Staff Reads October 2019

Book Projector Treble Clef

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  • The Sisters Weiss by Naomi Ragen: This is a gem of a novel that makes me want to read everything that Naomi Ragen has ever written.  The story is compelling.  Two young girls grow up in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn in the 1950s.  They adhere strictly to the traditions and customs of their culture.  Things change for Rose when she meets a classmate whose father has a camera and a passion for photography.  Rose begins to be curious about  the wider world and what it can offer.  I also recommend these similar books: All Who Go Do Not Return by Shulem Deen; Unorthodox:  The Scandalous Rejection Of My Hasidic Roots by Debora Feldman
  • How Not To Die Alone by Richard Roper: If this book were a television show, it would be a combination of The Office (the English version) and Six Feet Under.  Andrew, our main character, works in a municipal job where he goes to dead people’s houses to try to get clues about their next of kin.  And, oops!  somehow, during his job interview, he wasn’t quite paying attention and accidentally told his boss to be that he is married with a family by saying ‘yes’ when the answer should have been no. The boss has suggested that everyone host a dinner at their home to built the esprit de corps in the office.  Andrew has created a fictional wife and family.  What will he do?  If you like humor that is sometimes rather dark, than this is the book for you.  I laughed out loud several times and am hoping for more books from this author.



  • She the People: A Graphic History of Uprisings, Breakdowns, Setbacks, Revolts, and Enduring Hope on the Unfinished Road to Women’s Equality by Jen Deaderick, illustrated by Rita Sapunor: Part graphic novel, part prose history book, this is a great inclusive book about the role women (all women) have played in United States History. 
  • The It Girls by Karen Harper: Novel about real life sisters, novelist, Elinor Glyn and fashion designer Lady Lucille Duff Gordon who inspired the term “It Girl” and lived in the later 19th and early 20th centuries.  The passage of time moved very quickly in the novel, but it did inspire me to want to read more about the two woman including Glyn’s so-called “scandalous” novels.
  • American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures edited by America Ferrera: This is a beautiful collection of essays from various celebrities who are either immigrants to the United States or first generation.  This book highlights all of the wonderful ways that we’re different while still addressing what we all have in common.  
  • After the Flood by Kassandra Montag: The world has changed drastically due to the Hundred Year Flood, which was then followed by the Six Year Flood.  Myra and her young daughter, Pearl, go off in search of Myra’s older daughter who disappeared years earlier and meet up with a cast of characters who all have their own baggage as a result of the Floods.  This somber yet hopeful novel creates a world that is believable and is a good readalike for someone who enjoyed Station Eleven but who may not normally read post-apocalyptic literature.  (After the Flood is the choice for ALA’s Libraries Transform Book Pick and is offered without a waiting list from our e-book catalog through October 21)
  • A is for Asteroids, Z is for Zombie by Paul Lewis, illustrated by Ken Lamug: Speaking of the apocalypse, this tongue in cheek graphic novel written in the style of Goodnight, Moon is funny, yet terrifying.
  • Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid: A witty and biting novel about race, class, and transactional relationships, this is the story of Emira Tucker, an African-American woman in her twenties who babysits for a white family, who claim to consider her part of the family but don’t actually know what that means.  A series of events and Dickensian coincidences lead to some interesting encounters and choices. I really enjoyed this fast paced but thoughtful novel, set for release in late December. 
  • All the President’s Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, read by Richard Poe (Digital audiobook): I had read this book several years ago but had forgotten most of it.  It’s viewed as the history of the 1972 break-in at the Watergate office of the Democratic National Committee, but really it’s a detailed look at what goes into a news investigation.  Highly recommended for anyone interested in journalism history and investigative reporting. And perhaps if enough people read (or re-read) this book, they’ll remember that Watergate was the name of the scandal because that was the location and we can stop adding gate at the end of every public scandal.  (“Deflategate”, “Spygate”, hmm, why are so many of these about the Patriots?)
  • Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown, read by Amanda Dolan (Digital audiobook): Teenager Joanna Gordon is a lesbian and is, mostly, accepted and supported by her evangelical minister father.  However, when they move from Atlanta to a small town in Georgia, Joanna is forced to hide her sexuality.  A lot of the side characters in this novel seem more like plot devices than actual people but overall, I like the message of this novel which states that being religious and being an LGBTQ+ ally do not need to be mutually exclusive.  



Pat A.



  • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood: As The Handmaid’s Tale is one of my very favorite books, I was excited for this release, 19 years after I read the first. While it doesn’t quite live up to it’s predecessor, it kept my attention, and I really wanted to know what happened.  It was interesting how this book functions as both a sequel to the television show and original book. While the first book really made an impression with the shocking barbarity of Gilead, I felt like there was a little too much going on in the sequel. Too much had to happen, so the reader was immersed not in the claustrophobic atmosphere of Gilead, but an action packed means to an end.  While not the shocking masterpiece of The Handmaid’s Tale, it is compulsively readable, and you won’t be able to put it down.
  • High School by Tegan and Sara Quin: I chose the audiobook version, because I knew it was narrated by Tegan and Sara, and they definitely bring a lot of personality to everything they do. The songs recorded when they were teenagers  added throughout were a fun bonus. 
  • All the Bad Apples by Moira Fowley-Doyle
  • Mindhunter, Season 2
  • Ready or Not 
  • It Chapter Two: Definitely not as much of a horror film as the first installment. 
  • PomsA surprisingly cute and funny film.
  • Get Out: Creepy in that “somethings just kinda off” way.


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