Daughters of Erietown is Connie Schultz’s debut novel. It’s the story of Ellie and Brick McGinty, two rural Ohio teens whose lives were changed by an unplanned pregnancy. While Ellie and Brick learn to be a married couple in the 1950’s they also battle with the demons of their past. The young couple navigate societal norms, limited opportunities, and dreams deferred. They raise a middle-class family on a union job salary. They watch their children grow up and forge their own paths in the world. It’s a quiet story, rich in character and it’s likely on your summer TBR list. You aren’t alone. So, while you wait for your library hold to come available, check out some of these generational stories.
My favorite genre is historical fiction but occasionally I will step out of my reading comfort zone. A regular library patron suggested I try something different; he recommended Deep State: A Thriller by Chris Hauty. This is Hauty’s first novel.
In this novel, we are dealt situations of political intrigue. First, the White House Chief of Staff is found dead supposedly from a heart attack; his intern, Hayley Chill, who found the body, is suspicious of the cause of death. Soon after, a series of other deaths connected to the White House follow. Who can she trust?
There are lots of twists and turns and I did not see the end coming. Hauty is an accomplished screenwriter, so the book feels like a novel version of an exciting Hollywood thriller. Historical fiction is still my favorite genre, but this was an enjoyable dalliance in something else.
Every year I bemoan the fact that I didn’t read enough, etc, etc., but this year it seems truer than ever! I still, though, found quite a few books to sink into and enjoy; I listened to many through the Libby app. Below is my list, in no particular order.
The Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
Inland by Tea Obrecht
The Other Americans by Laila Lalami
Normal People by Sally Rooney
Trust Exercise by Susan Choi
Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken
Feast Your Eyes by Myla Goldberg
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson
Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
Miracle Creek by Angie Kim
Circe by Madeline Miller
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Trying to fill that one Winter Bingo Square with an Award-Winning book? Look no further! There are so many to choose from, in so many genres, I’ll just mention a few titles and then give you links to lists, so many lists!
I’ll start with local award winners: The Anisfield Book Awards. I have attended the ceremony for the past couple of years and find it inspiring and a source of incredible reading material. Here are a couple of books honored there:
Then there’s the National Book Awards, a source of a fantastic array of titles, such as the following:
Love a mystery? Check out the Edgar Awards and a couple of titles they’ve chosen to honor:
And there’s also The Hugo Awards, for works of science fiction and fantasy, the RITA Awards for romance, the Eisner Awards for graphic novels and so many more. If you need help choosing a title, stop by the Reference Desk – we’ll be glad to help!
Below are some suggestions of movies based on a book to encourage you to check off that box on your Winter Reading Bingo card.
Ready Player One is a science fiction film based on the 2011 dystopian novel of the same title by Ernest Cline.
Beautiful Boy is a biographical drama based on the 2008 memoir Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff and the 2007 memoir Tweak: Growing Up On Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff
On Chesil Beach is a British drama film based on the 2007 Booker Prize nominated novella of the same title by Ian McEwan.
Juliet Naked is a romantic comedy/drama based on the 2009 novel of the same title by Nick Hornsby.
Crazy Rich Asians is a romantic comedy/drama based on the 2013 best selling novel of the same title by Kevin Kwan.
The Hate U Give is a crime drama based on the 2017 best selling young adult novel of the same title by Angie Thomas (released this month so place a hold or check out as a quick flick for 3 days)
A Wrinkle In Time is a science fantasy adventure film based on the 1962 juvenile novel of the same title by Madeleine L’Engle.
Black Panther is a super hero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name.
Red Sparrow is a spy thriller film based on the 2013 novel of the same title by Jason Matthews.
The Little Stranger is a gothic drama film based on the 2009 novel of the same title by Sarah Waters.
If you would like more suggestions stop by the Adult Reference desk and we are happy to help.
I’ve had a bit of a slow reading year, but I still managed to find many treasures in the stacks. Some I read, others I listened to – through them I journeyed all over the world and went on a few adventures. Here’s a list of my favorites in no particular order:
The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai: The AIDS crisis in Chicago during the 80s, a difficult mother-daughter relationship, a job at a Northwestern art gallery – all of these elements spoke to me – I loved this book.
The Polish Boxer by Eduardo Halfon: After seeing his newest book, Mourning, on a few critic’s list, I decided to read this earlier one. Lyrical, contemplative, autobiographical fiction about displacement and identity.
Severance by Ling Ma: A satire set in a dystopian world where a virus turns people into zombies who continue to perform routine actions – it’s told through the eyes of millennial worker bee Candace Chen, who is strangely nonplussed by this epic plague.
A Terrible Country by Keith Gessen: Andrei is not doing too well in New York City so when his brother Dima enlists him to return to Russia to help care for his ailing grandmother, he jumps at the chance. A fascinating look at Russia and funny to boot!
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: I can’t believe it took me so long to read this – what a great book about Nigeria, immigration, race, love and expectations.
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee: Hands down, the best book I read this year. It’s the story of four generations of a Korean family in Japan. Beautifully written, insightful, detailed, matter of fact but loving, just great.
The Greenhouse by Audur Ava Olafsdottir and The Atom Station by Haldor Laxness: I travelled to Iceland in September, so I read The Greenhouse Before I left. Though it wasn’t really set in Iceland, it was a lovely book about a young man’s coming of age. In Iceland, I visited the house of Nobel prize winning author Haldor Laxness (do visit if you go there – so cool) and bought The Atom Station there. Laxness has an interesting style and I learned a lot about Iceland in the early 20th century, the government, the the social classes, and of course about drinking The Black Death (Brennevin – quite delicious)!
The Friend by Sigrid Nunez: Winner of the National Book Award, this is a meditation on writing, suicide, grief, and the pleasure of dogs, amongst others.
Belonging: a German Reckons with History and Home by Nora Krug: a wonderful autobiographical graphic novel about a German woman who digs into her past to discover more about her family’s role during the Nazi era and the silences afterwards. It’s packed with letters, photos and remembrances from her childhood.
BONUS BOOKS: November Road by Lou Berney and Sunburn by Laura Lippman are both really well-written crime/thrillers with great characters. There There by Tommy Orange is an eye-opening look at multiple Native Americans who converge at a powwow in Oakland. The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner takes you inside a woman’s prison and the circumstances that can bring you there. Oh and I forgot An American Marriage by Tayari Jones – such an amazing book about a marriage and an innocent man accused of a crime.
Wow – I came up with more than I originally thought – I guess it’s always a good year for reading!
The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
Four girls attending boarding school participate in a sinister game which involves lying to everyone except each other. However, years later when a body is found, it becomes obvious that someone broke the only rule of the game.
The Day She Disappeared by Christobel Kent
When Beth disappears, everyone says she’s run off with another man. But her best friend Natalie, doesn’t believe that at all, and proving it just might get her killed. A perfectly paced psychological thriller that keeps you wondering until the end.
Where I Lost Her by T. Greenwood
After heartbreaking infertility and failed adoption attempts, Tess sees a young, half-dressed little girl in the road who disappears into the woods. But with no other sightings, missing child reports or witnesses, Tess begins to be doubted by the townspeople and herself.
The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor
Young Eddie and his friends develop a game using chalk figure codes which leads them to a dismembered body and to the end of their game. Years later chalk figures are showing up again, and one old friend turns up dead. Eddie must figure out what happened years ago in order to save himself and the others.
Self-Portrait With Boy by Rachel Lyon
A young female artist accidentally photographs a boy falling to his death—a breathtaking image that could jumpstart her career, but would also devastate her most intimate friendship.
The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir
Essie is the youngest child on Six for Hicks, a hit reality TV show about her family’s life and fire-and-brimstone religious beliefs. When Essie winds up pregnant, will she be forced into an arranged-blockbuster-marriage episode? Or will she escape her strange, always-on-display life?
The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter
Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy, small-town life is torn apart by a horrifying attack which leaves their mother dead, and their family forever shattered. Twenty-eight years later, another violent act forces them back together, and brings up long lost secrets and questions.
The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld
Five-year-old Madison disappeared while chopping down her family’s Christmas tree. Three years later, her parents are still desperate to find her and hire a private investigator known as “the Child Finder,” who is their last hope.
The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
Tarot card reader, Hal, discovers she has been left an inheritance. She is certain it is a mistake, but is desperate for cash and decides to play along. But once at the family estate with the brooding, mysterious heirs, she wonders if she has made a terrible mistake.
The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell
Adrian Wolfe has been divorced twice and recently lost his newest wife to suicide or so it seems. As Adrian searches for answers, he discovers his perfect modern life with two amicable divorces and 5 step children who love each other seamlessly may not be as perfect as it appears.