June 2022 - Staff Reading Suggestions
by Abi Morgan
Abi is an accomplished play and screen writer whose husband contracts encephalitis from an MS drug treatment. This is her recount of life from the day of his collapse to their present.
It is heartbreaking yet a page turner. The book is written in a unique style in which she moves from (what seems like) live streaming, to flashbacks, to how she would rewrite the scene if this book was a play.  
From the first pages I felt like I knew her, as the pop culture references were in my wheelhouse and aided in my overall interest to keep reading. It a fascinating account of illness and treatment.
by Geraldine Brooks
The newest book from one of my absolute favorite authors is a tour-de-force. The story starts in 2019 as Theo, a graduate student from Nigeria, pulls a discarded painting from a neighbor's trash pile. Theo starts on a journey to learn more about the painting and the horse and groom depicted therein. Brooks then sends the reader to 1850 Kentucky on the day the fabled horse Lexington is born and an enslaved groomsman becomes his lifelong protector. Lexington is one of the greatest American racehorses that ever lived and Brooks uses his life story to bring the reader into the antebellum South, through the Civil War and right into the racism that continues to plague this country in the 21st century. Brooks' novel weaves these two connected storylines into a narrative tapestry that left me breathless.
-Laura S
by Elin Hilderbrand
The only Hilderbrand I’ve read in 20+ years was Golden Girl and I liked that one so much that I decided to give another one a try.
Old, decrepit hotel bought and refurbished by mystery investor -- we meet all the key players; housekeeping staff, front desk, chef, GM, and even the ghost that’s haunted the hotel for decades. All have a story to tell or something to hide and everything unwinds over one summer season. Dig your toes into the sand and get lost on my favorite island.
by Patrick Radden Keefe
(Releases June 28, 2022)
Rogues is a collection of twelve of Patrick Radden Keefe’s most celebrated articles from The New Yorker about crime and corruption, secrets and lies, the line between licit and illicit worlds, the bonds of family and the power of denial. A must read from the author of Empire of Pain and Say Nothing.
-Kathy & Morley
by Nikki Erlick
(releases June 28)
When I started reading this, I didn’t think I was going to like it. Would you want to know the day you’re going to die? No way for me. This book takes you through the different emotions and actions of the people who are gifted with either long or short strings. It happens one day when out of nowhere boxes are dropped globally on your doorstep and inside that box you find a string of varying lengths for each individual. Some choose to open it and others do not.
This is a thrilling read that goes full circle and left me appreciating what I have been given and the life I hopefully live to the fullest. Great book club read.
by Emma Straub
I'm a fan of time travel books, but this one is set apart in its reimagining of the genre. Alice finds a way to return to the day of her 16th birthday, a remarkable day in hindsight, and a day she can spend with her then healthy, 49 year old father. Leonard was an author of a famous time travel book, leading Alice to dig deeper into her own situation. In Emma Straub's warm, authentic, family story, I loved that the father/daughter relationship took center stage. While not a "typical" book for Father's Day, this well written novel should be!
-Beth & Laura S
by Ottessa Moshfegh
(Releases June 21, 2022)
Ottessa Moshfegh never ceases to amaze me with her storytelling. The medieval fiefdom of Lapvona weaves a narrative following the uncanny life of Marek, a shepherd's son, and the misfortunes, trials and tribulations of the villagers under the rule of Lord Villiam and his side-kick, Priest Barnabas. Corruption, greed, witchcraft, and magical realism, along with religious epiphanies, kept me coming back to this story when I couldn't anticipate what might possibly happen next.
by Clare Pooley
The author of staff favorite, The Authenticity Project, is back with a wonderful, heartfelt novel about unexpected friendships.
Iona is a rather flamboyant middle aged magazine advice columnist, who takes the same train to work everyday. While Iona's Rule #2 of commuting is "Never talk to strangers on the train", she has come to mentally identify her fellow passengers with pet nicknames. One morning the man Iona thinks of as "Smart-but-Sexist-Manspreader" chokes on a grape. When "Mr. Too-Good-to-Be-True" jumps to the rescue with the Heimlich maneuver, the anonymity of these commuters begins to crumble as the indomitable Iona encourages them to become involved in each other's lives. This charming read is an absolute tonic.
-Laura S
by Valerie Perrin
The author of staff favorite, Fresh Water for Flowers, is back with another beautifully written novel that you are certain to love as much as I did. Three is the story of Adrienne, Etienne and Nina who meet in the schoolyard at age 10 and form a friendship that is seemingly unbreakable, until it does fracture. Take your time to savor the language, plot and these friends as they navigate life, family and love over three decades. They are flawed, suffer, make bad choices, but you will love getting to know them and seeing where life takes them. This is an A+
by Jay Wellons
(Releases June 28, 2022)
Did you know that there are less than 300 pediatric neurosurgeons in the United States? This was one of the many things I learned while reading this beautiful memoir. Not for the faint of heart, Dr. Jay Wellons writes of triumphant and tragic cases throughout his 30+ year career—some brought me to tears, some brought a smile and all of them most certainly moved me.
by Charles McGrath
A former editor of the NYT Book Review has penned a beautiful ode to summer, the power of friendship (and loss) that began while vacationing in a small Massachusetts town when his kids were young. Chapters are centered around places and activities that the two men, both named Chip, explored together over the years; Jumping, Lobstering and Blowing Stuff Up. Savor this perfect, succinct memoir with your feet up on the porch, cool drink in hand!
by Alexis Schaitkin
(Releases June 28, 2022)
A creative and beautifully written story of a town in which girls become women, women become wives, wives become mothers, but sometimes those mothers suddenly disappear. A story of a mothers everlasting love for her daughter and realizing the life she thought she knew turns out to be something else entirely. What happens when one questions a town's tradition and what it means for her family. Reminiscent of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery.
by Linda Holmes
Flying Solo is a charming story about growing up, coming home and learning to make a life for yourself on your own terms. While the plot may be familiar, Holmes creates a refreshing look at all kinds of love and the beauty of independence, featuring extremely likable characters. Highly recommend for a summer read.
by Julia Bryan Thomas
(Direct to Paperback)
On the eve of WWII as the Germans are about to invade the island of Guernsey, the families that live there have 24 hours to make the heartbreaking decision to try to save their children by sending them to England with their teachers in the hopes of reuniting with them after while they stay behind to save their homes and land. One family decides to send their 4 year-old daughter and 9 year-old son on the journey. As the children are boarding the ferry with their teacher, the teacher decides to stay and the children are sent with the teacher's sister instead, a childless woman fleeing from her abusive husband. The consequences of these decisions and other split-second decisions made along the journey will continue to change the lives of everyone long after the war is over. A beautiful story of family, love and forgiveness you will savor until the last page.
by Claire Stanford
Evelyn is ready to leave her Ph.D. program behind to pursue a happiness project with a big tech company that she smartly refers to as the third-most-popular internet company. The search for happiness in her world of relationships and work culture, while trying to help develop the "JOYFULL" app, lends to an insightful and delightful debut novel. I knew I was in for fun social commentary when a recent athleisure catalogue arrived with an "Investment in Happiness" stamp on the back!

by A. F. Steadman
This is the perfect book for all Harry Potter and Percy Jackson fans! This imaginative fantasy takes place on an island off the coast of Great Britain where all 13-year-olds dream of becoming unicorn riders and competing in the Chaos Cup. Unicorns bond with their riders from the second they hatch and form a connection that even death cannot sever. But dark forces abound, threatening to use this rider/unicorn bond for evil. Can Skandar and his friends defeat the evil and protect Great Britain and the wild unicorns? A thrilling read!!
-Laura S
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