Library Staff Recommended Reading September 2014

Recommended Reading Archive

The Corsican caper : [a novel]

The Corsican Caper by Peter Mayle

This third book in Mayle's fictional "caper" series travels from Marseilles to Corsica, this time involving the Corsican Mafia.  Again, Mayle's characters partake of delicious food, lounge in cafes, and mix humor with mystery.  They are, as always, likable characters doing likable things like eating the finest French food, drinking the finest French wine, and snooping!  This title is also available in a large print and a CDBOOK version on our library shelves.

~ Sarah Muench ~


Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick (YA)                 

The 2014 Michael L. Printz award for excellence in young adult literature was given to Marcus Sedgwick’s Midwinterblood, an interconnected tale told in seven parts.  Inspired by a famous, yet contentious, Swedish painting Midvinterblot by Carl Larsson, Sedgwick takes his readers on a journey, starting in 2073, and works backward, spanning centuries.  Each part contains common threads—a powerful flower, hares, moons, maxims, and souls in love—all playing out on the mysterious, Scandinavian isle of Blessed.  Beautifully composed, original yet timeless, and in turns both horrific and heartwarming, the author tackles themes of love, loss, and sacrifice.  Though marketed as a YA title, this brief but impressive novel has appeal for both teens and adults.  Highly recommended!                                                                             

~ Abby Landers ~

The trip to Echo Spring : on writers and drinking

The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking by Olivia Laing

In The Trip to Echo Spring, a title referencing Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin RoofEnglish writer Laing, herself a recovering alcoholic, attempts to find a link between alcoholism and the ability to write. More specifically, how six of the most celebrated scribes in American letters penned their greatest works despite being under the spell of drink. While it is debatable whether or not Laing ever answers this complicated question, what she does provide are very insightful mini-biographies of six brilliant but tormented writers: Williams, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Cheever, Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Carver, and the poet John Berryman. There are some very interesting connections to be found between these men, and as Laing crisscrosses America in search of some clarity, she provides us with an insightful and thought-provoking read.        


~ Noah Weckwerth ~

About time

About Time (DVD)

A lovely and funny story about a young man who discovers that he has inherited the capacity to travel back and forth in time. As his dad mentors him in the family gift, Tim discovers that this ability may not be as straight forward as he first thought. He learns that the true value of his aptitude may lie not in how many times it takes him to “get it right” but in how he lives every moment of each day.

~ Paulette Brooks ~

The shelf : from LEQ to LES

The Shelf: from LEQ to LES by Phyllis Rose


The Shelf is a record of the author's experiment to read a random shelf of fiction titles from the New York Society Library.  Rose, an English professor and a biographer of Woolf and Proust, as well as several other literary titles, decided she wanted to do "extreme reading"; that is, not follow a reading list or anyone else's suggestions.  Over the couse of a year, she read a variety of fiction by authors who happened to have names beginning with the letters LEQ to LES, which included Russian, French, Austrian and South African writers, and American detective fiction.  I completely agree with the jacket's exciting blurb:  "A joyous testament to the thrill of engagement with books high and low, The Shelf leaves us with the feeling that there are treasures to be found on every library or bookstore shelf."

~ Sarah Muench ~

An unwilling accomplice

An Unwilling Accomplice by Charles Todd


Bess Crawford, serving as a British nurse in 1918, finds herself drawn into a search for a former patient under her care. This is the sixth book in Charles Todd’s Bess Crawford series, each mystery following Bess in France and England as she uncovers war-related crimes. Enjoyable as a stand- alone novel; even better to start with the author’s first book in the series, A Duty to the Dead.                                                                

~ Nancy Arevalo ~

Only the Cat Saw by Ashley Wolf


The many children’s books that pass through the Circulation desk at the Elm Grove Library represent a wealth of education and entertainment available to young people. Recently, I came across one that stood out from the rest, and for very young children I highly recommend Only the Cat Saw. This is a beautifully illustrated story of a busy farm family who goes about their evening routines, speaking and doing while in silence the little miracles of nature that occur all around them are the things that “only the cat saw.” Young hearts will be touched by views of the little girl asleep while the cat looks up to see shooting stars and fireflies, and young parents will be heartened by the lovely and natural scene of the cat observing the mother nursing the baby in the wee hours of the morning.  Children will eagerly anticipate each page turn to find out what else “the cat saw,” until our nocturnal observer falls asleep at sunrise.                                                                        

~ Shannon McKeown ~

Finding ultra : rejecting middle age, becoming one of the World's fittest men, and discovering myself.

Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself by Rich Roll

Have you ever wondered what it would take to become an elite athlete?  Do you want to experience it via your armchair as opposed to on the roads?  Rich Roll’s excellent new book on how he became one of the most fit men will allow you to see into the world without all the pain and hard work!

On his 40th birthday, Rich Roll was out of shape. He led a stressful life, did not exercise, and spent his time in front of the television.  Finding himself 50 pounds overweight he decided it was time to make a change. After undergoing a diet detox, adopting a vegan lifestyle, and pushing his fitness regimen to undreamed-of heights, he was profiled by Men's Fitness as one of the world's 25 fittest men.  He found fitness, and himself.

~ Lori Kuban ~

“Staff Recommends” Compiled by Paulette Brooks


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