Although the physical Library is closed during these uncertain times, we are still working (and reading!) behind the scenes. And while we miss interacting with all of you on a day-to-day basis, we are still here to offer remote reading recommendations and are checking emails daily.
We’d like to open a little window into what we’ve been reading and enjoying while at home. Many of us have been reading for escapism, for a little humor, and for hope. Whatever it is, reading makes us feel a little less alone. All of the recommendations are available digitally through Library, so we hope you “check out” some of these books through one of our apps.
What Adult Services is reading now:
Although this graphic novel is certainly not an escape from what’s happening in the world, Roughneck by Jeff Lemire by Jeff Lemire blends stunning visuals with a hard-hitting plot. Following Derek, the main character, we see his life after being kicked off of his city’s hockey team. With themes of anger management, addiction, and resilience, this graphic novel is a quick but powerful read. Check this graphic novel out on Libby/Overdrive!
– Sam, Multimedia and Adult Services Assistant
I’ve been spending my time at home (when I’m not working), escaping into science fiction and fantasy books. One of my mainstays is James S.A. Corey’s Expanse series, which starts with Leviathan Wakes. Join the surviving members of the crew of the Canterbury as they delve into the mystery surrounding who destroyed their ship and what exactly a secretive group of people are experimenting with. It takes place in the near future, where humanity has expanded beyond Earth and to other parts of the solar system. I’m also excited to use this opportunity to finally sit down and read Lumberjanes (71 issues available on Hoopla!), a comic by Noelle Stevenson about a group of friends at summer camp who have to deal with supernatural creatures and an insane quest.
-Anne, Adult Services Librarian
I’m listening to Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett on Hoopla. It’s narrated by one of my favorites, Bahni Turpin. It’s the first in a lightish mystery series about a down on her luck actress who investigates a murder in Hollywood for the reward money to keep her father’s house from foreclosure. I tried this in print a while back, but the humor and smarts of the main character come through better in audio for me right now. (It comes up when you search in the Hoopla app or on the Hoopla website, not if you search in the catalog for it.)
–Trisha, Multimedia and Adult Services Assistant
I’m currently reading Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. You can check it out on Hoopla. I purchased a signed copy of the book at the Banned Books booth at C2E2 a few weeks back. It’s one of the “classic” graphic novels that for some reason I never read. It’s one of those things that while I’m reading it I’m kicking myself. Why didn’t I read this years ago? It’s amazing! A fascinating look at a dysfunctional family growing up in the 70’s. It’s also a LBGTQ story about a young woman discovering herself in this world. It’s one of those graphic novels that I think shows that the genre can be a great source of literature. The character development is deep and gripping in this story. I think it’s a story that could appeal to just about any age, from teens to older patrons. PS, Alison Bechdel is also the creator of the Bechdel test. If you don’t know what it looks it up!
-Ted, Multimedia/Reference Librarian
My reading/listening choices have been based on pure escapism. Historical novels allow me to escape the worries of the present, and a mystery or a romance just adds another layer of escape. The Last Passenger by Charles Finch; audiobook on Hoopla is a good old fashioned murder mystery set in Victorian London. The talented narration draws you right into the story. The Lady Notorious by Theresa Romain; an ebook on Hoopla: In these stressful and uncertain times, all my brain can manage is a fun read with a guaranteed Happily Ever After. This checks both of those boxes.
-Melissa, Head of Adult Services
As a lover of magic and fantasy, I am always looking for new literary worlds to discover and explore. I am currently reading the award-winning book, Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. It is an entrancing story about gods, ghosts, magic, and dreams; featuring a mysterious city and a young librarian. This book has been the perfect escape from reality thanks to its colorful characters, epic world-building, and lyrical writing. You can find Strange the Dreamer in e-book and e-audiobook formats through Libby/Overdrive.
-Vicki, Adult Services Outreach Associate
No matter the state of our world, my reading follows a pretty steady pattern: read one book that devastates, then be ruined for a while, and then spend the next two or three reads trying to level out (that is if I don’t give up and just marathon a murder show or K-Drama to block out the whole thing). Presently, I am coming down from my most recent ruin with the book The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. This was a suggestion given by a coworker, during a conversation about our shared delight in bright, fun romantic comedies. And let me say, so far, it’s one I couldn’t be happier with. And one you can check out through Overdrive or Libby. Helping me wade out of my current book blues, it’s cute as all get out and reads just like a British rom-com, with each chapter alternating voices between the two main characters as they try to navigate life, love, and an unconventional living situation. Fans of Bridget Jones, Jojo Moyes, and the like will feel at home in this book.
-Stevie, Adult Services Librarian
Like many of us, I’m finding it difficult to focus on anything for too long. So I’m reading short stories and novellas. Penelope Fitzgerald is one of my favorite writers. She only started publishing fiction in her 60s and gave us nine delightful novels that are charming, ironic, and philosophically deep—and are almost all-around 100 pages. We have many available on Hoopla, both ebook and audio. I’d recommend starting with the ghostly seaside story The Bookshop. I also started delving into the short stories of influential Louisiana writer Andre Dubus and they are addicting. Hoopla has his Selected Stories and many other collections.
-Dylan, Adult Services Virtual Instruction and eResource Coordinator
It’s so easy to get bogged down with what’s in the news right now, so I’m finding that I really need to gravitate toward the lighthearted for some comedic relief. Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan made me laugh out loud, and is especially recommended to the parents out there who are trying to navigate parenting in these living-in-close-quarters trying times while trying to maintain a bit of sanity. Also humorous, and reflective, down-to-earth, hopeful, and completely relatable are memoirs by Anne Lamott. I recently finished Small Victories, which is available through Libby/Overdrive. Highly recommended.
-Jamie, Adult Program Coordinator