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Books I’ve Read This Winter – 2021/2022

BookTalkBooklist

Books I’ve Read This Winter — 2021/2022
South Branch BooksTalks, February 17, 2022 and Bethany Branch BooksTalks, March 4, 2022
Jodi R. (Anderson and Bethany Branch Libraries)

Dates listed in descriptions below indicate when the book was release in bookstores and libraries.

The Stranger Diaries (November 2018)
by Elly Griffith (Griffith)
Fiction, Mystery

This is a Gothic murder mystery in which Clare is a single mother to a fifteen-year-old daughter and an English teacher. Her closest friend has been killed, and she realizes while more attacks occur that someone is close enough to her to write in her diary.


The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood & Family (October 2021)
by Ron Howard and Clint Howard (Biography Howard)
Memoir

Ron’s and Clint’s family moved from the Midwest to California so their parents could enter show business, but it was their sons who found that to be their reality.


Pachinko (February 2017)
by Min Jin Lee (Lee)
Historical Fiction

The story begins in the small Korean village of Yeongdo in the early 1900s, then follows a family’s daughter to Osaka, Japan during the aftermath of Japan annexing Korea & colonizing it. The events of WWII are shown through the eyes of Sunja and her family, as well as newer generations of the family. The three parts of the book are: 1910-1933, 1939-1962, and 1962-1989. AppleTV is prepared to release a series based on this book, though the release date is not yet known (it was supposed to be in 2021).


The Prince of the Skies (October 2021)
by Antonio Iturbe (Iturbe)
Historical Fiction

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, known as the author of The Little Prince, and his friends Jean Mermoz and Henri Guillaumet were all pilots who pushed the boundaries for transporting mail by air. Their personal lives are described, as well as the politics of their time.


The Sun Down Motel (February 2020)
by Simone St. James (St. James)
Fiction

Viv Delaney worked the night shift at the seedy motel in Fell, New York when she was on her way to NYC in 1982. After a few of her terrifying encounters with ghosts residing at the motel, Vivian disappeared without a trace. Thirty-five years later, Viv’s niece takes a job at the motel to find some answers about the aunt she never met.


The Sentence (November 2021)
by Louise Erdrich (Erdrich)
Fiction

Tookie works in an independent bookstore in Minneapolis during the first year of the COVID pandemic and the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. In addition to experiencing the grief and isolation of 2020, Tookie is being harassed by the bookstore’s most annoying customer.


 width=Sooley (April 2021)
by John Grisham (Grisham)
Fiction

Samuel “Sooley” Sooleymon is a 17-year-old man from Southern Sudan who, during a basketball tournament in the United States, receives word of a civil war tearing apart his family and village.


Two Old Men and a Baby: Or, How Hendrik and Evert Get Themselves Into a Jam (June 2021)
by “Hendrik Groen” and Hester Velmans (not in library collection at this time)
Fiction

This is the third of three in the Hendrik Groen series. Hendrik Groen and Evert Duiker are in their seventies when Evert showed up at his friend’s house with a baby he had seen momentarily left alone.


Winterkill (December 2020)
by Ragnar Jonasson (Jonasson)
Fiction, Mystery

This is the final book in the Dark Iceland series. The preceding books, in order, and each starring police officer Ari Thor, are: Snow Blind, Black Out, Rupture, White Out, and Night Blind. You’ll be able to feel the cold, snow, and isolation as you read these thrillers that take place in Iceland.


Golden Girl (June 2021)
by Elin Hilderbrand (Hilderbrand)
Fiction

A mother of three young adult children is killed in a hit and run accident in Nantucket. She is able to look down upon her children as they adjust to not having their mother as a guide, and she must decide how to best use the three nudges she’s allowed.


Home Made: A Story of Grief, Groceries, Showing Up — and What We Make When We Make Dinner (June 2021)
by Liz Hauck (Biography Hauck)
Memoir

The author had planned with her father to spend two hours each week preparing and eating meals with young men in a Boston state-run group home. As the author grieved the loss of her father, she went ahead with their plan. Over the course of three years, the young men in the residential program chose the menu and prepared and ate about one hundred meals with the author over the course of three years.


 width=Wish You Were Here (November 2021)
by Jodi Picoult (Picoult)
Fiction

The stages and horrors of the COVID pandemic are described, mainly through emails sent to Diana O’Toole from her boyfriend. Diana traveled to Isabela Island (in the Galápagos) just as New York City had its first cases of COVID. Finn, the boyfriend she knows is about to propose, had to stay behind at the last minute to help at the hospital. There is a narrative about people Diana meets on the island, and there is also a large amount of her reflection and self-evaluation.


 width=One by One (September 2020)
by Ruth Ware (Ware)
Fiction, Mystery

Two staff members at a French chalet help six guests from a starter company for a new app settle in for business meetings and skiing. In the fashion of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Was One, the chalet becomes less of a vacation spot and more of a nightmare. One of the people locked inside with them during the avalanche and blizzards is a murderer.


Harlem Shuffle (September 2021)
by Colson Whitehead (Whitehead)
Fiction

Harlem Shuffle is a family saga masquerading as a crime novel, a hilarious morality play, a social novel about race and power, and ultimately a love letter to Harlem. But mostly, it’s a joy to read, another dazzling novel from the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning Colson Whitehead.


Billy Summers (August 2021)
by Stephen King (King)
Fiction

Mobster Nick Majarian offered a job that Billy thought would be his last assassination. After a career in which he consoled himself that he only killed bad guys. Billy’s fears of being conned during this job seem validated. Before fleeing town, Billy rescued 21-year-old Alice Maxwell, and their stories as they become fugitives staying under the radar.


The Lincoln Highway (October 2021)
by Amor Towles (Towles)
Fiction

This is by the bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility. Emmet Watson was an eighteen-year-old driven home to Nebraska in June, 1954, after his incarceration at a boys’ juvenile work farm. Emmet’s plan was to take care of his orphaned eight-year-old brother by taking him to California. When he found out two friends had stowed away in the warden’s trunk, the plan and itinerary changed.