Find your next favorite book and fulfill the #BroaderBookshelf 2021 prompt to "Read a book suggested by a Library staff member" with these personal recommendations from our colleagues!
Morgan, Richland Library Sandhills:
Inspired by the author’s own life experiences, Shuggie Bain is set over the course of 11 years beginning in 1980s, Thatcher-era Glasgow. Hugh “Shuggie” Bain navigates childhood and adolescence surrounded by poverty, loneliness, and his beloved mother’s pervasive alcoholism. King’s narration transports you to the public housing slums of Scotland, brings the characters to life- the good and the appalling, and immerses the listener in Stuart’s beautifully rendered descriptions. This poignant novel pulls at the heartstrings and has characters so layered and real that you will be thinking about them long after the last page. Raw, emotional and expertly crafted.
For fans of A Little Life by Yanha Yanagihara
Kate, Checkout, Richland Library Main:
I initially picked up this book because the cover is so crazy and the premise seemed absurd - children who catch fire. What I found is a funny, joyful novel that made me laugh out loud and marvel at the complexity of friendship and the depth of love that can grow between an adult and two terrifyingly odd children.
The twins catch fire when agitated and no one seems to want them. Enter Lillian, who begrudgingly accepts the task of caregiver to help out her friend Madison. Madison, married to a senator and the father of the fire-catching twins, can't have the twins disrupt the perfect political life they are creating. The book is tender and sweet and hysterical. Lillian has a fresh voice (though she cusses like a sailor). I loved it. Consider listening to the audiobook (available through Hoopla, Overdrive, or as book on CD), which is superbly read by Marin Ireland - with voices and everything.
Morgan, Richland Library Northeast:
This is a modern reimagination of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, so you can still feel cultured while reading this sweet romance about Kate, daughter of an eccentric scientist (aren't they always eccentric?) and Pyotr, the immigrant lab assistant who is about to lose his residency in the United States. This was the February 2021 Northeast book club pick and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved blunt, outspoken Kate and sweet puppy-dog Pyotr, even though there were plenty of eye-rolling and sigh-inducing moments. Vinegar Girl is available through the Richland Library in physical book and book-on-CD form, as well as ebook and eaudiobook through Overdrive.
Bland, Business and Careers, Richland Library Main:
Winder's madcap history explores how the Habsburg dynasty rose to rule a loose, baggy, irrational agglomeration of Central European states until it all collapsed in 1918 with the conclusion of World War I. He interweaves the narrative with his own visits to some of the more curious sites that embody this strange history. Although a bit glib in places, this is an entertaining read and a wonderful way to get a big dose of history in one volume. Richland Library owns two copies of the print edition.