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New and popular titles at Juniata County Library

With so many good books being released all the time, it can be hard to determine what to check out next. Every week, I offer a run-down of significant 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.

“The Storyteller’s Secret” by Sejal Badani

Whenever my wife points out that a certain book she just read is the best she has read this year (or past several years), I usually drop what I am doing and read that book immediately. She said this about “Educated,” by Tara Westover (read this book!) and recently said it about “The Storyteller’s Wife.’

The story begins with a couple that has been trying for years to have a child. Through miscarriages and medical complications, they have been unable to conceive. This took an understandable toll on both of them and eventually led the husband to leave (or was it due to more than that?) Reading between the lines, our heroine is clinically depressed because she cannot have children, and she did not seek the appropriate level of professional and self-help until 2/3 of the way through the book. From there, we travel to India in a journey of self-realization and to explore the fictional tale of a family history in a foreign land. This adventure is more of one from one society to another and rather than refer to this tale as a story of adventure, it is more a quest for discovery.

When you can read the plight of someone raised in a society with vastly different customs, and the strict adherence by most to those customs, and still feel empathy for them, that is a story with soul. To some extent, my view of Indians of Asian descent was enhanced because of this story. Reading about a strong-willed Indian woman heavily influenced by the teachings of Mahatma Ghandhi, which some revered as revolutionary seeking more than mere independence from Britain, but independence from the shackles of custom, moved me to reconsider other cultures and religions different than my own. Exquisitely and sensitively written, Badani is an author to follow. You can find this book in the New Adult Fiction section.

Bookshots …

Here are some quick book recommendations that include star ratings I give them or whether you should skip it, borrow it, or buy it.

“The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World,” by Melinda Gates (4 stars)

“Neon Prey,” by John Sandford (4 stars)

“The Cornwalls are Gone,” by James Patterson (3 stars)

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

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