Title: The Lost Apothecary
Author: Sarah Penner
First-time author, Penner, takes you to two Londons, present day and 1791. Caroline, a woman deciding on divorce, and Nella, the Lost Apothecary, who deals in poisons for unfaithful spouses, cross paths when Caroline goes mud larking in the Thames. Going back and forth between 1790 and 2020 helps the story run smoothly. Nella “gets” and gets an apprentice with Eliza and sees what life could be. Puzzles galore and a couple of questions that still niggle at my mind.
A nice historical mystery that doesn’t feel like a mystery.
Title: Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry
Author: Joya Goffney
This is a debut novel that I found to be a delightful read with just the right mix of romance, friendship, family issues and drama. It was an easy and fun book to read. The main character is a high school senior named Quinn, who ends up being blackmailed! She had kept a journal filled with her private thoughts – entries were lists of her secrets, fears, private thoughts, dreams etc… and through a series of unfortunate events the journal ends up in the wrong persons hands .Quinn knows it is in the wrong persons hands because one of her lists ends up shared on social media and now she is being blackmailed and needs to do as the person says or more lists will be posted on social media– for all to see!!
Available at the library: YA N F GOFFNEY
Title: The Dutch House
Author: Ann Patchett
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.
Name: Tom Vitale, Library Director
Director: Harry McQueen
A beautiful, gut-wrenching story of enduring love. A couple embarks on a road trip to visit family and spend time with one another. One half of the couple does not realize this will be their last trip. Dementia is an awful thing, and this story paints a raw and powerful image of what the disease does to the whole family. I loved the story – it made me hate what dementia was doing to the individual, the couple, and the extended family. I would completely recommend, but make sure you have a box of tissues at your side.
Available at the library: DVD SUPERNOVA
Title: Home Body
Author: Rupi Kaur
I give this book a 5 out of 5. There’s really nothing I can think of as far as complaints go. However, I will say that it is a raw, honest book, at some parts it may be a bit hard to read because of the topic.
It’s a book of poetry along with drawings by the author that go along with the poems. I love, love, love this author! And I highly recommend her, as well as her other two books. She’s the new face of poetry, in my opinion.
Available at the library: POETRY 21st CENT. Kaur
Title: A Discovery of Witches
Author: Deborah Harkness
The first book in the All Souls trilogy, A Discovery of Witches opens up a magical world with witches, vampires, and daemons and how they are all allowed to interact with each other and us mere mortals. Then there is the mysterious Ashmole 782, a lost book that all three species want in their possession. The book starts out slowly while laying a strong foundation of family histories, past events, and the rules that need to be followed. However, I feel the author tries to insert too many details and historical facts into the book and they slow down the pace of the story.
The plot is engaging with terror, adventure, romance and personal revelations. All the characters and their relationships are well thought out and well developed. This is not a fast or light read, but an enjoyable one that makes you think and wonder.
Name: Brian O. Mealy
Album Title: Black Boys
Director: Sonia Lowman
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
Title: A Confederacy of Dunces
Author: John Kennedy Toole
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.
Title: Forgotten in Death
Author: JD Robb
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.
Title: Normal People
Author: Sally Rooney
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.
Name: Brian O. Mealy
Title: The Madness of Crowds
Author: Louise Penny
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).