January 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 a novel of historical fiction for fans of The Crown, a sleep-inducing bedtime story, and an exciting thriller from one of Canada’s biggest authors in the genre.

Andree recently enjoyed Still Here by Amy Stuart

“Still Here is Canadian Amy Stuart’s third exciting, fast-paced novel about private investigator Clare O’Dey. In this outing, she is searching for her missing mentor and fellow private investigator Malcolm. Clare is certain she can find him and starts her hunt in the city where he previously lived. She soon discovers some unexpected facts including that Malcolm’s wife Zoe is also missing and presumed dead. Clare must determine if the disappearances are connected. Are the disturbing rumours about Zoe and her family true? Everyone she interviews believes Malcolm has gone underground because he murdered his wife. Clare cannot accept that and continues to investigate in order to prove them wrong. This gripping, psychological thriller moves quickly towards a satisfying conclusion with a number of intriguing twists and turns along the way.”

Kristin recently enjoyed The Other Windsor Girl by Georgie Blackstock

“Evoking the style of the widely popular show The Crown, the daughter of an impoverished noble is swept into the fame and notoriety of the royal family in this thrillingly intoxicating historical fiction novel. The story begins by introducing us to the Honorable Vera Strathmore who was happily engaged and looking forward to a pleasing life stretching out before her. However, a tragic event decimates all her plans overnight, and Vera begins secretly writing steamy romance novels in an attempt to regain the happiness she once enjoyed. Surprisingly, one of the biggest fans of her naughty novels is the one and only Princess Margaret! Thanks to a little luck and some mutual friends, Vera eventually gains an audience with the unruly princess. Before Vera knows it, she finds herself appointed as second lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret, sister to the future Queen Elizabeth. This novel takes readers on a wild adventure by following along with one of the most outspoken, hard-drinking, partner-swapping members of the royal family.”

Coleen recently enjoyed Arlo, The Lion Who Couldn’t Sleep by Catherine Rayner

“Hosting an online story time with your grandchildren or simply snuggling in bed with your little ones trying to get them to sleep? Try this peaceful bedtime story by Catherine Rayner. Presented on large pages perfect for a virtual visit, this story is beautifully illustrated in subtle watercolours and ink. Arlo the lion feels uncomfortable no matter how he tries to sleep, and is near exhaustion, when his friend owl comes along and teaches him a mindful way to fall asleep. Similar to a guided meditation, Owl’s sleep-inducing song is a fun way to introduce this practice to your children through a bedtime story. This also works for adults (I use this myself) so make sure you have enough room to fall asleep, as you share the story.”

Julie recently enjoyed All Together Now by Alan Doyle

“I am the first to admit that short stories are not my thing but if they are framed as pub stories…well, it works for me. Alan Doyle hits all the right ‘notes’ with All Together Now: A Newfoundlander’s Light Tales for Heavy Times. Needing something to keep himself busy after COVID so nicely cancelled his busy touring schedule, this little book is filled with tales from his life. It evokes that comfy feel of sitting back on your barstool with a pint while listening to the pub’s master storyteller spin yarns about the comings and goings of one’s life.  The book truly lives up to its subtitle of providing the reader with light tales during these heavy times so grab that pint, settle in, and enjoy.”

Jennifer recently enjoyed Field Notes from a Pandemic by Ethan Lou

“Canadian journalist Ethan Lou reflects on the social impact of COVID-19 as a witness to the early stages of the pandemic in various countries. Originally, Lou plans his travel as a bucket list to visit friends and family around the world. For starters, Lou’s visit to his dying grandfather in China in January 2020 coincides with the emergence of the virus. He catalogues his surreal experience as citizens’ lives pause as if in suspended animation while China responds to the virus. This hybrid of memoir-travelogue-commentary explores the personal, cultural, and global implications of how pandemic decisions influence individual actions, inform cultural shifts, and guide global changes.”

All of these titles can be reserved online with your library card at CountyLibrary.ca.

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