Each month, we host Facebook Friday Recommendations online. You can get personalized recommendations — all you need to do is find our Facebook Friday post and comment with two or three books or authors you like, and we’ll help you find your next great read! Here are the recommendations from April 2017.
Request: I’ll go first! The last three books I read that I LOVED were “Americanah” by Chimamanda Adichie, “The Mothers” by Brit Bennett and “Commonwealth” by Ann Patchett. I really like fiction that tells a complex story. I love to learn something new even when I read fiction. I’m trying to read lot of immigrant and refugee books right now. I just finished “Exit West” and loved the premise but the style wasn’t my favorite. Any good recommendations for me?
Recommendation: For books that focus on the immigrant experience, you might try “The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears” by Dinaw Mengestu, or the illustrated memoir “The Best We Could Do” by Thi Bui. And, since dynamic, multi-layered stories are your jam, be sure to check out “Swing Time” by Zadie Smith, “Another Brooklyn” by Jacqueline Woodson and “The Nix” by Nathan Hill.
Request: Books that provide parenting skills as well as books that children can read or have read to them regarding emotional or behavioral issues they face.
Recommendation: Hello. Here are a few books we think should be helpful.“The 5 Love Languages of Children” by Gary Chapman — parents can discover their child’s primary language and learn what they can do to effectively convey feelings of respect, affection and commitment. “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk” by Adele Faber — uses real-life situations to show how you can respect and respond to your child’s feelings and satisfy your own needs. If you get a chance to browse the 649.1 section of the library, you’re likely to find additional useful titles.
For you to read to kids: “When Sophie Gets Angry, Really Really Angry” by Molly Bang — controlling your anger. “Cooking with Henry and Elliebelly” by Carolyn Parkhurst — deals with sibling rivalry and tantrums. “My Blue is Happy” by Jessica Young — talks about all different emotions. “The Scar” by Charlotte Moundlic — dealing with grief.
Request: Just finished Laura McHugh’s “The Weight of Blood” (local author) … not bad, I liked the way she captured the Ozark atmosphere. I enjoy suspense and mysteries.
Recommendation: If you enjoy mysteries set in culturally distinct regions like the Ozarks, I’d definitely recommend “Winter’s Bone” by Daniel Woodrell. Set in Appalachia, “Where All Light Tends to Go” by David Joy is another story of family legacy and secrets in a distinct location. “The Roanoke Girls” by Amy Engel is set in Kansas, but filled with family mystery. Hope one of these grabs your interest!
Request: Getting stuff done IS overrated! Loving the addictive Anna Pigeon mysteries. Love strong female protagonists.
Recommendation: If you want a YA novel featuring a strong female character with a mystery to solve, I’d recommend “The Body in the Woods” by April Henry, “The Naturals” by Jennifer Barnes, and “Nearly Gone” by Elle Cosimano. Happy Friday, and happy reading!
Request: Currently reading and loving “Jingo” by Terry Pratchett, and also loved “Sex Object” by Jessica Valenti and “Furiously Happy” by Jenny Lawson.
Recommendation: If you like the fantasy, politics, and humor in “Jingo,” you might enjoy “Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon” by Spider Robinson, where you get to hear stories told by telepaths, cybernetic aliens, and time travelers!
A great follow-up to “Sex Object” is “Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman” by Lindy West. It’s the perfect blend of feminism and humor, and it also tackles subjects like harassment and objectification of women.
“Agorafabulous! Dispatches from My Bedroom” by Sara Benincasa and “This Close to Happy” by Daphne Merkin are both great reads about females who detail their struggles with mental illness, similar to “Furiously Happy.”
Request: I’ve just finished “Hidden Figures” and “Shoot Like a Girl.” Got any other recent nonfiction with strong women?
Recommendation: Real life stories of strong, influential women?! Let’s do this! If you want more of the story of NASA’s “computers”, you should definitely check out “Rise of the Rocket Girls” by Nathalia Holt. “Ashley’s War” by Gayle Tzermach Lemmon presents the story of a female special ops team. And if you need more, “Headstrong” by Rachel Swaby contains the stories of 52 different women who changed science and the world. Enjoy!
Request: Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, and Tom Holt. I’m 8 months pregnant, so I definitely need a good distracting read!
Recommendation: It sounds like you’re looking for an author with a love of silliness, wit, and satire! Check out Piers Anthony and “A Spell for Chameleon” or Rachel Cantor’s “A Highly Unlikely Scenario.” You might also enjoy “The Eyre Affair” by Jasper Fforde. Hopefully one of these will be the distraction you’re seeking!
Request: I’ve been in a book slump. I just finished the House of Night series, it wasn’t really my cup of tea, but once I read one I had to finish the series. They were a bit young for me, writing and style wise (if that makes sense.) Do you have any recommendations for sci-fi series or book.
Recommendation: If you liked House of Night, but wished it was a little more mature, you might try one of P.C. Cast’s adult series. “Goddess of the Sea” is the first book in her Goddess Summoning series. But if you’re in the mood for an adult sci-fi standalone, give Andy Weir’s “The Martian” a try. And if you want to start a series, “Red Rising” is the first book in Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy, and it has adult and teen appeal. Happy Reading!
Request: “The Compound Effect” and “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up” were enjoyable! I just started “Fifty Shades Darker.”
Recommendation: If you love non-fiction, you might give “Sway” by Ori Brafman a look. It examines the psychological influences that affect our decision making. And if you’re still in the tidying up mode, Eve Schaub’s “Year of No Clutter” or Barry Yourgrau’s “Mess” will be right up your alley! Happy Reading!
Request: “Ashes of Roses” (forgot author’s name)
Recommendation: I found a couple of books with that title. Before we proceed, is the one you’re thinking of about a teenage immigrant or about uncontrollable passion?
I’ll start with the one about the teenage immigrant: “Lost” by Jacqueline Davies is about a 16-year-old immigrant and her family. It’s 1911, and she must take a job that pays and treats her terribly. There is much enduring of hardship in this novel. Fans of “Ashes of Roses” are also likely to enjoy “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith. The main character is poor, but she has a rich childhood.
If it’s the other “Ashes of Roses,” you’ll probably enjoy the works of Tess Gerritsen, Tami Hoag, and Lisa Jackson. These authors are very popular in the “romantic suspense” genre.
Request: “Uprooted!” Something similar.
Recommendation: Hello. “Uprooted” by Naomi Novik? If so, you’ll probably enjoy “The Bear and The Nightingale” by Katherine Arden. Like “Uprooted,” it’s inspired by Eastern European folklore and features a young woman who becomes a hero and works to save her community from an ancient evil.
“Cold Magic” by Kate Elliott shares the intricate plotting and detailed world building of “Uprooted.” It also has a strong female lead.
“Deathless” by Catherynne Valente is inspired by Russian history and folklore rather than Polish, but it’s similarly compelling and lyrical. It’s about magicians abducting maidens.
Request: My favorite authors are Debbie Macomber and Marie Bostwick.
Recommendation: If you’re looking for books with Bostick’s and Macomber’s styles of heartwarming friendships and female protagonists, give “The Friday Night Knitting Club” by Kate Jacobs a try. Another series with a similar feel is Goddesses Anonymous by Emilie Richards, and the first book is “One Mountain Away.” Happy Reading!