Break Week Reading Possibilities

As fall term winds down, the librarians and staff at the Tredway library thought it might be fun to recommend some items we think our patrons might enjoy over break.

From Connie Ghinazzi: Killing Kate, Julie Kramer
In the mood for a mystery that takes you into a famous Iowa City cemetery? Julie Kramer’s fourth book, Killing Kate, features intrepid Minneapolis news reporter, Riley Spartz, investigating a murder that center around the black angel grave marker in Oakland Cemetery. The action is fast paced, humorous and accurate in depicting the history and legends surrounding this 9 foot statue. Killing Kate and Kramer’s earlier books in the series, Stalking Susan, Missing Mark and Silencing Sam, are available at most public libraries.

From Christine Aden: Secret Daughter, Shilpi Somaya Gowda
What would you give to save a life?  Secret Daughter tells the story of three women whose lives are both interconnected and disconnected.  When Kavita gives birth in India, she knows that her culture and her husband will not allow her to keep her daughter.  And so, on the day after she gives birth, she hikes to Mumbai to place her daughter in an orphanage.  Asha is adopted by a Somer and Krishnan, an American woman and Indian man living in California.  Through the eyes of Kavita, Asha, and Somer, this story shows how they all navigate the beautiful, rocky relationship between parents and their children.  I was captivated by the descriptions of India and forced to take a hard look at my own culture.

From Margi Rogal: A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg (Simon & Schuster, 2009)
Molly Wizenberg began a blog called Orangette eight years ago as a way to write about food. The blog led to all sorts of things—a husband, a book, two restaurants, a kid (named June), and a second book on the way. Her first book, A Homemade Life is a memoir and a cookbook, and it’s just fun—delicious in every way. Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger, anyone?

From Margi Rogal: Love, an Index by Rebecca Lindenberg (McSweeney’s, 2012)
I’m a poetry geek, I confess, but this beautifully written collection is for anyone who likes poetry even just a tiny bit. Lindenberg was the partner of poet Craig Arnold who disappeared in 2009 while hiking in Japan. This book is dedicated to Arnold, and is an exploration and celebration of love, its difficulties and triumphs. The title poem “Love, an Index” is a kind of alphabet book; here is a sample: “B/ BABETTE, the cat. You were angry when I got her/ because I hadn’t consulted you. And what,/ I asked, do you ever consult me about?/ I got to keep the cat. She slept
on your chest,/ you were such a still sleeper.” This book can be found at the Tredway Library: PS3612 .I532743 L68 2012

From Sarah Horowitz: This is How You Lose Her, Junot Diaz
Junot Diaz has one of the most distinctive voices of anyone writing today – reading a Diaz story, you never mistake it for anything else. And Diaz is not only an incredibly lyrical writer, but also a master storyteller, as he demonstrated in his amazing novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and shows again here, though with fewer pyrotechnics. A collection of linked short stories, This is How You Lose Her is, as you might expect from the title, mostly about the narrator’s relationships with women. Although all the stories are narrated by Yunior, in some he appears as a fully-developed character, and in some he’s more of a hovering voice; whether or not all the stories happen to the same person or on the same timeline is unclear.  I think my favorite story is in the middle of the collection, “Invierno,” which tells the story of Yunior’s arrival in the United States and his first experience of winter. This book can be found at the Tredway Library: Leisure Collection

From Stefanie Bluemle: Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
The story Karen Russell tells in Swamplandia! is both tragic and familiar. What makes this debut novel stand out is less the plot or outcome than its unusual setting – a run-down alligator theme park in Florida – and the striking beauty and lyricism of Russell’s language. Swamplandia! was a finalist for the Pulitzer in 2012, a rare year when the judges declined to award a prize in the fiction category. I think Russell should have won. This book can be found at the Tredway Library: Leisure Collection

From Amanda Makula:  The Best of Everything, Rona Jaffe
A sort of “Sex and The City” for the 50’s, this novel follows the lives of several young women living and working in New York City, circa 1954. Though written over 50 years ago, this book has become popular once again. I first came across it while reading an article about Lena Dunham, the creator of HBO’s Girls — she made it required reading for the cast; Don Draper is seen reading it in an episode of Mad Men; and as of this month, it’s being performed in a new Off-Broadway adaptation. This would be a good pick for a book club, as it’s sure to provoke discussion about gender roles and dynamics — both then and today.

From Amanda Makula: MWF seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche
When Ms. Bertsche moves from NYC to Chicago, she decides to devote a year to seeking out a new local best friend. Weaving research on the importance of friendship into amusing accounts of her many “friend dates” in search of The One, this is a fun, fast read.

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