Readers Advisor

Readers Advisor

I’m Mary K.–librarian, mom, blogger, reader. I believe there’s no such thing as too many books–if you do, too, you’re in the right place! Browse this page for great finds from across our collection. What will you read next?

Email Mary K.

Book Buzz
Weird Science Print Email

Book cover of What If? with T-Rex dangling over an open pit

Think those guys on Big Bang Theory are pure fiction? Think again. Scientists have always pursued knowledge by beginning with questions, some huge and some just bizarre. In his new book What If?, Randall Munroe, author of the webcomic xkcd, explores the science behind the hypothetical to hilarious results. What if the Earth stopped spinning? What if you could hit a baseball traveling at the speed of light? How many LEGO bricks would you need to build a lifesize bridge? Munroe explains it all. If you never believed your teachers that "science can be fun", this and other books about the seriously strange are bound to change your outlook!

A Professor's Education Print Email

Book cover for Small Blessings, with open book and blooming rose

By this point in September, colleges and universities are welcoming students and the rhythm of academic life is resumed. In the spirit of such an existence comes NPR contributor Martha Woodroof's debut novel Small Blessings, a charming read about the curveballs that life can throw at us. Professor Tom Putnam's days are in the classroom and his nights with his fragile wife; but in the span of a week Tom's world is upended and suddenly his priorities are far from syllabi and campus dinners. Woodroof may be a new novelist, but she's no stranger to crafting a story. Readers looking for a contemplation of life's unexpected joys will treasure this title. Read Small Blessings and other novels with an academic focus if you'd like to escape back into the classroom (but leave the grades behind).

A Detective Reappears Print Email

Monogram Murders cover, black with blue spotlight and cufflinks with Hercule Poirot silhouette

One of Agatha Christie's most famous characters, detective Hercule Poirot, ended his literary run in the 1975 novel Curtain. But Christie fans may have occasion to rejoice, as Poirot is back in The Monogram Murders, a new novel authorized by the Christie estate. Author Sophie Hannah is a lifelong fan of the meticulous Belgian detective, though she consciously chose not to mirror Christie's writing style too closely. In a recent interview, Hannah comments, "For me, writing this book is my way of writing a love letter to Agatha Christie and Poirot." Does she succeed? Readers will have to crack that case for themselves -- but to help you decide, check out our curated list of resources about Poirot and Dame Agatha, available at your library.

Honoring Louise Erdrich Print Email

Author photo for Louise ErdrichCongratulations to author Louise Erdrich, recipient of the 2014 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Lifetime Achievement and the 2014 PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction. Erdrich's body of work is extensive and diverse; she has novels, memoirs and children's books to her credit, all illuminating the experience of Native Americans, past and present. She is also an ardent champion for the works of other Indigenous authors, as owner of the bookstore Birchbark Books. Writing of Erdrich's titles, the PEN judges note, "She is a writer only America could have produced, committed to the extraordinary project of capturing a complex land and a various people in their own voices, and in hers." Learn more about Louise Erdrich through her books, available at your library now. (photo credit: Goodreads)

On the Front Lines Print Email

Book cover for Fives and Twenty-Fives, with soldier walking away into dusty horizon

War is hell, as they say, and no one is more qualified to say that than one who has lived through it. In his searing new novel Fives and Twenty-fives, debut author Michael Pitre gives readers an insider's view into the mission of a bomb disposal unit in Iraq. Pitre's book is based on his own combat experiences; in a recent interview, he told NPR "My loyalty to the Marine Corps and to those with whom I served — those with whom I'm still very close — my loyalty to them led me to want to tell a true story." The result is compelling and honest, a title Booklist calls "(a) thrilling, defining novel of the Iraq War." Read this and other books about war in modern times to learn the stories behind the headlines.

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