Wednesday, June 10, 2020


The next Reader’s Advisory Roundtable meeting will be Wednesday, August 12th at 9am and the topic up for discussion is the self-help collection. Feel free to choose whatever you’d like: nonfiction, documentary, audiobook, fiction…the format is up to you!

The original plan was for meeting at the Trussville Library but, of course, I have no way of predicting whether we will meet at Trussville, have the meeting on Zoom, or a combination of both.  I will go ahead and promise that if we have an in-person meeting, I will also broadcast it via Zoom as well.
Today we discussed steampunk.  It was a small, yet lively group!

Total attendance: 13

Holley W, Emmet O’Neal
Elizabeth W, BPL Southern History
Mary Anne E, BPL Southern History
Lynn H, BPL Central Info/Circ
Jiemin F, BPL Central Circ
Stephanie B, Hoover Fiction Dept
Krysten G, Hoover Fiction Dept
Leigh W, BPL North Birmingham
William D, BPL East Lake
Paul C, BPL Southside
and 3 anonymous 😊

Annotations are pulled from unless otherwise noted.

The Steampunk Bible eBook by Jeff VanderMeer - 9781613121665 ...

Steampunk—a grafting of Victorian aesthetic and punk rock attitude onto various forms of science-fiction culture—is a phenomenon that has come to influence film, literature, art, music, fashion, and more. The Steampunk Bible is the first compendium about the movement, tracing its roots in the works of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells through its most recent expression in movies such as Sherlock Holmes. Its adherents celebrate the inventor as an artist and hero, re-envisioning and crafting retro technologies including antiquated airships and robots. A burgeoning DIY community has brought a distinctive Victorian-fantasy style to their crafts and art. Steampunk evokes a sense of adventure and discovery, and embraces extinct technologies as a way of talking about the future. This ultimate manual will appeal to aficionados and novices alike as author Jeff VanderMeer takes the reader on a wild ride through the clockwork corridors of Steampunk history.
Mary Anne, BPL Southern History

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld | Scholastic
Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan trilogy (fabulous in audiobook!)
Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.
Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She’s a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered. With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn’s paths cross in the most unexpected ways, taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.
Holley, Emmet O’Neal

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest | Scholastic
Clockwork Century series by Cherie Priest

In 2011, this book was optioned by Hammer Films (of Hammer House of Horror fame). IMDB shows it is still optioned, but I find nothing else definitive about the possibility of film (htw).
In the early days of the Civil War, rumors of gold in the frozen Klondike brought hordes of newcomers to the Pacific Northwest. Anxious to compete, Russian prospectors commissioned inventor Leviticus Blue to create a great machine that could mine through Alaska's ice. Thus was Dr. Blue's Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine born.

But on its first test run the Boneshaker went terribly awry, destroying several blocks of downtown Seattle and unearthing a subterranean vein of blight gas that turned anyone who breathed it into the living dead.

Now it is sixteen years later, and a wall has been built to enclose the devastated and toxic city. Just beyond it lives Blue's widow, Briar Wilkes. Life is hard with a ruined reputation and a teenaged boy to support, but she and Ezekiel are managing. Until Ezekiel undertakes a secret crusade to rewrite history.

His quest will take him under the wall and into a city teeming with ravenous undead, air pirates, criminal overlords, and heavily armed refugees. And only Briar can bring him out alive.
Holley, Emmet O’Neal

Soulless - Gail Carriger
Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger
Five books chronicling the exploits of Alexia Tarabotti, a lady of considerable assets including a large Scottish werewolf, a battle-parasol, and treacle tart. Oh, and she has no soul.
Stephanie, Hoover

Black God's Drums: CLARK, P. DJÈLÍ: 9781250294715: Books
The Black God’s Drums by P. Djeli Clark

In an alternate New Orleans caught in the tangle of the American Civil War, the wall-scaling girl named Creeper yearns to escape the streets for the air -- in particular, by earning a spot on-board the airship Midnight Robber. Creeper plans to earn Captain Ann-Marie’s trust with information she discovers about a Haitian scientist and a mysterious weapon he calls The Black God’s Drums.
But Creeper also has a secret herself: Oya, the African orisha of the wind and storms, speaks inside her head, and may have her own ulterior motivations.
Soon, Creeper, Oya, and the crew of the Midnight Robber are pulled into a perilous mission aimed to stop the Black God’s Drums from being unleashed and wiping out the entirety of New Orleans.
Riana, Pinson Monstress Volume 1: Awakening (9781632157096): Liu ...
Monstress graphic novel series by Marjorie M. Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda

Steampunk meets Kaiju in this original fantasy epic for mature readers, as young Maika risks everything to control her psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, placing her in the center of a devastating war between human and otherworldly forces.
Riana, Pinson

Nemo: Heart of Ice: Moore, Alan, O'Neill, Kevin: 9781603092746 ...
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Nemo trilogy by Alan Moore, illustrated by Kevin O’Neill
Nemo: Heart of Ice
Nemo: The Roses of Berlin
Nemo: River of Ghosts
It's 1925, fifteen long years since Janni Dakkar first tried to escape the legacy of her dying science-pirate father, only to accept her destiny as the new Nemo, captain of the legendary Nautilus. Now, tired of her unending spree of plunder and destruction, Janni launches a grand expedition to surpass her father's greatest failure: the exploration of Antarctica. Hot on her frozen trail are a trio of genius inventors, hired by an influential publishing tycoon to retrieve the plundered valuables of an African queen. It's a deadly race to the bottom of the world -- an uncharted land of wonder and horror where time is broken and the mountains bring madness. Jules Verne meets H.P. Lovecraft in the unforgettable final showdown, lost in the living, beating and appallingly inhuman HEART OF ICE.
Jon, Avondale

Joe Golem and the Drowning City: An Illustrated Novel: Mignola ...
Joe Golem and the Drowning City by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden

In 1925, earthquakes and a rising sea level left Lower Manhattan submerged under more than thirty feet of water, so that its residents began to call it the Drowning City. Those unwilling to abandon their homes created a new life on streets turned to canals and in buildings whose first three stories were underwater. Fifty years have passed since then, and the Drowning City is full of scavengers and water rats, poor people trying to eke out an existence, and those too proud or stubborn to be defeated by circumstance. 

Among them are fourteen-year-old Molly McHugh and her friend and employer, Felix Orlov. Once upon a time Orlov the Conjuror was a celebrated stage magician, but now he is an old man, a psychic medium, contacting the spirits of the departed for the grieving loved ones left behind. When a seance goes horribly wrong, Felix Orlov is abducted by strange men wearing gas masks and rubber suits, and Molly soon finds herself on the run. Her flight will lead her into the company of a mysterious man, and his stalwart sidekick, Joe Golem, whose own past is a mystery to him, but who walks his own dreams as a man of stone and clay, brought to life for the sole purpose of hunting witches. 
Jon, Avondale

A Red Sun Also Rises: Mark Hodder: 9780091949815: Books
A Red Sun Also Rises by Mark Hodder (not available in the JCLC system)

Transported to the alien world of Ptallaya by a strange and terrifying ritual, Victorian missionary Aiden Fleischer and his brilliant but damaged assistant Clarissa Stark are stranded.

Befriended by the Yatsill, a race of bizarre telepathic alien mimics, the travellers watch in amazement as the society around them transforms into a parody of London.

But as the dual yellow suns of this new world slowly set, a red sun is also rising, and with it come the Blood Gods, an ancient and indestructible evil...
Jon, Avondale

The Doctor and the Kid (2) (A Weird West Tale): Resnick, Mike ...
The Doctor and the Kid by Mike Resnick

Welcome to a West like you've never seen before! With the O. K. Corral and the battle with the thing that used to be Johnny Ringo behind him, the consumptive Doc Holliday makes his way to Deadwood, Colorado. But when a gambling loss drains his bankroll, Doc aims for quick cash as a bounty hunter. The biggest reward? Young, 20-year-old desperado known as Billy the Kid. With a steampunk twist on these classic characters, nothing can be as simple as it seems.
Jon, Avondale Clockwork Angel (1) (The Infernal Devices ...
Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare
Clockwork Angel
Clockwork Prince
Clockwork Princess
The series follows Tessa Gray, an orphaned teenage girl who discovers she has the power to shape-shift, but doesn't bear a mark that shows she is a warlock. She is forced to learn how to control this newly established power and navigate the new world she was forcefully introduced into.
Kristen, Hoover The Girl in the Steel Corset (9780373210701): Kady ...
When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch. Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets, against the wishes of his band of misfits. And Finley thinks she might finally be a part of something, finally fit in—until a criminal mastermind known as the Machinist threatens to tear the group apart….
Leigh, North Birmingham

Ketchup ~ While I Was Drinking Prudence ARC - Gail Carriger
Custard Protocol series by Gail Carriger
Rue and her crew of miscreants charge about in their high-tech dirigible trying to fix the British Empire - mainly with tea. A four book series that explores how the supernatural evolved throughout the Parasolverse.
Lynn, BPL Central Info/Circ

GENERAL DISCUSSION AND MOVIES: (film annotations pulled from unless otherwise noted):

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen | Full Movie | Movies Anywhere

Allan Quatermain, the world's greatest adventurer, leads a legion of superheroes the likes of which the world has never seen. Quatermain's extraordinary League is comprised of Captain Nemo, Dracula vampiress Mina Harker, an invisible man Rodney Skinner, American secret service agent Sawyer, Dorian Gray, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde and M--the League's enigmatic recruiter. The League members are staunch individualists, outcasts in fact, with checkered pasts and singular gifts that have been both blessing and curse. Now they must learn to trust each other and work as a team for the very hope of civilization. With little preparation and no time to lose, they will be transported via Captain Nemo's extraordinary submarine, the Nautilus, to the frontline of defense: Venice, Italy. There, a masked madman known as the Fantom plans to sabotage a conference of world leaders by setting off a domino chain of explosions, sinking the entire city. The threat is catastrophic, the risks are staggering. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen has 96 hours to save the world. Hugo: Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher ...
Hugo (2011)

Throughout his extraordinary career, Academy Award-wining director Martin Scorsese has brought his unique vision and dazzling gifts to life in a series of unforgettable films. This holiday season the legendary storyteller invites you to join him on a thrilling journey to a magical world with his first-ever 3-D film, based on Brian Selznick's award-winning, imaginative New York Times best-seller, "The Invention of Hugo Cabret." Hugo is the astonishing adventure of a wily and resourceful boy whose quest to unlock a secret left to him by his father will transform Hugo and all those around him, and reveal a safe and loving place he can call home. -- (C) Paramount

The Time Machine (With images) | The time machine book, Science ...

A progressive scientist builds a machine that allows him time travel in this adaptation of the classic from H.G. Wells.

Is 'The Prestige' available to watch on Netflix in America ...
The Prestige (2006)

In 1878, two young stage magicians clash in a darkened salon during the course of a fraudulent seance. From this moment on, their lives become webs of deceit and exposure, secrets and revelations, as they feud to outwit and destroy one another. Their rivalry takes them both to the peak of their careers, but with terrible consequences.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954 film) - Wikipedia

This 1954 Disney version of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea represented the studio's costliest and most elaborate American-filmed effort to date. Kirk Douglas plays a trouble-shooting 19th century seaman, trying to discover why so many whaling ships have been disappearing of late. Teaming with scientist Paul Lukas and diver Peter Lorre, Douglas sets sail to investigate--and is promptly captured by the megalomaniac Captain Nemo (James Mason), who skippers a lavish, scientifically advanced submarine. The film's special effects, including a giant squid, were impressive enough in 1954 to win an Academy Award. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Castle in the Sky (1986) - IMDb

( Pazu, an engineer's apprentice, finds a young girl, Sheeta, floating down from the sky, and discovers they are both searching for a legendary floating castle, Laputa. Together, they embark on a daring quest and encounter greedy pirates, secret agents and astounding obstacles that keep them from the truth - and from each other.

Stardust (2007) - IMDb

The sleepy English village of Wall is so named for the cobblestone wall that has, for eons, kept the villagers safely apart form the supernatural parallel universe that lies just on the other side. It is here that young Tristan Thorne makes a wild-eyed promise to the prettiest girl in the village, whose heart he hopes to win: that he will bring her back a fallen star. Now, in order to make good on his promise, Tristan will have to cross the forbidden wall, and enter a mysterious kingdom lit by unending magic and unfolding legends. In this fantastical realm known as Stormhold, Tristan discovers that the fallen star is not at all what he expected but a spirited young woman injured by her cosmic tumble. Now, she is in terrible danger--sought after by colossal powers including the King's scheming sons for whom only she can secure the throne; and a chillingly powerful witch desperate to use the star to achieve eternal youth and beauty. As Tristan sets out to protect the star and bring her back to his beloved on the other side of the wall, he encounters with a pirate captain and a shady trader, among other surprises. But if he can survive, Tristan will also uncover the secret key to his own identity and a fate beyond his wildest dreams.

Whick Doctor Who logo is your favourite? : doctorwho
Doctor Who episode: The Next Doctor (2008 Christmas special, not sure if it’s in here or not!)

( The Doctor arrives in London on Christmas Eve in 1851 where he encounters the Cybermen and a man who claims he's a Time Lord called the Doctor.

Hidden Killers Next Episode Air Date & Countdown
Tv show “Hidden Killers”

Dr. Suzannah Lipscomb reveals the hidden killers that lurk in every room across the ages. From the Victorian (this is the episode I watched!) to the Post War era, we discover the lethal inventions and the ‘safe’ domestic home life of households from the past. Episodes available on Amazon Prime Video and streaming freely on Tubi TV. The Underground Railroad (Pulitzer Prize Winner ...
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Cora is a young slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. An outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is on the cusp of womanhood—where greater pain awaits. And so when Caesar, a slave who has recently arrived from Virginia, urges her to join him on the Underground Railroad, she seizes the opportunity and escapes with him. In Colson Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor: engineers and conductors operate a secret network of actual tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora embarks on a harrowing flight from one state to the next, encountering, like Gulliver, strange yet familiar iterations of her own world at each stop. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the terrors of the antebellum era, he weaves in the saga of our nation, from the brutal abduction of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is both the gripping tale of one woman's will to escape the horrors of bondage—and a powerful meditation on the history we all share.

The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (1) (A Burton & Swinburne ...

London, 1861. Sir Richard Francis Burton - explorer, linguist, scholar, and swordsman; his reputation tarnished; his career in tatters; his former partner missing and probably dead. Algernon Charles Swinburne - unsuccessful poet and follower of de Sade, for whom pain is pleasure, and brandy is ruin! They stand at a crossroads in their lives and are caught in the epicenter of an empire torn by conflicting forces: Engineers transform the landscape with bigger, faster, noisier, and dirtier technological wonders; Eugenicists develop specialist animals to provide unpaid labor; Libertines oppose repressive laws and demand a society based on beauty and creativity; while the Rakes push the boundaries of human behavior to the limits with magic, drugs, and anarchy. The two men are sucked into the perilous depths of this moral and ethical vacuum when Lord Palmerston commissions Burton to investigate assaults on young women committed by a weird apparition known as Spring Heeled Jack, and to find out why werewolves are terrorizing London's East End. Their investigations lead them to one of the defining events of the age, and the terrifying possibility that the world they inhabit shouldn't exist at all!

Thursday, April 30, 2020

National Superhero Day

For more information about Smithfield Library's National Superhero Day activities, contact Erika White at Smithfield Library at

Hoopla is a great resource for graphic novels and comics.  During the meeting, here are the great resources discussed!

Titles mentioned in the Program:


Related Titles Available on Hoopla:
Ultimate Spider-Man: Volume 01:
Amazing Spider-Man: Spider-Verse Prelude:
Spider-Man: Spider-Verse - Spider-Gwen:
Spider-Man: Spider-Verse - Spider-Men:
Spider-Man: Spider-Verse - Fearsome Foes:
Spider-Man: Spider-Verse - Miles Morales:
Spider-Man/Spider-Gwen: Sitting In A Tree:
Ultimate Spider-Man: Spider-Verse: (tie-in)
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Soundtrack:

Related Titles Not Available on Digitally
Ultimate Spider-Man: The Death of Spider-Man

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

digital waitlists

Hey, all you cool cats and kittens, we talked about readalikes this week.  Stay with us all the way to the end of the post for some suggestions for everyone (me included!) obsessed with Tiger King!

The meeting focused on some heavily waitlisted ebooks and audiobooks on Overdrive.  My hope for this meeting was to provide some titles to give to your patrons who may be impatient that long list since it’s very likely many people are placing holds on just a few titles.

Total attendance: 21

Holley W – Emmet O’Neal
Samuel R – Springville Road
Mary Anne E – BPL Southern History
Judith W – Homewood
Heather C – Homewood
Laura T – Homewood
Erika W – Smithfield
Maura D – Trussville
Polly E – Hoover
Katie Jane M – Hoover
Samantha H – Hoover
Tamiko N – North Birmigham
Jiemin F – BPL Central
Shakera S – BPL Central
Lynn H – BPL Central
Shannon H – Hoover
Reba – sorry, I remember seeing you but not your library
and 4 anonymous people I can’t list because I forgot to save the Zoom chat! Sorry, folx! Email me if you want to be not-anonymous!

The top ebook holdlists:
1) The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
USA Today's top 100 books to read while stuck at home social distancing
“I’ve been a huge Jojo Moyes fan. Her characters are so compelling. . . It’s such a great narrative about personal strength and really captures how books bring communities together.” –Reese Witherspoon
From the author of Me Before You, set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond. Based on a true story rooted in America’s past, The Giver of Stars is unparalleled in its scope and epic in its storytelling. Funny, heartbreaking, enthralling, it is destined to become a modern classic--a richly rewarding novel of women’s friendship, of true love, and of what happens when we reach beyond our grasp for the great beyond. 
Readalike suggestions:

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michelle Richardson

The hardscrabble folks of Troublesome Creek have to scrap for everything - everything except books, that is. Thanks to Roosevelt's Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, Troublesome's got its very own traveling librarian, Cussy Mary Carter. Cussy's not only a book woman, however, she's also the last of her kind, her skin a shade of blue unlike most anyone else. Not everyone is keen on Cussy's family or the Library Project, and a Blue is often blamed for any whiff of trouble. If Cussy wants to bring the joy of books to the hill folks, she's going to have to confront prejudice as old as the Appalachias and suspicion as deep as the holler. 

The Well and the Mine by Gin Phillips

In a small Alabama coal-mining town during the summer of 1931, nine-year-old Tess Moore sits on her back porch and watches a woman toss a baby into her family’s well without a word. This shocking act of violence sets in motion a chain of events that forces Tess and her older sister Virgie to look beyond their own door and learn the value of kindness and lending a helping hand.

Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott

A thrilling tale of secretaries turned spies, of love and duty, and of sacrifice--inspired by the true story of the CIA plot to infiltrate the hearts and minds of Soviet Russia, not with propaganda, but with the greatest love story of the twentieth century: Doctor Zhivago.

Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile

Stirring in its storytelling of one woman against the odds and intimate in its exploration of the complexities of contemporary southern life, Queen Sugar is an unforgettable tale of endurance and hope.


Heather C. from Homewood compiled this list: 

Books Like Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

Call Your Daughter Home by Deb Spera (June 2019)
Three very different women are united against injustice in poverty-stricken 1924 South Carolina in this atmospheric, compelling, character driven novel.

Cherokee America by Margaret Verble (February 2019)
This intricately plotted, descriptive, historical novel features a strong, intelligent half-Cherokee woman raising her five children as white during a time of conflict between Native Americans and whites in the post-Civil War West.

Reliance, Illinois by Mary Volmer (May 2016)
This lyrical, atmospheric, historical novel focuses on 13-year-old Maddy. Born illegitimate with a birthmark covering half of her face, the neglected Maddy leaves to be employed by a wealthy feminist.
2)Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottleib
Now being developed as a television series with Eva Longoria and ABC!
"An irresistibly addictive tour of the human condition." (Kirkus, starred review)
"Rarely have I read a book that challenged me to see myself in an entirely new light, and was at the same time laugh-out-loud funny and utterly absorbing." (Katie Couric)
"Wise, warm, smart, and funny. You must read this book." (Susan Cain, New York Times best-selling author of Quiet)
From a New York Times best-selling author, psychotherapist, and national advice columnist, a hilarious, thought-provoking, and surprising new book that takes us behind the scenes of a therapist's world - where her patients are looking for answers (and so is she).  
Readalike suggestions:

The heartrending story of a midcentury American family with 12 children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science's great hope in the quest to understand the disease.

No more hiding or people-pleasing up in here, sisters. No more being sidelined in your own life. It is time for us to be brave, to claim our gifts and quirks and emotions. You are set free and set up and set on fire.

Part manifesto, part revelation, this is the story of an artist struggling with the new rules of exchange in the twenty-first century, both on and off the Internet. The Art of Asking will inspire readers to rethink their own ideas about asking, giving, art, and love.
3) American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins (see the audiobook section below for more readalikes for this title)
Already being hailed as "a Grapes of Wrath for our times" and "a new American classic," Jeanine Cummins's American Dirt is a rare exploration into the inner hearts of people willing to sacrifice everything for a glimmer of hope. (Information on the current controversy surrounding this title may be found by clicking here.) 
 Afterlife (Hoopla) by Julia Alvarez (also in the Libby catalog here)

Afterlife is a compact, nimble, and sharply droll novel. Set in this political moment of tribalism and distrust, it asks: What do we owe those in crisis in our families, including—maybe especially—members of our human family? How do we live in a broken world without losing faith in one another or ourselves? And how do we stay true to those glorious souls we have lost?

4) The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
Ann Patchett, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth, delivers her most powerful novel to date: a richly moving story that explores the indelible bond between two siblings, the house of their childhood, and a past that will not let them go. The Dutch House is the story of a paradise lost, a tour de force that digs deeply into questions of inheritance, love and forgiveness, of how we want to see ourselves and of who we really are.

Readalike suggestions:

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides (siblings)

First published in 1993, The Virgin Suicides announced the arrival of a major new American novelist. In a quiet suburb of Detroit, the five Lisbon sisters—beautiful, eccentric, and obsessively watched by the neighborhood boys—commit suicide one by one over the course of a single year. As the boys observe them from afar, transfixed, they piece together the mystery of the family's fatal melancholy, in this hypnotic and unforgettable novel of adolescent love, disquiet, and death.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Past the rusted gates and untrimmed hedges, Hill House broods and waits…. Four seekers have come to the ugly, abandoned old mansion. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable noises and self-closing doors, but Hill House is gathering its powers and will soon choose one of them to make its own.

All This Could Be Yours by Jami Attenberg

All This Could Be Yours is a timely, piercing exploration of what it means to be caught in the web of a toxic man who abused his power; it shows how those webs can tangle a family for generations and what it takes to - maybe, hopefully - break free.

The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson

Filled with Kevin Wilson's endless creativity, vibrant prose, sharp humor, and keen sense of the complex performances that unfold in the relationships of people who love one another, The Family Fang is a masterfully executed tale that is as bizarre as it is touching.

The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica

“Altogether unpredictable.” (Karin Slaughter, New York Times best-selling author)
Propulsive and addictive, and perfect for fans of YouThe Other Mrs. is the twisty new psychological thriller from Mary Kubica, the New York Times best-selling author of The Good Girl.

Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks (the narrator of the audiobook for The Dutch House)

A collection of 17 wonderful short stories showing that two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is as talented a writer as he is an actor. 
5) Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
From the best-selling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. 
Readalike suggestions:

Devotion by Madeline Stevens

A captivating debut novel about a woman who falls into an overwhelming mutual obsession with the Upper East Side mother who hires her as a nanny.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the little lies that can turn lethal. 

A Secret History by Donna Tartt

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: She must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful 13-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims - a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story - and survive this homecoming.

Little Fires Everywhere is currently a hit TV show on Hulu.  Running on a broad theme of books that have become successful TV shows:

The Virgin River series by Robyn Carr (her Sullivan’s Crossing series has been optioned), the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin, The Magicians series by Lev Grossman, and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

The top audiobook holdlists:
1) The Guardians by John Grisham
Cullen Post travels the country fighting wrongful convictions and taking on clients forgotten by the system. With Quincy Miller, though, he gets far more than he bargained for. Powerful, ruthless people murdered Keith Russo, and they do not want Quincy Miller exonerated. They killed one lawyer 22 years ago, and they will kill another without a second thought. 

Readalike suggestions:

Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.

Atonement by Ian McEwan

Atonement is Ian McEwan’s finest achievement. Brilliant and utterly enthralling in its depiction of childhood, love and war, England and class, the novel is at its center a profound–and profoundly moving–exploration of shame and forgiveness and the difficulty of absolution.

With a foreword by Bryan Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton’s memoir tells his dramatic thirty–year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy.

In a twist of the topic, this podcast explores wrongful non-imprisonment for a crime that should have been punished: the White Lies podcast.  Listen by clicking here
2) American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins (see description in ebook section above)

Readalike suggestions:

Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli

A fiercely imaginative new novel about a family whose road trip across America collides with an immigration crisis at the southwestern border--an indelible journey told with breathtaking imagery, spare lyricism, and profound humanity.

Structured around the forty questions volunteer worker Valeria Luiselli translates from a court system form and asks undocumented Latin American children facing deportation, Tell Me How It Ends humanizes these young migrants and highlights the contradiction between the idea of America as a fiction for immigrants and the reality of racism and fear—here and back home.

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

Set in New York and China, The Leavers is a vivid and moving examination of borders and belonging. It's the story of how one boy comes into his own when everything he's loved has been taken away - and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of her past.
3) Open Book by Jessica Simpson
Jessica reveals for the first time her inner monologue and most intimate struggles. Guided by the journals she's kept since age 15, and brimming with her unique humor and down-to-earth humanity, Open Book is as inspiring as it is entertaining.

Readalike suggestions:

The shocking, never-before-told story of the bizarre world inside the legendary Playboy Mansion - and finally the secret truth about the man who holds the key - from one of the few people who truly knows: Hef's former number-one girlfriend and star of The Girls Next Door.

The outspoken actress, talk show host, and reality television star offers up a no-holds-barred memoir, including an eye-opening insider account of her tumultuous and heart-wrenching 30-year-plus association with the Church of Scientology.

Costello chronicles his musical apprenticeship, a child's view of his father Ross MacManus' career on radio and in the dancehall; his own initial almost comical steps in folk clubs and cellar dive before his first sessions for Stiff Record, the formation of the Attractions, and his frenetic and ultimately notorious third U.S. tour. He takes readers behind the scenes of Top of the Pops and Saturday Night Live, and his own show, Spectacle. The idiosyncratic memoir of a singular man, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink is destined to be a classic.

In My Lucky Stars Shirley MacLaine talks candidly and personally about her four decades in Hollywood, especially about the men and women—her “lucky stars”—who touched and challenged her life.


Samantha H. from Hoover compiled this list of resources:

Beastie Boys Book by Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz
BossyPants by Tina Fey
I Swear I'll Make it Up to You by Mishka Shubaly (Recovery theme)
The Way I Am by Eminem
My Booky Wook by Russell Brand
Booky Wook 2 by Russell Brand
Revolution by Russell Brand
Assholes Finish First by Tucker Max
Hilarity Ensues by Tucker Max
Waylon: An Autobiography by Waylon Jennings
Cash: The Autobiography by Johnny Cash
My Cross to Bear by Gregg Allman
Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis
It's a Long Story: My Life by Willie Nelson
I Lived to Tell it All by George Jones
4) Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.

Readalike suggestions:

The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell is a humorous, well-informed take on the world today, tackling a wide range of issues, such as race relations; fatherhood; the state of law enforcement today; comedians and superheroes; right-wing politics; left-wing politics; failure; his interracial marriage; white men; his upbringing by very strong-willed, race-conscious, yet ideologically opposite parents; his early days struggling to find his comedic voice, then his later days struggling to find his comedic voice; why he never seemed to fit in with the black comedy scene...or the white comedy scene; how he was a black nerd way before that became a thing; how it took his wife and an East Bay lesbian to teach him that racism and sexism often walk hand in hand; and much, much more.

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

A profoundly moving novel about two neighboring families in a suburban town, the friendship between their children, a tragedy that reverberates over four decades, and the power of forgiveness.

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion - and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.
5) a tie between Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng and The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Little Fires Everywhere has been covered extensively in the ebook section above. Refer to that for readalike suggestions.  The ones listed below are for The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides.
The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband - and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive. Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening, her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face and then never speaks another word.  

Readalike suggestions:

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking...and what she’s hiding. 

The Whisper Man by Alex North

In this dark, suspenseful thriller, Alex North weaves a multi-generational tale of a father and son caught in the crosshairs of an investigation to catch a serial killer preying on a small town.

The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

In the tradition of The Girl on the TrainThe Silent Wife, and Gone Girl comes an enthralling psychological thriller that spins one woman's seemingly good fortune and another woman's mysterious fate through a kaleidoscope of duplicity, death, and deception.

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone. In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Could ten days at a health resort really change you forever? In Liane Moriarty’s latest page-turner, nine perfect strangers are about to find out...

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

With shocking turns and dark secrets that will keep you guessing until the very end, The Last Mrs. Parrish is a fresh, juicy, and utterly addictive thriller from a diabolically imaginative talent.

For readers of Gillian Flynn and Tana French comes one of the decade’s most anticipated debuts, to be published in thirty-six languages around the world and already in development as a major film from Fox: a twisty, powerful Hitchcockian thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in "The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas". As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived, and famously testified that her 15-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who've long forgotten her. The Kill Club is a macabre secret society obsessed with notorious crimes. When they locate Libby and pump her for details, proof they hope may free Ben, Libby hatches a plan to profit off her tragic history.

On a lighter note, we haven’t left the kiddos with nothing!  Here are some readalikes for popular children’s books, compiled by Katie Jane M. at the Hoover Library.

Dog Man read-alikes on Hoopla

Wedgie & Gizmo series by Suzanne Selfors
Stick Dog series and Stick Cat series by Tom Watson
Binky series by Ashley Spires
Inspector Flytrap series by Tom Angleberger
Two Dogs in a Trenchcoat series by Julie Falatko
Ruff vs Fluff series by Spencer Quinn
Drew & Jot: Dueling Doodles by Art Baltazar
Lupin Leaps In by Georgia Dunn

Babysitters Club graphic novel read-alikes on Hoopla

Invisible Emmie series by Terri Libenson
The Sisters series by William Murray
Dance Class series by Beka

Riordan read-alikes on Hoopla (which are also good for this year's SRP theme)

Aru Shah series by Roshani Chokshi
Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
Storm Runner series by J.C. Cervantes
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia
Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull
Janitors series by Tyler Whitesides
The Serpent's Secret series by Sayantani DasGupta
The Twelve by Cindy Lin
Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley
Love Sugar Magic series by Anna Meriano
Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer

There seems to be a lot of chatter out there about spring cleaning while quarantined at home, so we brainstormed some similar (and some different!) offerings like Marie Kondo’s books.

If you don’t want to clean, organize, and declutter, you may enjoy:

This is the first entry in the Simon Brett’s exciting new Decluttering mystery series, The Clutter Corpse!

Ellen Curtis runs her own business helping people who are running out of space. As a declutterer, she is used to encountering all sorts of weird and wonderful objects in the course of her work. What she has never before encountered is a dead body…until now. Discovering a link between the victim and her own past, Ellen sets out to uncover the truth.

And now, for the event you’ve really been waiting for, Tiger King companion reading/listening!

If you’ve not yet listened to the S-Town podcast, now is the perfect time.  Tune in here


No Beast So Fierce: The Terrifying True Story of the Champawat Tiger, the Deadliest Man-Eater in History by Dane Huckelbridge
Ebook on Libby
Audiobook on Hoopla

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls


Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

No one wants to be a victim, but most find the event too hypnotic to ignore. In order to save their traveling carnival from bankruptcy, the Binewskis are creating their own brood of sideshow freaks. Under Al's careful direction, the pregnant Lil ingests radioisotopes, insecticides, and arsenic to make her babies "special". As the oldest daughter, albino dwarf Olympia, puts listeners in the ring-side seat, her family's incredible drama erupts and spills over into the "normal" world. Not for the squeamish or faint of heart, this brilliantly daring novel is shocking and delightful. 

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

Against a backdrop of hauntingly fecund plant life animated by ancient lizards and lawless hungers, Karen Russell has written an utterly singular novel about a family’s struggle to stay afloat in a world that is inexorably sinking. An arrestingly beautiful and inventive work from a vibrant new voice in fiction.

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At fourteen, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. The creeks, tide pools, and rocky islands are her haunts and her hiding grounds, and she is known to wander for miles. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous: Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Her social existence is confined to the middle school (where she fends off the interest of anyone, student or teacher, who might penetrate her shell) and to her life with her father. What follows is a harrowing story of bravery and redemption. With Turtle's escalating acts of physical and emotional courage, the reader watches, heart in throat, as this teenage girl struggles to become her own hero—and in the process, becomes ours as well.

Tooth and Claw by T. Coraghessan Boyle

The title of this short-story collection tells you everything you need to know: Marriages are threatened by a batty neighborhood biologist; another man’s paradise in Florida is hit by waves of plagues. And yes, exotic animals do make an appearance — one character’s bedroom is sprayed with raw meat thanks to an African lynx. 

Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen

Andrew Yancy—late of the Miami Police and soon-to-be-late of the Monroe County sheriff’s office—has a human arm in his freezer. There’s a logical (Hiaasenian) explanation for that, but not for how and why it parted from its shadowy owner. Yancy thinks the boating-accident/shark-luncheon explanation is full of holes, and if he can prove murder, the sheriff might rescue him from his grisly Health Inspector gig (it’s not called the roach patrol for nothing).

Lastly, Emmet O'Neal Library published a similar list.  There is some crossover, but there are different titles there too: