What We're Reading: July 2023

Created on April 6, 2024, 5:49 pm

Last Updated April 17, 2024, 1:02 pm

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"Servant Frannie Langton is on trial accused of murdering her Master and Mistress. The problem is that she can’t remember anything about that fateful night. However, she can’t believe that she’d murder her mistress, she loved her too much to hurt her, but then who did it?

I picked this book up because it will be a series soon and I was curious. I almost stopped reading it at one point because it is difficult to read about all the horrible things that humans do to each other in the book. However, I am glad I was able to finish, by the halfway mark I couldn't put it down. I would recommend this book to those that like the macabre and have a strong stomach." - Mary S., Deale Library
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"Professional runner and coach, Lauren Fleshman, shares her story from accomplished runner to elite athlete and beyond in her memoir, Good For A Girl. She brings to light the endless hurdles female athletes face as competitors in a male-focused sports industry and how we can change the narrative going forward. This is a great read for mentors, coaches, and parents of young, female athletes." - Maria F., Library Headquarters
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"Having loved Kuang's previous standalone Babel (the current Nebula winner for best novel), I was excited to read her new, slightly comic, psychological thriller Yellowface. June, upon witnessing the death of her Chinese-American acquaintance Athena, steals her friend's current work in progress and publishes it as her own. Issues of cultural appropriation and navigation of the online literary world run through this novel. I read Yellowface in a day and would recommend it to lovers of Celeste Ng and Liane Moriarty." - Mark S., Glen Burnie Library
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"Jolene is a 12 yr. old girl living in the city of Phoenix, AZ. Her life is complicated, her mom has become addicted to oxycontin, and they never have enough food or money. So, Jolene spends her time in the local library where she dreams of traveling the world and making maps. She watches Blipstream livestreams of her friend Addie (also in Arizona) and her exploits flying a superlight glider across the desert. Until one day she watches as Addie crashes and is the only one who sees what happened and where. What follows is Jolene's heart pounding journey to find Addie and get her help. While on this journey it delves into addiction and how alone Jolene feels when trying to survive her mom's addiction. It's about friendship and trust." - Jennifer T., Severna Park Library
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"A gripping page-turner about an ambitious young professor, a Jazz Age woman obsessed with music, a world-famous composer, and a shocking secret that will echo across the generations.

What I love so much about Slocumb is his pacing. His stories are strong and gripping and both his books were impossible for me to put down. Where I read The Violin Conspiracy in a day, I really tried to stretch this one out and savor it. It worked - for about three days." - Ruben V., Glen Burnie Library
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"Welcome to Barovia! A foggy, dreary land ruled by a tyrant: the vampire Strahd von Zahrovich. Adventurers have the opportunity to explore this atmospheric and creepy place, battling monsters in some really cool dungeons, and taking on quests. Designed for characters from levels 1-11, this D&D adventure is a super fun sandbox that focuses on exploration and social interaction with a formidable villain. I cannot wait to run this adventure." - Ruben V., Glen Burnie Library
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"Learn the history of ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, and other sweet treats from a trio of friendly foodie fairies in this graphic non-fiction book. I adored the art of this book as well as the charming personalities of the guides, which made it feel almost like a conversation rather than a didactic history. Perfect for young readers looking to graduate from the standard children's nonfiction and for adults looking to learn more about their sweet tooth." - Gwendolyn I., Discoveries at the Mall Library
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"For those who enjoy clever dialogue, imperfect characters, and the lifestyles of the rich and miserable. It's very much a late-stage capitalism iteration of King Lear, with all the tragedy and comedy of that tale." - Sharon L., Odenton Library
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"Meet Gilda: an anxious, masking, lesbian atheist who accidentally lands a job at a Catholic church. She stumbles her way through life, in constant fear of being found out.
Narrated by the protagonist in real-time, the reader is privy to her every thought, including the intrusive ones, immediately followed by Gilda trying to stop them. Brilliantly funny and endearing, I was rooting for Gilda the whole way." - Ruben V., Glen Burnie Library
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"The Bellewether was a ship that sailed out of Long Island, New York in the 18th century. When Charley gets a job at the Wilde House Museum she learns of the early life of Benjamin Wilde, captain and privateer, and his family. She has to determine if the legends around them are true. Kearsley combines history, fiction, and a little of the supernatural in this engrossing novel. I enjoyed the romance, the history, and the creepiness of this novel. If you like the Outlander series, you might like this one." - Mary S., Deale Library
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"Disclaimer: I am very new to Nightwing and the extended Bat family but this is the one for me. The art is stupendous, Nightwing is effortlessly cool, his friends are funny and interesting. The villain is its biggest weakness but I can forgive that as long as they keep Bludhaven this spectacular." - Ruben V., Glen Burnie Library
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"Elliot Page skyrocketed to fame as the star of the film Juno in 2007 and has continued to play large film and tv roles ever since. Due to being in the public eye, he felt he had continue playing the role both on and offscreen; continuing to look at act the part of what people expected of him. He had closeted, secret relationships, and had to repress so much of himself. He came out as trans in 2020, and shares stories of the immense joys and weights lifted he has felt since then. His book is full of honest, heartfelt accounts of some of the most triumphant and hardest moments of his life. Content warning for hard themes such as sexual harassment and family trauma, but this book is great for anyone who enjoys Page's work, stories of trans joy, or anyone interested in a powerful, personal life story." - Morgan B., Edgewater Library
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"Ivy Gamble is personally requested to be a private investigator for a mysterious death that took place at a school for young mages. She would be thrilled about the opportunity for such an interesting job if not for the fact that it is the school where her twin sister, Tabitha, teaches. Between Ivy not inheriting any magic and the circumstances relating to their mother's death, the close relationship that they shared as young children has been lost for many years. While investigating at the school, Ivy gains the opportunity to pretend to live a life she never had and finds herself lost in both the case and her fake life. But there is a killer loose at the school and she may be the only one who can uncover the truth. This book was a fun mystery intertwined with the world of magic. I recommend it to adult fans of magical worlds and the dark realities they may involve." - Christine M., Edgewater Library
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"Collette LeSange is a woman of many talents: she runs a fine arts school for children, she is a polyglot, she is an incredibly adept hunter who has been drinking the blood of cows, cats, and most creatures in between for centuries to fuel her immortal life.
After being turned into a vampire by her grandfather decades ago, the book wavers between the often-heartbreaking years of Collette's past to her lonesome and increasingly disturbing present, with the tension steadily building until she finds herself having to make an ultimate and dramatic choice. After all, when you are immortal, what does your end look like when you have nowhere left to run from the god of endings?

Equal parts a riveting historical fiction, contemporary drama, supernatural mystery, and a look into what makes life worth living (for as little or as much time as we have), this book was a great read for those interested in some fresh blood in the vampire genre." - Gabriella N., Busch Annapolis Library
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"A solidly constructed micro-history can be just the ticket for escaping from a stressful reality. The Last Action Heroes: The Triumphs, Flops, and Feuds of Hollywood’s Kings of Carnage succeeds marvelously as escapism, and for that quality it is an easy recommendation for any lover of B-movie history. Schwarzenegger, Lundgren, Van Damme, and the other titans of muscle are showcased for their personal and professional triumphs and pitfalls. Nick de Semlyen (Wild and Crazy Guys) has built a fabulously entertaining exploration of a small but mighty chunk of film history." - Mark S., Glen Burnie Library
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