Library Treasures


Just A Kiss by Denise Hunter, bestselling author of more than 25 books, some of which have been adapted into Hallmark movies, offers a story that is heartfelt and told in such a way that the reader is intimately involved. This is the third book in the series but can definitely be read as a stand-alone novel. The story here has been gradually building since Book 1 and conveys well what Riley is going through as he returns home from Afghanistan, an amputee and with PTSD.

Fantasy and science fiction readers can look forward to The Kindred of Darkness by Barbara Hamley. The saga of Ashers and Ysidro continues to progress, just before the start of World War One when the political upheavals and struggle for the Balkan States allows a vampire to excape and flee to England. When their child Miranda is kidnapped by Grippen, James and Lydia are forced to pursue various roads. One special treat is that Hambley has a command of vocabulary and expects her readers to enjoy new vocabulary, e.g. rodomontade, incunabula, fortalice. Hambley’s historical research adds a lot to this story.

Thomas Perry is the author of 23 novels, won the Edgar, was the first recipient of the Gunshoe Award for best novel, and has received recognition as a New York Times Notable Book writer. The Independent Mystery Bookseller’s Association included him in its 100 Favorite Mysteries of the 20th Century. That being said, it is a pleasure to welcome his A String of Beads, the eighth book in the Jane Whitefield series. For mystery readers who want suspense, this is it. Perry has taken a unique approach to this continuing story. He has reversed time. In the last novel, Jane was in her upper 40s, in A String of Beads, she is 34. Although there are some editing anomalies, for most readers this won’t be an issue. With Perry providing such an active story, one can anticipate there will more additions to this series.

Helen Dunmore returns with a thrilling Cold War spy tale in Exposure, where even the closest ties are called into question and a spy may be a friend or neighbor, colleague or lover. Colleagues Holloway and Callington, deal with a dilemma over a top-secret file that disappears. Lily buries a briefcase containing the file but she soon learns that no one can escape betrayal or the consequences of exposure. The compelling characters make one hope that Dunmore will keep writing.

Playaway listeners can pick up Big Footloose and Finn Fancy Free by Randy Henderson. It is a fun story. The adventures continue with this story taking place not long after book 1, Finn Fancy Necromancy. Some readers enjoyed the use of 80s songs as chapter titles and that continues in this follow-up novel.

When journalist and author Alison Stewart emptied out her late parents’ basement, it got her to thinking:  How did this happen? Why do people hold onto boxes of wrapping paper, bows, broken knick-knacks, cassette tapes and many items she didn’t even recognize? Her journey brings us Junk: Digging Through America’s Love Affair with Stuff. Along the way the reader gets compelling glimpses into Antiques Roadshow and Pawn Stars. She also offers some creative solutions like Free Cycle and Repair Café’.

Nonviolent Communication:  A Language of Life, by Marshall Rosenberg and Deepak Chopra, discusses principles that contribute to an increase of empathy, care, courage and authenticity in one’s life. Many of the examples enable readers to understand how words contribute to connection or being aloof, how when communicating we ask for what we want, how to hear others even in disagreement, and how influence can accentuate power with others instead of using power over others. There is so much in this resource discussion that one can read it in segments or come back to it, rereading it again and again.

Parents and children who enjoy Kevin Henkes’s Lilly books, e.g. Lilly’s Chocolate Heart (J EB) or A Bargain for Frances and others Frances titles by Russell Hoban (JE HOB or J EZ HOB), will delight in The Cranky Ballerina by Elise Gravel (JE GRAj). Little kid Ada, with her stubbornness and emotional honesty, has author/illustrator Elise Gravel showing her understanding of how kids feel and why. This funny and energetic book makes a perfect choice for reading aloud. The word bubbles help children grasp vocabulary and Gravel’s colorful illustrations encourage children to enjoy the story.

For ages 5 to 8, The Chameleon that Saved Noah’s Ark by Yael Molchadsky (JE MEL) highlights Noah’s wife, Na’ama, and offers an endearing story that children are sure to enjoy. Orit Bergman’s illustrations consist of folk-art-style paintings illustrating this tale about the purpose of every creature and working together.


Dr. Leroy Hommerding
Beach Library Director