Janet: “The Mighty Currwongs & other stories” by Brian Doyle.
I was drawn to reading this book for two reasons: Kate recommended it to me AND the description of the back included these words – “A nimble and very funny collection.” Who would not want to read a book described as nimble!?! I have since finished this book and very highly recommend it. I’m not usually one to read short stories but the writing in this book is superb, humorous, and serious all at the same time. Some of the stories are only 2 pages long but each one delivers satisfaction.
Kate: “The Warden’s Daughter” by Jerry Spinelli.
I have known about this author, but never got a feel for his writing. This book has an interesting premise: a girl living with her father, the warden above a prison, in the 1950s.
Amanda: “Restart” by Gordon Korman.
This juvenile novel takes a fresh look at the heated and ever-present topic of bullying from a fresh perspective: that of the bully. This middle-school football star suffers from a concussion and loses his memory. He is ordered not to play sports and begins to make new friends and develop other aspects of himself while slowly beginning to realize what kind of a person he had been. The shock of the staff, students and his aggressive father (who had been a football start when HE had attended the same school) as the former bully becomes a “new person” will have certain readers feeling a bit more humanity for their own tormentors.
Vesta: “Orfeo” by Richard Powers.
My book club’s next selection. It is well written and well read—I’m reading the audio version—and has a great deal of interest for anyone who appreciates classical music.
Vesta: “The Weight of Ink” by Rachel Kadish.
A long book that I found recommended on a list I trust, and one that grabbed me from the first page, when a soon-to-retire college professor is asked to look at some Shakespearean-era Hebrew manuscripts that were found when a 17th century house was being renovated. Beautifully written, with two stories from two eras working well together.
Vesta: “The Flight” by Dan Hampton
Recommended on one of the lists I regularly consult — takes the reader into the cockpit of the Spirit of St. Louis with Charles Lindbergh during his historic flight. Based on his own words and memories, it’s very real and exciting and informative as it conveys the difficulties of Lindbergh’s remarkable solo flight.
MaryAnne: “The Garden of Evening Mists” by Tan Twan Eng.
I was drawn to it because it was recommended by a patron who has similar “book tastes” to mine. The New York Times Book Review says it well: “[A] strong quiet novel [of] eloquent mystery.” I was hooked right away!
Candy: “The Boleyn Inheritance” by Phillipa Gregory.
I loved “The Other Boleyn Girl” and wanted to read more about this era. Gregory does a fine job of blending fact with fiction. It’s a fun way to step into history.
Henry: “The Best Stories of William Kittredge”
I am rereading this collection because decades after I first read them, they still haunt me. And because he writes about the Rockies where I lived for a long time.
Susan: “The Ballad of the Broken Nose” by Arne Svingen
I really liked this book. A few chapters in and I was hooked on this unusual kid with a big voice and bigger problems. It was originally published in Norway in 2012 with this English edition published in 2016. The voice and tone are just a touch different, which adds to its charm. A middle school boy with a loving but dysfunctional Mom has to manage everything himself while trying to learn boxing when what he really wants to do is sing opera; but only in the bathroom. Hiding his talent all goes awry when he meets a girl who shows genuine interest but can’t keep a secret. It’s funny, sweet, and completely engaging.
I put little reviews of the books I’ve read on “Miss Susan’s Book Notes” which can be found on the Children’s page of the library website (see the pull-down menu under KIDS”)