Library Column for December 25, 2019

@ Your Library

Merry Christmas from the library! May you all receive wonderful, delightful books this Christmas season! Take time to read this holiday season. I think we should be like Iceland, they give books and chocolate as gifts as Christmas Eve then spend the rest of the night reading. Whatever your traditions, make time to share books and stories.

The lists of the best books of 2019 have begun showing up. How many of these have you read this year? The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead is a fictional account of a real-life Florida reform school for boys that was infamous for torturing and killing its students. Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi is about an oddball mother-daughter duo, living in London and making delicious gingerbread.

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout that is being named the best of the hotly anticipated sequels of the year. Return to the fictional town of Crosby, Maine and find Olive as cantankerous as ever as the residents deal with life’s general disappointments. Revisit summer in Kevin Wilson’s Nothing to See Here as ‘Lillian agrees to play governess to her rich best friends twin stepchildren (who happen to spontaneously burst into flames).’

Women Talking by Miriam Toews explores fundamental questions about what punishment and forgiveness look like. She based the story on a real-life crime of women in a remote colony deliberate their future. Ann Patchett’s latest novel The Dutch House is a rich story of family and place. How do people and places influence our youth and affect our future. Another family story is All this Could Be Yours by Jami Attenberg and focuses on a family reuniting at the deathbed of its patriarch. Julia Phillips has written a suspenseful thriller of two young missing sisters on the northeastern edge of Russia in Disappearing Earth. Family definitely seems to be an eternal theme in books and The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray follows three sisters whose lives are irrevocably changed when one of them is suddenly arrested.

The New York Times included No Visible Bruises: what we don’t know about domestic violence can kill us by Rachel Louise Snyder as one of it’s best titles of the year and is the result of an award winning journalist investigation into the true scope of domestic violence in America.

Good Housekeeping included Inland by Tea Obreht, which has been called a spooky twist on the western. Nora is trying to survive a punishing drought while awaiting the return of her husband and sons and Lurie, a former outlaw haunted by ghosts is running from his past. Then the two stories collide and the results are harrowing. They also felt the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments by Margaret Atwood deserves to be on this year’s best of fiction lists.

Lara Prior-Palmer at age 19 enters one of the most punishing races in the world and against all odds, became its first female champion. Rough Magic: riding the world’s loneliest horse race is her story.

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