Looking for a good book recommendation? Look no further! Here are a few good books I’ve enjoyed recently:
Book Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Agnieszka lives in a quiet, peaceful village bordered by the Wood, a dangerous forest full of malicious power, which is kept at bay by a wizard known as the Dragon. In exchange for the Dragon’s benevolence, once every ten years he comes to pick a teenage girl from the village and takes her back to his castle home. The girl picked is always special – she’s the prettiest of all the girls, or the smartest, or the kindest, or has some special talent. Agnieszka does not fear being picked because she and everyone else in the village know that Agnieszka’s best friend, Kasia, will be picked. Kasia is beautiful and smart and kind and talented; she is special, so she will be chosen. Except, when the Dragon comes, Agnieszka is the one chosen, the one whisked away from her family and home for some unknown purpose, with consequences of which she never could have dreamed.
Naomi Novik’s fantastical fairy tale is a page-turning delight, steeped in magic, with frequent nods to fairy tale lore (Beauty and the Beast is heavily alluded to in the beginning of the book). Uprooted is perfect for fantasy lovers, for fairy tale lovers, and for lovers of bewitching storytelling.
Book Review: The Rain Before it Falls by Jonathan Coe
The Rain Before it Falls could perhaps be described as a story within a story within a story. The premise is this: Gill’s Aunt Rosamond has died, leaving behind a collection of cassette tapes she recorded herself. Rosamond leaves a letter instructing Gill to track down a woman named Imogen, of which little is known, and give her the tapes. Unable to locate the mysterious Imogen, Gill, along with her 20-something daughters, listen to the tapes themselves. On the tapes, Rosamond describes twenty photographs, some dating back to World War II when Rosamond, just a child, was sent away from her parents in the city to live with country relatives during the Blitz. Through these twenty photographs, Rosamond recounts a sixty year history in which she discloses her own story, as well of the story of three other women in her family, revealing family secrets Gill never could have imagined.
While the plot and characters are well developed, what Coe does so beautifully in this book is create a very precise sense of mood. Beautiful and tragic, The Rain Before it Falls, is a book to be savored.
Book Review: Defending Jacob by William Landay
Andy Barber is the assistant district attorney in his county and, along with his wife and son, lives in a small, safe suburban community. When a teenage boy is found dead in the woods next to the local high school, Andy is assigned to the case, and everything seems to be proceeding normally. However, when Andy’s son becomes the main murder suspect, the lives of Andy and his family quickly spiral out of control.
Defending Jacob is a fast-paced crime drama that goes far beyond asking “Who dunnit?” to explore just how far a parent will go to protect one’s child and how far a parent will go to protect others from one’s child.
What about you? What good books have you read recently that our readers might enjoy?
Long before becoming a librarian, Emily was an avid library patron. She enjoys reading fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, biographies, and classic children’s literature. Her favorite book is Anne of Green Gables
by L.M. Montgomery.