This fall, our staff has been busy; welcoming our new director, Marian Lytle, preparing for our transition to a Cloud-based Patron Access Catalog (Sirsi-Dynix Enterprise), and of course, reading.
This month, our staff picks:
Forever by Pete Hamill
If I told you this book was a history of New York City, you probably wouldn’t read it. How about a history told by ONE person, starting in 1730 and continuing to present day? The main character in this book, an Irish immigrant, is given the “gift” of immortality. The catch is, he can’t leave Manhattan. This is a great book with an unusual twist. Yes, you will learn about the birth of NYC. But you will also become engrossed in one man’s adventures through time.
The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee
This is a fascinating book that successfully combines personal stories about early gene researches, including Aristotle, Darwin, Mendel, and Pythagoras, with his own personal genetic history. One might be surprised to realize that scientists held the same view of early genetics for almost 500 years; in that light, Watson and Crick’s DNA discovery in the mid-twentieth century seems truly significant. We’ve certainly seen rapid advancement in the field even in the last five years. Highly recommended CDBook (unabridged).
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
I borrowed the digital audio version of this from Hoopla, and loved it. I learned that Ove is pronounced [OOOO-vah] from the narrator, and was able to enjoy this while performing other tasks at my desk. Ove is an aging man who is very practical and opinionated. He has recently retired from his job of over 30 years, but he wishes he weren’t; he doesn’t know what to do with his time. He meets new neighbors in unfortunate circumstances, but eventually they become necessary for each other as their lives entangle. Mindful writing. Best novel I’ve read in a long time.
My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
If you liked Olive Kitteridge, you’ll like this, too. Lucy has a strange, difficult relationship with her family, especially her mother. I thought Lucy was a compelling character and enjoyed this slice of life.
The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
A word of warning – Make sure your house is clean before you sit down with the first book in this excellent series! Outlander is the story of a combat nurse from 1945 who finds that by touching some standing stones, she has fallen back in time to 1743. She leaves a husband in one time, and meets a handsome Highlander in the other. This completely exciting and romantic novel is classified historical fiction, but you will label it as your LIFE, until you reach the end of all eight very thick and deeply detailed books.
Pirate by Clive Cussler
Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
Set in an NYC restaurant, a new waitress learns the ins-and-outs of the business. For anyone who has been in the hospitality industry, it’s a realistic view of both the front and back sides of a restaurant, including the personal lives and dramas of the staff. Really relate able characters.