Fellow readers, let’s talk beach reads. Don’t be put off by the name – these can be read at the beach, sure, but also by a lake; in a park or on your lawn; on your couch – anywhere you’re taking some time for yourself. And any book can be a beach read*, so long as it is something you find gripping. To get started, here are suggestions for books across genres that grab you and don’t let go until you’ve turned the last page.
Looking to be kept on the edge of your seat? (or beach towel?) Go behind enemy lines with WWII spy Nancy Wake as she trains the French Resistance in Ariel Lawhon’s Code Name Hélène. Or enjoy a tale of revenge and ego as a film shoot in the Caribbean goes awry in The Sirenby Katherine St. John. The dark side of office politics are on display in The Other Black Girlby Zakiya Dalila Harris, as editorial assistant Nella realizes the new girl isn’t what she seems. And when her husband disappears, newlywed Hannah and her stepdaughter Bailey race against time to figure out his true identity in The Last Thing He Told Meby Laura Dave.
Running a small business seems like it would be enough to keep anyone busy, but the women in these cozy mysteries also must solve murders that hit close to home in order to clear themselves or their loved ones of suspicion.
Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala Reeling after a bad breakup, Lila Macapagal moves home to Shady Palms, Illinois and takes on the task of rescuing her Tita Rosie’s struggling Filipino restaurant. Her high school ex-boyfriend, a mean-spirited food critic, visits the restaurant and dies during the dessert course, in what the police say is murder – making Lila the number one suspect. Surrounded by her supportive extended family, Lila and her best friend Adeena set out to find the real culprit. In their starred review, Library Journal wrote “there are cozy tropes (the close-knit community, the food business), but the emphasis on the Tagalog language, the culture, and drug dealing in a small town add gravity and individuality to this outstanding series kick-off.” A Peak Pick! Continue reading “A hobby on the side: businesswomen solving crimes”
With the 2021 Academy Awards celebration coming up on Sunday, April 25, check out one of these recent novels with insider views of the film industry.
Pretty as a Picture by Elizabeth Little – Film editor Marissa Dahl experiences the world filtered through her encyclopedic knowledge of film. Struggling to find film editing work after a longtime partnership falls apart, Marissa accepts a job on a project already underway and shrouded in secrecy. Taken to an isolated island off the coast of Delaware, she discovers she’ll be working with an infamously demanding director on a film that recreates a long-ago true crime. Marissa joins a film shoot plagued by accidents and staff defections, and when a dead body is found that mimics the original crime, Marissa is pulled into investigating by two intrepid teenage girls making a podcast. Prior to reading this I didn’t know anything about the role a film editor plays in the final product, but Little incorporates a lot of interesting career and process detail into her murder mystery.
I love living – and being a librarian – in a city of readers, but I won’t lie: the eBook hold queues can be intense. New this month are 170 eBooks that are always available – no holds, no wait! Here are some highlights to get you started.
Each year, groups of librarians from across the country hole up in a room (this year, a virtual room) to discuss and select the best books from the year before. The Notable Books List features literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry; the Listen List is all about outstanding audiobooks; and The Reading List, which I want to tell you about today, highlights outstanding genre fiction in eight genres: Adrenaline (aka thrillers, adventure stories), Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Relationship Fiction, Romance, and Science Fiction.
While each genre has a winner, it also has a four-title shortlist of runners up. Taken together, the five books in each genre represent a range of the types of stories a reader can find in that genre, with the idea that both longtime fans and folks new to the genre can find a title of interest. If you are looking to branch out into new areas of fiction reading, it is a great place to start. Check out the 2021 winners (for books published in 2020) below, with annotations from the ALA Reading List Council, or in our catalog.