Are you number 89 on the hold list for Barack Obama’s new autobiography?  Still waiting for Louise Penny’s latest Inspector Gamache mystery or The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett?

Here are a variety of books recommended by our staff — all are available now or with a short hold list!  Click on titles to check availability and place on hold.

The Common Good by Robert Reich (2018)

Argues for overcoming the division, cynicism, and self-interest that characterizes contemporary politics by returning to a focus on the common good in government and economics.

To Read Aloud: A Literary Toolkit for Well-Being by Francesco Dimitri (2017)

Reading aloud is not just for children. This collection contains pieces to read aloud to friends and loved ones. These short passages will spark meaningful conversations.

Longbourn by Jo Baker (2013)

A reimagining of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice from the perspectives of its below-stairs servants captures the drama of the Bennet household from the sideline viewpoint of Sarah, an orphaned housemaid.  Moving and romantic.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld  (2016)

Returning with her sister, Jane, to their Ohio hometown when their father falls ill, New York magazine editor Lizzy Bennett confronts her younger sisters’ football fangirl antics, a creepy cousin’s unwanted attentions, and the infuriating standoffish manners of a handsome neurosurgeon.  Witty adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

Letters from Father Christmas by J R R Tolkien (published in 1976)

A collection of illustrated letters from Father Christmas recapping the activities of the preceding year at the North Pole. The letters were written and illustrated by the author to his children from 1920 to 1943.

Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips (2019)

The shattering disappearance of two young girls from Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula compounds the isolation and fears of a tight-woven community, connecting the lives of neighbors, witnesses, family members and a detective throughout an ensuing year of tension.  Atmospheric, complex.

The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai (2011)

Children’s librarian Lucy adores 10-year-old Ian, her most faithful patron. Still, it’s a dilemma when she discovers Ian in the library after hours, all packed up and ready to run away from his troubled home.  Whimsical with an intergenerational friendship.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary (2019)

Entering a flatshare arrangement with a man on an opposite work shift, a heartbroken woman begins exchanging notes with the roommate she has never met and becomes his best friend, and possibly soulmate, through their correspondence. Heartwarming romantic comedy.

Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett (2017)

A debut novel follows the darkly comic experiences of a precocious 12-year-old girl named Elvis who worries about her troubled family and tries to figure out her place in the world in the aftermath of her mother’s accidental death.  Amusing and upbeat.

Make Russia Great Again: A Fake White House Memoir  by Christopher Buckley (2020)

The award-winning and bestselling author of Thank You for Smoking delivers a hilarious and whipsmart fake memoir by Herb Nutterman—Donald Trump’s seventh chief of staff—who has written the ultimate tell-all about Trump and Russia.  Political satire.

The River at Night by Erica Ferencik  (2017)

The journey of four friends as they fight to survive the aftermath of a white water rafting accident on the Allagash river. Suspenseful thriller.

Paradox Bound by Peter Clines (2017)

Unable to forget a mysterious woman he met years earlier clad in Revolutionary War-era clothing and driving a 100-year-old car, Eli searches for answers when the woman abruptly reappears, a resolve that leads him into a dangerous search across the nation and a century of history. Funny science fiction.

Wake of Vultures  by Lila Bowen (2015), Shadow series #1

After an encounter with a deadly stranger leads her to discover the source of the mysterious sand in the desert, Nettie Lonesome sets out on a quest to find her true kin—if the monsters along the way don’t kill her first.  Culturally diverse, compelling.

Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches by John Hodgman (2017)

Presents a memoir of the author’s cursed travels through the woods of Massachusetts and coastal Maine, describing his midlife transformation from an idealistic youth to an eccentric family man.  Humorous autobiography.

Via Negativa by Daniel Hornsby (2020)

Dismissed by his conservative diocese for his eccentric insubordination, a homeless Father Dan transforms his car into a mobile monk cell and embarks on a spiritual road trip marked by an injured coyote and other offbeat travelers.  Thought-provoking.

Wobble to Death by Peter Lovesey (1970, reissued 2020)

In Victorian London, race-walking, or ‘wobbles’, are all the rage. On a Monday morning in November 1879 the crowds gather for Islington’s bizarre six-day endurance walking race. By Tuesday, one of the contestants is dead. A bemused Sergeant Cribb from Scotland Yard is called in, along with Constable Thackeray, and they soon discover that something foul is at play.  Engaging and atmospheric.

If you would like more reading recommendations, contact us at 725-5242 or by email at refdesk@curtislibrary.com.  We are always happy to help!