Travel Through Story: New England

Posted on Friday, October 15, 2021 by Reading Addict

Suspension Bridge, Milford, New Hampshire

Here I am at the end of my journey, traveling through New England during a glorious fall. I’m not sure why I have taken the path that I did to have me end here as the air is turning crisp and the leaves are presenting a beautiful mosaic, but I like it! Even if the books I’m reading are not set during autumn, my spirit overlays the mood since this is MY time of year.

Shadow box coverStarting in Connecticut, I plan on reading “The Shadow Box” by Luanne Rice. The story is about an artist who is about to reveal a dark secret that her husband, running to be the Governor, has viciously kept. She is attacked by a masked man in her home and barely escapes with her life to disappear into the woods, but now she doesn’t know who she can trust. With all of his wealth and political connections, her husband seems to hold all of the power.

trial fire coverIn Rhode Island, I will read “Trial by Fire: A Devastating Tragedy, 100 Lives Lost, and a 15 Year Search for the Truth” by Scott James. When I think of fires, I think of the library at Alexandria, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire or the Great Chicago Fire. Even though the fire at a nightclub, The Station, occurred in my lifetime (2003) it didn’t even register on my radar even though it was horrific with 100 fatalities and over 200 injuries, many of them severe and lifelong. It all began when the band, “The Great White” decided to use pyrotechnics in a closed space, but that is just part of the story.

Golden Girl coverMoving on to Massachusetts, I’m reading “Golden Girl” by Elin Hilderbrand. Vivian Howe is a writer living in Nantucket. She is divorced with three grown, or mostly grown, children. She’s making life work until she is killed in a hit and run accident. She is assigned to “Martha” in the afterlife and given the rest of the summer to see how her children’s lives will move on. She is also given three “nudges” to be able to make one last difference in their lives.

How to catch a frog coverIn Vermont, perhaps I will learn how to catch a frog and so much more in “How to Catch a Frog; And Other Stories About Family, Love, Dysfunction, Survival and DIY” by Heather Ross. In this memoir, Ross tells about growing up in an unconventional family in rural Vermont during the 1970s. She tells about how she used her life stories in the beautiful woods, with its lack of immunizations, authority, and stability to create her life with honesty. She also incorporates small tutorials throughout the book.

New Hampshire coverFor New Hampshire, I’m reaching back a bit to read the poems of Robert Frost in “New Hampshire,” originally written in 1923 and it won him the Pulitzer Prize. This book will do double duty for me and also fulfill the requirement for Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge, task #20: read a book of nature poems. I love Frost, and this is one I haven’t read before.

finding freedom coverAnd finally: my last stop on this tour is in Maine. “Finding Freedom: A Cook’s Story: Remaking a Life from Scratch” is a memoir by Erin French. She grew up on a farm in Maine where she fell in love with food. Her struggle to eventually open a world class destination restaurant took her through single motherhood, a marriage to a man who went from savior to tormentor, and an addiction that threatened everything. Her son was her guiding light that helped her to eventually rebuild her entire world from the ground up.

Well, that’s it. That’s my journey. I have thoroughly enjoyed it and I have enjoyed sharing it with you. You can find more titles for a New England adventure here and you can find other blog posts in this series at this link for “Travel Through Story.” So long until the next adventure.


Image Credit: Henry Gessau, Milford, New Hampshire, USA, Suspension Bridge via Wikimedia Commons (license)

Nonfiction Roundup: October 2021

Posted on Monday, October 11, 2021 by Liz

I’m highlighting some nonfiction books coming out in October. All of the mentioned titles are available to put on hold in our catalog and will also be made available via the library’s Overdrive website on the day of publication in eBook and downloadable audiobook format (as available). For a more extensive list of new nonfiction books coming out this month, check our online catalog.

Top Picks

Jemima boone coverThe Taking of Jemima Boone: The True Story of the Kidnap and Rescue That Shaped America” by Matthew Pearl (Oct 5)
On a quiet midsummer day in 1776, weeks after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, 13-year-old Jemima Boone and her friends Betsy and Fanny Callaway disappear near the Kentucky settlement of Boonesboro, the echoes of their faraway screams lingering on the air. A Cherokee-Shawnee raiding party has taken the girls as the latest salvo in the blood feud between American Indians and the colonial settlers who have decimated native lands and resources. Hanging Maw, the raiders’ leader, recognizes one of the captives as Jemima Boone, daughter of Kentucky’s most influential pioneers, and realizes she could be a valuable pawn in the battle to drive the colonists out of the contested Kentucky territory for good. With Daniel Boone and his posse in pursuit, Hanging Maw devises a plan that could ultimately bring greater peace both to the tribes and the colonists. But after the girls find clever ways to create a trail of clues, the raiding party is ambushed by Boone and the rescuers in a battle with reverberations that nobody could predict. As Matthew Pearl reveals, the exciting story of Jemima Boone’s kidnapping vividly illuminates the early days of America’s westward expansion, and the violent and tragic clashes across cultural lines that ensue. In this enthralling narrative in the tradition of Candice Millard and David Grann, Matthew Pearl unearths a forgotten and dramatic series of events from early in the Revolutionary War that opens a window into America’s transition from colony to nation, with the heavy moral costs incurred amid shocking new alliances and betrayals. Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: October 2021”

Book Companions: Fiction and Nonfiction Pairings

Posted on Friday, October 8, 2021 by Ida

Often, I’m drawn to a book because it’s related in some way to another book I’ve already read and liked. When this happens, it’s usually a work of fiction leading me to a nonfiction title about a subject that was important to the story. Pairing books like this can add an extra layer of enrichment. In this spirit, here are a few fiction-nonfiction book companions to read together.

The Overstory by Richard PowersFinding the Mother Tree

After immersing myself in the world of “The Overstory” by Richard Powers, I was compelled to find out more about old growth forests. Powers interweaves the stories of nine different people, each with a personal connection to trees. One of the characters was inspired by real-life scientist Suzanne Simard, who has a new book out this year. Part memoir, part ecology lesson, ”Finding the Mother Tree” relates Simard’s own personal journey while also supplying lots of fascinating information on forest ecosystems. Continue reading “Book Companions: Fiction and Nonfiction Pairings”

Q&A With Gary Elliott, Author of “The 1849 Cholera Outbreak in Jefferson City”

Posted on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 by Dewey Decimal Diver

photo of author Gary Elliott and his book

Gary Elliott is a Mid-Missouri author whose latest book is “The 1849 Cholera Outbreak in Jefferson City.” The book is an account of the cholera epidemic aboard the steamship James Monroe, which left from St. Louis, Missouri and arrived in Jefferson City in May of 1849. A resident of Jefferson City, Elliott is a land surveyor by profession, and has previously authored two other books related to Missouri history. I emailed some interview questions to him, and he was kind enough to take time to write back some answers. Continue reading “Q&A With Gary Elliott, Author of “The 1849 Cholera Outbreak in Jefferson City””

Quintessential Comics: Invasion of the Film Adaptations

Posted on Friday, October 1, 2021 by Josh

Thanks for joining me for yet another issue of Quintessential Comics! This time we’re going to focus on graphic novels that have undergone either a film or television series adaptation. Some of these contain mature content. If you’ve been looking for a different format in which to enjoy your comic goodness, this is for you. Let’s get right to it!


Preacher coverThis series is about as wild as they come. Jesse Custer, a preacher hailing from Texas, finds the belief system that he has devoted his entire life to called into question when he realizes that he has the ability to command others to do anything he wants. This mysterious power comes as the result of a merger with a being known as “Genesis.” While it seems as though this gift has been bestowed upon him by Heaven itself, Custer isn’t so sure. He decides to hit the road with his renegade girlfriend Tulip and his unlikely best friend Cassidy, who just so happens to be a vampire, in order to find out the truth about his power and why he was chosen to wield it. Originally airing on AMC, this series is now available through Hulu and you can also check it out on DVD. Continue reading “Quintessential Comics: Invasion of the Film Adaptations”

Halloween Kids’ Books for Grownups

Posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 by Alyssa

Cover of The Halloween Moon

I know that this is the Adults Blog and that I am a grown woman who pays taxes, but we can all agree that adults can (and should) read children’s books, right? Seriously, the best book I have read so far this year was a middle grade chapter book. If you’re limiting yourself to the adult section of the library, you are really missing out, because the best part of being a grown up is getting to read whatever you want. Much like the love of reading, the love for Halloween usually starts early and there are so many great Halloween-y books for kids, teens and tweens that reflect that. Sometimes these books are genuinely scary. Sometimes they are completely adorable. Oftentimes, they are both. Continue reading “Halloween Kids’ Books for Grownups”

Travel Through Story: Megalopolis

Posted on Friday, September 17, 2021 by Reading Addict

New York Skyline at night

And now I have reached the Megalopolis. What in the world is a megalopolis you ask? A megalopolis is a very large, heavily populated urban center or complex including all of the suburbs and exurbs. It can feel as if it’s just one continuous city but it’s usually not. The northeastern seaboard is filled with them.  Continue reading “Travel Through Story: Megalopolis”

Reader Review: The Vanishing Half

Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 by patron reviewer

The Vanishing Half book coverWhen two African American twins growing up in a small, southern town run away at the age of 16, they lose contact with each other as their lives take completely different paths. While Desiree returns to her hometown and lives in poverty, Stella pretends to be white and lives a seemingly luxurious suburban lifestyle. Told from the perspectives of both twins and their family members, “The Vanishing Half” explores the fluidity of identity and the sacrifices people make in seeking happiness. As the characters change throughout their lives, this author uses well-crafted character development to touch on issues of race, class, family dynamics and gender-fluidity.

Three words that describe this book: Thought-Provoking, Suspenseful, Eloquent

You might want to pick this book up if: You are looking for a book that will make you evaluate your own identity.


This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading 2021. We will continue to share these throughout the year.

Literary Links: Unconventional Horror

Posted on Sunday, September 12, 2021 by Stellan Harris

I’m a big fan of horror in all of its forms. Movies, games, art — any form of media that can creep me out, gross me out or otherwise disturb me is right up my alley. I did, however, take a long break from reading horror novels, largely because a lot of what I was reading started to seem too similar. Many horror novelists had seen the success of authors like Stephen King and Dean Koontz and read it like a formula. Lately, in an effort to rekindle my love for the genre, I’ve sought out the most interesting and unconventional recent horror novels I can find. I’m happy to say that the novels of today are just as spooky as I remember, more so in some cases. In preparation for the start of the spooky season, I’d like to share some of my new finds with you lovely readers. Continue reading “Literary Links: Unconventional Horror”