All posts by Deanna Parsi

Read This Next…Check Out Our Nonfiction

Have you been downstairs at the library lately?  If not, the Winter Reading Challenge is the perfect opportunity to take a peek!  This year, our challenge has several categories that encourage us to read bigger by venturing into nonfiction categories.

 

READ A TRUE CRIME BOOK ABOUT A HEIST, A CULT, OR AN UNSOLVED CRIME

Sure, this category isn’t for everyone, but there are some interesting titles to be found here.  The most recent bestseller is I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, or you could try The Gardner Heist, about the still unsolved theft at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.  You can’t go wrong with some of the best-known authors of the genre – Ann Rule is the first to come to mind – but you will also find books by thriller writer James Patterson here.  A few last suggestions: Killers of the Flower Moon, The Devil in the White City, The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, Under the Banner of Heaven and If You Tell.

 

 READ A BIOGRAPHY OR MEMOIR

 There is such a wide variety of titles in our Biography section.  You can find straight biographies or gripping memoirs.  Interested in Jane Austen?  Try Jane Austen at Home.  How about women aviators?  West With the Night by Beryl Markham is a classic.  What about some of the hot titles that everyone has talked about – Educated, Wild, Hillbilly Elegy, or Untamed.  We have books about writers, politicians, presidents, sports figures, war heroes (and villains!), actors, historical figures and more.  Or, how about picking up a title about someone you have never heard of, and thought you were not interested in? My favorite biography is a graphic novel called Radioactive about Marie and Pierre Curie – it was fabulous, and I never once thought I wanted to know more about them until I read it.

 

 READ A NONFICTION TITLE ABOUT A SUBJECT THAT INTERESTS YOU

This one is my favorite, because it encompasses everything found in the nonfiction section!  There are so many amazing narrative nonfiction reads that you can try:  The Boys in the Boat, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Hidden Valley Road, Hidden Figures, Fly Girls, The Devil’s Teeth, and The Gratitude Diaries – just to name a few!  How-to books work just as well – do you want to learn a craft, or get a head start on your spring gardening, or get some tips for your job search?  We have a book for that too!  You can also see our list below for some of our favorites from 2021!

 

What else will you find downstairs?  Glad you asked!  You will find our Reference Desk, staffed with a librarian or two that are glad to help with any questions you might have.  You will find study rooms, computers, printers, copiers, microfilm readers, and scanners.  We have laptops and tabletop games that can be checked out for use in the library. And of course, you will find more books!  Not just our entire nonfiction collection, but also our Young Adult section, our Career Help area, and our Local History Room.

We hope to see you downstairs soon!

Level Up This Winter!

Our Winter Reading Challenge is up and running – be sure to pick up your game card in the library or print a copy HERE.  We in Readers Advisory have gotten in the spirit too, what with a fresh new year and so many good books to read!  Here are a few suggestions from us to get you started:

DEANNA RECOMMENDS

LEVEL ONE: READ A GOTHIC NOVEL

Sure, gothics aren’t for everyone.  But there is something about a gloomy castle, the potential for romance, and the certainty of the supernatural that always piques my interest.  I read a few good ones this past year, including Plain Bad Heroines by Emily Danforth and Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.  Both honor the gothic genre before deftly giving it their own spin.  I also read We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson for our online Classics Book Group.

One of the more recent titles I have read is The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling.  Set in a re-imagined post-war Britain, Jane (of the title) is an independent woman trying to make her way in the world.  She finds herself in need of a new living situation, so decides that she will find a groom.  She approaches Dr. Augustine Lawrence, a physician of her acquaintance, with a business proposal – she will be his accountant, if he will marry her and give her a home.  Neither expect there to be romance, but they find themselves drawn to each other in spite of their very unromantic arrangement.  The only condition from the doctor is this – Jane would spend her nights in town, at his home and surgery, and he would spend it in the country at his family’s crumbling estate.  She was never to go there.  But of course, fate intervenes, and Jane ends up there on a dark and stormy night.  Cue the supernatural happenings, the locked doors, the discovery of a dead wife – it has all the makings of a classic gothic and I promise you will keep reading to see how it all ends for poor Jane.

LEVEL TWO: READ A ROMANCE NOVEL BY A DIVERSE AUTHOR

Who doesn’t like a good romance?  This level two category urges you to read bigger by choosing a title by a diverse author, someone with a different life experience than you.  I recently finished How To Marry Keanu Reeves in 90 Days by K. M. Jackson, which I very much enjoyed.  Sonali Dev has a series of romances based on Jane Austen novels (start with Pride, Prejudice & Other Flavors), which are quite popular with several CPL librarians.  And who can resist a book called You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria?

I just finished an upcoming title called Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn. Yinka is a 30-something British Nigerian woman trying to just live her life, fending off her mother and aunties as they continually ask, “Yinka, where is your huzband”?  Things are not going great for Yinka – she has just been laid-off at work, her younger sister is married and about to have a baby, her ex-boyfriend moved to America and is recently engaged, and she needs a date for her cousin Rachel’s wedding in six months. Commence Operation Wedding Date!  Yinka tries various ways to meet a new man, some of them funny, some of them painful to watch.  Over the course of her “project”, she begins to lose sight of herself, and her best friend worries that she is trying too hard to change, all because of a man, and continually points to her own mantra “I am who I say I am”.   Tune into our next episode of Bookmarked later this month to learn more about why I liked this book so much.  Or better yet, get yourself on the hold list today!

 

JESS RECOMMENDS

LEVEL ONE: READ A BOOK THAT IS UNDER 200 PAGES LONG

Jessica Au is an Australian Writer based in Melbourne and Cold Enough for Snow is her second novel. It starts with a young, unnamed woman meeting her mother in Tokyo for a work vacation. The two of them, in the first part of the novel, have a series of conversations about family, love, relationships, horoscopes, traditions as they walk from gallery to gallery, stopping in cafes and shops along the way. The woman’s introspection begins to increase and the present conversations between the mother and daughter start to recede until it becomes easy to forget there is a present, that the conversation involves two people. It soon becomes less clear whether the daughter is in fact talking to anyone at all, whether this is the daughter’s words, as her memories and the various stories of others in her life are transcribed. What is the purpose of the journey? Who is having these conversations? What do we really know of those we believe we are most close too? Au’s writing is sensual and evocative, especially when describing food and clothing. Reading this brief novel is a moving and meditative experience that lingers long after.

Other great options for this category include: Dear American Airlines, by Jonathan Miles, Dept. of Speculation, by Jenny Offil; and Leaving the Atocha Station, by Ben Lerner.

LEVEL TWO: READ A BOOK INSPIRED BY REAL PEOPLE OR EVENTS:

So we’re just two years removed from the start of the pandemic and already there have been a pretty remarkable number of major novels addressing the events and effects through various stories. Noah Hawley’s latest novel, Anthem,  kicks off with the COVID-19 pandemic. A few years after the pandemic, teens have started committing suicide at alarming rates, and many believe it is a side-effect of having spent a year and half of their formative years in relative isolation. With each new death the mysterious symbol A11 appears. Parents are alarmed, the president has declared a state of emergency, but what can possibly be done to stop children from losing hope in a world of catastrophic climate events and preposterous politicking. One teen in particular, a precocious young woman named Claire, commits the act by overdosing on the Oxycontin peddled by her father’s pharmaceutical conglomerate. Claire is found by her younger brother in their parents opulent bathroom. She has plastered the entire space with the tiny silver wrappers of the medication. Hawley does not pull any punches when it comes to describing grisly scenes like this one, but also in describing the absolute degradation and corruption that leads to scenes like this. This book is full of context, much of which will be all too familiar to the reader. Claire’s brother, Simon, rocked by his sister and his parents subsequent refusal to acknowledge the loss and it’s meaning, is shipped off to a mental rehabilitation center called Float Rehabilitation Services. It’s there that he meets a group of teens, including the mysterious Prophet, who declares that God has summoned them on a mission to defeat The Wizard and Simon is the chosen one to lead the way. The teens manage to escape the facility and begin their journey to confront and defeat the Wizard, a Jeffrey Epstein like criminal who seduces and impregnates teens. It’s a frenetic and fantastical plot that incorporates just about everything. Throughout though, it quickly becomes clear that it’s the youth that will save the day.

Other recent releases seeking to explore different aspects and possibilities emerging from the pandemic crisis include: The Sentence, by Louise Erdrich; Wish You Were Here, by Jodi Picoult; Violeta, by Isabelle Allende; Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart; and How High We Go In The Dark, by Sequoia Nagamatsu

Winter Reading Challenge

Happy New Year from the Readers Advisory team at CPL!

As usual, we are thinking about reading, and since it is the new year, we are thinking about our annual Winter Reading Challenge.  We don’t see it as a New Year’s resolution, but as a way to keep reading AND earn a chance (or two or three) to win great prizes!

We hope you will join us in our challenge. Simply print the card from home, or stop by the library or curbside pick-up for a printed card.  You can read in as few or as many categories as you choose, earning raffle tickets for each one completed. We encourage you to stretch yourself to read bigger, in as many different categories as you can.

Need help choosing what to read next?  We’ve created lists for many of the categories, which you can find in the library or online below.

Complete your card and return it to the library by March 4, 2022 for a chance to win great prizes.

It’s a New Year – let’s read bigger, together!

Lists for Level One:

Lists for Level 2:

Staff Picks: Best of 2021

Librarians like to talk about books EVERY day, but it is especially fun to put together our lists of favorite titles at the end of the year.  Use the list to buy the perfect gift for the book-lover in your life, or use it to find your next great read.  And if you are in the library, be sure to tell us what some of your favorites were!

Book Brunch!

Thanks to all who joined us for our Book Brunch book share meeting this month!   Jess and Deanna shared some new titles coming into the library, and attendees (readers just like you!) told us what they have been reading and recommending.

This month’s list has a bit of everything – books for when you want to think and books for when you just want to escape.  Titles this month included literary fiction, twisty mysteries and thrillers, historical fiction, family sagas, books about books (we love those!), and even a few interesting nonfiction titles.   Need more recommendations?  Check out our Reading Room blog, watch our latest episode of Bookmarked!, and sign up for the next Book Brunch on February 9, 2022!

 

The Real Librarians of Chelmsford

What is the best way to get to know a librarian?  By getting them to dish about books, of course!  Each month, we will introduce you to one of the librarians of Chelmsford Public Library.  This month, we talked to Melissa McCarthy, our Office Administrator.

You may not see Melissa very often, but the library would not run smoothly without her!  She is the first person you’ll encounter going into the Administrative Offices on the lower level. Besides handling payroll, managing library supplies, and lots of other internal duties, Melissa is also the point person for most general library questions.  When not at work, Melissa likes to play board games, spend time doing outdoor activities (swimming, sledding, walking local trails and sitting by a fire pit roasting marshmallows), and most of all she enjoys going on spontaneous road trips with her family.

 

We asked Melissa…

What was your first library?

“My first library was the Moses Greeley Parker Memorial Library in Dracut, MA.  I still remember the day that I got my first library card.  I was so excited and could not carry all of the books I wanted to borrow in my hands.  Growing up, we did not have a computer in my home until I was a Junior in High School.  I spent a lot of time doing research at the Library.”

What is on your nightstand right now?

The Art of Happy Moving by Ali Wenzke.”

What book do you like to recommend to patrons?

“The book I like to suggest to patrons is Untamed by Glennon Doyle.  It is an empowering book for women that makes you take a deep look at the choices that you make and analyzes if you make decisions based on what you want for your life or based on the expectations placed upon you as a mother, daughter, spouse, etc.   A major lesson to take away from this book is that a good responsible mother does not neglect their needs and happiness for their children but instead shows them how to live authentically and to do things that make you happy even if it isn’t always the easiest thing to do.”

Who is your favorite character from a book?

“Isabelle Rossignol from Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale.  She is rebellious, strong, and fierce.  The story takes place in France during World War II.  Instead of following orders and staying quiet, Isabelle joins a Resistance Group and helps transport airmen across the Pyrenees mountains into Spain.  This gives them the opportunity to rejoin their military forces and to avoid being captured by the Nazis.  At that point in the book, her codename becomes the Nightingale and Nazi soldiers are desperate to find out who the Nightingale is and capture them.  I love her strong personality and inner strength.”

What is the last book that made you laugh or cry (or both)?

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.  It is a powerful work of fiction that truly highlights the race disparity in our country.  I enjoy reading books that open my eyes to the world around me and help me to better understand the struggles that other people face.  We all struggle and have difficulties in life and I think it is important to know what makes us different and what makes us all the same.”

Who are your top five favorite authors?

Kristin Hannah

Daniel O’ Malley

Matthew Desmond

Jason Reynolds

Mary Pipher

 

Where is your favorite place to read?

“It is actually in the staff room at the Library.  Typically, you walk in the room during lunch hours and will find people sitting down and reading.  It is an enjoyable space to read and talk about the latest books you have read.  I get most of my book recommendations during my lunch time – chatting with co-workers and hearing about their favorite books.”

Why do you like working at the library?

“There are so many reasons why I love working at the Chelmsford Public Library.  Almost too many to name but here are a few of the top reasons:  The staff is like a family – somehow there is a beautiful dynamic amongst the people I work with and it really feels like we are a family.  We have so much support from the Town, our community, and the Friends of the Library.  I love attending programs and after-hours events and seeing the glow of amazement on patron’s faces when they see all that the Library offers.  Additionally, I love that inclusiveness and diversity are big priorities and that we work hard to make everyone feel like they are seen and heard at the Library.”

While You Are Waiting…Laura Dave

You might be waiting for the very popular novel by Laura Dave, The Last Thing He Told Me.  You are in good company, as the hold list for this Reese Witherspoon book club title is long.  Never fear – we have some great suggestions to keep you busy reading while you wait your turn in line!

Who Is Maud Dixon by Alexandra Andrews:  The book is told from the point of view of Florence Darrow, a young twenty-something living in New York City, working at a small publishing house, dreaming of becoming a writer.  Her mother has instilled in her this feeling that she is destined for big things, so she is frustrated that nothing is happening for her.  She is offered a job as personal assistant to a very successful author, Maud Dixon.  The catch is that she will have to sign a non-disclosure agreement, because nobody knows the real identity of the author – a woman named Helen Wilcox.  Soon, she is wishing to impress her new boss, and they take a trip to Marrakesh to research the new book.  Then Florence wakes up in a hospital room, not knowing how she got there, and everyone thinks she is Helen.  You will want to keep reading this one, pulled along in the wake of Florence’s bad decisions!

 

If I Disappear by Eliza Jane Brazier: We learn right away that Serra is a troubled woman. She stays mostly in her house, listening to her favorite true crime podcast over and over, obsessing about the stories of women who just disappear.  When the podcast abruptly goes quiet, Serra worries that the host Rachel Bard has gone missing herself, and that she should be the one to find her.  Serra is a very unreliable narrator, but in an interesting way. She has clearly had some problems and has not dealt with them well, so it is hard for the reader to tell what is real and what is her delusion, in her obsessive quest to find Rachel.  You will keep turning the pages to find out what happens!

 

The Talented Miss Farwell by Emily Gray Tedrowe:  There are two Miss Farwells – Miss Rebecca Farwell, art dealer, and Miss Becky Farwell, a small town treasurer and comptroller. What people don’t know is that they are the same person and that Becky is siphoning funds from the town to fuel her life as Rebecca.  As her success as an art dealer grows, so do her financial needs.  While she keeps promising herself that she will pay the town back, her other life keeps throwing temptation in her way.  Here is a character that is going to frustrate you by her spectacularly bad decisions, and one you are going to root for, despite your better judgement!

 

Girl A by Abigail Dean: Lex Gracie is your typical type A lawyer – she works hard and plays hard. She is also Girl A, one of seven siblings who escaped her parents and their infamous House of Horrors.  Now, her mother has died in prison and appointed Lex as her executor.  She has left the family home, long abandoned, to the siblings, though none of them want anything to do with the house or its memories.  Lex and her sister Evie decide to turn the house into a place for good, but first Lex must get the approval of her brothers and sisters.  From there, the book follow Lex as she navigates each relationship and all their sibling complexities.  This book is a thriller, but it is also an exploration of family trauma and dynamics – how each child, especially Lex, Girl A – has managed and coped with their shared past.  Its hard not to feel sympathy for them, especially Lex, who it becomes increasingly clear has not completely left the past behind.

 

Gone For Good by Joanna Schaffhausen:  Twenty years ago, the Lovelorn Killer terrorized Chicago.  He killed seven women and then just disappeared.  It has been an open case for twenty years, with no new leads or clues to the killer’s identity in all that time.  Grace Harper belongs to an online true crime group called the Grave Diggers.  She has a theory about the killer and her plan is to go on TV and draw him out.  It works a little too well – she is found murdered in the same style as the Lovelorn Killer.  What did she know?  Detective Annalisa Vega is part of the team assigned to the case.  She has a personal connection to it – the last victim twenty years ago was a beloved neighbor and the mother of her high school boyfriend.  The search for the truth is going to take Annalisa back to the past, and in ways she never could have expected.  This is a great page-turner and Annalisa is a strong character…I hope it will be the start of a series.  Once you read it, I suspect you will too!

 

Happy reading!

Thankful

Thanksgiving is just around the corner!  It is a time for gathering with family and friends, for turkey and pumpkin pie, and for thinking about all of things that make us feel thankful.  In that spirit, we here at the library wanted to share some of the books and authors that fill us with gratitude:

Vickie: “I’m thankful for Quiet: The Power of Introverts In a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I didn’t think of myself as a real introvert because I’ve never been very shy. Now I know the difference and understand my working and social styles better, and also understand extroverts more. I’m also thankful for Christmas movies. They are a great chance to get family together during hectic times to enjoy old favorites. Some of ours are The Santa Clause, The Muppet Christmas Carol and the musical, Scrooge, with Albert Finney.”

 

Deanna: “If I had to pick amongst all of my favorites, I would say I am most grateful for Jane Austen.  Not just for her wonderful stories (Persuasion being my favorite), but because she was the catalyst for an almost 30-year friendship that is very important to me.  Austen brought us together, and for that I am always thankful.”

Maria: “I am thankful for my cookbooks. There is one that I refer to often to make a delicious tofu scramble, Everyday Happy Herbivore by Lindsay Nixon .”

Becky:  “One book that I am thankful for is Sunday Suppers at Lucques by James Beard award winner Suzanne Goin. It is a collection of seasonal recipes based on what is available at the market and served at informal suppers at the acclaimed restaurant Lucques in Los Angeles. This book was the way I got to know my neighbor better. We spent one winter together cooking through its contents. We would pour through the book, weighing our recipe options, choose a few recipes to try each weekend, and then take turns shopping and creating a cocktail to go with each meal.  Whether it was a lamb osso bucco, yellow tomato gazpacho, braised short ribs, wild salmon salad, or bagna cauda vegetables,  the recipes were always just challenging enough to take up an afternoon. The meals were delicious and satisfying and the company even better. It was a great way to grow a friendship; I highly recommend both the experience and the cookbook!”

Marty: “I am thankful for the book Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena, illustrated by Christian Robinson, because it always makes me feel good when I read it. I love the gentle ways Nana interacts with CJ, I love the illustrations, and overall think it is a beautiful story that everyone should read at least once, no matter their age.”

Heidi: “Anything by Shel Silverstein because I love his turn of phrase and he made me appreciate the beauty of poetry.”

 

 

 

Mike:  “I’m thankful for Brad Thor and Ben Coes (who is from Wellesley) whose thrillers have kept me away from the food in the kitchen!!”

Danny: “The Hobbit, because it was the first book I fell in love with.”

Lisa: “I am thankful for many authors, a few of which are Ruta Sepetys, Jacqueline Winspear, Stephen King, and Laurie Frankel“.

Jess: “The children’s books of Roald Dahl and the iconic accompanying illustrations by Quentin Blake. Though later I learned of some of the controversies around his personal views, as a child, I devoured his fantastical stories like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Matilda. The stories helped children feel seen, and took their fears and joys seriously. They celebrated the importance of imagination, and they were the first “big books” I was able to read on my own, so they made me into a reader.”

 

Laura: “One book that I have returned to many times over the years is Alan Lightman’s Einstein’s DreamsThis book was gifted to me by a friend and continuously reminds me that time is a fluid human construction, memory is malleable, and imagination is freeing. I am grateful for the way that this book has challenged my thinking and lifted me up when I was feeling lonely.”

Eileen: “I have always been an avid reader and something I am thankful for is the feeling of glee I experience when anticipating a new title from a favorite author. There are authors that I request immediately upon seeing an upcoming release: Lydia Millet, Lauren Groff,A.M. Homes, Aimee Bender, and Alan Bradley to name just a few. Even when a title doesn’t meet my expectations, I am usually newly impressed by the skill and nuance of these and so many more talented writers.”

For some of us (who am I kidding – for all of us!), it was hard to narrow down to one or two titles.  See the list below of other books and authors for which we are thankful.

And, in case we haven’t said it lately, we are thankful for all of our CPL patrons!  We wish you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!

 

Fall Reading Challenge – What We Are Reading

We hope you are enjoying this year’s Fall Challenge!  It will probably come as no surprise that we are reading books in the challenge categories right along with you!  We thought we would share a few that we have enjoyed so far:

READ A BOOK THAT FEATURES BAKING OR INCLUDES RECIPES

Deanna read: Recipes for Love and Murder by Sally Andrew

“This book had caught my eye earlier this year, but the Fall Challenge finally made me place it at the top of my TBR pile. Set in South Africa, this is a gentle mystery much in the same manner as Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series.  Tannie Maria (“tannie” being a respectful form of address) is a middle-aged widow who likes to cook and writes a recipe column for the local newspaper.  When her assignment changes to an advice column, she decides that she will help people through food – there is nothing that a good recipe cannot solve.  Or so she believes, until she gets a letter from a woman about her abusive husband.  Tannie Maria, who has some experience with abusive husbands, urges her to leave.  Instead, the woman is murdered.  Tannie Maria, along with her fellow reporters at the newspaper, decide that it is their responsibility to help the police solve this crime.  No matter that the police do not want their help, or that helping might place all of them in danger.  I really enjoyed this one – it had all the ingredients for a fun mystery read.  And I really want to try to make the Perfect Buttermilk Chocolate Cake!”

READ A BOOK WRITTEN BY AN INDIGENOUS AUTHOR

Jess read:  The Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

“This is a YA title and a recent pick for Reese Witherspoon’s book club, and I just found the premise really intriguing. Eighteen year-old Daunis Fontaione lives in Saulte Ste. Marie in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She is the daughter of an Ojibwe man and a white woman who happens to be the only daughter of one of the town’s oldest families. Daunis struggles to straddle both worlds, especially given the recent tragic death of her uncle and her grandmother’s recent stroke, a double blow that has knocked her mother into a sort of melancholy state. Because of this, talented and hard-working Daunis has opted to forgo her dream to attend the pre-med program at University of Michigan, and begins a program at college closer to home. Then she meets Jamie, a Cherokee descendant, a star hockey player, but also a long way from home. The two bond over being a part of – and also not part of – their respective tribes. The plot really gets going when Daunis finds herself assisting in an FBI investigation into the proliferation of a particularly addictive and deadly illegal substance in the community. Daunis is torn between being the bright, intense and honest girl she’s always been, and helping with the investigation to find out the truth about her father and uncle, and hopefully save her community before it’s too late.”

READ A BOOK IN WHICH FAMILY IS A MAIN THEME

Jess read: Outlawed by Anna North

“This novel is a fascinating new tale of the West, sort of like True Grit meets The Handmaid’s Tale. The year is 1894 and Ada, a young woman in a small Dakota town, is about to start her life as a happily married woman. That is, until about a year into the marriage, having tried everything, she remains childless. In the religious and under-educated community of which she is a part, barren women are deeply mistrusted and risk being accused of witchcraft. Ada’s mother, a midwife, while knowing well the truths of women’s reproductive health, understands the danger of deeply superstitious neighbors and quickly sends Ada to a nearby convent where she will live and work as a nun. In the convent library one day, Ada happens into a new text on women’s health penned by a progressive doctor in Southern California seeking to refute prevailing superstitions and understand the true medical causes of various ailments that plague women. Ada decides she must go there. She manages to get north and runs into the Hole in The Wall Gang, led by the infamous outlaw known only as The Kid. The gang is composed of a thrown together group of women and nonbinary people who, for one reason or another, have been cast out of their communities and have found in each other a new unit, a family that allows their true selves to shine. while frosty to the outsider at first, they recognize Ada’s value for her medical knowledge, and allow her to hang on. It’s not long though, through various heists and dangerous predicaments, before the relationships deepen and become indispensable. This is a fast-paced read, with a wholly original plot and a surprising ending.”

READ A BOOK FROM THE NEW BOOK ROOM

Deanna read: State of Terror by Louise Penny

“Ok, maybe this was actually from the Fast Track table and not the new book room, but it is definitely a new book!  And I have been really looking forward to reading it!  Louise Penny is one of my favorite mystery authors and I have been very intrigued with the idea of her writing a political thriller with Hillary Clinton.  Ellen Adams is appointed Secretary of State by the new President, who also happens to be a political rival.  She is immediately plunged into a crisis – three buses have exploded in big cities in Europe and no known group is taking credit, making it clear that these acts of terror are the beginning of a bigger plan.  The events plunge Ellen and her team into a race against the clock, in which she must use all of her political skills to negotiate with allies and foes in order to stop a terrifying attack on US soil.  My favorite part? That it is the women who are the real heroes in this page-turning tale: Ellen, her best friend and counselor Betsy, her daughter Katherine, and a young Muslim woman Anahita who helps them crack the case wide open.  If you like political or spy thrillers, then you will enjoy this.  If you like Louise Penny, look for a cameo from a certain Chief Inspector!”

We can’t wait to hear about what you are reading!  Remember to turn in your card by November 22nd, either at the main desk or by emailing it to jfitzhanso@chelmsfordlibrary.org. You will get one raffle ticket for every category you complete and be entered to win fun prizes!  Happy reading!