What We’re Reading at Home

What We’re Reading at Home

We’ve been busy reading while we #stayhome. See what our staff has been reading below.


Emily

The Book of Essie by Meghan by MacLean Weir

The youngest daughter of a famous reality show evangelical family becomes pregnant. Essie helps her mother manufacture an engagement to a classmate in order to cover for the public, all the while providing the true story to a reporter with her own background trauma from religious fanaticism. An absorbing read with a trio of central characters you won’t want to leave behind. This book will appeal to adult and high school-age fiction lovers, reality TV junkies.


Phoebe

Flight Season by Marie Marquardt

This novel trails two characters trying to navigate their own personal worlds. It is a cleverly designed novel that allows insight into each of the characters minds. I finished this book in one go because it was so captivating. Young Adult readers who like self realization novels with a touch of romance would love this!


Michelle C.

Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman

I found myself drawn into the Netflix miniseries “Unorthodox” about a young woman growing up in the Hasidic Jewish Community of Williamsburg, NY in present day.  It was a limited series, only four episodes, I think, but I was fascinated to learn about this religious community, their beliefs and traditions. That led me to the book upon which the series was based, an autobiography also titled Unorthodox and written by Deborah Feldman. I found her coming of age story to be fascinating and a triumph about how to follow your own path in the most extraordinary of circumstances. The description of Jewish food, the kosher preparations they follow, the clothing and hairstyles allowed by single and married women and what they represent, were all very interesting to me in addition to the main story itself.  Readers of biography, history, and religious and women’s studies will love this book.


Carolyn

Camino Island by John Grisham

I listened to and really liked Camino Island, which is about a young woman is recruited to recover priceless F. Scott Fitzgerald manuscripts that were stolen during a daring heist. I thought it was interesting that the book was loosely inspired by Amelia Island in Florida and that the town with the bookstore in the book was modeled off Fernandina, Florida. I recommend it for anyone looking for a good mystery.


George

The Sherlock Holmes Handbook or The Methods and Mysteries of the Worlds Greatest Detective by Ransom Riggs

The book is a reader’s companion to the casework of Sherlock Holmes and it explores the methodology of the world’s most famous consulting detective. Written in a lively fashion, it covers everything from analyzing fingerprints to bee keeping. 224 pages, but can be read in a Pittsburgh rainy afternoon. The Sherlock Holmes Handbook will appeal to Baker Street Irregulars of all ages. Fun read.


Blair

The Bad Seed by William March

I’m just finishing The Bad Seed, the novel by William March.  I had just re-watched the film of the same name – powerful performance by Nancy Kelly as the mother of the murderous Rhoda – and wondered about source material.  The book is vastly different from the film but it is a deep and abiding portrait of a mother faced with the horrific circumstances involving a child (think “The Exorcist”).  It is complex because the mother is as responsible for what occurs as the child. Great stuff!


Lynne

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

I recently read The Glass Hotel. Beautifully written and with intriguing characters. From the author of Station Eleven— which was even better. I’m currently reading Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffith (which just won the Edgar Award for 2020); a slightly spooky mystery — can’t wait to find out whodunit!

 


Richelle

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

This well-written story keeps you guessing until the end. It’s a modern mystery with a mid-level pace and several red herrings thrown in to keep readers engaged. I could barely put the book down & enjoyed several late-night reading sessions! Mystery lovers will enjoy this title.

 


Dustin

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

I enjoyed it because it had elements of true crime as well as history. It tells a piece of the story of how to FBI came to be through the narrative surrounding a number of unsolved murders.

 


Laura M.

The Five Silent Years of Corrie Ten Boom by Pamela Rosewell Moore

The book I’m reading is really old, but really inspiring! So inspiring that I’m reading it a second time back-to-back! During World War II, Corrie and her family were arrested and sent to a concentration camp for hiding Jews in their home in Holland. The library also has Corrie’s best-selling book The Hiding Place which launched for Corrie a worldwide ministry of travel and speaking for 30 + years. Rosewell’s book is an inspiring account of how Corrie’s ministry amazingly continued after she suffered a stroke and could no longer speak! But the book I would recommend first is The Hiding Place because that would introduce readers to this inspiring lady, Corrie Ten Boom!


Jen

The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

Right now I am reading The Mirror & the Light. Although I am only about half way through it, I am enjoying it. I love the way she writes; you really feel like you are right there, talking to Henry VIII. Mantel is descriptive and the book is really well researched.  This is the third book in the Wolf Hall Trilogy, so if  you liked Wolf Hall (personal favorite) or Bring Up the Bodies, also by Mantel, you will enjoy this book!


Stephanie

The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott

Based on a true story, this book explores the secret Cold War plot to bring Doctor Zhivago to the world. The idea that literature can change the world prompted the CIA to try and smuggle this masterpiece out of the USSR. Prescott weaves the tales of Pasternak, his muse Olga, and the CIA to create this delicious blend of historical fiction and espionage thriller. Read if you like historical fiction, spies, and Russian literature.


Alex

So Much Longing In So Little Space / The Art of Edvard Munch by Karl Ove Knausgaard

I am reading So Much Longing In So Little Space / The Art of  Edvard Munch by Karl Ove Knausgaard. Loving this book, a brilliant writer’s thoughts and opinions about  the work and psyche of one of my favorite painters, Munch. Every sentence is rich and provocative, with many references to philosophers and other painters (including interviews with) and of course a plethora of information about Munch’s life.


 

Sage

UnTamed by Glennon Doyle

I loved this book!  Honest, raw and gave me so much to think about in regards to relationships and how to live life authentically.

 


Bette

Virgin River by Robyn Carr

I have read many books during this time but here are three I really enjoyed: Virgin River a light read from Robyn Carr. When you finish the book you can binge watch the original Netflix series of the same name based on the book. The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grimes is a debut novel that delves into the family secrets of an Italian American family. I could not put down this timely family story. And also once again local author Marie Benedict’s Lady Clementine entertains while giving us a gentle history lesson.


Ellen

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

This is the perfect book for anyone who needs a laugh.  Especially if you have kids.  Comedy Lovers will really enjoy this title.  I also read, When Life Gives You Pears by Jeannie Gaffigan (writer, director & Jim’s wife). When you are a mother of five and writing partner of a well-know comedian, learning that you have a tumor the size of a pear in your head is not great news.  Well, it’s not really great news for anyone.  Even though medical scares are serious, Gaffigan is able to tell her story humor and heart. This title is really great for Biography readers.


 

Let Us Help You Find Your Perfect Match

Have you ever needed help finding a good book? MatchBook is here to help with that! The librarians at Sewickley Public Library have created this easy-to-use online form that you can use to get great reading recommendations. Librarians have been the go-to resource for finding reading material for ages. Now you can get help with your book list from the comfort of your own home.

Every time a form is filled out, one of our librarians will receive a notification. They will make 3 to 5 title recommendations based on the information that you entered. Users should expect a response within one week.  The service is available for all ages and can be accessed at www.sewickleylibrary.org/matchbook.

Please note that during the COVID-19 closure, librarians are unable to request physical items for patrons. All recommendations will be available in an online format (ebook or eaudiobook). 

March Staff Pick: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Our March Staff Pick is from Pat, on the first anniversary of it’s publication in March 2013, after nearly 50 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List (including time spent in the number one spot): Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Click the title to read more about the book and see reviews in our library catalog.

This book received a *Starred Review* from Booklist and was called, “the new manifesto for women in the workplace,” by Oprah Winfrey.

Here is what Pat has to say about the book, and why she liked it:Lean In

The chief operating officer of Facebook wisely and clearly explains the inequalities women face in the workforce and how she has paved her way. This book reads and rings true, especially for young women in all leadership positions. Sandberg writes compellingly and includes a wonderful family background that guided her throughout and taught her well. Those who have made gains for women and others need to understand that these huge strides have made the world a better place for everyone.

Pat also said that she thought Lean In would be eye-opening for men as well as women, even especially for men.

Lean In is also available at Sewickley Public Library as a Book on CD; or through OverDrive as a eBook in both Kindle Book and Adobe EPUB eBook formats, and as an eAudiobook in both mp3 and WMA formats.

It’s Cold Outside…Warm up with these Books!

To see if the item is available, click on the title.
eBook Titles are RED, eAudio Book Titles are Green

1225 Christmas Tree Lane By Debbie Macomber – Beth Morehouse expects this Christmas to be one of her best. Her small Christmas-tree farm is prospering, her daughters and her dogs are happy and well, and her new relationship with local vet Ted Reynolds is showing plenty of romantic promise. But someone left a basket filled with puppies on her doorstep, that’s complication number one. Number two is that her daughters have invited their dad, Beth’s ex-husband, Kent, to Cedar Cove for Christmas.

An Amish Christmas: A Novel By Cynthia Keller – Celebrating life’s simplest but most essential values, packed with laughter and tears, this is a story of forgiveness and the power of love. You will never forget the special moment in time that is An Amish Christmas.

Anne Perry’s Silent Nights: Two Victorian Christmas Mysteries by Anne Perry – Here are two holiday mysteries set in remote, snow-covered regions of Victorian Britain–where the nights are indeed silent but all is not calm, and where some will sleep in eternal peace.

A Cedar Cove Christmas by Debbie Macomber – Mother-to-be Mary Jo Wyse arrives in Cedar Cove on Christmas Eve, searching for her baby’s father. David Rhodes had said he’d be in town. But he isn’t. Which leaves Mary Jo stranded, pregnant and alone. And there’s no room at the local inn…

A Chesapeake Shores Christmas by Sherryl Woods – After years apart, Mick and Megan O’Brien are finally ready to make it official…again. Most of their grown children couldn’t be happier about their rekindled love and impending marriage this holiday season. Only Connor is a holdout. Driven to become a divorce attorney after what he views as his mother’s abandonment of their family, Connor’s not about to give his blessing to this reunion romance.

The Christmas Box By Richard Paul Evans – Richard, a busy and preoccupied father, discovers a Christmas box full of love letters from an old woman to her dead daughter and, with the help of an angel, begins to learn the true meaning of Christmas.

The Christmas Brides by Linda Lael Miller – Lizzie McKettrick is homebound with a Christmas Eve surprise for her family—Whitley Carson. He might seem too interested in the McKettrick money, but she’s certain Whitley cares for her. But fate has a surprise for Lizzie—Morgan Shane. When their train is stranded by an avalanche the handsome doctor takes charge with Lizzie by his side. With faith, hard work and some unexpected help, it might be a joyous McKettrick family Christmas after all.

A Christmas Grace by Anne Perry – With Christmas just around the corner, Thomas Pitt’s sister-in-law, Emily Radley, is suddenly called from London to be with her dying aunt. Leaving her husband and two children behind, she makes the long journey to her aunt’s home in Connemara, an all-but-forgotten town on the coast of Western Ireland. Emily soon discovers that a tragic legacy is haunting the once close-knit community.

Christmas Letters By Debbie Macomber – When Catherine O’Connor, who writes Christmas letters for other people, meets Dr. Wynn Jeffries, a child psychologist, at the French cafe on Blossom Street, their opposing viewpoints on raising children ruins Catherine’s Christmas cheer.

The Christmas List By Richard Paul Evans – A successful but heartless businessman sees his own obituary in the newspaper after a case of mistaken identity, setting in motion a series of events that profoundly changes the lives of several people who have suffered due to his ruthless business practices.

A Christmas Carol: in prose being a ghost story of Christmas by Charles Dickens – Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly businessman, learns the true meaning of Christmas after he is visited by the ghosts of Christmases past, present, and future.

The Christmas Pearl By Dorothea Benton Frank – The matriarch of a family of belligerent idiots, Theodora finds her efforts at bringing them together for a South Carolina Christmas reunion have gone badly awry, until a very special someone uses Gullah magic and common sense to bring about a miracle.

Christmas, Present By Jacquelyn Mitchard – When Eliot and Laura Banner learn that Laura has a terminal condition, they gather their children and family around themselves during the holiday season to convey her blessings to them for the future and remember their shared history.

The Christmas Quilt: an Elm Creek Quilts Novel By Jennifer Chiaverini – While decorating Elm Creek Manor on Christmas Eve, Sarah McClure discovers an incomplete Christmas quilt and sets out to uncover its history with the help of Sylvia Bergstrom Compson, who reveals why the quilt had never been finished.

The Christmas Sweater By Glenn Beck – A holiday tale relates the story of a thirteen-year-old boy whose final gift from his mother, a sweater, is scorned in favor of more expensive gifts before a tragic car accident ends the mother’s life.

The Christmas Thief By Mary Higgins Clark – Lottery winner-turned-amateur sleuth Alvirah Meehan joins with private detective Regan Reilly to track down the ninety-foot tree, destined for display in Rockefeller Center, that vanished en route to the city.

The Christmas Train by David Baldacci – On a train ride to Los Angeles, cash-strapped journalist Tom Langdon encounters a ridiculous cast of characters, unexpected romance, and an avalanche that changes everyone’s Christmas plans.

The Christmas Wedding By James Patterson – Relates the story of Gaby Summerhill, a widow planning a holiday wedding to a groom whose identity remains a surprise to her four children.

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen – What appears as a typical Midwestern family is anything but as preparations are made for an ideal family holiday. Alfred, the father is losing his fight to control Parkinson’s disease and dementia. His wife, Enid is no longer in control of her household and feels her choices slipping away. Their three grown children are struggling with their own lives. But for this Christmas, Enid is determined to bring them together for the perfect family holiday.

Dashing Through the Snow By Mary Higgins Clark – In Branscombe, N.H., novelist Nora Regan Reilly and her PI daughter, Regan Reilly, and their close friends Alvirah and Will Meehan, track down a missing employee of Conklin’s Market who is connected with a $160 million lottery and the winnings.

Handknit Holidays: Knitting Year-round for Christmas, Hannukah, and Winter Solstice By Melanie Falick with Betty Christiansen – For many people, the best part of the winter holidays is the anticipation: planning the perfect gifts, decorating the house, looking forward to seeing family and friends. Holidays can be particularly special for knitters, whose preparations often start months in advance and involve their own creations.

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas By Agatha Christie – The cerebral Belgian detective uses impeccable logic to locate the murderer of a millionaire in the dreary English Midlands.

Holidays on Ice By David Sedaris – An anthology of humorous Christmas tales and essays features excerpts from the author’s “Barrel Fever” and “Naked,” as well as “The Santaland Diaries,” “Season’s Greetings to Our Friends and Family,” and a new tale of holiday mayhem.

Joan Nathan’s Jewish Holiday Cookbook by Joan Nathan – Jewish holidays are defined by food. Yet Jewish cooking is always changing, encompassing the flavors of the world, embracing local culinary traditions of every place in which Jews have lived and adapting them to Jewish observance. This collection, the culmination of Joan Nathan’s decades of gathering Jewish recipes from around the world, is a tour through the Jewish holidays as told in food.

Kwanzaa: a Celebration of Family, Community, and Culture By Maulana Karenga – Written by the creator of the holiday, this book presents the continental African and African-American origins of the celebration, a chapter on each of the Seven Principles, explanations of the meaning of related symbols, suggested activities, and a wrap-up section in which Karenga answers frequently asked questions.

Lakeshore Christmas By Susan Wiggs – Prim librarian Maureen Davenport lives for Christmas–and there’s nothing more magical than Christmas on Willow Lake. Finally getting her chance to direct Avalon’s annual holiday pageant, she’s determined to make it truly spectacular.

Lost December By Richard Paul Evans – Presents a story inspired by the biblical tale of the prodigal son in which Luke, a recent MBA graduate, refuses to take over the family business and instead cashes out his trust funds to pursue a life of wanton pleasure.

The Mitford Snowmen: A Christmas Story By Jan Karon – The inhabitants of the small town of Mitford join together at Christmastime for a fun-filled snowman-building contest, complete with hot chocolate, doughnuts, and the joy of the holiday season.

O, Ghostly Night by Tennant Redbank – This 32-page early reader re-tells part of the Walt Disney Studio feature film, A Christmas Carol, the timeless tale of an old miser who must face Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet-to-Come.

The Perfect Christmas By Debbie Macomber – Thirty-three-year-old Cassie wants a husband and kids, and she turns to Simon Dodson, a professional matchmaker for help. Dodson assigns her three tasks to complete, and despite a number of comical mishaps, Cassie completes them all. Her Christmas match turns out to be a wonderful surprise.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg – A magical train ride on Christmas Eve takes a boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa Claus.

Promise Me By Richard Paul Evans – Beth Cardall’s life was falling apart: her six-year-old daughter, Charlotte, was suffering from an unidentifiable illness; her marriage transformed from a seemingly happy and loving relationship to one full of betrayal and pain; her job was increasingly at risk; and she had lost her ability to trust, to hope, or to believe in herself. Then, on Christmas day, Beth encountered Matthew.

A Redbird Christmas By Fannie Flagg – In a tiny and remote Alabama town, an unexpected, unusual, and life-transforming event that occurs on one Christmas morning changes a family and a town forever, in a heartwarming holiday novel by the author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.

Santa Cruise: a Holiday Mystery at Sea By Mary Higgins Clark – Embarking on a mystery seminar cruise during the holiday season, amateur sleuth Alvirah, private detective Regan, and their family members find their voyage overshadowed by a ghost spotting, the disappearance of a fan, and an unexpected storm.

Shakespeare’s Christmas By Charlaine Harris – While attending her sister’s wedding the cleaning lady and karate expert, Lily Bard of Arkansas, investigates an unsolved kidnapping which occurred eight years earlier. It seems both the child and the kidnapper are in town.

Skipping Christmas By John Grisham – Luther and Nora Krank have decided to set sail on a Caribbean cruise on December 25th and skip Christmas. They are about to discover that their decision brings enormous consequences–and isn’t half as easy as they imagined.

The Stupidest Angel: a Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror By Christopher Moore – A humorous tale of what happens when a none-too-clever angel overhears a little boy, who, having witnessed Santa taking a shovel to the head, prays for Santa to return from the dead.

The Thanksgiving Visitor; One Christmas; & A Christmas Memory By Truman Capote – Three stories describe a boy’s relationship with his elderly cousin and alcoholic father and the indelible holiday memories they provided him.

White Christmas Pie By Wanda E. Brunstetter – In this bittersweet holiday romance set in Amish country, Will Henderson, a young man tortured by his past, meets Karen Yoder, a young woman looking for answers as they both become involved with a desperate father searching for his son.

Wishin’ and Hopin: A Christmas Story By Wally Lamb – It’s 1964 and ten-year-old Felix is sure of a few things: the birds and the bees are puzzling, television is magical, and this is one Christmas he’ll never forget.

 

To see even more Holiday Books, Click Here.