Hearing book suggestions from coworkers is one of the best perks of working in a public library! We hear about books from publishers, library journals, patrons, coworkers, and friends, and we love sharing favorites. Here’s what Baldwin staff members are enjoying this month:
Fiction for Adults
All the Forgivenesses by Elizabeth Hardinger
A story set at the turn of the century and told from the voice of Bertie, a teen aged girl who is forced to become a mother to her younger siblings as a result of emotionally and physically absent parents. Resiliency, forgiveness and family loyalty are recurrent themes throughout this engaging debut novel.
–recommended by Lisa
Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes
A detective story with a wicked supernatural twist, that follows a killer on the loose in contemporary Detroit. If this scared Stephen King, you know it has to be creepy as hell!
–recommended by Denice
The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall
This quiet novel follows the lives of two couples, beginning with their college life in the late 1950s and leading into their service as co-ministers of a struggling Greenwich Village church. Reminiscent of Crossing to Safety, by Wallace Stegner, this book is a beautiful story of how faith, family, friendship, and love transform and adapt through the years.
–recommended by Rebekah
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
Based on the true-life WPA Pack Horse Library Project of the 1930s, Moyes brings the wonderful horseback riding librarians to life with humor and understanding. The plot gallops along and you will enjoy the fast pace right to the end.
–recommended by Barby
Lumberjanes: Beware the Kitten Holy by Stevenson, Ellis, & Allen
A group of five friends at a sleep away camp learn to rely on each other, but also their own strengths and smarts, to bravely face their fears and conquer difficult challenges. This YA graphic novel is magical, delightful, and crazy funny.
–recommended by Sarah
Transcription by Kate Atkinson
Yes, this is another novel set in London during World War II, but it involves a slightly different aspect- a young woman who is recruited to transcribe taped conversations of possible traitors. There are strong, unforgettable characters, especially the main transcriptionist, who starts out as a young, inexperienced girl in her teens and turns into a world-wary adult.
–recommended by Kathleen and Karen
Non-Fiction for Adults
Burn the Place: A Memoir by Iliana Regan
Iliana Regan is a deeply gifted chef and forager: an icon of Midwestern cuisine. This unvarnished memoir reveals the alcoholism and self-destructive behavior that nearly eclipsed her bright talents.
–recommended by Ethan
Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel
This story of how 20th-century New York became the center of the world art scene combines entertaining social history with detailed, engaging biographies of five women artists who changed Modern Art: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler.
–recommended by Kathleen
Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control by Stephen Kinzer
The CIA’s 1950-60s mind control project MK-ULTRA is laid bare in all of its ugliness. MK-ULTRA used various drugs- mainly LSD- and methods- kidnapping, imprisoning, killing, and dosing- on unwitting civilians in a failed attempt to achieve mind control over human beings. An intriguing and disturbing book.
–recommended by Mick
Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
In Gladwell’s newest book he uses both contemporary and historical examples of catastrophic misunderstandings to explore all the ways in which human communication can go terribly wrong. From Adolf Hitler to Sandra Bland he explores how things like our tendency to believe that people are honest, our dependence on body language, and our habit of making assumptions about a person’s context damage our ability to properly judge and then talk to people. An especially excellent audiobook, “Talking to Strangers,” is a sensitive, thoughtful book for an age in which it is increasingly difficult to communicate in productive ways.
–recommended by Maria