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If Today Be Sweet

Book Jacket

by Thrity N. Umrigar

Tehmina (Tammy), recently widowed from India, is visiting her only son Sorab, American daughter-in-law Susan, and young grandson Cavas (Cookie) in upscale suburban Cleveland. She needs to decide whether to return to Bombay or remain in the United States. Having previously relied on her husband, Rustom, to make all major decisions, Tammy cannot decide what to do. She realizes that as a longtime guest in Sorab’s home, that situation has put a lot of stress on her son’s marriage. When Tehmina witnessed the neighbor abuse her 2 little boys at Christmas, the police are finally called and the boys are taken away. Tehmina is a hero for intervening. Eventually Tehmina decides where she will live but only on her own terms.

A beautiful story published in 2007.

~Emma

 

 

 

 

 

Creativebug Ceramic Classes!

Whether you are just getting started or an experienced ceramic artist Creativebug can be a great place to find inspiration for your next project! Your RRPL gives you access to thousands of award-winning art & craft video classes taught by recognized design experts and artists.

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  1. Go to rrpl.org/digital-library/ .
  2. Click on Creativebug.
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  5. Explore and Learn!

What I’m Currently Reading & What’s Next

In typical librarian fashion, I am always reading a book or two, in addition to having a plethora of books sitting in various to-be-read piles in my house. Back in the days of spending time at my library office desk, I would always keep a book there to read during my meal breaks (stares nostalgically out window thinking of my desk…). Of course, now that I’m home most of the time I keep a book in the dining room to read during lunch breaks. There is always a book on my night stand (usually my Kindle hangs out there) as well and a book on my coffee table, so I’m prepared for reading at all times. Take a look below to see what I’m currently reading and what I have lined up for the next couple months!

Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon

I was so excited to snag an ARC of this book from NetGalley! I’m only about halfway through but it is great so far. After escaping a dangerously strict religious compound, where she was forced to marry the nefarious leader Reverend Sherman, teenage Vern escapes to the woods pregnant and alone. She gives birth to twins in the forest and tries her best to survive the harsh realities of this isolated life, all the while being pursued by a mysterious fiend, odd hallucinations, and experiencing uncanny changes in her body and abilities.

You can read a full review of this novel from my colleague Shannon by clicking here!

Something is Killing the Children: Volume 2 by James Tynion IV

Collecting issues #6-10 of this horror comic series, readers catch up with monster killer Erica Slaughter after she has slain the beast who was terrorizing the small town of Archer’s Peak. The only problem is that the monster had babies and now they are loose in the town. A mysterious man from The House of Slaughter arrives (is this the monster slayer version of a Watcher?) to help clean up the mess but seems to make matters worse.

The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson

I am not usually an audiobook person, but every once in a while I check out an audiobook on Hoopla to listen to while I’m in the kitchen. I adore Shirley Jackson but have yet to read all her short stories and this audiobook has been a joy to listen to. Humorous, dark, and sometimes tragic, this powerful collection of haunting stories is read by a variety of voice actors making for an interesting and engaging experience.

What’s next for me? I have Tender is the Flesh by Agustina María Bazterrica, on deck, which was recommended by multiple authors in a recent Women in Horror author panel I viewed. It’s been on my want to read list for a while but after hearing some amazing authors highlight it as one of their favorite books of last year, I knew I needed to bump it up the pile! Another book that was shared in the panel and recommended to me by a friend is Maria Dahvana Headley’s Beowulf: A New Translation. I just got the ebook loaded on my Kindle thanks to OverDrive and can’t wait to start it. Finally, I’m patiently waiting for a digital copy of The Push by Ashley Audrain to arrive for me!

What is on your to-be-read pile? What are you currently reading? Share in the comments and happy reading!

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

Here we have some new exciting releases for you to take a look at this week!

The Kaiser’s Web by Steve Berry – Former Justice Department agent Cotton Malone investigates a World War II-era Soviet dossier that exposes crucial intelligence involving a German national election, billions in stolen Nazi wealth and the true fate of Adolf Hitler.

The Russian Cage by Charlaine Harris – A latest entry in a best-selling series finds Lizbeth reluctantly teaming up with her sister and navigating growing Grigori powers to rescue her estranged partner, Prince Eli, from an alternate-world Holy Russian Empire.

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan – An indebted young widow, a freedom-seeking kitchen maid, the wife of a wealthy but unkind man and a trained chef navigating sexism compete for a once-in-a-lifetime spot hosting a BBC cooking program during World War II.

Those Who Are Saved by Alexis Landau – Given hours to report to an internment camp when Nazis occupy France, a Jewish-Russian émigré places her young daughter in the care of a trusted governess before an unexpected opportunity to escape to America leads to a heartbreaking separation.

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder by Joanne Fluke – Racing through springtime orders at The Cookie Jar, Hannah investigates an unexpected number of suspects when her sister, Andrea, is implicated in the murder of Lake Eden’s bullying mayor. By the best-selling author of The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder.

Calder Brand by Janet Dailey – A first installment in a Calder series spin-off is set in the late 1800s and follows the experiences of a vengeful cowboy and an aspiring doctor whose respective ambitions are complicated by past demons and an illegitimate child.

Flowers of Darkness by Tatiana de Rosnay – Moving into an ultra-modern artist residency in scenic Paris, a novelist seeking tranquility in the aftermath of a divorce begins experiencing ominous trepidation about the apartment building and the true agenda of those behind its creation.

Smoke by Joe Ide – Going into hiding in a small California town, unlicensed detective Isaiah confronts a desperate man on the trail of a serial killer, while Dodson accepts a cutthroat advertising internship in his effort to go straight.

The Pegan Diet: 21 Practical Principles for Reclaiming Your Health in a Nutritionally Confusing World
by Mark Hyman – The UltraWellness Center director and best-selling author of The Blood Sugar Solution combines approaches from paleo and vegan lifestyles to outline a balanced, healthful diet that is both satisfying and environmentally responsible.

Intuitive Fasting – The Flexible Four-week Intermittent Fasting Plan to Recharge Your Metabolism and Renew Your Health by Will Cole. Foreword by Gwyneth Paltrow – A guide to intermittent fasting outlines a unique plan that merges the science behind fasting with a holistic approach to eating. By the best-selling author of Ketotarian and The Inflammation Spectrum.

~Semanur

Discover@RRPL – What I’m Eating While I’m Reading

I’m so excited when I get to read a brand-new, brand new book -that is, when I am the first person to check out and read a library copy of a book. Don’t get me wrong, I love to share, but right now I am really enjoying the “new car smell” of the experience. It helps that I’m also really enjoying what’s going on between the book’s fresh covers, as well.

Better Luck Next Time by Julia Clairborne Johnson is set in 1938, in Reno, Nevada at the Flying Leap dude ranch. There, women who are waiting for their divorces to come through can, for a fee, put up stakes for the six weeks it takes for them to declare state residency and file the paperwork legally. While nursing their (sometimes) broken hearts, these women are pampered and catered to by hunky ranch hands like Ward, the narrator of this story, who finds himself torn between the job and, you guessed it, one of the ranch’s visitors. So far, this look at marriage, divorce, friendship, love, and finding yourself, is proving to be engaging and original and is educating me about a slice of American history that I hadn’t known before. Also, it is providing me with plenty of opportunities to laugh out loud along the way. Reserve your copy here!

But, enough about the book. Let’s talk food! It’s been so cold here lately that this weekend I thought I’d conjure some warmth by recreating a cake I made over the summer, a lemon cake that is chock-full of blueberries and covered a cream cheese frosting. I dare you to bake one yourself and take a bite with your eyes closed. You can almost feel the sunshine pouring down on you. I found the recipe online at https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/lemon-blueberry-layer-cake/ but you can find cookbooks by the genius who created this recipe in our catalog! Hope you enjoy. ~Carol

Review of ‘Sorrowland’ by Rivers Solomon – Seminal Gothic Horror

Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon catalog link

Vern flees into the woods to escape the cult she grew up in, heavily pregnant. As she and her babies scrape out a living in the forest, they are pursued by a hellish fiend and the hauntings, visions that afflict her and everyone else belonging to the cult. Her body begins to change, becoming something more, something stronger and faster. When she and her children are forced from the safety of the trees, Vern must reckon with her upbringing and return to the place where it all began.

This excellent Gothic horror novel set in the present day United States features well-drawn characters and a mostly LGBTQ+ and BIPOC cast. Solomon deftly explores themes of identity, transformation of self, human intimacy, and grappling with generational trauma. A salient and incisive addition to the horror genre, this book is a deep meditation on the lasting effects of white supremacy and systemic racism.

For fans of Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, The Changeling by Victor Lavalle, Beloved by Toni Morrison, and Kindred by Octavia Butler.

Look for Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon on May 4, 2021. Click the book cover above to be taken to our catalog, where you can place an advance hold with your library card number and PIN.

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC (advance reader copy)!

Discover@RRPL.org

Our Darkest Night: A Novel of Italy and the Second World War

by Jennifer Robson

 

Antonina Mazin, a young woman living in Venice with her father plans to become a doctor like him. However, in 1942-1943, it is illegal for Jews to practice medicine. In order to keep safe, with the help of a local priest and family friend Antonina assumes a new identity, Nina. Posing as the wife of Nicco Gerardi, Nina moves into his family’s home on a rural farm. All of a sudden, the “city girl” is expected to help with chores, cooking, cleaning, etc. At first their “marriage” is a sham, but eventually Nicco and Nina fall in love. Nicco works for the Resistance, helping other Jews escape, and is eventually arrested. A local Nazi official is suspicious of Nina from the beginning and eventually digs deep enough to learn her true identity. She is arrested and sent to a concentration camp. 

A novel of acceptance, survival, sacrifice and kindness. I highly recommend this novel to fans of WWII historical fiction.

~Emma

 

 

February is Women in Horror Month

For the past twelve years, February has been celebrated as Women in Horror Month, a topic very near and dear to my heart. According to the Women in Horror Month website, “Women in Horror Month (WiHM) is an international, grassroots initiative, which encourages supporters to learn about and showcase the underrepresented work of women in the horror industries. Whether they are on the screen, behind the scenes, or contributing in their other various artistic ways, it is clear that women love, appreciate, and contribute to the horror genre.” WiHM aims to help horror works by and featuring women reach a wider audience. This inclusive and positive movement is open to everyone, of course, just as they believe the horror genre should be open to everyone.

WiHM recently announced that as of March 1, 2021 there will no longer be an official WiHM organization, but that they have found there is more than enough content, traffic, and engagement to bring this celebration to communities year round. So, Women in Horror Month might look different moving forward as everyone is now encouraged to choose their own month to celebrate, but I look forward to seeing the creativity and innovation from this community in the years to come!

You can take a look at events going on around the country celebrating WiHM here. Two events I was particularly excited about this month are the “Females of Fright: Zoom Edition” live author panels, both offered for free, thanks to the Horror Writer’s Association! The first panel took place on Friday, February 12th but luckily you can watch it on the HWA’s YouTube channel here. The first panel included Zoje Stage, author of Wonderland, which just so happens to be the next title up for discussion in our Novel Scares book club. Interested in joining us on March 18th to discuss this great creepy novel? Sign up here! The next “Females of Fright” panel is Friday, February 26th at 8 pm (EST) and you can register here.

Looking for more resources for WiHM? Check out two of my favorite blogs, RA for All: Horror, and Ladies of Horror Fiction. Finally, I want to share a recent discovery that is full of dark and horrific literary treasures- including some up and coming women authors- Nightmare Magazine. You can read and listen to full articles for free on their website, and the February 2021 issue includes this *amazing* short story from author E.A. Petricone, “We, the Girls Who Did Not Make It.” I cannot stop thinking about this piece and look forward to reading more from her!

Happy reading and stay safe and warm!