Check It Out Category: Asked at the Desk

Asked at the Desk: Holiday Fiction

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The year wraps up with a month of various festivities and celebrations. As we embrace past holiday traditions or forge ahead making new ones, sometimes we just want to pause in the midst of the bustle to curl up with a good book, finding comfort in a seasonal story. This month we have had several patrons asking for holiday book recommendations. These are just some of the titles we have in our collection.

Alaskan Holiday book coverAlaskan Holiday
Debbie Macomber
Lighting the Flames book coverLighting the Flames
Sarah Wendell
Holiday Cheer book coverHoliday Cheer
Rochelle Alers
my true love gave to me book coverMy True Love Gave to Me
Stephanie Perkins
Hiddensee book coverHiddensee
Gregory Maguire
One Day in December book coverOne Day in December
Josie Silver
Remembrance book coverRemembrance
Mary Monroe
Burning Bright
Megan Hart
Skipping Christmas book coverSkipping Christmas
John Grisham

Season of Wonder book coverSeason of Wonder
RaeAnne Thayne

Interested in more suggestions? Stop by Fiction/AV/Teen Services on the second floor to ask at the desk yourself, or ask online to visit our virtual desk.

Asked at the Desk: Bookshop Fiction

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J. R. R. Tolkien wrote, “Not all those who wander are lost.” Book lovers know the anticipation, excitement and joy they experience when wandering a bookshop, not quite sure what they are looking for until they’ve found it. This is why the allure of bookshops is so strong, and why a recent patron who visited the desk was inquiring about a publishing trend: bookshop fiction. If you’d like to explore some of these books yourself, check out the following titles:

Tried and True

The Thirteenth Tale book coverThe Thirteenth Tale
Diane Setterfield
The Shadow of the Wind book coverThe Shadow of the Wind
Carlos Ruiz Zafon

New to Me

A Novel Bookstore
Jenny Colgan
The Lost for Words Bookshop book coverThe Lost for Words Bookshop
Stephanie Butland

The Bookstore
Deborah Meyler

Interested in more suggestions? Stop by Fiction/AV/Teen Services on the second floor to ask at the desk yourself, or ask online to visit our virtual desk.

Summer Reading: Destination V – Read a Book with a Main Character Who Identifies as LGBTQ

Have you taken up this summer’s challenge of Reading Takes You Everywhere? If Destination V: Read a Book with a Main Character Who Identifies as LGBTQ is a stop on your journey, perhaps one of these books will get you there! Check out the first lines of these five books to see if any pique your interest.

“I stand at the window of this great house in the south of France as night falls, the night which is leading me to the most terrible morning of my life.”

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

 

 

 

 

 

“I’m going to begin by telling you about Miss Frost.”

In One Person by John Irving

 

 

 

 

 

“Kate Delafield waited impatiently at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and 9th Street, searching rush hour traffic for a maroon Chevy Cavalier.”

Liberty Square by Katherine V. Forrest

 

 

 

 

“Lindsay Gordon put murder to the back of her mind and settled down in the train compartment to enjoy the broken grays and greens of the Derbyshire scenery.”

Report for Murder by Val McDermid

 

 

 

 

 

“Fifty cents secured the last private room at the 41st Street hotel, but the musty sheets and the brazen frolic of mice under the bed left Sutton thinking he should have saved the change and slept on the sidewalk.”

Whistling in the Dark by Tamara Allen

Asked at the Desk: Classic American Novels

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When we receive the same question twice in one week, we take note! Here’s what two of your neighbors recently asked:

I haven’t read more than one or two of the classic American novels. Now I’m ready, but I don’t know which are most important. Also, do you have them as audiobooks?

We understand this can be overwhelming. Not only are there differing opinions about the most essential, there are different definitions of classic! Here we’ll suggest American classics in three categories to help you find your gateway.

Shorter American Classics

If delving into classic literature is new for you, try one that is not only short in length but also accessible in story and writing:

Great Gatsby book coverThe Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Fahrenheit 451 book coverFahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury
John Steinbeck

 

American Classics by Authors of Color

Too many lists of classics limit the rosters to those authored by white men. Make the choice to invest in other perspectives.

Invisible Man book coverInvisible Man
Ralph Ellison
Their Eyes Were Watching God book coverTheir Eyes Were Watching God
Zora Neale Hurston
W.E.B. Du Bois

 

Most Cited American Classics

If your goal is to be familiar with books likely to be referenced in conversation or in other writing, here are three to know:

J.D. Salinger

 

Audiobooks are a great way to experience the classics! Let a talented voice actor bring great writing to life for you. Click for a sampling of American classics on audio. Lists of British classics and World classics are also available.

Interested in more suggestions? Stop by Fiction/AV/Teen Services on the second floor to ask at the desk yourself, or ask online to visit our virtual desk.

Asked at the Desk: Book Discussion Ideas for New (and Old) Groups

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We love supporting book groups in any way we can! Recently, one of the requests we received for help was…

I’m looking for book ideas for the book discussion group I am just starting. We all have a lot of different tastes and we are in our late twenties and early thirties. What should we read?

We broke our suggestions down into four different categories to help the group choose. While every book group is different, some of our suggestions to this individual may strike ideas for your personal reading or your own discussions.

Modern Day Setting, Filled with Drama, Meaty Discussion Opportunities

The Nest book coverThe Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab after a drunken driving incident. The resulting accident has endangered the fate of the shared inheritance that has shaped their choices and their lives.

 

 

 

Crazy Rich Asians book coverCrazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan 

Envisioning a summer vacation in the humble Singapore home of a boy she hopes to marry, Chinese American Rachel Chu is unexpectedly introduced to a rich and scheming family that strongly opposes their son’s relationship with an American girl. What Rachel doesn’t know is that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, she might as well have a target on her back.

 

 

Younger Person Striking Out on Their Own

sweetbitter book coverSweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

Twenty-two, and knowing no one, Tess leaves home to begin her adult life in New York City. Thus begins a year that is both enchanting and punishing, in a low-level job at “the best restaurant in New York City.” Grueling hours and a steep culinary learning curve awaken her to the beauty of oysters, the finest Champagnes, the appellations of Burgundy. At the same time, she opens herself to friendships—and love—set against the backdrop of dive bars and late nights.

 

 

The Circle book coverThe Circle by Dave Eggers

Hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful Internet company, Mae Holland begins to question her luck as life beyond her job grows distant, a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, and her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public.

 

 

 

Favorites of 2016

The Mothers book coverThe Mothers by Brit Bennet

The Mothers is a surprising story about young love, a big secret in a small community – and the things that ultimately haunt us most. It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, 17-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance – and the subsequent cover-up – will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth.

 

 

Behold The Dreamers book coverBehold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

A compulsively readable debut novel about marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream—the unforgettable story of a young Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession upends the economy.

 

 

 

Suspense

All the Missing Girls book coverAll the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

A nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse. It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.

 

 

the secret history book coverThe Secret History by Donna Tartt

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last – inexorably – into evil.

 

 

For book discussion how-to’s and questions check out our resource page! Interesting in having suggestions designed personally for your group? Email us at readers@mppl.org or talk to us at the Fiction/AV/Teen Services desk.