L&A Library staff picks for May

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 enjoyed this month, including a sweeping novel of historical fiction, a Canadian literary-horror blend, and a sci-fi novel featuring a flawed yet lovable AI protagonist. 

Madeline recently enjoyed Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano

Ann Napolitano brings readers to tears with this achingly beautiful, heart-wrenching story about the tumultuous lives of four sisters: Julia, Sylvie, Cecelia, and Emeline, as well as William, a man who becomes interwoven into their lives. The characters often experience “I never thought I would” moments, or moments where they themselves acted in ways which surprised even themselves that drastically changed their lives. Many of which feel inevitable to the reader and yet change the fundamental framework of how the character is viewed and views themselves, much like what happens in real life. The sweeping, intergenerational narrative has a clear emphasis on what holds the women together, and what threatens to tear them apart. So many different kinds of love are discussed, centering on a single question: can love truly heal someone who is broken?”

Amanda recently enjoyed And Then She Fell by Alicia Elliot

Canadian Indigenous author Alicia Elliott has published her debut fiction novel called And Then She Fell. When I saw the cover featuring a vibrant blue face of a girl with beaded earrings trapped within the branches of a tree with pink cockroaches, I just had to know more. Who is she? Why is she trapped? What’s with the cockroaches? Recently longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, And Then She Fell is an unforgettable, emotional, smart, mysterious, surreal, dark yet sometimes funny story-within-a-story about mental illness, grief, racism, tradition, motherhood, and resilience.”

Karen recently enjoyed The Expectant Detectives by Kat Ailes

“Young first-time expectant parent Alice and Joe leave London and move to the Cotswolds, hoping for a better place to raise their child. Alice is worried about being able to fit in with people in their new village, which has a lot of new-agey shops and even a local commune. She does, however, find friends at her prenatal classes, especially after one of the ladies gives birth during the class at the same time a murder happens downstairs. The moms-to-be join forces to solve this crime, and despite having little in common besides being pregnant, they become fast friends. This is an upbeat, engaging, humorous cozy mystery, and is the first book in a series. The second title Dead Tired is due to be published in June and I’m very much looking forward to reading it!”

Marg recently enjoyed The Manor House by Gilly Macmillan

“They’ve won a massive lottery prize, built their dream home and are living the life they’ve always dreamed of until one of them ends up dead! Childhood sweethearts Tom and Nicole find it hard to fathom the immense wealth bestowed upon them as they move into their state-of-the-art glass barn conversion built on land they purchased on the grounds of Lancaut Manor in rural England. Manor residents and closest neighbors Olly and Sasha along with their maid Kitty welcome the couple and make strides to befriend them. Then tragedy strikes when Nicole returns home to find Tom floating face down in their swimming pool. Distraught Nicole and the police are left to try to piece together what happened that fateful morning. Did an accident cause Tom to fall into the pool or did he die under more suspicious circumstances? Evidence soon surfaces that will have everyone questioning what they believe to be true. Everyone around Nicole seems to have secrets and insincere motives for infiltrating themselves into the wealthy widow’s life and everyone, including Nicole, proves to be capable of murder.”

Coleen recently enjoyed Mal Goes To War by Edward Ashton

“Mal is a free AI stuck in the middle of a war between ‘modded and augmented’ Federals and the Humanists – a group intent on keeping humans human. You will fall in love with Mal, a flawed, darkly comic character. Mal puts Mal first, but like a human, begins to develop feelings and empathy, which begs the reader to ask what it really means to be human. It’s like a ‘sci-fi novel meets Don Quixote’ blend of a book. With the right mix of action, fantastical, if not realistic AI, and futuristic elements, it will keep the sci-fi fan “stem-ulated” and newbies like me, ‘mining’ for more great reads.”

All of these titles can be reserved from your branch of the County of Lennox & Addington Libraries or online at CountyLibrary.ca

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