Small Town Life
These are novels set in small towns, usually with a contemporary setting, many featuring a woman coming home again to start over, often with strong female friendships, and a bit of romance. Character driven, these books are usually heartwarming or cheerful in tone. All of these titles are available at the library and at Media on Demand.
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
The Happy Camper by Melody Carlson
Country Guesthouse by Robyn Carr
The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
The Wedding Shop by Rachel Hauck
Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins
At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon
Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber
Sisters by Choice by Susan Mallery
Herons Landing by JoAnn Ross
Almost Just Friends by Jill Shalvis
Sea Glass Cottage by RaeAnne Thayne
This is the engaging first book in a mystery series set during the Regency period in London. In 1817, a few years after her family’s fortunes changed for the worse, Rosalind Thorne lives on the fringes of London society as a personal secretary for fashionable ladies, helping to organize events, shop, and plan debuts for young ladies. When Rosalind’s godmother, Lady Blanchard, is late leaving a meeting with the other patronesses of Almack’s Assembly Rooms, Rosalind finds a body in the ballroom. The dead man’s sister asks Rosalind to look into his death, along with Adam Harkness, a Bow Street Runner. A former beau reappears in Rosalind’s life, and she must balance uncovering secrets with keeping her good reputation. A pleasantly diverting read, followed by A Purely Private Matter, then And Dangerous to Know, which I plan to add to my reading list. All of these titles are available from Media on Demand, our Overdrive/Libby collection. A fourth book is expected in November.
Readers of Turner’s historical novels These Is My Words and Sarah’s Quilt will be eager to read about Sarah’s niece, Mary Pearl Prine. Mary is 17 in 1907 and lives on her family’s pecan farm in Arizona Territory. She loves to read and draw, and is invited to study art at Wheaton College in Illinois. May’s mother would rather see her get married, and Mary does have a likely suitor. Family life on the frontier contrasts strongly with life at Wheaton College, where society girls care more about parties and dresses than studying. Mary, with her horse and pistol, doesn’t exactly fit in. She discovers a talent for photography, and a photograph of lightning becomes especially valuable to her family. A personal crisis sends Mary home straight into a ranger war, with her younger brothers in grave danger. Full of drama and adventure, Mary’s coming-of-age story is a memorable, compelling read.
Family Friendly Reads
These are books kids, teens, and adults may all enjoy. Read together, by yourself, or listen to a downloadable audiobook. All titles are available from our Overdrive/Libby collection Media on Demand.
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus (Aven Green #1) by Dusti Bowling
The War That Saved My Life; The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
The Wild Robot and The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown
Beezus and Ramona (Ramona Quimby #1) and The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
The BFG; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Matilda by Roald Dahl
Blended by Sharon Draper
The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger’s Apprentice #1) by John Flanagan
Space Case (Moon Base Alpha #1) by Stuart Gibbs
The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz
Home Sweet Motel (Welcome to Wonderland #1) by Chris Grabenstein
Refugee by Alan Gratz
A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 by Claire Hartfield
Midsummer’s Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Pippi Longstocking (Pippi Longstocking #1) by Astrid Lindgren
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
The False Prince (Ascendance #1); Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling
Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed
The Blackthorn Key (The Blackthorn Key #1) by Kevin Sands
Dealing with Dragons (Enchanted Forest #1) by Patricia Wrede
Brenda, along with Jane, Elizabeth, and Mary Ann of the Children’s Department
While the library’s building is closed, I thought a list of some of our best downloadable cookbooks and baking books would be welcome. I’ve ordered cookbooks for the library in both formats for many years, and was pleased to find such a great assortment available from our Overdrive/Libby collection, Media on Demand. If you’re not a local reader, your home library should have a similar collection.
America’s Test Kitchen. The Perfect Cookie
Berenbaum, Rose Levy. The Cake Bible
Berry, Mary. Baking with Mary Berry
Gardner, Erin. Erin Bakes Cake
Greenspan, Dorie. Dorie’s Cookies.
Hertzberg, Jeff and Zoe Francois. The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
Lee, Jennifer Tyler and Anisha Patel. Half the Sugar, All the Love: A Family Cookbook
Manzke, Margarita. Baking at République
Martha Stewart Living. Martha Stewart’s Pies and Tarts
McKenney, Sally. Sally’s Baking Addiction
Parks, Stella. Bravetart
Reinhart, Peter. Perfect Pan Pizza.
Tosi, Christine. All About Cake
America’s Test Kitchen. The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook
Carle-Sanders, Theresa. Outlander Kitchen
Drummond, Ree. The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It!
Garten, Ina. Cook Like a Pro
Greenspan, Dorie. Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook
Hall, Carla. Carla Hall’s Soul Food
Lemlin, Jeanne. Simply Satisfying
Mangini, Cara. The Vegetable Butcher
Nosrat, Samin. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat
Ottolenghi, Yotam. Ottolenghi Simple
Perelman, Deb. Smitten Kitchen Every Day
Teigen, Chrissy. Cravings: Hungry for More
Yeh, Molly. Molly on the Range
Happy cooking and baking! Brenda
Real life adventure memoirs can make for wonderful reading, especially during a time when we’re staying close to home. Wildlife biologist Caroline, 33, makes an epic trek with husband Patrick, a home builder, to the Alaskan Arctic in 2012. Traveling by homemade rowboats, skiing, hiking, on inflatable rafts, and in a borrowed canoe, the pair make an incredible six-month journey. Along the way they meet with unexpected kindness from strangers and Caroline regains her love of science after completing her Ph.D. mostly in a lab. Their backstory and motivation for the journey are shared, along with glimpses of happy childhoods and their loving, supportive families. Caroline’s sister has a baby as they consider parenthood. Patrick is the optimistic adventurer and builder, while Caroline is the detailed list maker, organizing most of their food drops. Part of their journey is through areas so remote that available maps show little detail and the weather forecasts are unhelpful. The pair are often awed by the magnificent landscape and the wildlife, learning to trust the trails of migrating caribou, and encountering moose, bear, and many of the birds Caroline has studied. A compelling read, and a good readalike for Lab Girl by Hope Jahren and Sarah Marquis’ Wild by Nature, along with other adventure memoirs that can be found here. I read the print book, but listened to a sample of the downloadable audiobook I’ve just added to our Media on Demand collection.
Coming soon: a list of family friendly reads that can be enjoyed by older kids, teens, and adults, including titles suggested by staff in our Children’s Department.