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Staff Reads — November 2017

Book Projector Treble Clef

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Kerry: Beneath A Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan. Amazing book!

Louise: I just finished listening to Daniel Palmer’s book Trauma on my Libby by Overdrive App. The library was fortunate to have Daniel present as part of our National Novel Month Programming. This book is a medical thriller that takes place in the Boston area. Daniel’s father was Michael Palmer and Daniel completed this book after his father passed away. I could not put this book down and recommend Trauma to all medical thriller lovers. If you like ER, Robin Cook or Tess Gerritsen, look no further. Fans of Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware series will also enjoy this book as we have a nefarious plot going on that our hero needs to stop for the sake of its innocent victims.

Ashley:

Janet Z.

  • From a Room: Volume 1 by Chris Stapleton / Music CD: This album was voted the Country Music Association’s Album of the Year. Am not even a country music fan and I loved it!
  • Hunger by Roxane Gay / Audio Book on CD: Ms. Gay is a gifted writer and narrator. The NY Times review (7/14/17) describes this work well . . .
    “At its simplest, it’s a memoir about being fat — Gay’s preferred term — in a hostile, fat-phobic world. At its most symphonic, it’s an intellectually rigorous and deeply moving exploration of the ways in which trauma, stories, desire, language and metaphor shape our experiences and construct our reality.”
  • Girl Up by Laura Bates: Amazon describes this book as “an empowering survival guide [that] provides no-nonsense advice on sex, social media, mental health, and sexism that young women face in their everyday life—from one of the emerging leaders in the feminist movement.”

Lisa: I am listening to Hamilton the Musical and enjoying a new television show called Wisdom of the Crowd where a tech savvy group creates an app that uses public input to solve crimes.

Laura:

  • A Hundred Thousand Worlds by Bob Proehl: The world of comic cons, as seen through the eyes of former science fiction TV star, Valerie Torrey, her son, Alex, Brett, a comic illustrator, and Gail Pope, a comic book writer writing for fictional versions of Marvel and DC. The setting of the three different conventions is a character, itself, and provides descriptive detail for those who are not familiar with the world of cons and fandom. Not everyone’s backstory was as compelling as others, but I enjoyed this novel, regardless. As someone who has enjoyed more than my share of science fiction television shows, I recognized a lot of elements in Valerie’s show, Anomaly.
  • Speaking of such television shows, I listened to audiobook versions of the new X-Files: Origins prequels in which readers meet teenage versions of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. In Agent of Chaos by Kami Garcia and read by Will Damron, 17 year old Mulder, through the help of his two friends, Gimbel and Phoebe, try to solve the murder and kidnappings of some local children. In Devil’s Advocate by Jonathan Maberry and read by Emma Galvin, 15 year old Dana Scully is having images regarding the gruesome death of some of her schoolmates and enlists the help of her sister, Melissa, and new friend, Ethan. Though the books take place around the same time and only a few miles away from each other, there are no scenes in which teenage Mulder and Scully run into each other. I was bracing myself for it and was relieved that neither author deigned to do that. That being said, there are a few too many coincidences, one of which that both Mulder and Scully spend time in a new age store called Beyond, Beyond, which was crucial in both of their mysteries. The books are entertaining, though, and I think the authors captured each character’s on screen personality. That being said, I have read X-Files fanfiction that centered on Mulder and Scully in their pre-FBI days that I have enjoyed more.
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi: I read this beautifully written novel on the enthusiastic recommendation of my co-worker, Nancy D. This family saga, starting in 18th Ghana, starts with the story of two half sisters, Effia and Esi, who have never met and whose paths in life diverge. Esi is sold into slavery and taken to America, while Effia remains and marries a White British soldier. Each chapter tells the story of the following generations through the eyes of one of the children. The writing is very lyrical and is both hopeful and discouraging, if that makes any sense. This is a good readalike if you like other family sagas such as Roots by Alex Haley and The Family Orchard by Nomi Eve. If you enjoy reading fiction about Ghana, you may also like Kwei Quartey’s mystery novels.
  • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, read by Carol Bilger: We were very lucky to host Anita Diamant at our library, last week. She was a gracious and thoughtful speaker. I’m embarrassed to admit that while I read The Boston Girl and Good Harbor, I had never read her first novel. So far, I’m enjoying the story of Dinah, a minor character from the Bible and daughter of Leah and Jacob. As with other Diamant novels, the story centers on the strength and friendship of the women and expands on their roles, some of which were almost footnotes in biblical history.

Doreen:

Seana: Seana is reading Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds and The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn. She’s re-reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio.

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