What We're Reading: June 2023

Created on April 6, 2024, 5:49 pm

Last Updated April 17, 2024, 1:02 pm

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"The first book in the Inspector Ricciardi series was utterly transportive. Set in pre-WWII Naples, regular references to Il Duce and popular culture of the time succeed at whisking the reader away. Though the mystery itself was a bit convoluted, the writing and atmosphere was such a pleasure that it wasn’t nearly as frustrating as it could have been. Thirty-something Commissario Luigi Alfredo Ricciardi stomps around Naples having visions of the departed in their final moments, solving injustices, and falling in love with the lady in the window across the way. More than a suspenseful narrative, we have a vibrant literary world." - Mark S., Glen Burnie Library
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"This book is a fantastic resource for parents, caregivers, and educators of multiracial children. Multiracial herself, Nayani includes testimonials from several multiracial and multiethnic individuals, as well as transracial adoptees. She shows the research behind methods to help a multiracial child discover and embrace their identity, which can be very difficult and full of tension. This is evident in the comments and questions that multiracial children often hear:

What are you?
You look like you speak ________ language.
You're not ____________ enough.
Are you adopted?
There are many more, and they're often harmful to a multiracial child's understanding and acceptance of their identity.
As a multiracial person, this book was an absolutely wonderful read. It gave me more words to help me describe and process the experiences I've had my entire life. You might like this if you are a parent, caregiver, or educator of a multiracial individual, or you are multiracial yourself." - Abigail W., Broadneck Library
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"When lonely, but formidable, Vera Wong discovers a dead body in her tea shop, the police don’t want her to interfere in the case. Uh oh, too late, because Vera has already removed a flash drive from the dead man’s fist. She identifies four main suspects and bulldozes her way into their lives, bonding over home-cooked food and tea, she’s thrilled to have new friends. It’s just a shame that one of these nice young people might be the killer. Readers will be as helpless as the suspects as Vera finagles her way into their hearts with an abundance of warmth, humor, and sage advice. This is a wonderful feel-good novel with just enough mystery to keep it intriguing." - Susan K., Linthicum Library
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"Yami Flores has two jobs to do as she starts the year at a new school: keep her brother Caesar out of trouble and keep herself in the closet. After being outed by her former best friend at her old school, she is determined to keep this part of herself a secret to everyone else in her life. However, when she begins to crush on her classmate Bo, who is openly queer herself, Yami has to decide if it's worth letting someone in again. This book is the most important book I've read in a while -it deals with so many real issues with empathy and care. I recommend it to anyone who has had to navigate the world while hiding parts of who they are, but especially to LGBTQ teens." - Christine M., Edgewater Library
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"It's an awesome story!" - Sarah K., Glen Burnie Library
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Parable books volume 1
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"17-year-old Lauren Olamina lives in a gated community with her family, kept relatively safe from the violence and abject poverty that afflicts most people beyond their walls. As she waits for the inevitable attack on their neighborhood, she gathers supplies, practices shooting, and writes in her Earthseed journal, developing her own religion of self-reliance and respect for change. When Lauren is eventually forced to flee the only home she's ever known, she is joined by travelers of diverse backgrounds as she walks the highways, seeking a new home and opportunity north of California. Along the way, Lauren and her growing group of friends must face dangerous gangs and the effects of massive climate change. Set in the years 2024-2027, this important work of eco-fiction is at once terrifying and oddly hopeful. Fans of Paolo Bacigalupi and Margaret Atwood will enjoy this classic." - Ashley F., Edgewater Library
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"This book is everything. It is an incredibly comprehensive look at the habits and practices of individuals and organizations globally which affect the climate and what the domino effect looks like. It offers scientific data, personal experiences, solutions and hope – hope that it is not too late to fix the damage we have caused.
Greta Thunberg is only 20 years old but has made a huge impact with her work as a very vocal environmental activist, challenging world leaders to take immediate action to mitigate climate change. In this book she has compiled stories and statistics from expert geophysicists, oceanographers and meteorologists; engineers, economists and mathematicians; historians, philosophers and indigenous leaders.

I would recommend this book to anyone inhabiting planet earth! I made my way through the material using several formats: eBook, a good old fashioned physical book and my favorite - listening to the eAudiobook." - Holly F., Odenton Library
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"This graphic novel feature three close friends as they take the first steps into "book careers" while trying to navigate life in early 2010s NYC. Nina, Shirin and Silvia meet in college and soon realized they are kindred spirits. They become roommates and each other's closest confidants as they venture out into the working world with all of the early 20s stresses about money and being at the bottom of the pecking order in their respective publishing workplaces. One dreams of becoming a powerful editor, another a writer, and the third just isn't sure what she wants. A chance encounter with their elderly downstairs neighbor, a semi-famous but forgotten author from the 1970s, leads to a friendship/mentorship for all the women as they try to find their footing as adults.

While there are a million books out there about people working in the publishing industry, most make it seem like a very glamourous and cool place to be. This novel skews it a little more realistic and will speak to anyone who's been unsure about what they wanted from their life and how they were going to get there. Despite all of the stresses and uncertainties, though, the girls' friendship remains solid, and they always have each other's backs. This book will appeal to those who enjoy reading about strong female friendships and those hopeful but uncertain days of early adulthood." - Stephanie P., Library Headquarters
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"A triumph of a graphic novel! Magical realism abounds in this Egyptian story: imagine our world but wishes are real - and expensive. Who deserves to use wishes? And on what? For whom? Mohammed seamlessly weaves world history into her story where characters struggle with the morals and ethics that come with a system that capitalizes on djinns. Initially pulled in by the incredible art, I quickly found myself rooting for the characters, often responding audibly to the story as it unfolded. I'm adding this to my personal Graphic Novel Hall of Fame, right there with Blankets, Dancing After Ten, March, Persepolis, and The Long Halloween." - Ruben V., Glen Burnie Library
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"Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that collects important works of fiction from all of the different realities, in order to stabilize those realities from the warring forces of Order and Chaos. Recently assigned a new apprentice, Kai, Irene is sent on an urgent mission to a High Chaos world where the book she is tasked with stealing may be more than she bargained for and will impact the entire future of the library.

I've been reading through this series and not a single book in it has disappointed. Perfect for fans of V.E. Schwab's Shades of Magic series, reality hopping adventures, and alternative history." - Gwendolyn I., Discoveries at the Mall Library
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"Louise Chao has been a vampire for decades, but, unlike vampires in the movies, the life she lives is nothing glamourous. She enjoys going to punk rock shows, but beyond that, she worries that immortality has only made her life lonely and depressing. However, after meeting a distant relative by chance, her life goes in a different direction than she could have imagined: especially when this young relative figures out her secret and gets involved in the vampire world. This was a fun and sweet vampire novel that focuses on connection and belonging and how meaningful that is whether you have a heartbeat or not. I recommend this to anyone who loves modern-setting vampire stories and anyone with a passion for punk rock music." - Christine M., Edgewater Library
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"This series finale is a must-read for fans of archaeologist and police consultant, Ruth Galloway. It’s a touching nod to the fourteen previous books as many familiar characters return to show support, help with investigations, and celebrate a milestone event. The mystery is compelling as well, one that hits close to home with the involvement of Ruth’s enigmatic friend Cathbad. Recommended for mystery readers who appreciate intricate plots, a touch of humor, and an equal balance between the characters’ personal and professional lives." - Susan K., Linthicum Library
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"A dystopian story about a 12-year-old boy and his search for his mother in a post-crisis world who distrusts anyone who is different. I liked the characters in this book and the descriptive language. You might like it if you are fond of The Hunger Games series." - Mary S., Deale Library
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"Andrea Elliott, a New York Times reporter, followed Dasani and her family for eight years as they faced overwhelming challenges. Mired in poverty and defeated at every turn by obstacles placed in their path by the very agencies who are supposed to give them a helping hand, this is a devastating and unflinching look at difficulties faced by those living without in the US today. A tough but worthwhile read." - Mary W., Glen Burnie Library
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"Have you ever looked at your completely full closet and thought, 'I have nothing to wear?' Do you have lots of clothes but only wear about 20% of your wardrobe? Have you ever wanted to have a capsule wardrobe but didn't know where to start? Consider giving Project 333 a read. Project 333 a movement created by Courtney Carver that started in 2010 in online spaces. The challenge is simple: wear only 33 different items (including accessories and shoes!) for 3 months. This book is a great guide to tacking this interesting challenge. Carver also writes about the underlying philosophy and circumstances that gave birth to Project 333. There are also a few chapters dedicated to people who undertook the challenge and give you an idea what your 33 items could look like for a given season (spring, summer, winter, and fall). I loved that Carver addressed sustainability, fast fashion, and building a capsule wardrobe from what you already have instead of starting from scratch and buying new pieces. It's a speedy read, and honestly it's a little padded out, but I really enjoyed reading about this challenge and I want to take it on." - Abigail W., Broadneck Library
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