November 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 fantasy (both adult and juvenile), a cozy mystery, and an immersive novel of historical fiction.

Coleen recently enjoyed Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

“One of my reading goals this year is to read outside of my normal comfort zone, in a new genre, so I picked up Christopher Paolini’s new Science Fiction book – new genre for him and me. He is noted for the Eragon series, which is a Young Adult Fantasy series. By reading a new genre I got to explore a whole new world – space – and with that the ideas of time travel, futuristic ships and aliens! You can see Paolini’s imagination at work and his ability honed from writing Fantasy (no doubt), in the wonderful creations he imagines for the story.”

Julie recently enjoyed The Thursday Night Murder Club by Richard Osman

If you have exhausted our library’s supply of Poirot, Miss Marple and Midsomer Murders DVDs then Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club is for you.  Set in an idyllic retirement community in the UK a group of unlikely sleuths get together on Thursdays to eat cake and pore over cold cases, but when a murder turns up in their backyard things get real as they set out to solve the mystery. The characters in this are truly memorable. If this sounds like your cup of tea then place a hold on it and if there is a wait list might I suggest an equally intriguing sleuth on the opposite end of the age spectrum in Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce series. I promise these cozy mysteries will provide great entertainment.”

Andree recently enjoyed The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi

“This is a moving story of the remarkable life journey of Lakshmi Shastri. Set in India a few years after their independence from the British, the book gives the reader a clear understanding of the rigid hierarchy of the caste system and Indian men’s dominance over women. Young teen Lakshmi is forced into marriage and taken to a new village to live with her husband and his mother. The latter is kind and teaches her all about herbal medicine. Lakshmi’s husband is cruel and beats her often so she runs away. She finds work in a brothel making potions for the women. While there she also learns the traditional art of henna decoration. Later, Lakshmi moves to Jaipur to start a new life. Her henna artistry makes her a favourite among that city’s higher caste women and her contraceptive potions are in high demand by the husbands for their mistresses. Through long hours of hard work and careful planning Lakshmi finally has enough money to hire a house builder. Her life seems almost perfect until the arrival of her husband and the younger sister she did not even know existed. Can she transform her fiery, teenaged sister into a well behaved lower caste young lady as required by social strictures?”

Patricia recently enjoyed No Offense by Meg Cabot

“No Offense by Meg Cabot was a quick, quirky, romance. The cute cover made me pick up the book, then I read the jacket and learned it was about a children’s librarian and finally I read: “The average citizen would probably be surprised to learn how often librarians – many of whom had masters degrees – were called upon to dispose of diapers or unclog toilets, though this was not listed anywhere in their job description.” I was hooked! I work in a library – I’ve disposed of diapers and unclogged toilets and by page eight I had already chuckled at the accurate portrayal of the glamourous life of a public librarian. Readers who enjoy Sophie Kinsella, Jasmine Guillory, Sally Thorne or Tessa Bailey might also enjoy this book.”

Jennifer recently enjoyed The Barren Grounds by David Robertson

“This novel of juvenile fiction embarks on an Indigenous fantasy series, the Misewa saga. The story introduces two displaced Cree children, Morgan and Eli, living with a well-meaning but culturally insensitive Manitoban foster family. The pair of First Nations children wrestle with past trauma and present challenges. On the upside, both kids find refuge in the arts: Morgan enjoys writing and Eli enjoys drawing. These creative outlets give the pair a way to express their feelings. Their shared interest sparks a conversation about their families, which in turn leads them to discover a quiet place to hang out in the old attic. A secret door offers a portal to another reality, the wintry Barren Grounds of Misewa. Here, Morgan and Eli meet animal beings who belong to the Misewa community. They speak Cree, observe traditions and live as a community. In this alternate realm the foster siblings find meaning that sustains them upon their return to Winnipeg.”

All of these items can be reserved County of Lennox & Addington Libraries online at


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