Readers Guide


By robin nettles

October 2
October 1
September 4
September 3

October 2 

On July 19, 1924, Eric Liddell was on the top of the world.  He was the most famous Britain at the time, having just won the gold in the Olympic 400-meter race.  The story of that race – and the ongoing one he didn’t run – has been told in the classic movie Chariots of Fire. But what most of us don’t know is what happened to Eric Liddell in the years after the movie ends.  The Final Race (NF 921.000), by Eric T. Eichinger, is “a modest, beguiling biography that brilliantly mirrors its understated and remarkable subject. – Kirkus Reviews

At first glance, Robert Galbraith’s new novel, Lethal White (M), has the length and complexity of Victorian fiction, not to mention a cast of grotesques worthy of Dickens. Just for starters, there’s a possibly psychotic young man who claims to have witnessed a murder, and a Tory cabinet minister who is being blackmailed by a couple of hard-left activists. Galbraith is, of course, the pen name of JK Rowling and this novel is easily her most ambitious. – The Sunday Times 

Although Tennessee had a smaller percentage of slaves than most other Southern States and was the last state to enter the Confederacy, Runaways, Coffles and Fancy Girls: a history of slavery in Tennessee (NF 326.976) by Bill Carey, argues slavery was embedded in every level of Tennessee society.  Relying primarily on newspapers and first-person accounts, the book contains data from runaway slave ads, advertisements for slave traders, precise descriptions of slaves purchased by the government of Nashville in 1830, and many additional facts unknown to many Tennesseans. 

Emma Healey’s new novel, Whistle in the Dark (F), is a wry, poignant, sharply observed novel about mothers and daughters in the modern age. This psychological mystery begins with the disappearance of 15-year-old Lana. When Lana is found four days later, bloodied and soaking wet, her mother begins a quest to uncover what really happened.  Lana’s fragile psyche, coupled with clues discovered in books found under her bed, in her sketchbook, and posted on her Instagram account, leaves Lana’s mother to wonder how well do you know even the closest to you. “Cathartic and satisfying”. – The Guardian 

The Good Neighbor (NF 791.450), by Maxwell King, is the first full-length biography of Fred Rogers that tells the story of an utterly unique and enduring American icon. The novel draws on original interviews, oral histories, and archival documents. Maxwell King traces Rogers’s personal, professional, and artistic life through decades of work, including a surprising decision to walk away from the show to make television for adults, only to return to the neighborhood with increasingly sophisticated episodes. “Fred launched the ship that carried us all.” – LeVar Burton 

The tale of a husband devastated by a grief he cannot name, a frustrated wife struggling to compete with a ghost she cannot banish, and a daughter sensitive to the pain of both, The Lost Family (F), by Jenna Blum, is a charming, funny, and elegantly bittersweet study of the repercussions of loss and love that spans a generation, from the 1960’s to the 1980’s.  It is a vivid portrait of marriage, family, and the haunting grief of World War II. This novel “will offer plenty of discussion for book groups.” – Library Journal 

Also at the Library:  
     Juror # 3 (M) by James Patterson
     The Man Who Came Uptown (F) by George Pelecanos
     Leadership in turbulent times (NF 973.099) by Doris Kearns Goodwin
     Yes we (still) can: politics in the age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump (NF 973.932) by Dan Pfeiffer

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October 1 
Whether it’s pruning your apple trees or tuning up your tractor, knowing when to do each chore is key to a well-run farm.  Ann Larkin’s book, The Backyard Homestead Seasonal Planner (630.000), is the perfect tool for establishing and maintaining a productive, sustainable homestead and landscape.  This handy guide will provide you with practical information to help you transition from late summer into fall, allowing you time to enjoy the season’s bounties.

As the weather cools, kids and grown-ups alike start planning for fall’s spookiest holiday. The Better Homes and Gardens Special Publications: Halloween (NF 374.264) is just the ticket for busy families. From pumpkin carving and painting to ghoulish goodies and yummy treats, this publication has you covered. Complete with instructions, patterns, and downloadable templates, this may be your easiest and best Halloween yet.

The leaves are changing and there is a crispness to the air.  What better time than now to take a scenic road trip.  Journey with National Geographic to experience the country’s most extraordinary drives.  Scenic Highways & Byways (NF 917.300) explores the 300 best drives in the United States. Chock full of beautiful photographs and detailed maps, America’s Byways capture your imagination, satisfy your curiosity, and enliven your spirit every season of the year. 

Friendsgiving is everything you love about Thanksgiving – tasty foods and good company – without all the things you dread – awkward conversations and misbehaving family members.  Friendsgiving (NF 642.400), by Alexander Shytsman, is the perfect guide for creating and hosting a memorable occasion.  Twenty-five delicious recipes, handy timelines, shopping tips, leftover strategies, music suggestions, and so much more prepares you for what may become your new favorite holiday. 

Debbie Macomber’s Table (NF 641.500) embraces the idea that food is more than nourishment.  It is a blessing that brings family and friends together.  Loaded with stories from the author’s cherished traditions along with recipes passed down from generation to generation, Debbie welcomes you into her home, her kitchen, and her life. Check out her Day before Thanksgiving Feast or her Christmas Tea for Friends menus.  “Food helps us celebrate life’s many occasions.” – Debbie Macomber 

So what do you do with summer’s bounty?  The Beginner’s Guide to Dehydrating Food (NF 641.44), by Teresa Marrone, will help you preserve all your favorite vegetables, fruits, meats, and herbs. Whether you are preparing for a crisp fall camping trip or stocking your pantry for the winter, this book is chock-full of practical advice and wisdom.  Think home-dried apples that have not been pretreated or dried cranberries to add to trail mixes or granolas. Dehydrating food will save you money, help you preserve your harvest, save space in your pantry, and add flavor to your favorite recipes.  

Also at the Library:
Browse the Library’s periodical area for a great selection of seasonal magazines.  
     Birds in Bloom
     Blue Ridge Country
     Family Fun
     Southern Living
     Tennessee Gardener

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September 4 

Have you listened to a great book lately?
Check out an audiobook or download a digital audiobook from the Oak Ridge Public Library today. 

 The Audio Publisher’s Association lists the following titles as the best of 2018:

  • Audiobook of the Year: Lincoln in the Bardo [audio cd and audio eBook], written by George Saunders,        narrated by a cast of 166 members.
  • Best Female Narrator/Best Young Adult: The Hate You Give [audio cd], written by Angie Thomas      narrated by Bahni Turpin.
  • Best Male Narrator: Born a Crime [MP3], written and narrated by Trevor Noah.
  • Best Fiction: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine [audio cd and audio eBook], written by Gail Honeymoon, narrated by Cathleen McCarron.
  • Best Mystery: The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye [audio cd and audio eBook], written by David Lagercrantz, narrated by Simon Vance.

The New York Times suggests the following bestselling audiobooks:

  • Before We Were Yours [audio eBook], written by Lisa Wingate, narrated by Emily Rankin and Catherine Taber.
  • Little Fires Everywhere [audio cd], written by Celeste Ng, narrated by Jennifer Lim.
  • All We Ever Wanted [audio cd], written by Emily Griffin, narrated by Dorothy Dillingham Blue, Milton Bagby, and Catherine Taber.
  • The Woman in the Window [audio cd and audio eBook], written by A.J. Finn, narrated by Ann Marie Lee.
  • When Life Gives You LuLulemons [audio cd], written by Lauren Weisberger, narrated by Laura Benanti.
  • The Perfect Couple [audio cd], written by Elin Hilderbrand, narrated by Erin Bennett. 

Publishers Weekly’s list of top audiobooks are as follows:

  • The Eye of Heaven [audio cd], written by Clive Cussler, narrated by Scott Brick. 
  • Lying Game [audio cd and audio eBook], written by Ruth Ware, narrated by Imogen Church. 
  • The President is Missing [audio cd], written by Bill Clinton and James Patterson, narrated by Peter Ganim, Jeremy Davidson, and Mozhan Marno. 
  • Use of Force: A Thriller [audio cd], written by Brad Thor, narrated by Armand Schultz. 

Also at the Library:

  • Al Franken, Giant of the Senate [audio cd], written and narrated by Al Franken.
  • What Happened [audio cd and audio eBook], written and narrated by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
  • Glass Houses [audio cd], by Louise Penny, narrated by Robert Bathurst.
  • The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane [audio cd and audio eBook], by Lisa See, narrated by Ruthie Ann Miles, and Kimiko Glenn.
  • Mississippi Blood [audio cd], by Greg Iles, narrated by Scott Brick.
  • A Legacy of Spies [audio cd], by John le Carré, narrated by Tom Hollander.

September 3 

Our teen shelves are overflowing with intrigue, adventure, romance, and cars with bad intentions. Bad choices and bad luck affect high school senior Kendall Evans in the noir thriller/mystery The Accidental Bad Girl by Maxine Kaplan. Caught with her best friend’s ex-boyfriend, Kendall is shunned by her friends as her senior year starts. When she discovers her Facebook account has been hacked, and she’s been framed for stealing from a drug dealer, Kendall’s problems multiply. To repair her tattered reputation and save her neck, Kendall will have to pretend to be the bad girl everyone thinks she is.

When seventeen-year-old Daphne finds her older sister’s bucket list of “Top Ten” places to visit, she feels compelled to reach out to Oliver Pagano, the only other person who might understand why completing the list is so important to her. Seven years earlier, Daphne’s sister Emily and Oliver’s brother, Jason, committed suicide together, but the years have not helped lessen the grief felt by those they left behind. In So Glad to Meet You by Lisa Super, two young people touched by grief seek closure. 

Ten short stories, a graphic novel, and a one act play in one book?! That’s exactly what you’ll find in Fresh Ink, a collection of stories, written in partnership with We Need Diverse Books, by an eclectic group of Young Adult authors. The stories deal with themes like gentrification, acceptance, untimely death, coming out, and poverty, and they range in genre from contemporary realistic fiction to adventure to romance. New less well-known authors, such as Aminah Mae Safi and Schuyler Bailer, join well-established writers like Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers to remind readers that, to break conventions, bend the rules, and color outside the lines - all you need is fresh ink. 

There’s no telling who’s in control in Autonomous by Andy Marino. William Mackler and his friends are about to go on the road trip of a lifetime after William wins a contest and becomes the proud owner of Autonomous – a driverless car that knows where you want to go before you do. To do that, the car is capable of downloading all of its’ passengers’ digital history, both good and bad, taking William and his friends for a ride that will force them to face secrets and demons they would rather keep hidden. 

Imagine knowing the exact day you will die. Franny Bluecastle, like everyone on her planet, knows her death day and believes it to be inevitable. Until that day comes and she doesn’t die. Now she, along with her friends, Court and Mykal, who have also escaped their death days, must flee their icy planet before people discover their secret. In The Raging Ones by Krista and Becca Ritchie, the three friends must hide their bond in order to win a coveted spot in the newest mission to space and their only way to survive. 

In the past, Adeluna helped her island of Grace Loray overthrow Argrid, a country ruled by religion. Devereux is a stream raider, an outlaw who pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them. The crown prince of Argrid, Benat, harbors a secret obsession with the island’s forbidden magic. A soldier, a pirate, and a heretic are forced to team up when a delegate vanishes during talks of peace between Grace Loray and Argrid. Deadly magic and dangerous missions await you in These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch, should you choose to set sail. 

Other teen titles to check out:
     Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany Jackson
    Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro
    Wintersong by S. Jae. Jones
    #MurderTrending by Gretchen McNeil

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