What We're Reading: August 2023

Created on April 6, 2024, 5:49 pm

Last Updated April 17, 2024, 1:02 pm

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"When actress Diane Ladd is diagnosed with a grave illness, her daughter (and actress) Laura Dern sets out on a mission to get her mom out for therapeutic walks and intimate conversations. The conversations were recorded and became this remarkable book that is full of stories of growing up in the South, marriages and divorce, and tales from Hollywood and movie sets. More than that, it is an achingly honest and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny account of a unique mother-daughter relationship. The audio version is simply divine." - Sharon L., Odenton Library
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"This is an excellent account of how the author discovered and accepted that hustling and seeking to work and produce more did not bring about happiness. Instead, it was costing her what really mattered to her: her family life and her inner peace, which was represented by visits to a lake where she could instead embrace simplicity. So now she seeks to live in the moment and be content with imperfection and sometimes saying no when she has to. It has resonated with me because I have been looking at my own life and wishing to move towards these same ideals, and I highly recommend it to anyone who feels run down and anxious and unfulfilled by pouring themselves more and more into work." - Andrew M., Busch-Annapolis Library
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"This is a satire about a mediocre author who steals a fellow author’s work after her death and publishes it as her own. I had a love-hate relationship with this book but in the end, the love for it won. I couldn‘t stand the characters, they were all awful, and the plot was based on their awfulness, but it was also a lot of fun! The story and the writing are top-notch and would make a great discussion to include the publishing industry, what an author should and should not write about, mental health, cyber bullying, and the effects of social media. If you enjoy contemporary fiction and/or mystery thrillers with humor, I’d give this one a try. Not many authors can make me love and loathe a book at the same time." - Cortney G., Odenton Library
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"This one took me some time to read but I sure did love it! Kingsolver created a wonderful story about the western VA, eastern TN Appalachia country, the poverty has that stricken the area, the foster care system and the opioids crisis as we follow Damon, nicknamed Demon Copperhead, throughout his youth and into adulthood. I'm glad there is a good fictional story to highlight these topics. Those that enjoy reading coming-of-age stories will especially enjoy this one." - Cortney G., Odenton Library
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"Former FBI profiler Titus Crown returned to his hometown of Charon County, Virginia. Elected as the county's first Black sheriff, Titus and his deputies are racing against time - and hometown politics and bigotry - to capture an unknown serial killer who could be living in their town. As Titus deals with this hometown horror that could cost him his badge, he must also overcome the ghosts of his FBI past. This fast-paced and compelling thriller is a great choice for fans of Walter Mosley, Dennis Lehane and Laura Lippman." - Sharon L., Odenton Library
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"Told in a strong narrative, this story taught me a lot about Angela Davis without being on the nose about it. The style of artistry contributed to the storytelling and made a really big impact on me. Loved loved loved!" - Ruben V., Glen Burnie Library
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"I saw this audio book on the shelf and thought I would give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised by the likeable characters, the tongue in cheek humor, and the wonderful narrators. Neil Patrick Harris and Simon Vance narrate this funny, thoughtful listen. If you like stories about fictitious schools and satirical takes on society, you might like this one." - Mary S., Deale Library
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"A gay newspaper reporter falls in love with his boss's son in late 1950s NYC. I love Sebastian's Gay Regency Romance series and how she always manages to find happy ending for her characters even in times when history would have us believe it wasn't possible. She does it again in this book which is, at turns, laugh-out-loud funny and tear jerking, managing to find hope and happiness even in stressful circumstance. It's probably going to be my favorite book of the year. For fans for Alexis Hall and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo." - Gwendolyn I., Discoveries at the Mall Library
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"A quiet town in the mountains of Idaho starts experiencing the first steps to a classic horror movie. Despite the town shrugging off the increasing deaths as accidents, Jade Daniels, slasher movie enthusiast and human horror movie encyclopedia, knows better. She recognizes the beginnings of a real slasher and takes the necessary steps to prepare the girl she has identified as the "Final Girl" for this villain. But Jade has a checkered past with an abusive father, absent mother, and her frequent run-ins with the law. It's going to take a lot of work to get people to believe her to fight against the evil that has come to their little town. Is Jade right and a killer is truly taking out the locals one-by-one, or is she too consumed with horror to identify reality from fiction? The multitude of horror references and nods fills any horror hound with delight. When the story hits its crescendo of horror, it hits hard and is very intense. For a book I had to trudge through in the beginning, I couldn't put it down once I hit the 60% mark. Anyone who has a love for horror movies and slashers or is a fan of Stephen Graham Jones' other works will definitely love My Heart is a Chainsaw." - Mackenzie N., Library Headquarters
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"It's been a long time since I've read historical fiction and The Paris Library was an excellent novel of the genre. Set in the dual timelines of Paris, 1939 and Montana, 1983, Charles weaves together a tale of friendship, family, jealousy, and love. This novel highlights a bit of history that I knew nothing of before: the American Library in Paris. This book tells the story of intrepid librarians worked tirelessly to keep getting books into the hands of their subscribers. I couldn't help but feel inspired and even more passionate about my work. I'd recommend this book if you like historical fiction set during WWII, books about female friendship, or books about books." - Abigail W., Broadneck Library
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"Within a secret society of human-like beings called "book eaters", Devon is on a journey to protect the life of her son - a boy who, instead of books, consumes minds. Told through an interweaving storyline between the present day and Devon's past growing up in their patriarchal society, this story keeps you hooked and fully immersed in the world of the book eaters. The novel is an exciting fantasy-horror tale that involves very prevalent issues that exist in our own society. Described as an "anti-fairy tale", I recommend this book to those who enjoy dark fantasy and stories about women fighting back against those who seek to control them." - Christine M., Edgewater Library
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14) Emily
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"This is the story of Emily Bronte...sort of... It is pretty obvious from the outset that the movie is not going to stay true to the era that the Bronte sisters lived in but if you can live with some Hollywoodness, it is enjoyable. I felt like the facts were massaged a little too much and some fantasy was added in. If you know very little about the Bronte sisters, this is an enjoyable flick. If you want to see a factual biopic - look elsewhere." - Mary S., Deale Library
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