Archive for July, 2020

The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin

July 30, 2020


N.K. Jemisin is a huge talent in the fantasy genre, and her newest book is a big, dazzling, fierce, political tour de force. The premise is basically that New York City is in the process of becoming a living breathing entity, and in the process of its transformation, the human embodiments of the boroughs of New York City are faced with the threat of a dark, alien force trying to destroy the city. At times the book brought to mind for me both Neverwhere and American Gods by Neil Gaiman. However it is very specifically a New York City story, situated in this particular time in history, reckoning with racism and xenophobia and gentrification and other struggles that the city faces. At times it also feels like the reading equivalent of watching a big summer science fiction blockbuster movie. It’s clearly hard to describe, but I really enjoyed it. If it sounds like it might be your cup of tea, you can find it at the Library and on Libby/Overdrive

Title details for The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin - Wait list

The Missing Ones, by Edwin Hill

July 26, 2020


I missed that number two – The Missing Ones – in the Hester Thursby series had come out — I’m so glad a friend alerted me!

I read the first book (Little Comfort) mainly because it was set in and around Boston. Oh – and the main character is a librarian!! I kept reading it because of the pace and how it grew in suspense; I couldn’t have stopped. Hester (uses her librarian super powers to find missing people) and the cast of characters both in her life and in her “case,” is flawed, a little damaged, but also eminently likeable. You both want her to pull it together personally and yet want the craziness that actually makes her good at investigation (and self-preservation!) to save her. And, at least she is nowhere near as crazy as her best friend who is also the twin sister of Hester’s boyfriend. A LOT!

This second book’s plot and mystery take place on an island off the coast of Maine (can you say Monhegan?); a place with not many year-round residents, and all of the old, complicated relationships that come with it. Add in new, deadly strains of drugs, a derelict house that is a magnet for the down and out (and high), a love quadrangle, and corrupt police and you have an inevitable disaster just waiting to happen. And who turns out to be at the center of the disaster? Hester’s best friend/Morgan’s twin sister who has been missing for over a year, and whose daughter has been living with Hester and Morgan as if their own.

Another book that I read quickly and tried to follow the twists and turns along the way. If you are looking for a new mystery series that is very New England (and not gory!), I recommend you try out Hester Thursby books by Edwin Hill.

Find this book in our catalog.

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

July 20, 2020


This is such a lovely, haunting book. In many ways it brought to mind A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for me, which is one of my favorite books. While the style of the two books is very different, they both give you a vivid glimpse into a very specific time and place, and a look at the lives of people whose stories aren’t often centered in our culture. And both books offer a powerful reminder of how intense and frightening and dangerous the world can be for girls, and in the case of Another Brooklyn, a reminder of how that is all the more true for Black girls growing up in this society. The book deals with grief, and memory, and the almost overwhelming intensity of friendship at that age. It is written in verse, which can be hard to get used to, but the structure of the book really worked for me and sort of echoed the way that memories come and go. Also, as several people in the Library Book Group noted, this book really works well as an audiobook. The narrator is very good


Another Brooklyn is available on Hoopla and Libby/Overdrive as well as in the Library.