Masks are required in the Library and on the Bookmobile following guidance from the Johnson County Public Health Department.

Summer Reading 2020

by Mari

A list of my summer reading. I really enjoy almost all genres and try to do a mixture of nonfiction and fiction, kids and adult and graphic novel, but ended up a little short on kids books this summer. I found reading particularly enjoyable this summer with little else to do, and fully took advantage of the Libby app.

The night tiger

Yangsze Choo

FICTION Choo Yangsze
Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction

A vivacious dance-hall girl in 1930s colonial Malaysia is drawn into unexpected danger by the discovery of a severed finger that is being sought by a young houseboy in order to protect his late master's soul.

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A strange story set in the 1930's that weaves in mythology and folklore of Malaysia and brings in to the question the existence of weretigers.
- Mari

Circe : a novel

Madeline Miller

FICTION Miller Madeline
Literary Fiction

Follows Circe, the banished witch daughter of Helios, as she hones her powers and interacts with famous mythological beings before a conflict with one of the most vengeful Olympians forces her to choose between the worlds of the gods and mortals.

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For lovers of mythology, this is the story of Circe, the banished witch daughter of Helios.
- Mari

Long bright river

Liz Moore

FICTION Moore Liz
Suspense, Mystery

"A suspense novel that also looks at the anatomy of a Philadelphia family rocked by the opioid crisis and the relationship between two sisters--one, suffering from addiction, who has suddenly gone missing amid a series of mysterious murders; the other a police officer who patrols the neighborhood from which she disappeared: a story about the formidable ties between place, family, and fate" --

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A sad, but compelling read that highlights the intricacies of addiction, family and abuse of power within the criminal justice system.
- Mari

All Adults Here

Emma Straub

FICTION/Straub, Emma
Fiction

When Astrid Strick witnesses a school bus accident in the center of town, it jostles loose a repressed memory from her young parenting days, decades years earlier. Suddenly, Astrid realizes she was not quite the parent she thought she'd been to her three, now-grown children. But to what consequence? Astrid's youngest son is drifting and unfocused, making parenting mistakes of his own. Her daughter is intentionally pregnant yet struggling to give up her own adolescence. And her eldest seems to measure his adult life according to standards no one else shares. But who gets to decide, so many years later, which long-ago lapses were the ones that mattered? Who decides which apologies really count? It might be that only Astrid's 13-year-old granddaughter and her new friend really understand the courage it takes to tell the truth to the people you love the most. In All Adults Here, Emma Straub's unique alchemy of wisdom, humor and insight come together in a deeply satisfying story about adult siblings, aging parents, high school boyfriends, middle school mean girls, the lifelong effects of birth order, and all the other things that follow us into adulthood, whether we like them to or not

The whisper man

Alex North

FICTION North Alex
Thriller, Suspense, Horror

"After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank. But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed "The Whisper Man," for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night. Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter's crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man. And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window." --Amazon.com.

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This book was very riveting and frankly creepy. After losing his wife, Tom and his young son move into an old house in a town that was plagued by a serial killer decades ago. Real life monsters feel supernatural in this scary thriller!
- Mari

Rodham : a novel

Curtis Sittenfeld

FICTION Sittenfeld, Curtis
Fiction

"In 1971, Hillary Rodham is a young woman full of promise. Life magazine covered her Wellesley commencement speech, she's attending Yale Law School, and she's on the forefront of student activism and the women's rights movement. Then she meets a fellow law student named Bill Clinton. A charismatic Southerner, Bill is already laying the groundwork for his political career. In each other, Hillary and Bill find a profound intellectual, emotional, and physical connection that neither has previously experienced. In the real world, Hillary followed Bill back to Arkansas, and he proposed several times. Although she turned him down more than once, she eventually accepted and became Hillary Clinton. But in Curtis Sittenfeld's powerfully imagined tour de force of fiction, Hillary follows a different path. Listening to her doubts about the prospective marriage, she endures a devastating break-up and leaves Arkansas. Over the next four decades, she blazes her own trail--one that unfolds in public as well as in private, that crosses paths again (and again) with Bill Clinton, that raises questions about the trade-offs all of us must make to build a life. Brilliantly weaving actual historical events into a riveting fictional tale, Sittenfeld delivers an uncannily astute story for our times. In exploring the loneliness, moral ambivalence, and iron determination that characterize the quest for political power, as well as both the exhilaration and painful compromises demanded of female ambition in a world still mostly run by men, Rodham is a singular and unforgettable novel."--

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I love Curtis Sittenfield, and this type of book is what she does best. This follows Hilary Rodham Clinton in an alternative history where she chooses a different path. This story takes us through her lifetime with an ending we don't know yet, and I couldn't put it down!
- Mari

Untamed

Glennon Doyle

BIOGRAPHY Doyle, Glennon
Memoir

"There is a voice of longing inside every woman. We strive so mightily to be good: good mothers, daughters, partners, employees, citizens, and friends. We believe all this striving will make us feel alive. Instead, it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, overwhelmed, and underwhelmed. We look at our lives, relationships, and world, and wonder: Wasn't it all supposed to be more beautiful than this? We quickly silence that question, telling ourselves to be grateful. We hide our simmering discontent--even from ourselves. Until we reach our boiling point. Four years ago, Glennon Doyle--bestselling Oprah-endorsed author, renowned activist and humanitarian, wife and mother of three--was speaking at a conference when a woman entered the room. Glennon looked at her and fell instantly in love. Three words flooded her mind: There She Is. At first, Glennon assumed these words came to her from on high. Soon she realized that they came to her from within. Glennon was finally hearing her own voice--the voice that had been silenced by decades of cultural conditioning, numbing addictions, and institutional allegiances. This was the voice of the girl Glennon had been before the world told her who to be. She vowed to never again abandon herself. She decided to build a life of her own--one based on her individual desire, intuition, and imagination. She would reclaim her true, untamed self. Soulful and uproarious, forceful and tender, Untamed is both a memoir and a galvanizing wake-up call. It offers a piercing, electrifying examination of the restrictive expectations women are issued from birth; shows how hustling to meet those expectations leaves women feeling dissatisfied and lost; and reveals that when we quit abandoning ourselves and instead abandon the world's expectations of us, we become women who can finally look at our lives and recognize: There She Is. Untamed shows us how to be brave. As Glennon insists: The braver we are, the luckier we get"--

Once upon a river : a novel

Diane Setterfield

FICTION Setterfi Diane
Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction

On a dark midwinter's night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, a wounded stranger carries in the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later the girl stirs, and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Magic? As the days pass the child remains mute and unable to answer questions. Three families are keen to claim her: the wealthy mother of a kidnapped daughter missing for two years; a farming family sure it is their son's secret daughter; a parson's housekeeper, reminded of her younger sister. Each family has secrets, must be revealed before the girl's identity can be known. -- adapted from jacket

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A character-driven, magical realism story about a town trying to discover the truth after a seemingly dead young girl comes back to life hours after arriving at an ancient inn on the Thames. Beautifully written and full of mystery and folklore.
- Mari

Separation anxiety : a novel

Laura Zigman

FICTION Zigman Laura
Humor

"Judy never intended to start wearing the dog. But when she stumbled across her son Teddy's old baby sling during a halfhearted basement cleaning, something in her snapped. So: the dog went into the sling, Judy felt connected to another living being, and she's repeated the process every day since. Life hasn't gone according to Judy's plan. Her career as a children's book author offered a glimpse of success before taking an embarrassing nose dive. Teddy, now a teenager, treats her with some combination of mortification and indifference. Her best friend is dying. And her husband, Gary, has become a pot-addled professional "snackologist" who she can't afford to divorce. On top of it all, she has a painfully ironic job writing articles for a self-help website, a poor fit for someone seemingly incapable of helping herself."--Publisher description.

How to be an Antiracist

Ibram X. Kendi

305.8 /Kendi
Nonfiction

""The only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it -- and then dismantle it." Ibram X. Kendi's concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America -- but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. In this book, Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science, bringing it all together with an engaging personal narrative of his own awakening to antiracism. How to Be an Antiracist is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society." --

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A must-read for everyone who want to learn how to be antiracist in a country that is definitely not post-racial. Kendi recounts the history of racism in the United States, and identifies both the individual responsibility and systemic responsibility for racist ideals in society.
- Mari

The wives

Tarryn Fisher

FICTION Fisher Tarryn
Suspense

"She's never met the other wives. None of them know each other, and because of this unconventional arrangement, she can see her husband only one day a week. But she loves him so much she doesn't care. Or at least that's what she told herself. But one day, while she's doing laundry, she finds a scrap of paper in his pocket, an appointment reminder for a woman named Hannah, and she knows it's another of the wives. She thought she was fine with her arrangement, but she can't help herself--she tracks her down, and, under false pretense, she strikes up a friendship. Hannah has no idea who she is. Then, Hannah starts showing up to her coffee dates with telltale bruises, and she realized she's being abused by her husband. Who, of course, is also her husband. But she's never known him to be violent, ever. Who exactly is her husband, and how far would she go to find the truth? Would she risk her own life? And who is his mysterious third wife?" -- Provided by publisher.

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In read this book in one day! I was intrigued by the set up, a woman in a polygamist marriage. But it becomes clear right away that it's not what it seems, and it kept me enthralled until the end. This reads very similar to a B.A. Paris novel for those who are fans.
- Mari

Pretty things : a novel

Janelle Brown

FICTION Brown Janelle
Suspense

"Nina once bought into the idea that her fancy liberal arts degree would lead to a fulfilling career. When that dream crashed, she turned to stealing from rich kids in L.A. alongside her wily Irish boyfriend, Lachlan. Nina learned from the best: Her mother was the original con artist, hustling to give her daughter a decent childhood despite their wayward life. But when her mom gets sick, Nina puts everything on the line to help her, even if it means running her most audacious, dangerous scam yet. Vanessa is a privileged young heiress who wanted to make her mark in the world. Instead she becomes an Instagram influencer - traveling the globe, receiving free clothes and products, and posing for pictures in exotic locales. But behind the covetable façade is a life marked by tragedy. After a broken engagement, Vanessa retreats to her family's sprawling mountain estate, Stonehaven: A mansion of dark secrets not just from Vanessa's past, but from that of a lost and troubled girl named Nina. Nina, Vanessa, and Lachlan's paths collide here, on the cold shores of Lake Tahoe, where their intertwined lives give way to a winter of aspiration and desire, duplicity and revenge."--Provided by publisher.

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I read this while I was a suspense binge and it was enjoyable but felt a little drawn out. You see the whole story from two perspectives, a grifter and an heiress, two women dealing with fear and emotional trauma. The main gist is that the grifter plans to play on the heiress' emotional baggage to pull off the biggest scam of her career, all for the sake of paying for her mother's experimental cancer treatment. But the twists keep on coming and you feel pretty torn on who to sympathize with in the end.
- Mari

The body : a guide for occupants

Bill Bryson

612 /Bryson
Science, Health

"Bill Bryson, bestselling author of A Short History of Nearly Everything, takes us on a head-to-toe tour of the marvel that is the human body. As compulsively readable as it is comprehensive, this is Bryson at his very best, a must-read owner's manual for everybody. Bill Bryson once again proves himself to be an incomparable companion as he guides us through the human body--how it functions, its remarkable ability to heal itself, and (unfortunately) the ways it can fail. Full of extraordinary facts (your body made a million red blood cells since you started reading this) and irresistible Bryson-esque anecdotes, The Body will lead you to a deeper understanding of the miracle that is life in general and you in particular. As Bill Bryson writes, "We pass our existence within this wobble of flesh and yet take it almost entirely for granted." The Body will cure that indifference with generous doses of wondrous, compulsively readable facts and information"--

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Maybe my favorite read of the summer! A comprehensive, head to toe guide through the body filled with fascinating science, anecdotes and reflections on our health. It felt like a whirlwind Anatomy and Physiology course, and in time where the world is examining our immune response to a virus, it was oddly compelling and made me reexamine my own health choices.
- Mari

The Book of Lost Friends

Lisa Wingate

FICTION/Wingate Lisa
Historical Fiction

Louisiana, 1875: In the tumultuous aftermath of Reconstruction, three young women set off as unwilling companions on a perilous quest: Lavinia, the pampered heir to a now-destitute plantation; Juneau Jane, her illegitimate free-born Creole half-sister; and Hannie, Lavinia's former slave. Each carries private wounds and powerful secrets as they head for Texas, following dangerous roads rife with ruthless vigilantes and soldiers still fighting a war lost a decade before. For Lavinia and Juneau Jane, the journey is one of inheritance and financial desperation, but for Hannie, torn from her mother and eight siblings before slavery's end, the pilgrimage westward reignites an agonizing question: Could her long-lost family still be out there? Beyond the swamps lie the seemingly limitless frontiers of Texas and, improbably, hope. Louisiana, 1987: For first-year teacher Benedetta Silva, a subsidized job at a poor rural school seems like the ticket to canceling her hefty student debt--until she lands in a tiny, out-of-step Mississippi River town. Augustine, Louisiana, seems suspicious of new ideas and new people, and Benny can scarcely comprehend the lives of her poverty-stricken students. But amid the gnarled live oaks and run-down plantation homes lies the century-old history of three young women, a long-ago journey, and a hidden book that could change everything

The Vanishing Half

Brit Bennett

FICTION Bennett Brit
Historical Fiction, Diverse Characters

"The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect? Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins. As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise"--

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My favorite fiction read of the summer. I read Nella Larsen's Passing in college, and it illuminated my white privilege in a historical context that I have never forgotten. This intriguing story follows a set of twin girls who were raised in a light-skinned black community, who ran away as teenagers to forge their own way in the world. One twin returns with a dark black child and the other is never heard from again, and it is revealed that she is passing, hiding her family history for the remainder of her life. By the next generation, the cousins paths are so very different, but by a twist of fate their paths cross and the mystery comes out. Such a great read that will stay in my mind for a long time.
- Mari

Hidden Valley Road : inside the mind of an American family

Robert Kolker

616.890092 /Kolker
Health, Biographies

"Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don's work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those years, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins--aspiration, hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony--and they worked hard to play their parts. But behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after the other, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family? What took place inside the house on Hidden Valley Road was so extraordinary that the Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institutes of Mental Health. Their story offers a shadow history of the science of schizophrenia, from the era of institutionalization, lobotomy, and the schizophrenogenic mother, to the search for genetic markers for the disease, always amidst profound disagreements about the nature of the illness itself. And unbeknownst to the Galvins, samples of their DNA informed decades of genetic research that continues today, offering paths to treatment, prediction, and even eradication of the disease for future generations. With clarity and compassion, bestselling and award-winning author Robert Kolker uncovers one family's unforgettable legacy of suffering, love and hope"--

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I read this author's other book, Lost Girls, a A literary account of the lives and presumed serial killings of five Craigslist prostitutes. I was impressed by his level of detail, and this story follows suit. A fascinating dive into the genetics and behavioral proclivities of sufferers of schizophrenia, as well as a detailed history and exploration of the diagnosis and treatment of this disease. Fascinatingly enough, six of the ten boys in one large family, the Galvins, one after the other, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. This story is tragic and heartbreaking but provides some clarity into one of the most misunderstood diseases in existence.
- Mari

The Sun Down Motel

Simone St. James

FICTION St. James, Simone
Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

"The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls. Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn't right at the Sun Down, and before long she's determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden there. Upstate NY, 2017. Carly Kirk has always been fascinated by her aunt Viv who disappeared from the Sun Down before Carly was born. Using a small inheritance from when her mom dies, Carly leaves college to go to Fell to figure out what happened to her aunt thirty-five years ago. Soon, Carly is mirroring her aunt's life, working as the night clerk at the motel, which hasn't changed since 1982. The guest book is still handwritten, the rooms still have actual keys, and a haunting presence still lingers. Carly discovers that Viv had been trying to unravel mysteries of her own--including a possible serial killer working in Fell. If Carly can find the answers Viv was searching for, she might be able to solve the mystery that has haunted her family for years"--

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I'll admit I placed this book on hold without reading the description solely because I was intrigued by the cover. It ended up being a little different than what I expected, which I think was probably a little like the movie Bad Times at the El Royale, but while it did leave some to be desired in the category of character development, it was an intriguing story with ghosts, detective work, and female empowerment.
- Mari

White fragility : why it's so hard for White people to talk about racism

Robin J. DiAngelo

305.8 /DiAngelo
Nonfiction

In this groundbreaking and timely book, antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility. Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo explores how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively. --

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Every white person needs to read this book. It feels like the most helpful diversity training you will ever experience, and while sometimes the truth hurts, the sooner white people realize we live in a indoctrinated racist society and take steps to reverse it, the better. I love the directness of this book. It's very no nonsense--whether you like it or not, we exist in a racist society. Here's why and what you can do about it. It's very important and I strongly believe it's what everyone needs to get on board with understanding in order to move forward.
- Mari

Beach read

Emily Henry

FICTION Henry Emily
Romance, Humor

"A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters. Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast. They're polar opposites. In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they're living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer's block. Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She'll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he'll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. But as the summer stretches on, January discovers a gaping plot hole in the story she's been telling herself about her own life, and begins to wonder what other things she might have gotten wrong, including her ideas about the man next door."--Provided by publisher.

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I rarely read romance books, but unabashedly love a good rom com movie. This book was light and fun to read, and the romantic connection between the protagonists, a romance author who's life is falling apart and an emotionally wounded dark lit writer felt real and complex.
- Mari

How to be a good creature : a memoir in thirteen animals

Sy Montgomery

590 /Montgomery
Animals

A naturalist and adventurer discusses the personalities and quirks of thirteen animals who have profoundly affected her, exploring themes of learning to become empathetic, creating families, coping with loss, and the otherness and sameness of people and animals.

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I am constantly on the lookout for survivalist stories and books about the natural world, and this one showed up on my search on Libby. This is a quick read that I thoroughly enjoyed about one woman's deep connection to animals, with an essay love letter for each one that has profoundly affected her in her lifetime. I would have loved for it to be longer!
- Mari

The end of October

Lawrence Wright

FICTION Wright Lawrence
Fiction

"At an internment camp in Indonesia, within one week, forty-seven people are pronounced dead with acute hemorrhagic fever. When the microbiologist and epidemiologist Henry Parsons travels there on behalf of the World Health Organization to investigate, what he finds will soon have staggering repercussions across the globe: an infected man is on his way to join the millions of worshippers in the annual Hajj to Mecca. Now, Henry joins forces with a Saudi doctor and prince in an attempt to quarantine the entire host of pilgrims in the holy city. Matilda Nachinsky, deputy director of U. S. Homeland Security, scrambles to mount a response to what may be an act of biowarfare already-fraying global relations begin to snap, one by one, in the face of a pandemic. Henry's wife Jill and their children face diminishing odds of survival in Atlanta and the disease slashes across the United States, dismantling institutions - scientific, religious, governmental - and decimating the population."--Provided by publisher.

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It might seem strange to read a book about a pandemic during a pandemic, but I found it oddly comforting to read about a virus even worse than the one we are currently facing. I think during a different time, this work of fiction would feel more similar to science fiction, but so many parallels and realities rang true in this book that it was almost disturbing, but also there were moments that made you appreciate the majority of history in which we lived without a devastating virus. From my earlier reading this summer of Bill Bryson's The Body, it is only by luck that we went a whole century without such a sweeping viral illness as the Spanish Flu, not the proper precautions. I really enjoyed this action packed and at times--devastating read.
- Mari

Calypso

David Sedaris

817.54 /Sedaris
Memoir

Personal essays share the author's adventures after buying a vacation house on the Carolina coast and his reflections on middle age and mortality.

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I have never been disappointed reading a collection of David Sedaris' essays, and this book was no exception. I laughed out loud, felt like crying and once again feel like David Sedaris is one of the most relatable writers ever.
- Mari

The devil all the time

Donald Ray Pollock

FICTION Pollock, Donald Ray
Fiction, Historical Fiction

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This is another book I was sparked to read because I saw that it was a movie on Netflix. I watched about half an hour of the show, decided that I really liked it, and decided to stop watching and read the book first. I am so glad I did. The book was fantastic, disturbing and completely engrossing. Several characters' narratives make up this dark tale of the powers and dangers of religious devoutness, all leading up to the narrative of Arvin, an orphaned boy in rural Ohio that learns that has to battle with redemption. The book was much better than the movie, but I recommend both!
- Mari

Me & Patsy, kickin' up dust : my friendship with Patsy Cline

Loretta Lynn

781.642092 /Lynn
Biographies, Music

"Me & Patsy Kickin' Up Dust shares the 'important and inspiring' (Miranda Lambert) never-before-told complete story of the remarkable relationship between country music icons Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn. Loretta Lynn and the late Patsy Cline are legends--country icons and sisters of the heart. For the first time ever Loretta tells their story: a celebration of their music and their relationship up until Patsy's tragic and untimely death. Full of laughter and tears, this eye-opening, heartwarming memoir paints a picture of two stubborn, spirited country gals who'd be damned if they'd let men or convention tell them how to be. Set in the heady streets of the 1960s South, this nostalgia ride shows how Nashville blossomed into the city of music it is today. Tender and fierce, Me & Patsy Kickin' Up Dust is an up-close-and-personal portrait of a friendship that defined a generation and changed country music indelibly--and a meditation on love, loss and legacy"--Amazon.com.

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As a fan of Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, and both the movies made about these women's lives, I was thrilled to finally get the full story of the friendship between these two incredible women. This book does not disappoint! I was enthralled with Loretta's honesty through her storytelling. and I could completely visualize their powerful friendship. A quick read that I completely enjoyed.
- Mari

Echo Mountain

Lauren Wolk

jFICTION Wolk Lauren
Kids, Nature, Historical Fiction

When twelve-year-old Ellie and her family lose livelihood and move to a mountain cabin in 1934, she quickly learns to be an outdoors woman and, when needed, a healer.

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I loved this story, and it provides some pretty incredible perspective for kids in the modern age. Financially affected by the Great Depression, a family has no choice but to live off the land on a mountain. Ellie learns about her gift to heal when tragedy leaves her father gravely ill. Ellie uses the survivalist skills he taught her along with her own intuition to save her family and foster a community on the mountain.
- Mari

Rebecca

Daphne Du Maurier

FICTION DuMaurier, Daphne
Classics, Suspense

A young girl becomes the second Mrs. Max de Winter, only to find that she is not the mistress of Manderley. Instead the house and its occupants are dominated by the memory of Rebecca, her predecessor.

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I saw that this book was getting adapted for the screen via Netflix and felt regret that I hadn't read it. Luckily it was available on Libby and I was done with it roughly 24 hours later. What a read! So much mystery and shroud with a couple good twists and wonderful descriptions. It's hard to believe this was written almost a century ago, it feels ahead of its time and contends with all of the suspense books written more recently. I am a firm believer in reading the book first and this was a great read, and while I am excited to watch it on screen, I doubt it will live up to it's expectations of the book.
- Mari

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Annie Dillard

508.755 /Dillard
Nature

A collection of essays on the natural world during a year spent in the Blue Ridge Mountains reflects the author's interactions with her wilderness surroundings.

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This book has been on my to-read list for a long time. Dillard's essays on her observations of the natural world in the Blue Ridge mountains are so beautiful and almost otherworldly. There was way too much information about plants and creatures to possibly retain it all but I enjoyed every page.
- Mari

The book of lost friends : a novel

Lisa Wingate

FICTION Wingate Lisa
Diverse Characters, Historical Fiction

"Louisiana, 1875: In the tumultuous aftermath of Reconstruction, three young women set off as unwilling companions on a perilous quest: Lavinia, the pampered heir to a now-destitute plantation; Juneau Jane, her illegitimate free-born Creole half-sister; and Hannie, Lavinia's former slave. Each carries private wounds and powerful secrets as they head for Texas, following dangerous roads rife with ruthless vigilantes and soldiers still fighting a war lost a decade before. For Lavinia and Juneau Jane, the journey is one of inheritance and financial desperation, but for Hannie, torn from her mother and eight siblings before slavery's end, the pilgrimage westward reignites an agonizing question: Could her long-lost family still be out there? Beyond the swamps lie the seemingly limitless frontiers of Texas and, improbably, hope. Louisiana, 1987: For first-year teacher Benedetta Silva, a subsidized job at a poor rural school seems like the ticket to canceling her hefty student debt--until she lands in a tiny, out-of-step Mississippi River town. Augustine, Louisiana, seems suspicious of new ideas and new people, and Benny can scarcely comprehend the lives of her poverty-stricken students. But amid the gnarled live oaks and run-down plantation homes lies the century-old history of three young women, a long-ago journey, and a hidden book that could change everything"--