May staff picks roundup

Catherine Coles
Coles’ Notes 

The staff of the County of L&A Libraries are avid readers and always eager to share their favourite books. Here we bring you a list of some of the reads we’ve recently enjoyed. This month you’ll find an intriguing YA novel, a fitness and self-care book, a moving memoir, and more.

Julie suggests The Book of Letters I Didn’t Know Where to Send by Steve Patterson

“Steve Patterson’s The Book of Letters I Didn’t Know Where to Send is a collection of correspondence that are a perfect length if you find your mind wandering these days. It is an easy ‘pick up and set down’ book. Patterson uses his trademark wit that you may have heard on CBC’s The Debaters and no person or thing is safe from his pondering, whether it is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the ladies of the earth, or the letter K (he doesn’t ‘k’now why can’t it just make up its mind whether it is silent or not). If you are looking for an escape from the news of the day, I guarantee this book will put a smile on your face. Thank you, Steve!”

Jennifer suggests Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite

“This Young Adult novel is an intriguing alchemy of how reality and magic mix to create personal truth. This high drama coming-of-age story resembles Star Wars as an exploration of a dark legacy which juxtaposes grand and individual perspectives. Hints of magical realism appear in the possible manifestation of a generational curse rooted in Haitian custom. This nuanced menace nicely complements the primary thread of the novel told from a young woman’s perspective. As consequence for a school incident, Alaine reports on Haiti’s history as part of a mandated internship in a Haitian charity. Her experiences offer a compelling bittersweet ‘own voice’ narrative that balances lively and sardonic humour. Uniquely co-authored by Haitian sisters this authentic and amusing novel offers romance, mystery, and adventure all in pursuit of untangling the ties that bind family relationships.”

Coleen suggests Find your Path: Honor your body, fuel your soul, and get strong with the FIT52 Life by Carrie Underwood

“I have to admit that I have a weakness for self-help and fitness books. For me they are like taking a class in school, but with a lot less homework…so I was excited to see the new “lifestyle” book by Carrie Underwood come into the library. Packed with a good mix of fitness and nutrition are her own personal anecdotes of growing up, breaking into the music industry, and now raising her family. Her straightforward attitude is refreshing, and her workouts and nutrition plan are not only flexible and sensible, but backed up by a nutritionist and trainer. It includes both workouts and recipes, with pictures! If you are looking for inspiration as a beginner or a dedicated athlete you will find in here — whether it’s a delicious healthy recipe, a new way to break a sweat or some self care tips.”

Marg suggests The Housekeeper by Natalie Barelli

“Natalie Barelli is a domestic thriller writer I have recently discovered while using Hoopla. Her newest book called The Housekeeper is the first one I read and I really liked her style of writing, character development, and twisty plot turns. In this novel, Claire, who secures employment under an assumed identity, sets out to destroy the now wealthy Hannah who wronged her years ago. Little does she realize what is going on behind closed doors and the danger she is putting herself in. If you are a fan of psychological/domestic thrillers, I would suggest you give this author a try. Her titles are available for instant download in a variety of formats through Hoopla.”

Karen N suggests In The Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

“In the Dream House is Carmen Maria Machado’s heart-wrenching account of a relationship gone bad, and a candid and compelling dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. Tracing the full arc of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman, Machado struggles to make sense of how what happened to her shaped the person she was becoming. It is a great read-alike for Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson and This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett.”

All of these items are available in digital formats and can be reserved County of Lennox & Addington Libraries online at

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