Floyd Memorial Library

Staff Picks

Name: Vicky

Title: A Woman of Intelligence

Author: Karin Tanabe

Rating: ★★★★★

The cover caught my eye and the title intrigued me. I haven’t read a book by Karin Tanabe before either. I was not disappointed. The author’s style is very descriptive and perfectly captures the emotions of the main character, Katharina. She is a very intelligent woman who finds herself at  loose ends as a 1950’s stay at home mom. She speaks four languages and, before she married,  was a translator at the UN. As a wife of a prominent pediatric surgeon and mom of two young boys, she feels trapped and guilty for    feeling trapped. Katharina is thrilled to work for the FBI as a      courier. This is a spy thriller and women’s historical fiction mash-up. Katharina’s determination to use her abilities in a fulfilling way at a time in history when this was frowned upon, made for an engaging read as did the intrigue and suspense of her new job with the FBI.

Available at the library: LP F TANABE

Name: Matt

Title: We Want Bama: A Season of Hope

Author: Joseph Goodman

Rating: ★★★★

This book was not at all what I expected to read when picking up a piece of work subtitled, “the making of Nick Saban’s Ultimate Team.” Sure, there is plenty of information on the mastermind that is Coach Nick Saban and the dominance of the Alabama football program, but overall this is a book about the history and politics of the state of Alabama; for better or for worse. While Goodman takes us through arguably the greatest collegiate football season of all time, he also introduces us to a hazy history of white supremacy and Confederate symbolism that most of us never learned about in school. If anything, Goodman’s prose shows us why we need our athletes (both amateur and professional), to be activists and advocates as we continue to fight for changes that not all of us embrace; especially in the state of Alabama. Roll Tide!

Available at the library: SPORTS FOOTBALL GOODMAN

Name: Janet

Title: The Man Who Died Twice

Author: Richard Osman

Rating: ★★★★★

Hail, hail the gangs all here – the Thursday Murder Club rides again.  Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron and Ibrahim are joined by Bogdan, everyone’s favorite enforcer.

A mysterious man from Elizabeth’s past has a proposition for her  “keep me alive and I’ll tell you where I hid the diamonds”, and she brings her crew from Coopers Chase, retirement village.  A bit sad but everything is explained and solved (and makes sense not like so many mysteries these days) and villains get their comeuppance.

If you enjoyed the Thursday Murder Club, you will really be happy revisiting the “gang”, if you haven’t read it yet stop putting it off!

Available at the library: F OSMAN / LP F OSMAN

Name: Selina

Title: The Dutch House

Author: Ann Patchett

Rating: ★★★★

Opening an Ann Patchett novel is usually a guaranteed escape into a rich story occupied by characters you will know so well by the novel’s close. Emotionally tangible and vividly told, the Dutch House was no exception. A captivating tale about the lifelong relationship of a brother and sister primarily, but also about the power of place and the impact family and circumstance can have on a life.

Available at the library: F PATCHETT or available to download through Libby.

Name: Vicky

Title:God Rest Ye, Royal Gentleman

Author: Rhys Bowen

Rating: ★★★★★

This is the 15th book in the series, Her Royal Spyness. A light, funny & charming series, especially for those who like a bit of everything.  History, intrigue, romance, comedy, a well written plot, and fully developed characters are in each book, and this book is true to form. The author seamlessly ties in historical intrigue with her fictional characters.  The reader is left feeling as if you had just attended a Christmas House party on the Sandringham Estate where you had lots of laughs, interesting cuisine, and of course helped to solve a mystery.  If you need a nudge to get into the holiday spirit, this may be just what is needed!

Available at the library: F BOWEN

Name: Brian O. Mealy

Album Title: Black Boys

Director: Sonia Lowman

Rating: ★★★★

As we continue our community discussion post Black Lives Matter moment on race in America. Black Boys, the documentary by  Sonia Lowman helps us focus our attention on a long overlooked segment of our population… black boys. Using the context of culture, sports, education and the criminal justice system. Lowman brings important insight and understanding to the viewer.

Available at the library: DVD FILM DOCUMENTARY BLACK BOYS

Name: Lori

Title: A Confederacy of Dunces

Author: John Kennedy Toole

Rating: ★★★★★

Published eleven years after the young author took his own life, this tale of Ignatious, an unsavory character you grow more and more fond of as the story progresses, has many memorable scenes I often still think of and smile about in the 30 years since I last read it. It won a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1981.

Available through Inter-Library Loan or available to download through Libby! 


Name: Janet

Title: Forgotten in Death

Author: JD Robb

Rating: ★★★★

My guilty pleasure read/author. Forgotten in Death is the 53rd Lt. Eve Dallas novel/mystery and Robb doesn’t disappoint. Set in the near future of 2061, we get used to flying cars and a lot of tech but the true bones of the story is the search and solution of two murders at a construction site – a homeless woman and a decades old skeleton. You can’t put it down and you ‘re sorry when it ends. The series begins with Naked in Death and I hope it becomes your guilty pleasure.

Available at the library: F ROBB and LP F ROBB. 

Name: Matt

Title: Normal People

Author: Sally Rooney

Rating: ★★★★

The only reason I picked up this book was because of the TV series on Hulu and the first few chapters were hard to get through. Once Connell and Marianne fall for each other, however, this book turns into a galloping, page-turner full of love, class struggle and characters that are far from normal. Rooney’s writing is beautiful; poetic, and the imagery used makes the reader feel as if they’re right alongside the protagonists in Ireland. The story is an evocative one, and, at least for me, had me questioning my own sense of place and “normalcy.” A frustratingly pleasant journey of young love and all its foibles.

Available at the library: F ROONEY or available to download via Libby.

Name: Brian O. Mealy

Title: The Madness of Crowds

Author: Louise Penny

Rating: ★★★★

Louise Penny takes us on another scintillating journey this time to the sleepy Quebec town of Three Pines. A visiting professor with a diabolical agenda to stir up trouble darkens the sunny village.  Soon an exchange of ideas turns to argument among the Townspeople, and arguments to violence, then to murder most foul. Inspector Armand Gamache, and his dutiful second in command must bring order to chaos whilst digging intothe mysterious background of the professor. I give this thrilling adventure 4 orders of poutine (french fries with gravy).

Available at the library: F PENNY, BCD PENNY.