New and popular titles at Juniata County Library

BOOK REPORT

With so many good books being released all the time, it can be hard to determine what to read first. Every week, I offer a run-down of significant new releases available here at the library.

Visit our online card catalog at juniata.sparkpa.org to search today or call 717-436-6378 to have a helpful library staff member assist you.

Things that matter: three decades of passions, pastimes, and politics by Charles Krauthammer.

Once I finished my undergraduate degree in 2009, I lived briefly in Philadelphia and read every day the Philadelphia Inquirer. In the Opinion/Viewpoints section, Charles Krauthammer had his syndicated column. I found myself disagreeing with his views most of the time, but I always learned something new from him. He had an oversized vocabulary and often cited past thinkers and events that broadened my views. He left a lasting impact on my knowledge and awareness.

With his recent passing, his 2013 book is now back on the New York Times best seller list and is a great read for your summer reading challenge! The author is well known for the pungency and forcefulness with which he expresses his political views. Krauthammer’s autobiography emerges in chapters organized around themes like “Follies,” “Man and God,” “The Jewish Question, Again” and “Three Essays on America and the World.” Educated in medicine and psychiatry, the author came to Washington, D.C., to work for the Carter administration. He began to write for the New Republic and the Washington Post and found a new direction for his career. Presenting himself as a charming polymath, he writes on a variety of subjects, not just politics–e.g., a defense of the border collie as a working breed from the American Kennel Club, where it was admitted in 1994. Krauthammer draws on his scientific training to examine the arguments surrounding both creationism and global warming, and his interest in world championship chess and mathematics helps him ably convey the magic of the convergence of science and art in monumental expressions of man’s political concerns and strivings. You can find this book in the Adult Nonfiction section.

The perfect couple by Elin Hilderbrand

Sink into this beach read book like a hot, scented bath…a delicious, relaxing pleasure. And a clever whodunit at the same time! One of the supporting characters in Hilderbrand’s (Winter Solstice, 2017, etc.) 21st Nantucket novel is Greer Garrison, the mother of the groom and a well-known novelist. Unfortunately, in addition to all the other hell about to break loose in Greer’s life, she’s gone off her game. Early in the book, a disappointed reader wonders if “the esteemed mystery writer, who is always named in the same breath as Sue Grafton and Louise Penny, is coasting now, in her middle age.” In fact, Greer’s latest manuscript is about to be rejected and sent back for a complete rewrite, with a deadline of two weeks. Wanna know who’s most definitely not coasting? Elin Hilderbrand. Readers can open her latest with complete confidence that it will deliver everything we expect: terrific clothes and food, smart humor, fun plot, Nantucket atmosphere, connections to the characters of preceding novels, and warmth in relationships evoked so beautifully it gets you right there. Example: a tiny moment between the chief of police and his wife. It’s very late in the book, and he still hasn’t figured out what happened to poor Merritt Monaco, the Instagram influencer and publicist for the Wildlife Conservation Society. Even though it’s dinner time, he has to leave the “cold blue cans of Cisco beer in his fridge” and get back to work. “‘I hate murder investigations,’ [his wife] says, lifting her face for a kiss. ‘But I love you.’ “You will feel that just as powerfully as you believe that Celeste Otis, the bride-to-be, would rather be anywhere on Earth than on the beautiful isle of Nantucket, marrying the handsome, kind, and utterly smitten Benji Winbury. In fact, she had a fully packed bag with her at the crack of dawn when she found her best friend’s body. You can find this book in the New Adult Fiction section.

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Vince Giordano has been the director of the Juniata County Library since 2015.

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