From an unconventional cookbook to an updated classic—and lots in between—here’s what the Burlington Library staff is reading:
Karen: An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler is a meditation on cooking and eating that weaves philosophy and instruction into approachable lessons on feeding ourselves well. Tamar explains what cooks in the world’s great kitchens know: that the best meals rely on the ends of the meals that came before them–we can start cooking from wherever we are, with whatever we have.
Maggie: The 10th Anniversary Edition of American Gods by Neil Gaiman. The intriguing premise of Gaiman’s tale is that the gods of European yore, who came to North America with their immigrant believers, are squaring off for a rumble with new indigenous deities: “gods of credit card and freeway, of Internet and telephone, of radio and hospital and television, gods of plastic and of beeper and of neon.” They all walk around disguised as ordinary people, which causes no end of trouble for 32-year-old protagonist Shadow Moon, who must reevaluate his own deeply held beliefs in order to determine his crucial role in the final showdown.
Rachel: I am Half Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley, is number four in the series featuring eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce—a young sleuth with a passion for chemistry. When a film crew arrives at the de Luces’ decaying English estate to shoot a movie starring the famed actress Phyllis Wyvern, the entire village of Bishop’s Lacey gathers to watch her perform. But nobody is prepared for the evening’s shocking conclusion: a body found strangled to death with a length of film.
Mary Beth: Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry is another story of Port William, the community whose life Berry has told over the course of a half dozen novels. Jayber is lately returned to the town, and his status as barber and bachelor places him simultaneously at its center and on its margins. A born observer, he hears much, watches carefully, and spends 50 years learning the community’s citizens—then tenderly tells their stories.
Sarah: Every Day by David Levithan is the story of A, teen who wakes up every morning in a different body, living a different life—with no warning about who or where it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment on, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.
Janet: Lye in Wait by Cricket McRae is the first book in the Home Crafting Mysteries series. Set in the Pacific Northwest, each book in the series features an activity like soap making, food preservation, spinning, cheese making, or mead making. In this first installment, we’re introduced to amateur sleuth Sophie Mae Reynolds, who works hard; likes single-malt Scotch; and lives with her best friend, her best friend’s ten-year-old daughter, and a snarky old Corgi.
Janice: The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey updates Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, changing the setting to Scotland and the Orkneys during the 1950s and ’60s, but taking care to retain the elements of this classic story that so resonate with readers: a resourceful orphan makes her way in an uncaring world and not only endures but also triumphs.