL

 

*Information on the Three Catalogs*

Digital Catalog: https://stls.overdrive.com/

The Digital Catalog has two companion apps, Libby & OverDrive. Libby is the app for newer devices and the OverDrive app should be used for older devices and Amazon tablets.

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 check outs of eBooks, downloadable audiobook, comic books, albums and streaming videos. Patron check out limit is 4 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.

The StarCat app is called Bookmyne and is available for Apple and Android devices.

Southeast Steuben County Library Tel: 607-936-3713

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

Suggested Listening December 11, 2020

Hi everyone, welcome to our Suggested Listening posting for this week!

Our Suggested Listening postings focus on the music of the past, with a few new songs mixed in for good measure.

Suggested Listening postings come out weekly, on Fridays, and the next Suggested Listening posting will be out on Friday, December 18, 2020.

Charade: Suite by Henry Mancini (Genre: Soundtrack, Score)

From the soundtrack to the 1963 film starring Cary Grant & Audrey Hepburn.

Classical Music for Winter (Genre: Classical, Easy Listening)

This video features a relaxing winter scene with two hours of light classical music by Debussy, Mozart, Grieg, Saint-Saens, Schubert and more.

Closer To Fine by The Indigo Girls (Genre: Folk, Pop)

From the duo’s second album The Indigo Girls (1989).

The Gambler by Kenny Rogers (Genre: Country, Pop-Rock)

One of Kenny’s best! From his album of the same name – The Gambler (1978).

Lester Left Town by Art Blakey (Genre: Jazz)

From the album the Big Beat (1960) by Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers.

Stairway to Heaven by Heart (Genre: Rock)

From the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors honors concert.

The original version is found on the Led Zeppelin album Led Zeppelin IV (1971). And the song was recorded by Heart for their album Little Queen (1977).

That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll by Billie Joe Armstrong (Genre: Rock)

Billie Joe Armstrong, of Green Day, got bored during the long months of the pandemic and decided to record an album of covers, including this fun song that I first heard via Shaun Cassidy (and I’m showing my vintage!); but that was written and first recorded by Eric Carmen for his debut solo album – Eric Carmen (1975). This version of the song is from Armstrong’s new album No Fun Mondays (2020).

Tulsa Time by Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill & Albert Lee

Recorded during the 2007 Crossroads Guitar Festival; there is also a great version of this song on Clapton’s live double-album Just One Night (1980).

Rhapsody In Blue by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic (1976)

The Gershwin classic performed by the New York Philharmonic with the great conductor Leonard Bernstein on piano.

Uptown Girl by Billy Joel (Genre: Rock, Singer-Songwriter)

A cheerful rock tune from Joel’s album An Innocent Man (1983).

Hoopla Pick of the Week

American Standards (2020) by James Taylor (Genre: Vocal, Folk)

James Taylor’s Grammy nominated album, American Standards, features songs from the great American songbook including Moon River, As Easy As Rolling Off A Long, Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ The boat, God Bless the Child, Pennies From Heaven and It’s Only A Paper Moon.

Have a great weekend!

Linda Reimer, SSCL

REFERENCES:

Print References

The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits by Joel Whitburn

Online References

AllMusic: https://www.allmusic.com/

Online Catalog Links:

StarCat

The catalog of physical materials, i.e. print books, DVDs, audiobooks on CD, etc.

The Digital Catalog (OverDrive)

The catalog of e-books, downloadable audiobooks and a handful of streaming videos.

Hoopla

A catalog of instant check out items, including eBooks, downloadable audiobooks, comic books, TV shows and movies for for patrons of the Southeast Steuben County Library.

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

Suggested Reading December 8, 2020

Hi everyone, here are our recommended reads for the week.

After each title is a list of all the different formats that title available in; including: Print Books, Large Print Books, Audiobooks on CD, eBooks & Downloadable Audiobooks from the Digital Catalog (OverDrive & Libby apps) and Hoopla eBooks & Downloadable Audiobooks (Hoopla App).

*More information on the three catalogs is found at the end of the list of recommended reads*

Weekly Suggested Reading postings are published on Tuesdays.

American Follies: A Novel by Norman Locke

(Available Formats: Hoopla eBook)

“[Norman Lock’s fiction] shimmers with glorious language, fluid rhythms, and complex insights.” -NPR

In the seventh stand-alone book of The American Novels series, Ellen Finch, former stenographer to Henry James, recalls her time as an assistant to Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, heroes of America’s woman suffrage movement, and her friendship with the diminutive Margaret, one of P. T. Barnum’s circus “eccentrics.” When her infant son is kidnapped by the Klan, Ellen, Margaret, and the two formidable suffragists travel aboard Barnum’s train from New York to Memphis to rescue the baby from certain death at the fiery cross.

A savage yet farcical tale, American Follies explores the roots of the women’s rights movement, its relationship to the fight for racial justice, and its reverberations in the politics of today.

Norman Lock is the award-winning author of novels, short fiction, and poetry, as well as stage, radio, and screenplays. He lives in Aberdeen, New Jersey, where he is at work on the next books of The American Novels series.

Billion Dollar Bracket by Drew Bridges

(Available Formats: Hoopla eBook)

Many lives collide in this quest to win a billion dollars for picking all the winners in the annual National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament. Some are looking for riches, others for simple survival and personal redemption.

Mathematician Sinclair Dane sponsors the contest, seeking money for a safety net for her troubled mother. She does not have a billion dollars to pay a winner. Risking her reputation and possible legal charges for fraud, she pins her hopes on the astronomical odds against anyone picking all the winners.

Math professor Lewis Cusac uses the basketball contest to teach remedial math to college students, two of whom are playing in the tournament. He enters the contest and finds himself having selected all the winners with only three games remaining. He also gets a call from the NCAA investigators for suspicion of trying to fix the outcomes of games.

Add to the mix a retired casino operator, a group of twenty-something social media wizards, and professional basketball’s next megastar.

As the contest goes global, the story races to an ending that will surprise the reader.

A Castaway In Cornwall by Julie Clawson

(Available Formats: Print Book & Hoopla eBook)

Laura Callaway daily walks the windswept Cornwall coast, known for many shipwrecks but few survivors. She feels like a castaway, set adrift on the tides of fate by the deaths of her parents and left wanting answers. Now living with her parson uncle and his parsimonious wife in North Cornwall, Laura is viewed as an outsider even as she yearns to belong somewhere again.

When ships sink, wreckers scour the shore for valuables, while Laura searches for clues to the lives lost. She has written letters to loved ones and returned keepsakes to rightful owners. She collects seashells and mementos, and when a man is washed ashore, she collects him too.

As Laura and a neighbor care for the castaway, the mystery surrounding him grows. He has abrasions and a deep cut that looks suspiciously like a knife wound, and he speaks in careful, educated English, yet his accent seems odd. Other clues wash ashore, and Laura soon realizes he is not who he seems to be. Their attraction grows, and while she longs to return the man to his rightful home, evidence against him mounts. With danger pursuing them from every side, will Laura ever find the answers and love she seeks?

Christmas On 4th Street by Susan Mallery

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print, eBook & Hoopla eBook)

There’s nowhere better to spend the holidays than with New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery in the town of Fool’s Gold, where love is always waiting to be unwrapped…

Noelle Perkins just got a second chance at life, and she intends to make the most of every minute. That’s why she ditched a frustrating legal career to open her own store in Fool’s Gold, California. The Christmas Attic celebrates everything that’s magical about her favorite season. Business is booming, and as a bonus, gorgeous army doctor Gabriel Boylan has offered to help out during the holiday rush.

Gabriel’s memories of Christmas past contain more sour grapes than sugar plums, thanks to a drill sergeant father who ran his home like a boot camp. Spending the holidays with his family while he recuperates from injury sounds as appetizing as last year’s eggnog. Still, there are some enjoyable distractions in town, including sunny, sexy Noelle…and the red-hot mistletoe kisses they can’t stop sharing.

Gabriel didn’t think he was made for happily-ever-afters. But when fate hands you a love as sweet and surprising as this, only a fool could refuse….

Covent Garden In The Snow by Jules Wake

(Available Formats: Hoopla eBook)

The perfect Christmas romance for fans of Karen Swan. Tilly Hunter has fabulous friends, her dream job as a make-up artist with a prestigious opera company and Felix, her kind and caring husband to be. It looks set to be the most perfect Christmas yet! But when a monumental blunder forces her to work closely with new IT director Marcus Walker, it’s not only the roast chestnut stalls on the cobbles of her beloved Covent Garden that cause sparks to fly… Super serious and brooding, Marcus hasn’t got a creative bone in his sharp-suited body. For technophobe Tilly, it’s a match made in hell. And yet, when Tilly discovers her fiancé isn’t at all what he seems, it’s Marcus who’s there for her with a hot chocolate and a surprisingly strong shoulder to cry on … He might just be the best Christmas present she’s ever had.

The Girls Of Brackenhill: A Thriller by Kate Moretti

(Available Formats: Print Book)

In 2019, Hannah Maloney, the heroine of this riveting thriller from bestseller Moretti (The Vanishing Year), is living in Virginia with her fiancé, Huck, when she receives a phone call letting her know that her aunt Fae has been in a car accident. Though Hannah hasn’t spoken to Fae in 17 years, she’s listed as Fae’s emergency contact. After Hannah and Huck arrive at Brackenhill, her aunt Fae and uncle Stuart’s castle home in the Catskills, Hannah learns that Fae has died from her injuries, and Stuart is gravely ill with cancer. Hannah and her sister, Julia, used to spend summers at Brackenhill, until the summer 17 years earlier that Julia disappeared. When Hannah’s dog uncovers a human bone on her aunt’s property, the police, led by police officer Wyatt McCarran, who was Hannah’s first boyfriend in their teens, investigate, though Hannah is sure the bone is her sister’s. Meanwhile, Hannah has disturbing dreams and episodes of sleepwalking, and she’s again attracted to Wyatt. Flashbacks to the summer Julia vanished heighten the suspense. Fans of gothic mysteries with a touch of the supernatural will be richly rewarded. Starred Publishers Weekly Review

Hot to Trot: An Agatha Raisin Mystery by M.C. Beaton

(Available Formats: Print Book & CD Audiobook)

The late Beaton’s superb 31st outing for Agatha Raisin (after 2019’s Beating About the Bush) finds the witty and irascible Agatha, who runs a private detective agency in the Cotswold village of Carsely, fuming about the upcoming nuptials of her friend and former lover, Sir Charles Fraith, to his “vile fiancée,” Mary Brown-Field. No stranger to gate-crashing, Agatha shows up at an extravagant postwedding masked ball held at Charles’s grand house, where a shoving match takes place between Agatha and the new lady of the manor. When Mary is later found dead in the estate’s stables, both Agatha and Charles come under scrutiny by the police. Agatha’s investigations take her into the competitive world of horse show-jumping, as well as on a couple of edifying trips to a château in Bordeaux. This lively entertainment includes an elegantly amusing introduction by Beaton (1936–2019), outlining her road to becoming a writer, as well as an affectionate foreword by longtime friend and journalist Green, who collaborated on this book. Beaton’s fans will sorely miss her. Starred Publishers Weekly Review

Murder by Milk Bottle by Lynne Truss

(Available Formats: Print Book & Hoopla Downloadable Audiobook)

In bestseller Truss’s outstanding third Constable Twitten mystery (after 2019’s The Man That Got Away), three murders by milk bottle over three hours in 1957 Brighton, England, lead to editorials wondering whether the city has become “the new milk-bottle murder capital of Great Britain.” The dead are “a young beauty-contest runner-up barely old enough to have enemies; the second, a much-loved patrolman of spotless record; the third, a visiting radio celebrity known for ‘skits’ involving female impersonation.” The victims apparently have nothing in common except the killer’s m.o.—each was stunned with a pint bottle of milk before the bottle was shattered and the shards used to fatally stab them. The killings are an unwelcome development for by-the-book Constable Twitten, who longs for routine pounding-of-the-beat rather than yet another bizarre whodunit to unravel. Meanwhile, he continues to contend with the machinations of the police charlady, Mrs. Groynes, who only he knows is a master criminal, and with the antics of his clueless boss, Insp. Geoffrey Steine. In her ability to blend crime and farce, Truss is in a class of her own. Starred Publishers Weekly Review

Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers by Tessa Arlen

(Available Formats: Print Book & Hoopla Downloadable Audiobook)

Set in 1942, Arlen’s enticing second Poppy Redfern Mystery (after 2019’s Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders) finds Poppy working as scriptwriter for London’s Crown Film Unit, a production company responsible for creating propaganda films. Poppy’s first assignment is to write the script for a recruiting film about the Air Transport Auxiliary Flyers (aka Attagirls), an elite unit of civilian women pilots who transport military airplanes to factories and air fields around Britain. When the unit’s best pilot dies in an accident while being filmed flying a Spitfire, Poppy is stunned. But when a second pilot also perishes in a crash, Poppy and her would-be boyfriend, U.S. Army fighter pilot Griff O’Neal, set out to discover who has it in for the ATAs before another flyer can die. Arlen’s depiction of the heroic ATAs is a fascinating nod to a little-known aspect of WWII history. Cozy fans will enjoy spending time with good-hearted, very English Poppy and friends, including her charming corgi. Publishers Weekly Review

The Thirty Names Of Night: A Novel by Zeyn Joukhadar

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2020 by The Millions, Electric Literature, Bustle, and HuffPost

Named a Best Book of Fall by USA TODAY, PopSugar, Alma, and Goodreads

The author of the “vivid and urgent…important and timely” (The New York Times Book Review) debut The Map of Salt and Stars returns with this remarkably moving and lyrical novel following three generations of Syrian Americans who are linked by a mysterious species of bird and the truths they carry close to their hearts.

Five years after a suspicious fire killed his ornithologist mother, a closeted Syrian American trans boy sheds his birth name and searches for a new one. He has been unable to paint since his mother’s ghost has begun to visit him each evening. As his grandmother’s sole caretaker, he spends his days cooped up in their apartment, avoiding his neighborhood masjid, his estranged sister, and even his best friend (who also happens to be his longtime crush). The only time he feels truly free is when he slips out at night to paint murals on buildings in the once-thriving Manhattan neighborhood known as Little Syria.

One night, he enters the abandoned community house and finds the tattered journal of a Syrian American artist named Laila Z, who dedicated her career to painting the birds of North America. She famously and mysteriously disappeared more than sixty years before, but her journal contains proof that both his mother and Laila Z encountered the same rare bird before their deaths. In fact, Laila Z’s past is intimately tied to his mother’s–and his grandmother’s–in ways he never could have expected. Even more surprising, Laila Z’s story reveals the histories of queer and transgender people within his own community that he never knew. Realizing that he isn’t and has never been alone, he has the courage to officially claim a new name: Nadir, an Arabic name meaning rare.

As unprecedented numbers of birds are mysteriously drawn to the New York City skies, Nadir enlists the help of his family and friends to unravel what happened to Laila Z and the rare bird his mother died trying to save. Following his mother’s ghost, he uncovers the silences kept in the name of survival by his own community, his own family, and within himself, and discovers the family that was there all along.

Featuring Zeyn Joukhadar’s signature “magical and heart-wrenching” (The Christian Science Monitor) storytelling, The Thirty Names of Night is a timely exploration of how we all search for and ultimately embrace who we are.

Plot descriptions are from the publisher unless otherwise specified.

Have a great week!

Linda Reimer

*Information on the Three Catalogs*

Digital Catalog: https://stls.overdrive.com/

The Digital Catalog has two companion apps, Libby & OverDrive. Libby is the app for newer devices and the OverDrive app should be used for older devices and Amazon tablets.

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 check outs of eBooks, downloadable audiobook, comic books, albums and streaming videos. Patron check out limit is 4 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.

The StarCat app is called Bookmyne and is available for Apple and Android devices.

Also feel free to call the Southeast Steuben County Library and request titles via tel 607-936-3713.

Have a great week!

Linda Reimer, SSCL

Note: Book summaries are from the respective publishers unless otherwise specified.

Have questions?

Feel free to call the library! Our telephone number is 607-936-3713.

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

New York Times Bestsellers December 13, 2020

Hi everyone, here is the weekly list of New York Times Bestsellers.

Each title is followed by a listing of which formats it is available in for check out within the three catalogs: StarCat (Print, Large Print & Audiobooks on CD), The Digital Catalog (eBook & Downloadable Audiobook) and the Hoopla Catalog (Hoopla eBook, Hoopla Audiobook etc).

For more information on the three catalogs skip to the section below the bestselling titles*

 

 

FICTION:

ALL THAT GLITTERS by Danielle Steel

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print, CD Audiobook, eBook

Just as Coco is about to graduate from Columbia, tragic events in her family send her on a journey of self-discovery.

 

 

ANXIOUS PEOPLE by Fredrik Backman

(Available Formats: Regular Print & Large Print Book, Audiobook on CD, eBook & Downloadable Audiobook)

A failed bank robber holds a group of strangers hostage at an apartment open house.

 

 

ARCHANGEL’S SUN by Nalini Singh

(Available Formats: Hoopla Downloadable Audiobook)

The 13th book in the Guild Hunter series. Titus must stop dangerous creatures called the reborn.

 

AWAKENING by Nora Roberts

(Available Formats: Print Book & CD Audiobook)

The first book in the Dragon Heart Legacy series. Breen Kelly travels through a portal in Ireland to a land of faeries and mermaids.

 

 

DAYLIGHT by David Baldacci

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print & eBook)

The F.B.I. agent Atlee Pine’s search for her twin sister overlaps with a military investigator’s hunt for someone involved in a global conspiracy.

 

 

DEADLY CROSS by James Patterson

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print & eBook)

The 28th book in the Alex Cross series. An investigation of a double homicide sends Alex Cross to Alabama.

 

 

FORTUNE AND GLORY by Janet Evanovich

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

The 27th book in the Stephanie Plum series. Stephanie deals with a soldier of fortune from Little Havana.

 

 

HOME BODY by Rupi Kaur 

(Available Formats: Hoopla eBook)

Poems and illustrations by the author of “Milk and Honey” and “The Sun and Her Flowers.”

 

 

THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE by V.E. Schwab

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

A Faustian bargain comes with a curse that affects the adventure Addie LaRue has across centuries.

 

 

THE LAW OF INNOCENCE by Michael Connelly

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

The sixth book in the Mickey Haller series. Haller defends himself when police find the body of a former client in his car’s trunk.

 

 

READY PLAYER TWO by Ernest Cline

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print & eBook)

In a sequel to “Ready Player One,” Wade Watts discovers a technological advancement and goes on a new quest.

 

 

THE RETURN by Nicholas Sparks

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

A doctor serving in the Navy in Afghanistan goes back to North Carolina where two women change his life.

 

 

RHYTHM OF WAR by Brandon Sanderson

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The fourth book in the Stormlight Archive series. Technological discoveries and an ensuing arms race change how a war is fought.

 

 

THE SENTINEL by Lee Child and Andrew Child

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

Jack Reacher intervenes on an ambush in Tennessee and uncovers a conspiracy.

 

 

A TIME FOR MERCY by John Grisham

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

The third book in the Jake Brigance series. A 16-year-old is accused of killing a deputy in Clanton, Miss., in 1990.

 

 

THE VANISHING HALF by Brit Bennett

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

The lives of twin sisters who run away from a Southern black community at age 16 diverge as one returns and the other takes on a different racial identity.

 

 

WAR LORD by Bernard Cornwell

(Available Formats: Print Book & CD Audiobook)

The 13th book in the Saxon Tales series. Lord Uhtred of Bebbanburg prepares for what might be his final battle.

 

 

NON-FICTION:

 

THE ANSWER IS …by Alex Trebek

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

A memoir by the host of the TV game show “Jeopardy!,” from 1984 to 2020.

 

 

BECOMING by Michelle Obama

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

The former first lady describes how she balanced work, family and her husband’s political ascent.

 

 

CASTE by Isabel Wilkerson

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

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist examines aspects of caste systems across civilizations and reveals a rigid hierarchy in America today.

 

 

DOLLY PARTON, SONGTELLER by Dolly Parton with Robert K. Oermann

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

The country music icon offers insights on 175 of her songs

 

 

FRONTIER FOLLIES by Ree Drummond

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print & eBook)

The host of the Food Network show “The Pioneer Woman” shares stories on motherhood and marriage.

 

 

GREENLIGHTS by Matthew McConaughey

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

The Academy Award-winning actor shares snippets from the diaries he kept over the last 35 years.

 

 

HILLBILLY ELEGY by J.D. Vance

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

A Yale Law School graduate looks at the struggles of the white working class through the story of his own childhood.

 

 

HUMANS by Brandon Stanton:

(Available Formats: Print Book)

Photos and stories of people from over 40 countries collected by the creator of “Humans of New York.”

 

 

IS THIS ANYTHING? by Jerry Seinfeld

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

The comedian shares material he collected in an accordion folder over the last 45 years.

 

 

KILLING CRAZY HORSE by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

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

The ninth book in the conservative commentator’s Killing series focuses on conflicts with Native Americans.

 

 

MY OWN WORDS by Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams

(Available Formats: Print & Large Print, Audiobook on CD, eBook & Downloadable Audiobook)

A collection of articles and speeches by the Supreme Court justice.

 

 

MODERN WARRIORS by Pete Hegseth

(Available Formats: Not yet available in any catalog)

The Fox News host and former combat veteran interviews soldiers about the different kinds of battles they encountered. Not available in any catalog.

 

 

NO TIME LIKE THE FUTURE by Michael J. Fox

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

The actor discusses the challenges he has faced with Parkinson’s disease and other setbacks that caused him to reassess his outlook.

 

 

A PROMISED LAND by Barack Obama

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

In the first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama offers personal reflections on his formative years and pivotal moments through his first term.

 

 

SAVING FREEDOM by Joe Scarborough

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

The MSNBC host and former congressman describes the struggles Harry Truman faced before and during his time as president.

 

 

UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATIONS WITH A BLACK MAN by Emmanuel Acho

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

A look at some questions and concepts needed to address systemic racism.

 

 

UNTAMED by Glennon Doyle

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

The activist and public speaker describes her journey of listening to her inner voice.

 

 

Be well and read on!

Linda Reimer, SSL

 

*Information on the Three Catalogs*

Digital Catalog: https://stls.overdrive.com/

The Digital Catalog has two companion apps, Libby & OverDrive. Libby is the app for newer devices and the OverDrive app should be used for older devices and Amazon tablets.

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 check outs of eBooks, downloadable audiobook, comic books, albums and streaming videos. Patron check out limit is 4 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.

The StarCat app is called Bookmyne and is available for Apple and Android devices.

Southeast Steuben County Library Tel: 607-936-3713

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

Suggested Listening December 4, 2020

Hi everyone, welcome to our Suggested Listening posting for this week!

Our Suggested Listening postings focus on the music of the past, with a few new songs mixed in for good measure.

Suggested Listening postings come out weekly, on Fridays, and the next Suggested Listening posting will be out on Friday, December 11, 2020.

The Captain and the Kid by Jimmy Buffett (Genre: Singer-Songwriter)

From the album Songs You Don’t Know By Heart (2020)

Driftin’ Blues by Charles Brown (Genre: Blues, Piano, Vocal)

The title track from Brown’s 1963 album Driftin’ Blues; although the original version was recorded in 1945.

Give Me One Reason by Tracy Chapman (genre: Singer-Songwriter, Folk, Pop)

From Chapman’s 1995 album A New Beginning.

If She Knew What She Wants by The Bangles

From the band’s debut album A Different Light (1987).

In The Still Of The Night by The Five Satins (Genre: R&B, Pop, Vocal)

One of the quintessential Doo-Wop songs and a huge hit for the New Haven, Connecticut based group in 1956.

Rocky Top by The Osborne Brothers (Genre: Traditional Country, Bluegrass)

From the album Yesterday, Today & the Osborne Brothers (1968).

She’s About A Mover by the Sir Douglas Quintet (Genre: Classic Rock)

From the album The Best of the Sir Douglass Quintet (1966).

Tuxedo Junction by Erskine Hawkins (Genre: Blues)

From the double-album The Complete Erskine Hawkins, Vol. 1-2; originally released as a single in 1939.

The Waiting by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (Genre: Rock & Roll)

From Petty’s fourth album Hard Promises (1981).

You’ve Got A Friend by Carole King (Genre: Singer-Songwriter)

From her smash album A Natural Woman (1971).

Hoopla Pick of the Week

All Day Music (1971) by War

The second album by the groovin’ seventies band led by lead singer and former Animals front man Eric Burden.

 

 

Have a great weekend!

Linda Reimer, SSCL

REFERENCES:

Print References

The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits by Joel Whitburn

Online References

AllMusic: https://www.allmusic.com/

Online Catalog Links:

StarCat

The catalog of physical materials, i.e. print books, DVDs, audiobooks on CD, etc.

The Digital Catalog (OverDrive)

The catalog of e-books, downloadable audiobooks and a handful of streaming videos.

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

Suggested Reading December 1, 2020

Hi everyone, here are our recommended reads for the week.

After each title is a list of all the different formats that title available in; including: Print Books, Large Print Books, Audiobooks on CD, eBooks & Downloadable Audiobooks from the Digital Catalog (OverDrive & Libby apps) and Hoopla eBooks & Downloadable Audiobooks (Hoopla App).

*More information on the three catalogs is found at the end of the list of recommended reads*

Weekly Suggested Reading postings are published on Tuesdays.

 

 

The Big Tow: An Unlikely Romance: An Unlikely Romance by Ann McMan

(Available Format: Print Book & Hoopla eBook)

Vera “Nick” Nicholson is an overtaxed and underpaid attorney wasting away on the bottom rung of the gilded ladder at Turner, Witherspoon, Anders, and Tyler in Winston-Salem, NC. When a high-priced luxury car belonging to one of the firm’s top clients goes missing, Nick gets saddled with the unenviable job of recovering the vehicle―and its mysterious contents―without involving the cops. Enter Fast Eddie and his quirky band of misfits at The National Recovery Bureau, a repo agency located in a sleepy town called K-Vegas.

When Nick is unceremoniously furloughed from TWAT, she throws caution to the wind and signs on to become the newest agent of the NRB, teaming up with moonlighting third-grade schoolteacher, Frances “Frankie” Stohler. Frankie’s mortician father and beautician mother are stalwarts of the Winston-Salem community―so it’s no surprise that everyone across three counties has some connection to her family. What is surprising, however, is the Slim Jim Frankie carries in her purse and her preternatural talent for jacking cars.

Nick and Frankie’s stumbling entrée into the surreal world of asset recovery takes them on a hilarious, fast-paced and mind-bending journey across the back roads and byways of the Tar Heel state, setting into motion a chain of misadventures that lead them both toward financial independence, cataclysmic legal jeopardy, and the discovery that true love can sometimes lurk in the most unlikely places.

 

 

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

(Available Format: Print Book, CD Audiobook & Downloadable Audiobook)

The opening of Hugo- and Nebula Award–winner Roanhorse’s Between Earth and Sky series draws inspiration from the indigenous cultures of North and Central America to deliver a razor-sharp examination of politics, generational trauma, and the path to redemption. Sun Priest Naranpa, the highest religious authority in the holy city of Tova, faces prejudice for her low birth despite her high rank, and her radical desire for her priests to be more accessible to Tova’s people makes her an object of resentment.

Meanwhile, in the Obregi Mountains, a young boy named Serapio, raised to become the vessel of the god Grandfather Crow and take revenge for the Night of Knives, a massacre committed against his people, sets out to fulfill his destiny.

Sea captain Xiala, a Treek who commands powerful sea-born magic, may be her own worst enemy of many, but she proves a welcome friend to Serapio as he voyages across the sea to avenge his people by ending the Sun Priest’s reign.

All three formidable characters are on a collision course that keeps the pages flying. Roanhorse (the Sixth World series) strikes a perfect balance between powerful worldbuilding and rich thematic exploration as the protagonists struggle against their fates. Fantasy fans will be wowed. Starred Publishers Weekly Review

 

 

The Blind Light by Stuart Evers

(Available Format: Print Book)

A multigenerational story about two families living in the shadow of nuclear apocalypse. The year is 1959. Two young soldiers, Drummond and Carter, one working-class, the other

privileged, form an intense and unlikely friendship at ‘Doomtown’, a training center that simulates the aftermath of an atomic strike. Years later, the men watch the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis unfold in horror. Carter, now a high-ranking British government official, offers Drummond a way to save himself and his family in the event of a nuclear strike. Their pact, kept secret, will have devastating consequences for the very lives they seek to protect. Spanning decades, from the 1950s to the present, this ambitious, original novel offers a nuanced and absorbing portrait of friendship and rivalry that explores class divisions and the psychological legacy of the nuclear age.

 

 

The Gift of Family by Mary Monroe

(Available Format: Print Book & eBook)

From acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe comes the captivating and heartfelt tale of a couple who has everything—except the dream they long for most. But this Christmas, a reunion with someone from the past could gift them a once-in-a-lifetime last chance . . .

Successful, secure, and still very much in love, middle-aged couple Eugene and Rosemary Johnson have never given up on one special wish—to be parents. And while Christmas always brings happiness and a whirlwind of holiday fun, their hopes for children of their own seem further away than ever. Especially this year, when Rosemary must have emergency surgery and home help to recuperate. Wanting to lift his wife’s spirits, Eugene suddenly has an inspiration from back in the day . . .

Faithful and sensible, Ethel Perkins raised Eugene and his brother. Unforeseen tragedy has left the sixty-something widow struggling with little money and two jobs to keep her great-grandchildren off the streets. She’s glad to help Rosemary back on her feet. But she can only stay until Rosemary is well enough to resume her normal routine. For Ethel, survival means keeping to her grueling schedule, being there for everyone but herself, and, as always, handling her troubles all on her own . . .

As Ethel’s problems go from bad to much worse, Rosemary and Eugene find themselves helping her more and more—and growing close to her lively youngsters. Soon, there’s only one way both families can salvage the season: by celebrating it together. But will their temporary family work into the future . . . and possibly make a lifetime of happiness?

 

 

The Golfer’s Carol by Robert Bailey

(Available Format: Print Book)

On the morning of his fortieth birthday, Randy Clark believes the only way he can help his family is to end it all. Standing on the Tennessee River Bridge in Decatur, Alabama, with his dreams of a pro golf career long gone, his marriage struggling, and facing financial ruin, Randy sees no other alternative to help his wife and daughter but to jump, which he plans to do in the next twenty-four hours. But his plans are put on hold when the ghost of his best friend–who did live out the fantasy of playing the PGA tour–reveals to Randy that he will be given a wonderful gift: four rounds of golf with his four heroes, the champions he’s looked up to his whole life, each with a life-changing lesson to impart. For anyone who has ever dealt with tragedy, adversity, or failure, The Golfer’s Carol will bring grace that stays with you long after you’ve turned the last page.

 

 

The Luckiest Man: Life with John McCain by Mark Salter

(Available Format: Print Book)

Salter (coauthor, The Restless Wave), a former speechwriter and chief of staff for Sen. John McCain (1936–2018), offers an intimate and inspirational portrait of the Arizona Republican and two-time presidential candidate.

Drawing on material gathered for the seven books he wrote with McCain, Salter documents his former boss’s peripatetic upbringing as the son of a U.S. Navy admiral and harrowing five-year ordeal as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Salter renders the physical and mental torture McCain endured in vivid detail, making McCain’s decision to refuse an offer of early release seem all the more heroic.

Elected to the House of Representatives in 1982 and the Senate in 1986, McCain’s legislative record showcases “his refusal to give up causes that appeared hopeless,” Salter writes, noting that in the months after his 2017 brain cancer diagnosis, McCain began his fourth attempt at passing a bipartisan immigration bill.

Salter expresses admiration for McCain’s candor and tenacity, but takes issue with a handful of decisions, including his selection of Sarah Palin as a running mate in 2008 and his support for the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Though Salter’s critiques aren’t exactly hard-hitting, they give the book credibility. Political history buffs will savor this well-rounded account. Publishers Weekly Review

 

 

One Night Two Souls Went Walking by Ellen Cooney

(Available Format: Print Book & Hoopla eBook)

Cooney’s brief but compelling novel—in which an unnamed chaplain takes readers on her rounds during one night at a large Northeastern hospital—explores issues like mortality, spiritual survival, and human connection.

The 36-year-old Episcopal chaplain, frizzy-haired and pear-shaped, has what her boss calls a natural gift for telling people what they need to hear. Her instinctive ability to soothe becomes increasingly evident as she travels from one patient to another. She is spiritual but practical. While she asks “What is a soul?” in the novel’s first line—and returns to the question in different guises throughout—the narrator’s spiritual quest does not cause her moral qualms about lying when necessary, whether to soothe a doctor who fears she’s sinned or give hope to a dying chef who expects his former restaurant patrons to visit en masse.

Her favorite patients are an elderly, deeply lonely librarian and a 15-year-old boy who’s survived a catastrophic accident physically shattered but with his gentle magnetism intact. Less appealing characters, like a lawyer who is rude to the staff, also receive her understanding. Each has a story. Often the stories lead the chaplain to stories from her own past.

A subtle plot takes shape almost between the lines concerning the chaplain’s unresolved relationship with Plummy, a neuroscientist 10 years her junior now living in Germany, who’s fascinated by out-of-body experiences, what he calls oobs; confronted during her shift with two possible oobs, the chaplain is forced to reexamine the idea of soul yet again but also to reconsider her relationship with Plummy. Those oob walks of the title may stretch credibility, but Cooney does a remarkable job structuring a novel of vignettes and stories within stories into a cohesive whole. Equally remarkable is her portrait of the chaplain as a personification of the potential for human goodness. Though introspective, the narrator is never self-absorbed. Her voice, funny and direct, keeps sentimentality at bay.

The perfect novel to combat pandemic angst. Starred Kirkus Review

 

 

A Resolution At Midnight by Shelley Noble

(Available Format: Print Book)

Christmas in 1907 New York City provides the backdrop for Noble’s enticing third Lady Dunbridge mystery (after 2019’s Tell Me No Lies). Since moving to New York, the beautiful, witty Philomena Amesbury, widowed Countess of Dunbridge, has been carrying out the occasional undercover detective operation for the mysterious Mr. X. Lady Phil’s latest assignment is to meet a source at a movie theater, but when she arrives, she finds the man dead, his throat cut. The murdered man, Tommy Green, a reporter for the New York Times, was going to pass off some important information for Mr. X. But the newspaper reports that Green’s body was found at the docks. Why is the murder being covered up, and by whom? With the help of her faithful, clever servants and an intrepid female reporter who is desperate to get off the society beat, Phil uncovers a complex scheme involving blackmail, greed, and family secrets that lead directly to the top of New York society. Colorful period details include the first Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop in 1908. Historical fans will be well satisfied. Publishers Weekly Review

 

 

The Short, the Long and the Tall: Short Stories by Jeffery Archer

(Available Format: Print Book)

New York Times number one bestselling author Jeffrey Archer is a master of the short-story form, creating classic tales beloved by his fans. Now the award-winning writer joins forces with renowned illustrator Paul Cox to re-imagine twenty of his most popular and fêted short stories alongside beautifully rendered watercolor illustrations in The Short, The Long and the Tall.

Find out what happens to the hapless young detective from Naples who travels to an Italian hillside town to solve a murder and ends up falling in love; and the pretentious schoolboy whose discovery of the origins of his father’s wealth changes his life forever. Revel in the stories of the woman who dares to challenge the men at her Ivy League university during the 1930s, and another young woman who thumbs a lift and has an encounter she will never forget. Discover the haunting story about four men whose characters are tested to the point of death. Finally, a short parable about how pointless war is, and how decent people are caught up in the crossfire of their leaders’ ambitions.

This will be a must-buy for dedicated fans of the work of both author and illustrator, and includes the following short stories:

Never Stop on the Motorway
Cheap At Half the Price
Who Killed the Mayor?
It Can’t Be October Already
Stuck on You
The Grass is Always Greener
The Queen’s Birthday Telegram
Clean Sweep Ignatius
The First Miracle
Caste Off
A Wasted Hour
Just Good Friends
Christina Rosenthal
A Gentleman and a Scholar
The Road To Damascus
Old Love
A Good Toss To Lose
One Man’s Meat
Endgame
Confession

 

 

A Wild Winter Swan by Gregory Maguire

(Available Format: Print Book, Large Print, CD Audiobook & eBook)

After brilliantly reimagining the worlds of Oz, Wonderland, Dickensian London, and the Nutcracker, the New York Times bestselling author of Wicked turns his unconventional genius to Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Wild Swans,” transforming this classic tale into an Italian-American girl’s poignant coming-of-age story, set amid the magic of Christmas in 1960s New York.

Following her brother’s death and her mother’s emotional breakdown, Laura now lives on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, in a lonely townhouse she shares with her old-world, strict, often querulous grandparents. But the arrangement may be temporary. The quiet, awkward teenager has been getting into trouble at home and has been expelled from her high school for throwing a record album at a popular girl who bullied her. When Christmas is over and the new year begins, Laura may find herself at boarding school in Montreal.
Nearly unmoored from reality through her panic and submerged grief, Laura is startled when a handsome swan boy with only one wing lands on her roof. Hiding him from her ever-bickering grandparents, Laura tries to build the swan boy a wing so he can fly home. But the task is too difficult to accomplish herself. Little does Laura know that her struggle to find help for her new friend parallels that of her grandparents, who are desperate for a distant relative’s financial aid to save the family store.

As he explores themes of class, isolation, family, and the dangerous yearning to be saved by a power greater than ourselves, Gregory Maguire conjures a haunting, beautiful tale of magical realism that illuminates one young woman’s heartbreak and hope as she begins the inevitable journey to adulthood.

 

Plot descriptions are from the publisher unless otherwise specified.

 

 

Have a great week!

Linda Reimer

 

 

*Information on the Three Catalogs*

Digital Catalog: https://stls.overdrive.com/

The Digital Catalog has two companion apps, Libby & OverDrive. Libby is the app for newer devices and the OverDrive app should be used for older devices and Amazon tablets.

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 check outs of eBooks, downloadable audiobook, comic books, albums and streaming videos. Patron check out limit is 4 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.

The StarCat app is called Bookmyne and is available for Apple and Android devices.

Also feel free to call the Southeast Steuben County Library and request titles via tel 607-936-3713.

Have a great week!

Linda Reimer, SSCL

Note: Book summaries are from the respective publishers unless otherwise specified.

Have questions?

Feel free to call the library! Our telephone number is 607-936-3713.

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.