Check It Out Category: Books

Announcing the No Commitment Virtual Book Club

No Commitment Book Club categoriesMissing the chance to talk books with friends both old and new? You are invited to visit a new MPPL Goodreads group to share with your neighbors what you are reading in any or all of our featured themes.

Separate discussion threads are open for five categories — all designed to be fully your choice. Whether your recent reads have been wild successes or frustrating disappointments, we’re here to celebrate the journey.

Not one to share with a group? For personal cheers or for reading recommendations of titles specifically available to you online, email your book comments to readers@mppl.org.

Happy reading while sheltering-in-place!

 

Listen from Home: Staff Digital Audiobook Picks

Staff E-Audiobook Picks collage

Though your commute might be nonexistent these days, audiobooks can still keep you company during cooking and chores, on brief solitary walks, or for taking a break from others in the house. Earlier staff digital picks posts also include audio options, but today’s titles are uniquely recommended for the escape of their listening experiences. We can also help with customized suggestions for which titles in OverDrive or Hoopla might be a perfect match for your current mood.

How Not to Die Alone cover

How Not to Die Alone by Richard Roper
Looking to fill the Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine-shaped hole? This story features a quirky main character navigating life in a different way than his peers, met with challenges as his solitary and usual routine is disrupted by his need for friendship and maybe even love. ~Chelsea

Available on OverDrive as both e-audio and ebook and in Hoopla as libro en español

 

Fever 1793 cover

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

“Fever” begins to ravage Philadelphia in 1793. Maddie must survive the various consequences of the outbreak. ~Al

Available on Hoopla as e-audio and on OverDrive as e-audio (also in a second production)

 

Boys in the Boat book cover

 

The Boys in the Boat: Five Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Olympics by Daniel James Brown

For an impeccably written underdog story, not just for sports fans, listen to the comforting voice of celebrated narrator Edward Herrmann. ~Nancy

Available on OverDrive as both e-audio and as ebook

 

You Bring the Distant Near cover

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins

With a fantastic cast of narrators, this story focuses on inter-generational relationships as three generations of women deal with familial expectations and their own hopes and dreams. ~Abby

Listen via OverDrive

 

 

Skin Game book cover

Skin Game by Jim Butcher

The Dresden Files, a series centered on a Chicago-based wizard, is one of my go-tos for fun, fantastic, witty adventure in audio, and this inventive heist story set in the underworld is its own reward. ~Cathleen

Available on OverDrive as both e-audio and as ebook

 

Trespasser cover

The Trespasser by Tana French

Dark but gripping mystery. Full of clever and unexpected twists and turns and a cast of fascinating and complex characters. The narrator is fabulous, but I’m a sucker for Irish accents. ~Liz

Available on OverDrive as both e-audio and ebook

 

 

Mother-in-Law cover

The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

This book, written as a dual narrative, was twisty, compelling, at times suspenseful, and I really just ate it up. ~Denise

Available on Hoopla as e-audio and on OverDrive as ebook

 

On Turpentine Lane cover

On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman

Warm and witty tale of a young woman who buys a house with a past. ~Laura

Available on OverDrive as ebook and on Hoopla as both e-audio and ebook

 

Girl with the Make-Believe Husband cover

 

 

The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn

Sweet and sexy. Charming main characters who fall in love through a case of memory loss and misunderstanding after Cecilia lied about being a wife to her brother’s friend to nurse him back to health and find her missing brother. Delightful audio. ~Liz

Available as e-audio via both OverDrive and Hoopla

 

Nocturnes audiobook cover

Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall by Kazuo Ishiguro

In prose that evokes haunting melodies, master narrators take turns giving voice to musicians around the globe who must balance passion and idealism with the realities of making one’s way in the world. ~Cathleen

Available on OverDrive as both e-audio and ebook

 

Last Days of Night coverThe Last Days of Night by Graham Moore

This entertaining and informative historical fiction follows rivals Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse. ~Laura

Available on OverDrive as both e-audio and ebook

 

My Not So Perfect Life cover

My (Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

A fun, light listen. I often found myself suppressing laughter while listening to this in public. Humorous, yet also an insightful look at social media obsession and the toll it can take on us all at times. ~Liz

Available on OverDrive as both e-audio and ebook

 

What to Read from Home – Staff E-Book Picks

Staff E-book Picks collage

For comfort reads, stories to make you laugh, and books to help you experience a different life, the next in our series of staff picks of what to try through the OverDrive or Hoopla digital services features e-books with little or no wait. Don’t miss parts one and two, and check back twice each week for spotlights of what to read, watch, or listen to. For even more ideas, follow along on Goodreads or contact us for a suggestion that is personalized just for you!

Spies of Shilling Lane book coverLaura recommends
The Spies of Shilling Lane 
by Jennifer Ryan
“drama, suspense, and humor with enjoyable characters”
ebook (also e-audio)
Worst Best Man book coverJenny and Denise recommend
The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa
The Wedding Planner meets My Big Fat Greek Wedding in this fun, somewhat steamy romp”
ebook (also e-audio)
Little Book of Hygge book coverCathleen recommends
The Little Book of Hygge
by Meik Wiking
“a cozy blanket of a book that inspires better living”
ebook (also e-audio)

 

Storied Life of AJ Fikry book coverNancy recommends
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin
“when you want to fall in love with reading again, treat yourself to this bittersweet and quirky story about second chances”
ebook (also e-audio)
Hazel Wood book coverLiz recommends
The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
“a character tries to stay a step ahead of a mysterious curse in this compelling contemporary YA fantasy”
ebook (also e-audio)
Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King book coverChelsea recommends
The Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King
by Jerome Charyn
“a fun romp featuring Teddy Roosevelt, his upbringing, and his rise to becoming a Rough Rider”
ebook (also e-audio)

 

5 Love Languages book coverDenise recommends
The 5 Love Languages
by Gary Chapman
“partners living in close quarters will find new understanding of each other”
ebook (also e-audio)
Displacement book coverCathleen recommends
Displacement by Lucy Knisley
“themes of cherishing life, laughter, and legacy offer particular resonance in challenging times”
ebook
Chalk Man book coverLaura recommends
The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor
“creepy chalk figures, murder, and mystery in a small English village”
ebook (also e-audio)

 

Jane Eyre book coverLiz recommends
Jane Eyre
by Charlotte Brontë
“my standby classic comfort read!”
ebook (also e-audio)
Get a Life Chloe Brown book coverChelsea, Denise, and Liz recommend
Get a Life, Chloe Brown
by Talia Hibbert
“charming characters both with their own past life and relationship baggage; a bit on the snarky side, and I want to be Chloe’s new best friend!”
ebook (also e-audio)
Atomic Habits book coverJenny recommends
by James Clear
“digestible yet informative guide on understanding how habits are created and the small steps you can take to form new ones”
ebook (also e-audio)

 

Staff Picks for Digital Reads and Listens

Need a new book to provide comfort, distraction, or insight during this time of social distancing? Our readers’ advisory staff have picked favorites that are available through the OverDrive or Hoopla digital book services with little or no wait! Check back twice each week for fresh digital recommendations of what to read, watch, or listen to, follow along on Goodreads, or contact us for a suggestion that is personalized just for you!

accident book coverLaura recommends
The Accident by Chris Pavone
“a clever and suspenseful conspiracy thriller”
ebook and e-audio
hollywood homicide book coverAl recommends
Hollywood Homicide
by Kellye Garrett
“a fast-paced whodunit”
e-audio
familiars book coverLiz recommends
The Familiars by Stacey Halls
“compelling and delightfully atmospheric”
e-audio

 

i love you so mochi book coverAbby recommends
I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn
“a sweet YA romance about following your own dreams and reconnecting with friends and family”
 e-audio and ebook
harrys trees book coverDenise recommends
Harry’s Trees by Jon Cohen
for fans of A Man Called Ove
ebook and e-audio
book of joy book coverJenny recommends
The Book of Joy
by Dalai Lama XIV & Desmond Tutu
“deep happiness and light humor radiate through this wide-ranging conversation between two individuals who have faced adversity”
e-audio and ebook

 

bel canto book coverNancy recommends
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
“offers escape through fascinating characters and gorgeous writing”
ebook and e-audio
they called us enemy book coverAndrea recommends
They Called Us Enemy by George Takei
“really helped to put the discomforts of self-quarantine into perspective”
ebook
spellman files book coverCathleen recommends
The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz
“crackling narration, interesting twists, and full-throttle hilarity”
e-audio

 

conviction book coverDenise recommends
Conviction by Denise Mina
“delightfully twisty and suspenseful with a dash of humor!”
e-audio and ebook
one more thing book coverJenny recommends
One More Thing by B.J. Novak
“hilarious and smart short stories”
e-audio and ebook
nine women one dress book coverLaura recommends
by Jane L. Rosen
“charming, feel-good story”
ebook and e-audio

 

underground airlines book coverCathleen recommends
Underground Airlines
by Ben H. Winters
“a smart, moody, tantalizing ride”
ebook and e-audio
spin the dawn book coverAbby recommends
Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
“for readers who enjoy books by Sarah J. Maas or stories with fairy-tale elements”
ebook and e-audio
yellow house book coverAl recommends
The Yellow House
by Sarah M. Broom
National Book Award winner
New Orleans memoir
ebook

 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society cover image
Nancy and Abby recommend
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
“a warm-hearted book with likable characters”
ebook and e-audio
The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn HardcastleLiz recommends
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
by Stuart Turton
“the narrator’s voice is superb; you will be immediately immersed in the the world of the story”
e-audio and ebook

 

New for Book Clubs: The Dreamers, American Princess, and The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen

If your group enjoys reading stories of disruption – whether thoughtful, zany, or based on real-life characters – look no further than three recent additions to the Book Discussion collection. These are hand-picked reads ideal for personal enrichment or for group conversation. Be sure to check out earlier announcements, and watch for even more additions each week!

The Dreamers Dreamers book cover by Karen Thompson Walker

provocative, compelling, intricately plotted
for fans of Emily St. John Mandel, Ben H. Winters, and Richard Powers

One night in an isolated college town, a first-year student stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. As the mysterious illness spreads, the doctors discover those affected are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, and questions of consciousness are explored in a provocative, hypnotic tale.

LibraryReads Favorite

 

American Princess book coverAmerican Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt by Stephanie Marie Thornton

engaging, fast-paced, biographical fiction
for fans of Stephanie Barron, Jennifer Chiaverini, and Paula McLain

Alice may be the president’s daughter, but she’s nobody’s darling. As bold as her signature color Alice Blue, the gum-chewing, cigarette-smoking, poker-playing First Daughter discovers that the only way for a woman to stand out in Washington is to make waves–oceans of them. With the canny sophistication of the savviest politician on the Hill, Alice uses her celebrity to her advantage, testing the limits of her power and the seductive thrill of political entanglements.

 

Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen book coverThe Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 Years Old by Hendrik Groen

humorous, books in translation, diary novel
for fans of Fredrik Backman, Jonas Jonasson, and Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg

The riotous journal of an octogenarian who is far from reaching the end of his life traces a year in his care home in Amsterdam, revealing the ups and downs of his misadventures with the anarchic “Old-But-Not-Dead Club” and a longtime crush whom he courted to devastating effect.

Suburban Mosaic Book of the Year
Loan Stars Favourite
#1 International Bestseller