Are you interested in a quick, but satisfying book? One of the fiction displays for December is “Quick Reads: Books with Fewer than 200 Pages.” I realized as I was pulling books for the display, that I frequently recommend many of these books.  The books on display range from heart-warming: May Sarton’s The Fur Person — to fast-paced science fiction: All Systems Red the first in the Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells.  There are classics like Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson.  Enjoy reading one for the first time, or maybe you are ready for a re-read?  Many readers have told me they enjoy re-reading an old favorite, especially during potentially hectic, stressful holiday/pandemic times!

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The Fur Person by May Sarton (1957)

Sarton (1912-1995) was a poet, memoirist and novelist, who lived in York, Maine near the end of her life.  In The Fur Person, a stray cat recounts his evolution to a Gentleman Cat and finally to a real Fur Person–a cat who has decided to stay with people as long as he lives.

The Jump-Off Creek by Molly Gloss (1998)

The story of Lydia Sanderson, a widow facing the demands of homesteading in Oregon during the 1890s.

Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher (2014)

Jason Fitger, professor of creative writing and literature at Payne University, a small and not very distinguished liberal arts college in the Midwest, writes a year’s worth of scathing letters of recommendation for students, colleagues, and even former lovers.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells, first in the Murderbot Diaries (2017)

As a heartless killing machine, I was a terrible failure,” confesses the AI narrator of this fast-paced SF adventure. After hacking its own governor module and overriding its programming, security droid “Murderbot” ends up saving lives instead of ending them — but only because letting all the humans die would interfere with its favorite activity: binge-watching some 35,000 hours’ worth of entertainment media. All Systems Red’s snarky protagonist and suspenseful, action-packed plot should have readers eagerly anticipating future installments of the Murderbot Diaries.

Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman (1993)

A fictional recreation of Einstein’s discovery of the nature of time follows the young Albert through 1905 Bern, Switzerland, as he sorts through the dreams that have persisted in his mind for several months.

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Bachman, translated by Alice Menzies (2016)

Grandpa and Ted do not have a lot in common and Ted has waited a longtime to be accepted by his father. It is Grandpa and Noah that has a bond: the love of mathematics. However the three must learn say good-bye.

Everything in This Country Must: A Novella and Two Stories  by Colum McCann (2000)

Stories capture the tragic implications of political upheaval and tragedy on the lives of individuals trapped amidst the internecine conflicts of Northern Ireland.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (1958)

Traces the growing friction between village leaders and Europeans determined to save the heathen souls of Africa. But its hero, a noble man who is driven by destructive forces, speaks a universal tongue.

Memories of My Melancholy Whores  by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, translated by Edith Grossman (2004)

Having decided to celebrate his ninetieth birthday by spending the night with a young virgin, an old man falls deeply in love for the first time in his life when he spots the girl at a local brothel.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (2013)

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

Lying Awake by Mark Salzman (2000)

Sister John of the Cross, an elderly nun, experiences a series of dazzling visions, but she is confronted with a difficult choice between her spiritual gifts and curing the powerful headaches that accompany her visions.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (1962)

A deliciously unsettling novel about a perverse, isolated, and possibly murderous family and the dramatic struggle that ensues when an unexpected visitor interrupts their unusual way of life.

Take a look at all our December displays!  If you need more reading recommendations, call us at 725-5242 or email the helpdesk@curtislibrary.com.  We are always happy to help.