What Have You Been Reading? Detective, Detective, Spy Edition

When left to my own devices, I tend to binge-read about subjects or to binge-read authors and/or series. That works well for me, but it’s something I try to avoid inflicting on the readers of this blog because I seriously doubt anyone else is as interested in some of these literary rabbit trails as I am. (You’re welcome.)

Lately, however, I’ve been exploring some mystery and espionage thriller series I’ve been meaning to read for a while, and I did want to share those.

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Book Buzz: Modern-Day David Copperfields, WWII Romances, Vacations, Rivers, and Journeys

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For November, we’re looking at Barbara Kingsolver’s latest acclaimed novel, a Rebecca-esque romance set during WWII, a throwback to summer, the real-life story of a modern mythical figure, and an audiobook set in medieval Ireland.

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Alan Rickman’s Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman (2022)

I imagine most people have an Alan Rickman role that is their default for him. For some, it might be one of his rogue’s gallery of villains (like Hans Gruber in Die Hard) or perhaps one of his rarer romantic roles (Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility or Jamie in Truly, Madly, Deeply) or his cryptic Snape in the Harry Potter movies.

For me, it’s probably a mish mash of Gruber, his hilariously put-upon Alexander Dane in Galaxy Quest, and his condescending Obadiah Slope in The Barchester Chronicles (an early role).

Rickman died nearly seven years ago, the terminal cancer that took him a closely guarded secret from the public until his passing. Rickman had been a diligent diarist for years, and there has been mixed information on whether Rickman intended to publish these diaries. Regardless of his intentions, this collection of his diary entries were released last month.

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Book Buzz: Mad Scientists, Dystopian YA, Librarian Spies, the Haitian Revolution, Opposites Attract Romances, Pirates, and Horror on the Range

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For October, we’re looking at gothic horror inspired by The Island of Dr. Moreau, science fiction by a local author, historical fiction about WWII and the Haitian Revolution, a cute romance between two very different people, a swashbuckling nonfiction tale about Golden Age piracy, and an audiobook of Dean Koontz’s latest.

Continue reading “Book Buzz: Mad Scientists, Dystopian YA, Librarian Spies, the Haitian Revolution, Opposites Attract Romances, Pirates, and Horror on the Range”

Book Buzz: Problematic Siblings, Foodie Friends, Intergenerational Trauma, Talented Monsters, Courtroom Drama, and Derailed Safaris

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For September, we’re looking at historical fiction about one of America’s most infamous families, a sweet tale of food-based friendship, a magical realism family saga, an atmospheric Victorian gothic fantasy, a well-researched chronicle of legal battles over agricultural pollution, and an audiobook thriller.

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John Carreyrou’s Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup (2018)

The rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes has been in the news a lot lately. I must confess I was busy with grad school when the one-time whiz kid of Silicon Valley first rocketed to fame in the 2010s. So, I missed all the initial glowing coverage and attention lavished on the Stanford dropout who created Theranos, a multi-billion-dollar biotech startup that promised to change the way health care worked in America, and was lauded as the next Steve Jobs. Consequently, when Holmes and Theranos were finally outed as frauds in a shocking investigation by a Wall Street Journal reporter, I didn’t pay much attention to the coverage then either.

But after hearing a lot of buzz about Bad Blood, the book about Theranos that was written by the investigative reporter who brought the whole scheme tumbling down, I was intrigued enough to request we purchase it for the library. And I’m so glad I did–this is a wild read and an incredibly engrossing one at that. I had trouble putting the book down. (Thanks so much to Julie for adding it to the collection!)

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Book Buzz: Scottish Fantasy Islands, Commuting, the Weather, Old West Crime, Seafaring Tales, and Housewife Thrillers

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For August, we’re looking at an atmospheric fantasy romance set in Scotland, a celebration of friendship among commuters, a cute romance set at a news station, an engrossing anthology of Westerns with a side of mystery, two fascinating tales of real-life adventure on the high seas, and an audiobook thriller about catty rich housewives.

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Book Buzz: Gossip-Fueled Mysteries, Organized Crime Sagas, Unwitting Romances, Rural Medicine, and Literary Science Fiction

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For July, we’re looking at two very different mysteries, a South-Asian-by-way-of-Canada revamp of You’ve Got Mail, nonfiction about Arkansas country doctors, and a companion novel to A Visit to the Goon Squad.

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Edna Lewis’s The Taste of Country Cooking (2006)

When I was profiling Southern cookbooks back in March, Vanessa from Food in Books suggested The Taste of Country Cooking. When Vanessa recommends something, I pay attention, so I immediately requested we purchase the book and add it to the collection. In fact, I liked the book so much that I bought a personal copy for myself. Thanks so much to Vanessa for the wonderful suggestion and to Julie for adding Edna Lewis’s book to our holdings!

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Book Buzz: Historical Fiction, Once, Twice, Thrice; Literary Science Fiction; Turmeric; and Space Race Rom Coms

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For June, we’re looking at historical fiction set during the Great Depression, the Russian Revolution, and World War II; Emily St. John Mandel’s newest book; a cookbook solely devoted to this month’s spice; and a rom com that pairs an astronaut with a movie star.

Continue reading “Book Buzz: Historical Fiction, Once, Twice, Thrice; Literary Science Fiction; Turmeric; and Space Race Rom Coms”