Here are some of the books library staff members have been reading and listening to.
Carolyn Crocker, Book Discussion Leader and Library Clerk
Shopping at IKEA will never be the same! This part-catalog parody, part-chiller, part-satire of our consumer culture is both truly creepy and very funny—and quite trenchant in its observations of retail, interior design, young workers, and lifestyle. Who are the zombies? Just Orsk!
The Wind is not a River by Brian Payton
A dual narrative of World War II in the Aleutians, this novel tracks the survivor of a crash landing behind Japanese lines and his wife who never gives up hope. Helen Easley joins the USO and searches; John struggles to stay alive under harsh conditions, ultimately inspired by a mysterious relic of the native population “disappeared” by their oppressors and neglected by their liberators. True heroism on all sides.
Vicky Berdecio, Library Substitute
I Work at a Public Library by Gina Sheridan
Gina Sheridan shares a selection of short conversations with some of the various patrons at the public library where she works. At times humorous, laugh-out-loud funny to some touchingly heart-felt exchanges, this book is an enjoyable, easy read for library staff and patrons alike.
The Public Library: A Photographic Essay by Robert Dawson
Robert Dawson has spent the past eighteen years photographing a wide range of public libraries throughout the United States. From the grand, stately architectural wonders in Seattle and Salt Lake City, to the most simple, rustic buildings, this collection of images is a testament to the institution of the public library system.
In addition to the beautiful photographs, this book also includes numerous essays- including a forward by Bill Moyers and an afterward by Ann Patchett.
Olive MacGregor, Library Substitute
Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer
Mara Nichols, a successful lawyer with a loving family and supportive co-workers, is suffering from a progressive disease which is starting to show disturbing effects.
Scott Coffman is a middle school teacher who is completing a year of foster parenting an eight year-old boy whose mother will soon be released from prison. He is heartbroken at the thought of losing Curtis, but his wife is looking forward to more privacy as they await the birth of their first child.
Although Mara and Scott live far away from each other, they belong to the same online group where they pour out their concerns in late night sessions.
This is Timmer’s first book,and I hope it isn’t her last. It has had excellent reviews.
Abby Walsh, Library Substitute
This book kept me up at night both from fear and yearning to know the end. We know who the culprit is from the beginning. He is as terrifying as Buffalo Bill in the movie Silence of the Lambs. The cat and mouse game between Detective Bill Hodges and sociopath, Brady Hartfield, is intense and gripping up until the very last page of the story – an ending that forced this reader to make sure all our doors were locked.
Amy Lappin, Libraries Deputy Director
The Secret Place by Tana French (audiobook)
Excellent narration drives the latest Tana French audiobook. This is the fifth in the compelling Dublin Murder Squad series. When a new clue from an unsolved murder at an elite boarding school is dropped in Det. Stephen Moran’s lap, he sees it as his ticket out of cold cases and onto the murder squad. Of course, the murderer has other plans. One doesn’t need to have knowledge of the previous titles to enjoy this book.
Chuck McAndrew, Library IT Assistant
Three deeply flawed characters battle substance abuse, mental illness, and terrifying global conspiracies in this dystopian techno-thriller. As Joseph Heller said in Catch-22, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”
Philip Wiebkin, Library Substitute
This second book in Matthew Shardlake Tudor Mystery series delves again into the dark and superstitious world of Cromwell’s England. Shardlake is asked to help a young girl accused of murder. She refuses to speak in her defense even when threatened with torture. But just when the case seems lost, Thomas Cromwell, the Henry VIII’s feared vicar general, offers Shardlake two more weeks to prove his client’s innocence. In exchange, Shardlake must find a lost cache of “Dark Fire,” a legendary weapon of mass destruction. A great period murder mystery!!
Margaret Pole’s contented daily life is changed forever when she befriends Arthur, the young Prince of Wales, and his beautiful bride, Katherine of Aragon. After the sudden death of Prince Arthur, Katherine leaves for London a widow, and fulfills her promise to her husband to marry his brother, Henry VIII. Margaret’s world is turned upside down by the surprising summons to court, where she becomes the chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine. But this charmed life of the wealthiest and “holiest” woman in England lasts only until the rise of Anne Boleyn, and the dramatic deterioration of the Tudor court. Margaret has to choose whether her allegiance is to the increasingly tyrannical king, or to her beloved queen; to the religion she loves or the theology which serves the new masters. Caught between the old world and the new, Margaret Pole has to find her own way as she carries the knowledge of an old curse on all the Tudors. A great easy read and provides an interesting insight into the turbulent and dangerous times of the Tudors
Francine Lozeau, Library Substitute
May I recommend a family read aloud? Author Chris Kurtz has written a delightful book that will appeal to the whole family. The Adventures of a South Pole Pig-A Story of Snow and Courage introduces Flora, a plucky pig with a lot of heart. You will want to add Flora to your list of favorite story book pigs-Wilbur, Mercy Watson, Babe, Piggie… Check out this Great Stone Face nomination!
This book will bring readers into what James Patterson calls “the coolest library in the world!” Kyle Keeley is not a reader, but he loves games. When he learns that twelve 7th graders will be chosen to spend a night in the library, for fun and games, he wants to win. He soon learns that getting into the library was the easy part! This book will remind you of another story, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and will reference many other wonderful children’s books, including an old favorite of mine From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Enjoy this Great Stone Face nomination!
12 year old Willow just needs to belong. She is starting the year at a new school and hoping to find a friend. When tragedy strikes, things don’t look good for Willow. But Willow is amazing! Without trying, she becomes the agent to enable all the characters to change their lives as she begins to heal. I enjoyed the way the story was told, the strong characters and the just-right ending. This book will be a compelling contender for the Great Stone Face Award!
Melissa Hutson, Library Substitute
The Devil in the Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgson
Set in 1727, the majority of the story takes place within the walls of the debtors’ prison Marshalsea. Tom Hawkins finds himself locked within Marshalsea for a debt of 20£. Upon his arrival, he learns there is a murderer on the loose and he makes a deal to discover the killer in exchange for his freedom. The author’s research is extensive and the characters are all based on actual people. I don’t usually read mysteries, but the time period drew me in. Excellently written, you feel like you are locked inside with Tom.
Kathy Carroll, Development Officer
Well-written and expertly constructed, this powerful and multi-layered story draws the reader in and does not disappoint with its unraveling. Ordinary lives are affected and sharply altered by the family secrets at the heart of this narrative, and the characters’ relationships to each other are shaped and changed by those secrets. This book is perfect for transitioning to Fall.
Susanne Collins, Young Adult Librarian
The plot revolves around an unconscious, unidentified woman being treated in the ICU at a Seattle Hospital. The narrative switches between her fight for life in the present and the story of her life up until that point. Her doctor, Charlotte Reese, becomes very involved in the care of her patient and the reader soon learns there are more connections between the two women than that of doctor and patient.
“A uniquely involving read” Booklist.
Cheryl Saunders, Library Assistant
Story of the Densmore Brick Company of Lebanon, NH. This DVD contains local history of where much of Dartmouth College beautiful brickwork originated and the men who made the bricks. You may see your neighbors interviewed as they regale working conditions, camaraderie, and history of brick making in New Hampshire.
Sean Fleming, Libraries Director
My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind by Scott Stossel
Think you’re having a bad day? If you typically don’t have to grapple with the intense anxiety that Scott Stossel has to contend with, count yourself lucky. His anxieties manifest themselves in many different ways, and the drugs he takes, prescribed and unprescribed, are almost as numerous. The book is well written, although I was more engaged when I read about his experiences than when I was reading about the history of treating anxiety and depression, which often go hand in hand.
Marilyn Breselor, Library Substitute
The Position by Meg Wolitzer
My favorite Wolitzer novel–about a couple who write a “Joy of Sex”-type book illustrated with pictures of themselves, and its life-long impact on their children.
Emily Zollo, Library Substitute
Back in his hometown for a funeral, the narrator remembers events from his childhood that he had long forgotten, including how he stumbled into a world of magic and the supernatural right in his own backyard. A wonderful fairytale for grown-ups by master storyteller Gaiman.
Patti Hardenberg, Library Technical Assistant
The Spiral Staircase: my climb out of darkness by Karen Armstrong
In 1962, at age seventeen, Karen Armstrong entered a convent, eager to meet God. After seven brutally unhappy years as a nun, she left her order to pursue English literature at Oxford. But convent life had profoundly altered her, and coping with the outside world and her expiring faith proved to be excruciating. Her future seemed very much in question until she stumbled into comparative theology. What she found, in learning, thinking, and writing about other religions, was the ecstasy and transcendence she had never felt as a nun.
Goin’ Someplace Special by Patricia McKissack
The author tells an autobiographical story about living in segregated 1950s Nashville. As a young African American girl, she braves a series of indignities and obstacles to get to one of the few integrated places in town. Can you guess which building is her “someplace special”?