Every librarian here at CPL has great suggestions for your reading pleasure. We all read different genres and have different tastes, so you’ll have a rich and varied list to choose from every month.
Below are our Staff Picks for June!
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Amani is a girl from the sands in the guise of a boy. Why? She wants to be free; free from being someone else’s property, free to do as she pleases, free to shoot in the competitions, free to speak her own thoughts, free of Dustwalk. After meeting Jin, a handsome foreigner, and taming an immortal being, she becomes caught up in his secrets, his revolution, his war. The Sultan’s forces are using people and the Gallan forces are toying with everyone, no questions asked and people are starving and dying. Action packed, great characters and a 2017-2018 MSBA nominee. –-Amy
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
A stunning, gothic mystery of twins, ghosts, and the hauntings of a badly damaged family. Counterbalancing the spooky side is a wholesome dose of antiquarian bookshops, doting fathers, delightful new friends, and a wonderful cast of leading ladies. Highly recommended on audio. —Cayla
How to Talk to Anyone : 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships by Leil Lowndes
Don’t judge the book by its title! While it may sound like a dry bullet point list of talking points for executives, this book is for everyone, and the advice can be applied to personal and professional interactions. How To Talk To Anyone is about relationships – your colleagues, your spouse, a first date, a stranger at a party, your dentist’s office receptionist – and the techniques introduced here can be applied in different measures to all. The book features a numbered list format, with each “little trick” featuring an example of how the technique can be used. Sometimes these stories sound a bit contrived, but they are effective in making a bullet point into a vivid and memorable illustration. There were some outdated references to technology – “a phone recording machine”, as well as some outdated terminology and slang in general, but surely anyone can take something helpful away from the 92 points in this book. My personal favorite – how to receive a compliment with grace whether you agree with it or not, “That’s very kind of you to say!” I am going to test that one out right now. Did you like my review? “That’s very kind of you to say!” Now doesn’t that make you feel special right back? —Olga
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
A 2013 non-fiction book about the rowing team from Seattle who won the 1936 Olympics. The book concentrates on the hardships of one particular team member. I really enjoyed the very descriptive narrative of this nonfiction tale, at times his descriptive style reminded me of some of the passages in David McCullough’s books. –Mary
A Line Made by Walking by Sara Baume
A young artist named Frankie who finds herself unable to cope with life holes up at her late grandmother’s bungalow. The language is beautiful and spare, very introspective. It’s a character-centered story, following Frankie as she examines her present depression and anxiety. Lovely lyrical, insightful writing about painful subjects. —Marie
The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve & Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
I recently read two new novels by popular authors with ties to Maine: Anita Shreve’s The Stars Are Fire and Elizabeth Strout’s Anything Is Possible. I don’t recall having read anything by Shreve, but this novel shows me why she is so beloved: she is a fine storyteller. On the other hand, I’ve read all of Strout’s novels, and I always come away touched and dazzled—touched by the way she captures emotions and human connections and dazzled by the precision and originality of her prose. (Just a heads-up: Although Anything Is Possible is not really a sequel to My Name Is Lucy Barton, there are multiple connections to the earlier book, so you might want to read Lucy Barton first—also a beautiful book.) –Diane