What We’re Reading Now–September edition

Build Your House Around My Body by Violet Kupersmith

This challenging and haunting debut novel straddles the line between horror and literary fiction, following three women in Vietnam in three different time periods: 1986, 2009, and 2011. In the 2011 narrative, young American ex-pat Winnie goes missing without a trace. The book is an unpredictable mash-up of Vietnamese folklore, colonial history, revenge, violence, and ghosts- all of which have something to do with Winnie’s disappearance. I have yet to finish the book, but the puzzle of these intersecting characters and timelines is intriguing and I’m looking forward to how this all comes together in the end. Nicole

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen 

The Vietnam War is coming to an end, and as Saigon is about to fall, a Captain begins to plan his General’s escape from the county.  Together, with a select few, they flee Saigon on one of the last army transports over-crowded with other refugees.  The Captain, half-French half-Vietnamese, a man of two minds, is a communist agent whose role is to observe and report back on the military cadre as they establish themselves in America.  As suspicion of a mole rises, the Captain must deflect attention away from himself at terrible costs.  This was an especially interesting and relevant contemplation of war, refugees, politics, and film considering the parallels of current events.  Trent

The Guncle by Stephen Rowley

Patrick loves his niece and nephew, but he is not prepared to be their caregiver when their mother dies and their father checks himself into rehab. A six and nine-year-old don’t really fit into his solitary actor’s life, but he’s resigned to making the best of it. He has Guncle Rules (Gay Uncle Rules) and treats for dinner. The trio stumbles through the summer not realizing how much they are all helping each other. I loved this one so much. It gave me the same feelings as The House in the Cerulean Sea-charming, delightful, and the perfect book for right now. This book was so funny I could almost forget it was, at its heart, a book about grief and loneliness. A must-read, feel-good story. Megan

Her Heart for a Compass by Sarah, Duchess of York

In 1865 London, Lady Margaret Montagu Scott is supposed to be delighted with the man her father chooses to be her husband. She is not! The night her engagement is to be announced, she runs off. Margaret’s family is embarrassed in front of 200 aristocratic guests. Her father refuses to have anything to do with her. Margaret is banished from the family and soon devotes her time and energy into helping the poor.  She heads to Ireland, America and then back to England. This is a fun gossipy tale. Emma

Something That May Shock and Discredit You by Daniel M. Lavery

Lavery’s collection of personal essays struck me with a range of emotions but mostly it had me laughing. This insightful and clever memoir switches from genres and formats with each chapter (and interludes) showcasing the author’s skill as a writer. I highly recommend the audiobook version which is read by the author. Greg

The Wonder Test by Michelle Richmond

On-leave FBI agent, Lina, and her son Rory head to Silicon Valley to clear out her recently deceased father’s house (which is in an extremely snobby and upscale neighborhood) as they are also recovering from her husband’s death. As Rory tries to adjust to life at his exclusive new school, he discovers all academics revolve around something called “The Wonder Test”, a national exam in which his school continuously places first. Students who do poorly on practice tests are required to see tutors in the evenings and on weekends, encouraged to “be sick” on exam days, and there have been some strange teen disappearances. Lina can’t help but to investigate as she attempts to make sense of this strange town and keep her son safe. Sara

Currently Reading- August

This month I’ll be enjoying some vacation, including some stay-cationing at home, as well as doing some out-of-state traveling for the first time in a long time. I have a relatively short flight ahead, but we have some long layovers, so I was sure to load up my Kindle with ebooks and my phone with audiobooks from OverDrive to keep me occupied. Nothing is worse than being book-less at the airport! Take a look below to see what I’m currently reading this month.

August eBook Display- Cooking for Busy Schedules

With another school year just around the corner, and many of us returning to spending more time in the office, you might be in need of some help in the kitchen! Fear not- all the titles below are cookbooks perfect for crafting delicious meals that work for those short on time.

Click here to jump to our OverDrive digital library!

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

These are the books we are adding to our collection this week. Click on the green text to go to our catalog and place a hold today!

The King of Infinite Space by Lyndsay Faye – After his Broadway theater baron father dies mysteriously, Ben Dane, his best friend Horatio and his artist ex-fiancé Lia, on one explosive night, are drawn into otherworldly events where the only outcome is death.

Yours Cheerfully by A. J. Pearce – A young wartime advice columnist, Emmeline Lake must tackle a life-changing dilemma between doing her duty and standing by her friends when the Ministry of Information calls on her to help recruit desperately needed female workers to the war effort.

Ice and Stone by Marcia Muller – Hired by Crimes Against Indigenous Sisters, private investigator Sharon McCone goes undercover in Eiwok county on the Oregon border to determine who killed two women in the latest addition to the New York Times best-selling series.

Cul-de-sac by Joy Fielding – Five families on a quiet, suburban cul-de-sac deal with the shooting of one of their own and the secrets they each harbor, including newlyweds whose marriage is already on the rocks and a family who fled to Florida from California.

Vortex by Catherine Coulter – While FBI agent Sherlock helps an investigative journalist piece together the past to bring a killer to justice in the present, FBI agent Savich becomes a target as he protects a CIA operative who was betrayed on a compromised mission in Iran.

Mrs. March by Virginia Feito – When someone suggests that the protagonist in her husband’s latest book is based on her, Mrs. March questions everything she believes about her husband as she embarks on a harrowing journey that builds to near psychosis – one that may uncover a killer and the long-buried secrets of her past.

In the Country of Others by Leila Slimani – After marrying a handsome Moroccan soldier during World War II, a young Frenchwoman is torn as tensions mount between the locals and the French colonists in the new novel by the internationally best-selling author of The Perfect Nanny.

Gone for Good by Joanna Schaffhausen – Chicago Detective Annalisa Vega investigates when a new tally is added to the body count of the Lovelorn Killer, a notorious, local serial killer who has evaded the police and been dormant for 20 years.

Ramadan Ramsey by Louise Edwards – When Ramadan Ramsey, the son of a ninth generation New Orleans African American and a Syrian refugee, turns 17, he sets off to find the father he has never known – an adventure-filled journey filled that takes him from NOLA to Egypt, Istanbul and finally Syria.

This Will All Be over Soon: A Memoir by Cecily Strong – In this raw, unflinching memoir about loss, love, laughter and hope, a Saturday Night Live cast member tries to make sense of her beloved cousin’s death and embrace the life-affirming lessons he taught her in an upended world struck by the coronavirus pandemic.

Everything I Have Is Yours: A Marriage by Eleanor Henderson – A bestselling author looks back on her twenty-year marriage to a man who unraveled in front of her due to a mysterious chronic illness that led to his decreasing descent into mental illness.

The Ophelia Girls by Jane Healey – Once obsessed with pre-Raphaelite paintings along with her four friends, which led to tragedy, Ruth returns home where her childhood friend Stuart quietly insinuates himself into their lives and gives Ruth’s 16-year-old daughter the attention she longs for.

~Semanur

Staff Picks- August

One of the best things about working in a public library is being exposed to so many different books! I know I can be guilty of sticking to my reading comfort zone, but thanks to the eclectic readership we have on staff, I’m always hearing personal recommendations and reviews from my amazing colleagues, including a wide variety of genres.

This month Adult Services staff shared some current favorites, including a discussion worthy nonfiction title, an updated classic with a fantasy twist, and a stand-out autobiography. Take a look below for our five staff picks!

Hop on over to our digital library to snag one of these titles now! Ilhan Omar narrates the audiobook version of This is What America Looks Like, which was highly recommended by our staff, so if you are an audiobook fan don’t miss out on this great title.

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

These are the books we are adding to our collection this week. Click on the pink text to go to our catalog and place a hold today!

Fierce Little Thing by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore – Five friends are blackmailed into returning to the cult where they were raised to face their shared monstrous secret.

Women’s March, The: A Novel of the 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession by Jennifer Chiaverini – Inspired by actual events, this novel offers a fascinating account of a crucial but little-remembered moment in American history that follows three courageous women who bravely risked their lives and liberty in the fight to win the vote.

Devil in Disguise by Lisa Kleypas – A young window, Lady Merritt Sterling, tries to avoid London society scandals while running her late husband’s shipping business, but her sensible plans disappear when she meets a rugged Scotch whisky distiller who is running from danger.

The Forbidden by Heather Graham – When a real murder occurs on set, actress Avalon Morgan is led to the darkest corners of the internet where killers confess their crimes—a discovery that puts her in the path of a killer and in the arms of an FBI agent working the case.

Godspeed by Nickolas Butler – The principals of True Triangle Construction seem willing to do anything to get their promised payday from a mysteriously wealthy homeowner for a project in Jackson, Wyoming in the new novel from the best-selling and award-winning author of Shotgun Lovesongs.

Just One Look by Lindsay Cameron – After taking a thankless job as a temp at a law firm, Cassie Woodson begins reading the personal emails between a partner and his enchanting wife and becomes so obsessed with the pair, she plots to take her place.

Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena – When their parents are brutally murdered the night after Easter dinner, three siblings, who stand to inherit millions, are devastated but also wonder if one of them is capable of murder or if a stranger was responsible for tearing this not-so-happy family apart.

Robert Ludlum’s the Bourne Treachery by Brian Freeman – A lone operative working in the shadows for Treadstone, Jason Bourne engages in a cat-and-mouse game with Lennon across the British countryside in an attempt to prevent another assassination—a mission that calls into question everything he thought he knew about the past.

A Good Day for Chardonnay by Darynda Jones – The sheriff of a small-town police force in the New Mexico mountains tackles a crazy bar fight and her teenager hunting a serial killer in the second novel of the series following A Bad Day for Sunshine.

Unthinkable by Brad Parks – Kidnapped by the head of a powerful secret society who believes he can stop millions of people from dying, Nate Lovejoy, a self-proclaimed nobody and stay-at-home dad, must do the unthinkable to save the world.

A Song Everlasting by Ha Jin – Yao Tan, a popular singer, is placed on a government blacklist and can never return to China after performing at a private gig sponsored by a supporter of Taiwan’s secession, in the new novel from the award-winning author of Waiting.

Three Words for Goodbye by Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb – Estranged sisters Clara and Madeleine Sommers reunite to honor their grandmother’s dying wish—to travel across Europe together and deliver three farewell letters, a journey during which they are constantly at odds with each other until a shocking family secret brings them closer than ever before.

~Semanur

Bicycling with Butterflies Read-alikes: One Book, One City

Have you been loving Bicycling with Butterflies by Sara Dykman? Perhaps you finished it already and are looking for something similar to read? As someone who admittedly doesn’t read much non-fiction, this book inspired me to consider adding more nature focused non-fiction titles to my ever growing to-read pile.

Below you’ll find some suggested read-alike titles, including some stellar nature and travel writing.

You can request a title through our online catalog here or check out our digital collection offerings through OverDrive!

More Native Plant News

Last week I suggested a few sources for native plants. This week, I’m going to share some resources so you can learn more about native plants, which are the best for this area, and how to plant them – do they need sun? shade? clay soil or wet soil? What about planting across the seasons – having something that blooms in the Spring for early pollinators, and into late Fall for the butterflies still making their way? Here are books and websites that will help you cultivate a pollinator pathway!

Books:

Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants

The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden

Nature’s Best Hope: a New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard

Native Plants of the Midwest

The Midwest Plant Primer

Websites:

The Ohio Native Plant Month

The Native Plant Society of Northeast Ohio

Native Plants for the Small Yard

OSU Extension Fact Sheet

If you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact us and we’ll be glad to point you in the right direction! Go forth and plant natives!

~Dori