Recent Reads -- Library Staff Favorites

A list of books library staff have read lately and recommend.

It should come as no surprise that those of us who work here at the library read a lot-- especially fiction. We eagerly await new books by our favorite authors. Right now on our lists: Alice Hoffman’s, The Dovekeepers, a historical novel set in the early 70’s B.C. in Judea; Lee Child’s The Affair, with some back story on Jack Reacher, in time for the new movie starring Tom Cruise; The Drop by Michael Connelly, another in the Harry Bosch series; and Blue Nights, by Joan Didion. Many of us also look forward to the latest books by Barbara Kingsolver, Bill Bryson, Stuart O’Nan, Janet Evanovich, and Sue Miller.

What are you reading now? Hoping to read? Any particular recent favorites?  Please tell us!

Here are some books several of us have read recently and recommend:

The Submission, by Amy Waldman, begins in 2003, as a jury gathers to choose the design for a 9/11 memorial, from blind submissions. When jurors learn the name of the winning architect, a furor erupts. This is an intelligent, moving novel with strong characters, as well as a compelling examination of our country today.

The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaajte.  A beautiful, impressionist novel drawn partly from autobiography. Michael, the narrator, looks back at a trip that shaped him, at 11, in the early 1950’s, when he sailed from Sri Lanka for England to see his mother. He and two other boys have the run of the ship. They meet, and learn from, the eccentric adults they sit with every day at the Cat’s Table, the one farthest from the Captain’s Table.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This enchanting debut novel has already received a great deal of publicity. The movie rights have been sold and it’s being translated into 30 languages. Set at the turn of the past century, the novel concerns two child magicians who are in a competition against each other.

The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler. For those who enjoy Scandanavian thrillers, here’s another one about a countdown to catch a killer... A doctor who swore he would never hypnotize anyone again, is called in to do so after a terrible domestic crime. 

The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen is the start of a new series about Carl Morck, a Danish detective, sent to the Department Q, with a stack of cold cases, after recovering from a serious assault.

The Leftovers, by Tom Perrotta. Perrotta turns his keen eye on the future, when he imagines life in suburbs after the Rapture.

All Cry Chaos by Leonard Rosen. The sympathetic main character, Henri Poincare, an Interpol inspector and the great-grandson of the mathematician, must confront and solve some harrowing crimes.  In this thinking-person’s thriller, the plot interweaves mathematics, the Rapture, and terrorism, in an international setting. We hope this is the start of a successful new series.

Smoking Ears and Screaming Teeth: a celebration of Scientific Eccentricity and Experimentation by Trevor Norton. (non-fiction) This book is well written and funny. The author sets forth unusual and sometimes outrageous tales of science. If you like Mary Roach (Packing for Mars, Stiff, and others) you will enjoy this book.

Reckless Endangerment: how outsized ambition, greed, and corruption led to economic armaggedon by  Gretchen Morgenson-(non-fiction). The Gods of Greenwich (fiction) by Norb Vonnegut. Both books address the current financial crisis; they are informative, fascinating and difficult to put down.

These titles are in the Evergreen online catalog. If they’re not our shelves you can place a hold, or the staff can place one for you.

For the library latest, please visit www.flintmemoriallibrary.org, sign up for our email newsletter, Books & Beyond or find us on Facebook.



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Julia Whitney Robarts October 19, 2011 at 06:13 PM
The best books I've read in the past 6 months are definitely "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen, and "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. Both great, gripping stories with interesting settings. I still miss Harry Potter.


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