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We recognize that each patron has different reading tastes and our staff is no exception. Below is a listing of some titles that our staff found interesting/enjoyable. All titles on this list are available in the library, or through Overdrive. Be sure to follow the library on Pinterest to find these and other great book suggestions.
TEN YEARS IN THE TUB, A DECADE OF SOAKING IN GREAT BOOKS by Nick Hornby is an insightful, hilarious collection of ten years of his columns written for the believer. Every chapter starts with a list of the books he bought that month and a list of the books he actually read. His intelligent and perceptive comments are fun and unique. This book would make a great gift for any reader.
READER’S BOOK OF DAYS by Tom Nissley. For every day of the year, there are several events described from the lives of an incredible number and variety of authors both historic and current. It’s a book that is different and interesting.
STONE’S FALL by Iain Pears. One would be hard-pressed to find a more interesting, intricate historical mystery than STONE’S FALL. As the mystery unfolds, the “truth” is difficult to discover because there are so many layers to the characters and events. The story begins in 1909, but goes back to events that happened in the 1890s and are told from Matthew Braddock’s point of view. The second half of the book is told from Henry Cort’s viewpoint and takes place in 1867. The person at the heart of the book, Elizabeth, is a mysterious, complicated beautiful woman. This is a must read for those who enjoy historical mysteries.
Maybe a quiet, late fall evening is the perfect time to read Mary Oliver’s collection of poetry, DOG SONGS, which celebrate our special friendships with our beloved dogs. Books about dogs are extremely popular. Hopefully, the dog lovers and the poetry lovers will find this book.
POETRY IN MICHIGAN IN POETRY edited by William Olsen and Jack Ridl is a lovely collection of poetry about Michigan by Michigan poets. Needless to say, several of the poems have winter or cold as their subject!!! This collection also includes photographs and paintings. Both DOG SONGS and POETRY IN MICHIGAN IN POETRY are great books to give as gifts.
GIRL YOU LEFT BEHIND by Jojo Moyes. I was so happy I had read Moyes’ wonderful book, ME BEFORE YOU so that I was on the lookout for her new book. This is the story of a painting and what it means to two women in two time periods. The painting called The Girl You Left Behind was a portrait of Sophia painted by her husband, who was a famous artist, just before he left for WWI. Sophia loves the painting more than anything, but war happens and her fate is sealed when the German commandant becomes obsessed with the painting. Nearly 100 years later a young couple on their honeymoon purchase the painting and it becomes Liv’s most loved possession especially after her husband dies too young. This is a story of love, courage, justice and, ultimately, joy. It is a lovely book full of stories within stories.
LET HIM GO by Larry Watson. You know from page one that there is no way for this story to end well. Margaret has convinced her husband, George, to go with her to find their grandson. After their son's death, their grandson, Jimmy, and Lorna, the boy’s mother, had been living with them. Then she married a drifter and took off with Jimmy. Margaret wants him back. Although George is a former sheriff and knows what they are about to do is not legal, he loves Margaret and has never been able to dissuade her from anything.
Unfortunately, they do find Jimmy, Lorna, her new husband living in the midst of Donnie’s extremely violent clan. So, here is a story about good people coming up against ruthlessness and cruelty and of what we will do for love.
Larry Watson is an author who can tell a great story in a short book. His use of language is evocative and he has a beautiful turn of phrase. In describing footsteps George hears as Margaret walks away…”It’s a sound he didn’t hear when she approached, but then the human ear is tuned differently for departures than arrivals, as anyone who listens to train whistles knows.” At one point George and Margaret are eating with some friends. “The meal set out is by and for people whose only confident judgment about food is based on its quantity.” If you found Watson's MONTANA, 1948 compelling,you will love this book.
FIN AND LADY by Cathleen Schine. Fin is orphaned and is raised by his half sister, Lady in Greenwich Village in the sixties. Even by the standards of the sixties, Fin's upbringing is so unconventional that it borders on the bizarre. However, there is genuine love and fierce loyalty between the two siblings. This is an appealing, but not particularly deep, read. This is a book that redefines the concept of 'family.' It is worth reading." -Cathy
WHISTLING SEASON by Ivan Doig. Imagine a single father in Montana in the early 1900s who hires a house keeper based on a newspaper ad that says, “Can’t cook, but doesn’t bite.” When the housekeeper arrives her brother, who becomes the school teacher of the local one-room school house, arrives with her. The story is funny, poignant and the characters are interesting. Ivan Doig’s superb writing evokes a time and place long vanished. After you read this book, there are two more in the trilogy.
ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes. Louise is interesting. She dresses outrageously, is observant and is insightful. She is hired by Will’s mother to be a companion to Will. Will is a quadriplegic who participated in extreme sports and was a mover and shaker in the business world. The evolution of their relationship and the way both characters grew in the story is beautiful. In the hands of a less gifted story teller this could have been maudlin. Moyes tells a story so personal and moving that you can’t stop reading it. A perfect book. Cathy
SWEET THUNDER by Ivan Doig. If you have read the library’s newsletter over the years (available online) or have asked for book suggestions, you know that I love Ivan Doig. ENGLISH CREEK is one of my favorite books. His most recent trilogy starts with WHISTLING SEASON, about a new teacher who comes into a lonely family’s life. The second is WHISTLING SEASON, which tells the story of mining in Butte. The most recent is SWEET THUNDER which is again about the mining industry in Butte. Doig’s writing is funny and poignant and his characters are all so unique. If you just want a really good story that is well-written without being pretentious, Ivan Doig is the author for you.
PAINTED GIRLS by Cathy Buchanan. How surprised I was to like this book! The reviews sounded good, but I thought the story might be too sad. It is a really interesting story of the ballet girls during the start of the impressionist movement. The story follows three, impoverished sisters and their struggles through the world of the ballet. It is loosely based on a real family and historical personages and events are included. It ties the works of Degas to the dancers he paints.
THE GOOGLIZATION OF EVERYTHING: (AND WHY WE SHOULD WORRY) by Siva Vaidhyanathan is a very interesting book on the pervasiveness and power of Google. The author examines the cultural and knowledge-based impact Google has on society and the world. One point is that Google actually filters and tailors information to fit each individual. On the other hand, librarians search for information within a local and personal context. Google, according to the author, is not providing services, but is using individuals as products. This book is thought-provoking. Still, when I search for something on the Internet, I am most likely to start with Google….but now I THINK about it!
THE SMARTEST KIDS IN THE WORLD: AND HOW THEY GOT THAT WAY by Amanda Ripley is a provocative, intriguing look at education in countries where the educational systems seem to be outstanding. The author gives us hope that providing the best education for every child in this country is possible.
THE ART OF TRAVEL by Alain De Botton is a philosophical approach to why we travel. It is full of splendid, original observations. He talks about the anticipation and expectations before a trip and the reality of the destination. There is a chapter on Alexander von Humboldt, who was an extraordinarily observant, scientific traveler and Xavier De Maistre who wrote a book about the journey he took around his bedroom. When you read THE ART OF TRAVEL, you will want to have a paper and pencil handy to write down the many intuitive things the author has to say.
MONUMENT’S MEN by Robert Edsel. In light of the recent discovery in Germany of an apartment full of art that the Nazis had stolen from Jewish families during WWII, this books is a must read. Several art historians, museum people and other men who were not traditional soldiers were recruited to go with the troops in the European War to try to locate and save as much of the stolen art work. This is a real page turner. In the midst of war zones, they are trying to recover art before it is destroyed by German troops or moved to places it will never be found. They faced danger, imprisonment and death but every single one of them was totally devoted to his mission. This is a book that opens up a whole new aspect of WWII.
READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline
Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan
WONDER by RJ Palacio
WORLDS STRONGEST LIBRARIAN by Josh Harnagan is a great bio of extreme case of Tourette Syndrome Mormon man finding innumerable ways to live with his affliction. Great reader, librarian, weight trainer, husband, son, dad. Crazy. Wonderful description of libraries p. 204-217, including on p. 209 “At its loftiest, a library’s goal is to keep as many minds as possible in the game, past and present, playful and in play.
OH, PIONEERS! By Willa Cather. Great narration, very fine classic book. Story of Swedish immigrant family in Nebraska at turn of 20th century. 1st in Prairie trilogy- then Song of the lark, and My Antonia. This title is avaiable in print, or MP3 audiobook through the library's Overdrive collection.
I just read Louise Penny's HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN (9th in the Three Pines series). Once again, I was carried away to Quebec and the little village of Three Pines--with the quirky characters I've grown to love... Inspector Armand Gamache, most especially! I've never been to Montreal and surrounds, but Penny has made it incredibly appealing.
A couple of new children's titles about trains are worth a look-see: HOW TO TRAIN A TRAIN by Eaton and TRAIN by Cooper. Eaton's book is beautifully illustrated by John Rocco, and is a humorous story featuring the choosing of a train as a 'pet.' Cooper's TRAIN is also a visual delight, with passengers boarding a Commuter Train in the East, switching to a Passenger Train in the midwest, a freight train to cross the mountains and a high speed train racing to the West Coast. All aboard!
TURNING PRO by Steven Pressfield is a little 'kick in the pants' book for those who feel compelled to be creative and make the shift from amateur to professional. If you have an impulse to write, paint, start a business or just put everything you have into the life you're already living--check this little bit of a book out and Go Pro!
IT'S NOT LOVE, IT'S JUST PARIS by Patricia Engel is about Lita del Cielo whose parents have given her a year to study in Paris after college before returning to the States to work in the family business. While in Paris, Lita meets Cato and falls in love. Of course, nothing is simple and complications arise. Each character in the novel is unique and Lita, as the protagonist, speaks from a perspective of a level headed and a keen observer of those around her. Engel's writing is descriptive and thought provoking, and certain passages reminded my of Milan Kundera's writing. For example, "...and Tarentina theorized that monolingual English-speakers are thus long-winded and corny due to their verbal confinement because people can only experience emotions for which their language already has a name." This book contains a nice balance of beautiful and descriptive writing and an engaging story.
THEODOSIA AND THE SERPENTS OF CHAOS by R.L. LaFevers. My 11 year-old daughter and I have read a lot of book series together and this one is among the top 3 - up there with the "Harry Potter Series" and the "Penderwicks Series". Theodosia Throckmorton is an 11 year-old girl living in London in the early 1900's. Her parents run a museum which contains numerous artifacts that her mother "digs up" in Egypt. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to her mother and father many of the artifacts she brings back are cursed. In this particular story, one of the items must be returned to Egypt or chaos will ensue threatening all of the British Empire. Theodosia is so smart and so funny. This is a wonderful book to read out-loud together. The elements of suspense and danger, paired with Theodosia's wit and bravery make for a completely endearing book.
On the first Friday of the month from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m., the staff present book talks on new and some not some new fiction and non-fiction. Come to the library and hear about some fascinating, irresistible titles. Everyone is welcome.
Friday Fiction Titles
Where'd you go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
The Tortilla Curtain by TC Boyle
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Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.