The staff of the County of L&A Libraries are avid readers and we’re always eager to share our favourite books. Here we bring you a list of some of the reads we’ve enjoyed this month. We have a broad array of reading tastes, so you’ll find everything from an incisive non-fiction title to historical fiction to chick-lit novel in the vein of Jojo Moyes.
Karen N. suggests 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
21 Lessons for the 21st Century: Future proof yourself against the 21st Century is a hard-hitting investigation of civilization’s most pertinent challenges. Humankind is moving deeper into uncharted technological and social territory. Reflective and thought provoking, this book explores how best to navigate our lives in this century of constant change, using fascinating examples from current affairs along the way.
It shares insights into such present-day issues as the role of technology in transforming humanity, the epidemic of false news, and the modern relevance of nations and religion. Accessible and engaging, this book is sure to interest current affairs enthusiasts, history buffs looking for fresh insights, and big-picture thinkers wanting a new perspective on the world’s challenges.”
Karen S. suggests Every Time You Go Away by Beth Harbison
“Three years after her husband’s death, Willa finally decides it’s time to clear out and sell their beach house, where he had died suddenly. Willa’s son Jamie eventually joins her, as does her best friend Kristin, then Kristin’s daughter Kelsey, and together they work on cleaning and fixing up the house, and sharing old memories.
The story is told in the alternating voices of Willa and teenage Jamie, both very likeable characters you’ll fall in love with. This is a heartwarming and engaging story that, even as it explores the themes of grief and letting go, is kept from being too sad by the wry humour evident in all of Harbison’s books – including the ghostly presence of Willa’s husband Ben whom only she can see and hear – and even a second chance at romance.”
Marg suggests The Dream Daughter by Diana Chamberlain
“The Dream Daughter, the highly anticipated new book by Diane Chamberlain took me on a rollercoaster of emotions! Although I have loved other books by this author I was a little skeptical when I realized that it involved time travel. I decided to give it a go and was happy that I did.
“This book alternates between the 1970s (when young, pregnant Carly finds out that her new husband Joey is killed in the Vietnam War) and the time period of 2001/2011/present day.
“Heartbroken Carly is dealt another blow when she finds out her unborn daughter has a heart defect and will not live long after her birth. Desperate to save her baby she listens to the seemingly harebrained scheme of her brother-in-law Hunter, a mysterious psychiatric patient who she first comes in contact with at her job as a physical therapist.
“This extremely emotional story encompasses a mother’s love and shows the extreme lengths that she is willing to go through to save the life of her baby. The author does a great job of weaving the characters of this poignant story through some of history’s most traumatic times including the Vietnam War and later 9/11 era New York City.”
Julie suggests Foe by Iain Reid
“How would you handle it if you had an opportunity of a lifetime but it meant you would be separated from your loved ones for a long time? Would it be easier or harder to be replaced in every aspect of your life?
“In this taut, philosophical mind-bender, a character named Junior is about to grapple with these very questions. While I found Foe did not pack the same punch as Reid’s last book, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, his writing style is just as compelling and will have the reader questioning how they would deal with such a separation and the lasting effect it would have on all your relationships.”
Kristin suggests My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan
“My Oxford Year is a sweet debut novel of self-discovery and first love, set within the breathtaking beauty of Oxford! In this story, we meet Ella Duran who is a busy, determined young woman.
“After dreaming of studying at Oxford since she was a little girl, she is finally accepted after being awarded the prestigious Rhodes scholarship. In addition to her challenging academic endeavor, she also has a career in America. This means she will be working remotely and flying back to D.C. the second her year in Oxford ends.
“Ella is a woman on a mission and is perfectly organized until she meets Jamie Davenport who just so happens to be her charismatic professor! Within no time at all her friendship with him turns into something much more, as she finds herself falling directly into a totally unexpected whirlwind relationship with a man she just met. The important messages that the author weaves into the story will linger with you long after the last page is turned, which may remind some readers of Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.
“In the end, this is a debut novel that will most definitely be well received, as it brings a classic setting vividly to life while introducing us to a young woman trying to achieve greatness in her professional life while trying to figure out what true love means in this modern era.”