May We Suggest?

May We Suggest?This blog provides customized book recommendations to our patrons. To get your own, just fill out the May We Suggest form and you can expect results within 10 days. You can also like May We Suggest on facebook.

If you enjoy John Sanford, Vince Flynn, Lee Child, or David Rosenfelt try one of these suggestions of gripping mysteries with great characters. Many are part of ongoing series.

American spy : a novel by Lauren Wilkinson
Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook

It's 1986, the heart of the Cold War, and Marie Mitchell is an intelligence officer with the FBI. She's brilliant, but she's also a young black woman working in an old boys' club. Her career has stalled and her days are filled with monotonous paperwork. So when she's given the opportunity to join a shadowy task force aimed at undermining Thomas Sankara, the charismatic revolutionary president of Burkina Faso whose Communist ideology has made him a target for American intervention, she says yes.

Bad monkey by Carl Hiaasen
Also available in: e-book | audiobook

Andrew Yancy--late of the Miami Police and soon-to-be-late of the Monroe County sheriff's office--has a human arm in his freezer. There's a logical explanation for that, but not for how and why it parted from its shadowy owner. For more Andrew Yancy, check out Razor Girl.

In 1963, Apted was a 22-year-old Cambridge law student from southeast England who aspired to be a filmmaker. He found a job as a researcher for a TV documentary called Seven Up! ...The documentary evolved into a pioneering social experiment. Every seven years, the filmmakers checked in with the children as they aged. Over nine episodes, the subjects — originally 14 of them — found careers, experienced heartbreak and success, got married and divorced and in some cases, died. - NPR

You can find all episodes of Apted's "UP" series at the library as well as his other critically-acclaimed films.

Also available in: e-video

The latest installment of ITV's landmark documentary series returns to visit the people whose lives have been followed since they were just seven-years-old. The original '7 Up' was broadcast in 1964 as a one-off World in Action Special featuring children chosen from different backgrounds to talk about their hopes and dreams for the future...Director Michael Apted, who has since moved to Hollywood to direct films including 'The World Is Not Enough' and 'Gorillas in the Mist', has returned every seven years to chart the children's progress through life.

The life of the "Queen of Country Music" from her backwoods Appalachia home to the Grand Ole Opry and super stardom.

Black Bottom saints : a novel by 1959- Alice Randall
Also available in: e-book | audiobook

An enthralling literary tour-de-force that pays tribute to Detroit's legendary neighborhood, a mecca for jazz, sports, and politics, Black Bottom Saints is a powerful blend of fact and imagination reminiscent of E.L. Doctorow's classic novel Ragtime and Marlon James' Man Booker Award-winning masterpiece, A Brief History of Seven Killings. From the Great Depression through the post-World War II years, Joseph "Ziggy" Johnson, has been the pulse of Detroit's famous Black Bottom. A celebrated gossip columnist for the city's African-American newspaper, the Michigan Chronicle, he is also the emcee of one of the hottest night clubs, where he's rubbed elbows with the legendary black artists of the era, including Ethel Waters, Billy Eckstein, and Count Basie. Ziggy is also the founder and dean of the Ziggy Johnson School of Theater. But now the doyen of Black Bottom is ready to hang up his many dapper hats. As he lays dying in the black-owned-and-operated Kirkwood Hospital, Ziggy reflects on his life, the community that was the center of his world, and the remarkable people who helped shape it. Inspired by the Catholic Saints Day Books, Ziggy curates his own list of Black Bottom's venerable "52 Saints." Among them are a vulnerable Dinah Washington, a defiant Joe  Louis, and a raucous Bricktop. Randall balances the stories of these larger-than-life "Saints" with local heroes who became household names, enthralling men and women whose unstoppable ambition, love of style, and faith in community made this black Midwestern neighborhood the rival of New York City's Harlem. Accompanying these "tributes" are thoughtfully paired cocktails--special drinks that capture the essence of each of Ziggy's saints--libations as strong and satisfying as Alice Randall's wholly original view of a place and time unlike any other.

Also available in: e-book

From Ty Cobb and Hank Greenberg to the Bad Boys, from Joe Louis and Gordie Howe to the Malice at the Palace, City of Champions explores the history of Detroit through the stories of its most gifted athletes and most celebrated teams, linking iconic events in the history of Motown sports to the city's shifting fortunes. . Driven by the conviction that sports not only mirror society but also have a special power to create both community and enduring narratives that help define a city s sense of self, City of Champions is a unique history of the most American of cities. 

Also available in: e-book

Les Payne, the renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, embarked in 1990 on a nearly thirty-year-long quest to interview anyone he could find who had actually known Malcolm X--all living siblings of the Malcolm Little family, classmates, street friends, cellmates, Nation of Islam figures, FBI moles and cops, and political leaders around the world. His goal was ambitious: to transform what would become over a hundred hours of interviews into an unprecedented portrait of Malcolm X, one that would separate fact from fiction. The result is this historic biography that conjures a never-before-seen world of its protagonist, a work whose title is inspired by a phrase Malcolm X used when he saw his Hartford followers stir with purpose, as if the dead were truly arising, to overcome the obstacles of racism. Setting Malcolm's life not only within the Nation of Islam but against the larger backdrop of American history, the book traces the life of one of the twentieth century's most politically relevant figures "from street criminal to devoted moralist and revolutionary. "In tracing Malcolm X's life from his Nebraska birth in 1925 to his Harlem assassination in 1965, Payne provides searing vignettes culled from Malcolm's Depression-era youth, describing the influence of his Garveyite parents: his father, Earl, a circuit-riding preacher who was run over by a street car in Lansing, Michigan, in 1929, and his mother, Louise, who continued to instill black pride in her children after Earl's death. Filling each chapter with resonant drama, Payne follows Malcolm's exploits as a petty criminal in Boston and Harlem in the 1930s and early 1940s to his religious awakening and conversion to the Nation of Islam in a Massachusetts penitentiary. With a biographer's unwavering determination, Payne corrects the historical record and delivers extraordinary revelations--from the unmasking of the mysterious NOI founder "Fard Muhammad," who preceded Elijah Muhammad; to a hair-rising scene, conveyed in cinematic detail, of Malcolm and Minister Jeremiah X Shabazz's 1961 clandestine meeting with the KKK; to a minute-by-minute account of Malcolm X's murder at the Audubon Ballroom. Introduced by Payne's daughter and primary researcher, Tamara Payne, who, following her father's death, heroically completed the biography, The Dead Are Arising is a penetrating and riveting work that affirms the centrality of Malcolm X to the African American freedom struggle.

In 1998, Congress extended the date of copyright expiration for works published between 1923 and 1977 to 95 years. So as of this year, many great works originally published in 1925 are now part of the public domain, accessible to free legal use. Check out some of these 96 yr old titles and find out why they're still on reading lists and influencing popular culture.

Books

The Great Gatsby : the graphic novel by 1985- adaptor Fred Fordham
Also available in: print | audiobook | video | e-music

Jay Gatsby had once loved beautiful, spoiled Daisy Buchanan, then lost her to a rich boy. Now, mysteriously wealthy, he is ready to risk everything to woo her back.

Reader Wearing a Medical Mask - Photo by Mat Reding on Unsplash

 

 

 

During this pandemic year, some of our book club members found that they had extra time to do extra reading, while others found themselves suffering from a lack of focus. Some discovered new formats and found books to help them on new journeys, while others turned to old favorites. Regardless of the reading challenges of 2020, here are the recommendations from the Lunch and a Book Club of some of the best books they read this year.

 

 

Masked Reader - Photo by Mat Reding on Unsplash

Fiction

What better way to enjoy the chilly, snowy days to come than curled up with a good book? These nonfiction picks are great for winter evenings full of quiet contemplation.

Books for living by Will Schwalbe

Contemporary realistic fiction takes place in the present and covers topics that are likely to happen in real life. These novels explore many common issues for modern teenagers. Looking for a funny story? Jump down to the "Humor" section. 

All-American Muslim girl by 1980- Nadine Jolie Courtney

Sixteen-year-old Allie, aged seven when she knew her family was different and feared, struggles to claim her Muslim and Arabic heritage while finding her place as an American teenager.

Clap when you land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Two sisters mourn their father's death after his plane crashes on a flight to the Dominican Republic.

"Breaking from the James Bond mold, he turned the spy novel into high art as he explored the moral compromises of agents on both sides of the Iron curtain." (New York Times)

From page to screen, check out the library's selection of works by this master of dark, emotional intrigue.

The spy who came in from the cold by 1931- John Le Carré
Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy by 1931- John Le Carré
Also available in: video

There are so many ways to celebrate each other during holiday seasons.  What are your favorite traditions? The best thing about traditions is they are meant to be shared so take the time to tell others about your favorites and learn something about theirs.

 

Korean Celebrations takes young readers on an exciting exploration of Korea's colorful festivals and family celebrations--wonderful days that are filled with exciting activities and delicious foods. This book allows children to experience Korean culture firsthand by involving them in games, crafts, foods and other activities like the following: Preparing and enjoying delicious songpeyon--sweet dumplings that everyone loves to eat on Chuseok (Korea's version of Thanksgiving) Folding a paper carnation--a favorite Parent's Day gift! Making your own board game to play Yut-Nori--a game of luck and strategy that's played during Seollal, Korea's all-important New Year celebrations Writing simple Korean phrases using the Hanguel alphabet, Korea's written language--which is celebrated with its own holiday (Hanguel Day)! Making a paper fan--something kids always like to do when the hot summer holidays roll around! Making your own Pepero chocolate cookies or pretzel treats that also have their own just-for-fun festival day called Pepero Day Kids also learn about other special Korean celebrations and festivals such as: Dano--the end of the planting season which is full of fun competitions like wrestling and swinging contests Children's Day--a spring day off from school, when parents take their kids out for a day of fun Daeboreum--a holiday to celebrate the moon, filled with special dances, twirling fire, lots of walking and, of course, special foods Special birthdays (like turning one, or turning sixty) and other family celebrations. ...And plenty more. Because in Korea, a holiday or celebration is always just around the corner! Allow kids to immerse themselves in the lives of their Korean counterparts with this interactive multicultural children's book.

Sometimes we just want to read about what's familiar or what's possible. Here are some suggestions for books that feature a high level of realism. You probably won't find many dragons or wizards or outer space adventures here. Books are suggested for Sixth Grade, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level.

Amal unbound by Aisha Saeed
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook | large print

Life is quiet and ordinary in Amal's Pakistani village, but she had no complaints, and besides, she's busy pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher one day. Her dreams are temporarily dashed when--as the eldest daughter--she must stay home from school to take care of her siblings. Amal is upset, but she doesn't lose hope and finds ways to continue learning. Then the unimaginable happens--after an accidental run-in with the son of her village's corrupt landlord, Amal must work as his family's servant to pay off her own family's debt.

Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook | large print

Some people can do their homework. Some people get to have crushes on boys. Some people have other things they've got to do. Seventh-grader Zoey has her hands full as she takes care of her much younger siblings after school every day while her mom works her shift at the pizza parlor. Not that her mom seems to appreciate it. At least there's Lenny, her mom's boyfriend--they all get to live in his nice, clean trailer. Can Zoey find the courage to speak up, even if it means risking the most stable home she's ever had?

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