What We're Reading: February 2024

Created on February 8, 2024, 4:01 pm

Last Updated February 8, 2024, 4:01 pm

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"In the disturbingly near future, a sick Czech woman, Adela, goes to America to meet her adult daughter whom she gave up for adoption. Upon entering the fiercely isolationist America, she finds her scientist daughter and they are able to spend one happy day together before she succumbs to her illness and dies. Tereza, an immortality scientist for a powerful and secretive bio-tech company, is determined to find her mother's body, which the government seems to have lost. While Tereza travels to her homeland to meet her grandmother and half-brother, Adela's consciousness follows her daughter's journey and reminisces on her life as a dissident in socialist Czech Republic, an undocumented immigrant in 1980s America, and a mother to a son who became a nativist extremist. From beyond the grave, Adela meditates on the power of familial ties, the weight of the American dream, and the nature of death. This was a troubling, thought-provoking novel that would appeal to fans of Netflix's Black Mirror." - Ashley F., Edgewater Library
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"Set in the early 1970's, Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police fights crime on the reservation. A great cast and beautiful location bring this series to life. Recently renewed for a third season. Based on the wonderful book series by Tony Hillerman and continued by his daughter Anne Hillerman." - Margie T., Edgewater Library
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"The latest in The Questioneers picture book series is about a young Lila Greer who has moved to a new town and started at a new school with lots of worries and what-ifs. Her teacher finds a creative way to make Lila feel more comfortable and able to make friends. It’s a tribute to the teachers who make a difference in kids’ lives with kindness and encouragement. Just like the other books in the series, the rhyming text is fun to read, and the illustrations are perfectly matched and charming." - Teresa F., Odenton Library
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"This memoir spans the 4 decades that Richard E. Grant knew his wife, Joan Washington, who died of cancer. He uses his journals and memories to give us a sense of how happy the couple were. Joan gave Richard the mandate to "Find a pocket of happiness every day" and this book shows how, while difficult, it is possible with support from the many friends and family Richard has. I listened to this one and Richard E. Grant read it which is a real treat. As long as you don't mind the name-dropping (even then Prince Charles visited Joan) this is a lovely read." - Mary S., Deale Library
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"In a world filled with those with powers, a class system still creates a divide between the "Elites" and the "Mundanes" based on their abilities. However, some are born without any powers at all and in this society, that means certain death. The king has decreed all "Ordinaries" to be banished or, more often, killed. Despite having no powers, Paedyn Gray is anything but powerless when it comes to her physical strength and intelligence. Her only weakness is that she doesn't trust her heart. Disguising as a psychic, Paedyn has lived her life in the slums after the King murdered her father. The story picks up when Paedyn finds herself in the highly celebrated "Purging Trials" after unknowingly saving one of Ilya's princes. She will have to use her strength, cunning, and heart to survive the trials and fight for all the banished Ordinaries all while challenging her feelings for the mysteriously dangerous prince, Kai, and his brother, Kitt, the future king. If you enjoy books like Hunger Games, Fourth Wing, The Serpent and the Wings of Night, and Serpent and Dove, you'll LOVE Powerless. I don't give out 5 stars often, and this is 5 stars." - Mackenzie N., Library Headquarters
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Norendy tales volume 1
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"Five puppets, purchased by a sentimental old sea captain, find themselves shut in a trunk, sold and resold, and eventually end up as the playthings of two little girls. The puppets are a kind of family for each other, and even though they bicker, they share a bond and a destiny. They each have a dream of what they could be or do in the world. Kate DiCamillo is a brilliant storyteller, and I can’t wait to read the second of her Norendy Tales coming out later this year. This would be a great pick for a family or classroom read-aloud." - Teresa F., Odenton Library
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"I came across an article about Dunn running for Congress after John Sarbane announced his upcoming retirement. Dunn is a Capital Police Officer and was on duty at The Capital on January 6th. I was curious about his story. I listened to his audiobook in which he narrates, not expecting much for whatever reason, and finished it the following morning. I was hooked! It’s part memoir, talking about his football career and how he came to be a police officer, he walks us through his experiences on Jan. 6th, and how the event changed his life going forward. If you’re interested in people’s stories, memoirs, mental health, (local) politics, or events that occurred on January 6th, check out this book. I found it insightful. " - Cortney G., Odenton Library
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"Judith Scott was born with Down syndrome and is deaf. She was institutionalized, denied education, and unable to communicate. But when given the opportunity later in life to live with her family and to make art, she created amazing fiber sculptures. At its heart, this book is about the power of the sibling bond and her twin sister Joyce’s determination to make it possible for Judith to have the freedom to express herself. You can see some of Judith Scott’s art in a special exhibition at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore through next summer." - Teresa F., Odenton Library
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"Miles Singer is a doctor and a witch. His secret is exposed by a dying patient and chaos ensues. This book has mystery, romance, evil and world-building. All are done excellently. I enjoyed every part of it and am eager to read the next one in the series. - Mary S., Deale Library
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