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Thursday, July 6, 2017

On Our Nightstands: What We're Reading Now

Posted by Staff


Mary B. -  The Baker's Secret by Stephen Kiernan. Good WWII historical fiction type book. Takes place in France and follows a small town and its residents from occupation until D-Day. I'd give it a thumbs up!

Devin G. - The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

Mason S. - Black Elk Speaks by Black Elk, John Neihardt and Love in Action by Thich Nhat Hanh

Jill S. -  I am reading The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, because we will be discussing the book at the Library’s book club on June 27th. By the way, it also won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction & the National Book Award!

Joyce D. - The Swallow’s Nest by Emilie Richards

Cary H. - Plain and Simple: A Woman's Journey to the Amish by Sue Bender
My mother gave me this book when it was first published in 1991 when I was a young woman, before I had children. Now, with a different life perspective, I was drawn back for a re-read and I am getting more out of it than I did then. We don’t need to strive to be like the Amish, or even relate to their lifestyle, to gain peaceful and purposeful insight by understanding their simple tenants. I, like the author, particularly respond to the idea of the “faceless doll.” If you are intrigued, you should read it! 

Gerry B. - Sick In The Head by Judd Apatow

Mary H. - I've just been listening to audiobooks recently. Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh and Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew Crawford

Tirzah D. - The Dragon with the Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis

Amanda E. - I recently listened to an audiobook (found on Hoopla) version of Servant of the Crown by Melissa McShane. I enjoyed this book but I was a bit confused by it as well. It’s kind of a genre mash-up. It’s a bit regency romance , a bit steam punk, a bit fantasy, and a bit something else I’m unfamiliar with. The fantasy and steam punk elements were really what confused me because they were never actually really addressed. Halfway through the book someone heals someone using magic and that is the first time you get an idea that magic is a thing that exists in this universe; after that it is only vaguely hinted at. The steampunk element is kind of light as well, occasionally the word ‘devices’ is used but otherwise it’s not really addressed.

This book initially grabbed my attention because the Royal Library is at the heart of the story and the main character is a female book publisher in what approximates regency era England. This book is the first in a series. I liked the book enough that I will give the second a chance. Honestly, I’m mostly really curious to see if the author intends to develop the fantasy elements at all or if they are just some kind of confusing shtick. The romance aspect is just kind of meh. Neither character was particularly memorable. There are a few other characters that I found way more interesting and would like to read more about. There’s a really feisty queen that, in a different setting, would make an awesome pirate.

My review has been a bit jumbled and vague because that’s kind of how I felt about the book. If you are at all intrigued, I recommend giving it a chance. The narrator on the edition that is available on Hoopla, Gemma Dawson, is really great. British accent, dynamic voice acting. I really enjoyed her. I may not have continued with a print version of this book.

Sally A. - A Piece of the World by Christina Baker 

Katherine R. - Born a Crime by Trevor Noah 

Lisa E. - Once You Get Through the Mountains the Land Opens Up by Tecumshea S. Holmes, Sr. (local Edwardsville author) 

Susan C. - Al Franken, Giant of the Senate by Al Franken. I love the way he connects stories together, then circles back to his conclusion. I’m not real far into it, but as he tells stories about his upbringing, I can see a bit how he got where he is now. I like the title. It's great!

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