Actress of the stage and screen, Mary-Louise Parker offers the reader an interesting memoir of sorts in Dear Mr. You (921 PAR). She takes men in her life and her family’s life and writes each a letter. The writing is casual and sophisticated at the same time. Most readers will likely recall some of their own experiences but anyone who has followed Parker will likely note that these letters reveal as much about her inner life as what is observed on the stage or screen.
People Magazine described Daughters for a Time, by Jennifer Handford (HAN), as “a wrenching, resonant debut about infertility, cancer and adoption. Grab your hankies.” and it truly fits and might be one of the best concise descriptions applicable. Handford takes us on the journey of Helen and her sister Claire–dealing with the challenges in growing up as well as the complexities that come forward when they live their lives today. Helen tells the story of how she tries to lead a normal life and, just when she is building the family she wants, finds herself again facing the loss of a loved one.
City of Secrets, by Stewart O’Nan (M ONA), revolves around Holocaust camp survivor Brand. He works as part of an underground cell, driving a cab in Israel. He loves Eva, a woman many years his senior, but will lose her if he talks too much about it. O’Nan provides a story that is easy to get into as a reader gets to know Brand. If the reader expects historical fiction, there are too many loose ends. Most readers will grapple with Brand’s ethical dilemmas as he seeks to be legitimate in a world that requires falsehoods.
The new series that opens in Cold Shot, by Dani Pettrey (M PET), has characters that most readers will relate to. Park ranger Griffin finds a body in a civil war cemetery but the body is not one of the civil war bodies buried there. Finley is called in to identify the remains, though Griffin has no desire to work with her. A romance between Finley and Griffin seems to ignite too quickly but the murder investigation offers enough intrigue to keep one reading.
The pace in Bloody Point, by Linda J. White (M WHI), will keep most thriller readers entertained. In addition to coming to root for these believable characters, the novel offers a sense of place that makes it easy to visualize what is happening. She describes the area and its history without getting boring.
Gentle Fiction readers can explore Bride of a Distant Isle, by Sandra Byrd (GF BYR), a romance set in Victorian England. The engaging story evolves around Annabel fighting to save her family home and her mother’s honor while wondering if the man she loves really cares about her or is using her to reach his own goals.
The advice offered in Digestive Health with REAL Food by Aglaee Jacob, MS, RD (Health/Stomach/Jacob) will help you build your own optimal diet by identifying the best foods for your digestive system. The focus is on foods that are easy to digest, anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense, healing and low in irritants and allergens. Digestive conditions included are irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, intestinal bacterial overgrowth, fructose malabsorption, FODMAP intolerance, leaky gut, celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity and multiple food sensitivities.
K to grade 3 will resonate with the sweet tale of the black bear in Finding Winnie: the true story of the world’s most famous bear (JE MAT) that inspired the legendary Winnie-the-Pooh. The illustrations by Sophie Blackall offer two page spreads and pastel colors that allow children to delight in the setting and story.
The heroine in Ladybug Girl and the Best Ever Playdate, by David Soman and Jacky Davis (JE SOM) for ages 3 to 5, finds a new friend, Grasshopper Girl. At first, Ladybug Girl seems more interested in her friend’s toy but when they work together to fix it, she comes to realize that true friends are most worthwhile. The full page illustrations enable both a playful and imaginative concentration on the value of friendship.
Dr. Leroy Hommerding
Beach Library Director