Booklovers Podcast: 9 Books We’re Reading and Loving

Booklovers Podcast: 9 Books We’re Reading and Loving

9 books we're reading
9 Books We’re Reading

This is a transcript for the Booklovers Podcast: 9 Books We’re Reading and Loving.

Andrea: [00:00:00]  welcome to the Booklovers Podcast, a podcast from the staff at the Clermont County Public Library. This edition is a video podcast, which you can find on YouTube and Facebook. Joining me today are my colleagues, Laura, Shayna, and Jordan. Today we’re going to talk about your next great read.

Beach Read
cover for beach read
Beach Read by Emily Henry

Andrea: So first up we’ve got Beach Read.

Laura: [00:00:36] I do believe that’s my pick.

Andrea: [00:00:39] Great let’s go, Laura, let’s do it.

Laura: [00:00:42] Beach Read by Emily Henry, after a breakup and a soul-shaking revelation about her father, bestselling author January Andrew’s runs to a summer cottage to work on her latest romance novel.

One with a looming deadline. When our neighbor throws a rowdy late-night party, January confronts him only to discover it’s her college rival and nemesis Augustus Everett, acclaimed author of literary fiction. It turns out they’re both suffering from writer’s block. So they make a deal. They decided to swap genres because what could be better, right?

January, will give Gus a crash course in the world of romcom and Augustus will take her with him when he does research interviews with survivors of a backwoods death cult. And if that doesn’t scream romance,  I don’t know what does. It’s a super sweet enemies to lovers romance. Very buzzy right now.

Beach Read is available:

book cover for less
Less by Andrew Sean Greer

Andrea: [00:01:51] And you have a readalike?

Laura: [00:01:53] I do.  It’s Less by Andrew Sean Greer.  Receiving an invitation to his ex-boyfriend’s wedding. Arthur, a failed novelist on the Eve of his 50th birthday, embarks on an international journey that finds him falling in love, risking his life, reinventing himself and making connections with the past.

Andrea: [00:02:14] Cool. I like it. I liked that they both have this illustrated style cover.

Shayna: [00:02:27] I love that cover. If a book is yellow, it just draws my attention. I love a good yellow book and that one’s going on my list. And I just love like the artwork.

Laura: [00:02:47] It’s a super sweet book, so not only do you get yellow, but you also get a good story.

Less is available as a:

With the Fire on High
bookcover for With the Fire on High
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Andrea: [00:02:53] All right.

Jordan: [00:02:54] Well so this book caught my attention a few months ago, mostly because of the cover. The cover is amazing, and I have no shame in admitting that I totally get drawn in by that.

Andrea: [00:03:08] That’s why Laura and I wanted to start doing the podcast with the covers and the video, because we tried try to describe the covers and it’s kind of hard to.. It just never totally gets through. So if you’re listening to us, come join us on the video. So you can see these covers or come into the library and pick it up.

Jordan: [00:03:32] This cover just really stood out to me. The book is called With the Fire on High but the title was also really interesting to me cause I love to cook and I love stories about cooking and kind of how authors tie cooking and with other things and their wives. And this book is perfect for that.

It’s in the  Young Adult Section, but  anyone would enjoy it. I definitely enjoyed it. and so it’s about the main character Amani who featured on the cover. She is a high school senior, and she has a young daughter. So she’s a young mother and she lives with her grandmother who helps take care of her and her daughter with her.

And her dream is to become a chef and express herself. Through cooking and really kind of do her own thing with cooking, which she demonstrates throughout the book. Like I got a lot of really great recipe ideas just from reading the book. It was awesome. and so she’s about to graduate and she’s trying to figure out how she’s going to accomplish these things and, what her next step is.

So there’s a lot of like overcoming obstacles and the adversity and stuff like that.

Andrea: [00:04:53] Cool.

Jordan: [00:04:55] And I had listened to the audiobook, which is actually read by the author and I love doing that because I feel like they read it the way they intended the book to be heard.

With the Fire on High is available as a:

Simon Versus the Homo Sapiens Agenda
book cover for simon vs the homo sapiens agenda
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

So for a readalike I picked another Young Adult novel that I really enjoyed, which is Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, which is, the book that the movie Love Simon is based on. So if you enjoy Young Adult novels about overcoming adversity, changes in life, unique circumstances, I think you’ll enjoy this as well.

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is available as a:

Andrea: [00:06:06] Great.  Next up.

After the End
book cover for after the end
After the End by Claire Mackintosh

Andrea: [00:06:06] Great.  all right After the End by Clare Mackintosh.

Shayna: [00:06:10] Yes. That one is mine.

Andrea: [00:06:13] It’s a yellow color.

Shayna: [00:06:16] Yellow book on purpose. So when I saw this book come into the library and of course it’s yellow. So I had to see what it was about. It is adult fiction. It’s  a heartbreaking story, but it’s really good.

Normally I wouldn’t read a book like this, but it just caught my attention. And each chapter is told from different points of view, which I love a book like that. Because I feel like you can really get to know the character better cause it’s told from their perspective. So the summary.

Max and Pip have been living the perfect life until their three year old son, Dylan becomes critically ill. Dylan has a brain tumor and it is growing. His quality of life has been diminished and his parents are forced to make a choice about his care and his future. They find themselves at an impasse, unable to agree on which path is the right one.

Let Dylan die peacefully or continue to fight. Pip thinks that the best path for her son is to allow him to die peacefully and naturally he has suffered enough Max disagrees. He believes that they should prolong Dylan’s life, no matter what it takes.

Dylan’s medical case is taken to a judge to decide.

It’s a real tear-jerker. It’s heartbreaking. It’s definitely about a difficult subject.

I listened to the audio of this one. With the different points of view chapters, you have a man reading for Max, and then you have a woman reading for Pip.

In the afterward, the author came on and she and her husband actually had a similar experience. So I was like, Oh, wow. So it just really brought it to home more like, Oh, I do. If I was in that situation and it’s impossible to pick a side, I mean, it’s just, it’s really good.

After the End is available as a:

book cover for faithful
Faithful by Alice Hoffman

Shayna: And so then the readalike that I have for that one is Faithful by Alice Hoffman. and so here’s a short summary for that one. Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night and extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.

What happens when a life is turned inside out? So that one again is one of those stories. That’s like this could happen in real life. it has happened to people and. It’s just, you know, interesting to read something like that. That’s really good.

Faithful is available as a:

Love Lettering
book cover for love lettering
Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn

Andrea: [00:09:06] All right. Love Lettering.

Laura: [00:09:09] I’m going to lighten things up.

This is Love Lettering by Kate Clayborne.  Meg Mackworth’s hand lettering skill has made her famous. She designs custom journals for her New York city clientele. She also has another skill reading signs that other people miss, and sometimes she can’t help, but weave the secret signs into her designs.

Most people never noticed them, but Reid Sutherland comes into her shop and wants to know how Meg knew his engagement would fail. But Meg’s got problems of her own. She’s got a chance to work with a big company and get national exposure for her work, but she’s got a serious case of creative block. So Reid offers make a way to rediscover her creativity.

He asks her to explain her love for typography and lettering. So she takes him on short little trips around New York city and shows him her favorite signs. And of course, soon they’re meeting for lunch and texting each other. Maybe she can help him loosen up just a tiny bit and maybe he can help her find her inspiration.

It’s very sweet, New Adult book.

Love Lettering is available as a:

Passion on Park Avenue
book cover for passion on paqrk avenue
Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne

Andrea: [00:10:32]Your readalike?

Laura: [00:10:34] My readalike is Passionately Park Avenue by Lauren Layne. Doesn’t that sound exciting?

Andrea: [00:10:39] Yes.

Laura: [00:10:41] This is an enemies-to-lovers romance about the daughter of a housekeeper becoming CEO of a jewelry design company. Of course, one day she runs into the son of the family her mom worked for.  The very person who made her life so very miserable, but because this is a romance sparks fly. And so does the witty banter.

Andrea: [00:11:05] Oh, as it does, as it does.

Laura: [00:11:09] Especially when you’re hobnobbing.

Andrea: [00:11:13] And I see the link between these two is the skyline Laura.

Laura: [00:11:17] Beautiful covers that make me happy.

Passion on Park Avenue is available as a:

Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
book cover for sweetness at the bottom of the pie
Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

Andrea: [00:11:22] Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley.

Jordan: [00:11:25] This is a book that I just kept seeing everywhere. Like that cover just followed me everywhere. I’m like clearly I need to read this book.

And I found out that it’s the first book to a mystery series, which was perfect for me. I’m like, all right. I was meant to read this book.

So the summary is 11 year old Flavia Deluce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, begins her adventure when a dead bird is found on the doorstep of her family’s mansion in the summer of 1950, thus propelling her into a mystery that involves an investigation into a man’s murder, where her father is the main suspect.

Laura: [00:12:28] In the opening scene, isn’t Flavia locked in the closet by her two sisters?

Jordan: [00:12:35] That’s actually the first line of the book – how she struggled against her restraints in the dark closet. I’m like, that escalated quickly.

Laura: [00:12:50] Her sisters tied her up and stuffed her in the closet. And of course she’s plotting her revenge, how she’s going to poison them when she gets out of the closet. Not that that actually happens, but it’s just, it’s so much fun.

Jordan: [00:13:15] One of my favorite parts, like not just the story and the mystery, but her relationship with her sisters is just hilarious. Cause it’s so, so accurate.

Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is available as a:

Crooked House
book cover for crooked house
Crooked House by Agatha Christie

Jordan: One of my favorite books by Agatha Christie is Crooked House. And I picked it to go along with Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie because it’s also like a family related murder, mystery with the creepy house in the countryside. And there’s also another young female character in Crooked House. I immediately, when I started reading about Flavia, I was like, Oh, that sounds like Josephine from Crooked House. I definitely made that connection because not only are they similar in age but they also have similar interests science-wise and that’s all I’ll say about that. Because I don’t want to it.

Crooked House is available as a:

Children of Blood and Bone
Cover of Children of Blood and Bone
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Andrea: [00:14:40] All right. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.

Shayna: [00:14:43] This book is awesome. It’s just really, really cool. A friend of mine recommended this book to me and when I asked her, what did you like about it? She said it has fierce warriors and magic. That’s all you need to know. I had to get my hands on it. So I’ll go ahead with the summary.

They killed my mother, they took our magic. They tried to bury us. Now we rise. Everything changed the night magic disappeared under the orders of the ruthless King Majaila were killed, leaving Zelie without a mother and her people without hope. Now, Zelie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy with the help of the kingdom’s princess, Zelie must outwit and outrun the crown Prince.

Who is determined on eradicating magic for good. And I don’t want to give too many details.

So magi in this book, they’re born with magic and there are different abilities that you’re born with. And so on the cover, that’s Zelie and she’s got that white hair. So in the book, her hair is like a lion’s mane. I mean, she’s just got this gorgeous white hair because she’s full of magic. And so, you know, the princess, I mean, she rebels against her own father, the King, and she helps Zelie. And I mean, Zelly has a pet lion that she rides through the forest, like a magical queen.

Like it’s just really, really good. it is Young Adult, but I think adults would like it too.

Andrea: [00:16:36] There are a lot of Young Adult books that adults will like. Laura’s nodding her head. She’s a reader of both. So, yeah.

Shayna: [00:16:43] And this one also is, like my favorite writing style from each chapter is from a different character’s perspective.

So it’s also multiple points of view, which I love again. And there are more characters than just Zelie and the princess, like the princess, his brother, the Prince who is after them.

He ends up having a white streak start to grow in his hair he keeps covering it up to hide it because he thinks magic is bad.

Children of Blood and Bone is available as a:

The Young Elites
book cover for young elites
The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Andrea: [00:17:23] And your readalike?

Shayna: [00:17:25] Yes. For that one, I chose The Young Elites by Marie Lu. I chose it because in Children of Blood and Bone, the main character is Zelie and she is this fierce woman. I mean, she is just so awesome, so sure of herself and just not afraid. And that’s how, Adelina is in The Young Elites. So it’s just like that similarity for like a strong female character, which I love. So just a short summary for that one. Adelina survived the blood fever, a deadly illness that has killed many, but has left others with strange markings and supernatural powers cast out by her family.

Adelina joins the secret society of the young elites and discovers that she has her own dangerous abilities. So it’s got that magic, you know, in it and magic is bad and they cast them out and everything. So it’s very similar. It’s really good.

Andrea: [00:18:24] Cool. All right.

The Young Elites is available as a:

The Marriage Game
book cover for the marriage game
The Marriage Game by Sara Desai

Laura: [00:18:27] All right. My last book, and this is, if anybody has been watching Indian Matchmaking, this is perfect book for that. So The Marriage Game by Sara Desai.

Layla’s parents run a Michelin starred Indian restaurant. Traditional in their ways, they believe in arranged marriages. Her father signs Layla up for and sets up a series of dates without telling her.

Layla is moving back to San Francisco to start her own business. And her father has agreed to let her use the office above the restaurant, except that he’s already rented the space out to Sam. Also the child of the first generation Indian immigrants.

Before Lela’s father can sort out who gets the office space, he’s hospitalized and Sam and Layla are battling it out for possession of the office space.

When Sam comes up with a delightful proposition, as one does in these situations, he suggests that Layla goes out on the dates that her father ranged. If she accepts one of the suitors, she gets engaged and he gets the office. If Layla rejects all of the men, she gets the office. So nothing could possibly go wrong.

Right? Super fun description of Bollywood movies, lots of descriptions of delicious Indian food. Just a super, super cute book.

Andrea: [00:19:53] Do you think this book will be made into a movie?

Laura: [00:19:56] Oh, it has adaptation written all over it. Yes. And I cannot open up my news app on my phone without seeing stuff about Indian Matchmaking everywhere.

Yeah. So if there was somebody smart out there, they will snatch up the rights to The Marriage Game.

Andrea: [00:20:18] Right. Well, let’s keep our ears peeled because it seems like a good pick.

The Marriage Game is available as a:

Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors
book cover for pride prejudice and other flavors
Pride, Prejudixe, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

Laura: [00:20:24] My readalike is Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev. Tricia is the privileged daughter of Indian immigrants in a talented neurosurgeon up and coming chef.

DJ Kane has known people like Trisha before people who judge him by his rough beginnings. He needs the lucrative job. Tricia’s family. Offers him, but he values his pride too much to indulge in her arrogance. Until he discovers that she’s the only surgeon who can save his sister’s life. Doesn’t that sound very hallmark movie.

Again this has delicious descriptions of Indian food. I was drooling the entire time.

Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors is available as a:

The Little Shop of Found Things
book cover for the little shop of found things
The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston

Shayna: [00:21:15] I loved this cover when I saw it. I’m like, look at that cute little shop with the ivy and the flowers, like coming down on the window. I want that to be real. Like I want to walk down the street and find this, So, yeah, this is The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston. Here’s the summary.

Xanthe has a special ability to sense the history of the items she touches. When she touches them, she can sense the stories that the items hold. While she is examining a chatelaine, she is transported back to the 17th century. When she finds her way back home in her own time, she is confronted by a ghost who is haunting the antique shop owned by  Xanthe and her mother.

The ghost gives Xanthe ultimatum, threatening her family if she fails. So she travels back to the 17th century where she ends up meeting Samuel.

And while she tries to find out the history of the chatelaine, she and Samuel ended up falling in love. When it is time for Xanthe to go back to her own time, she is torn between her love for Samuel and her home.

I love this book so much. and it actually has a sequel, which I need to read. It’s sitting on my bedside table. I need to dive into it. It’s called Secrets of the Chocolate House.

This book, it has time travel, romance. And it has a ghost mystery.

It’s just so, so good. The details in it, like when she goes back in time, I think the year is like 1605 or something. so, you know, she goes back and she’s like, Oh my gosh, like what the heck? Yeah, it was just really, really good. And again, I love the cover. It’s charming.

The Little Shop of Found Things is available as a:

The Book Charmer
book cover for the book charmer
The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins

Andrea: [00:23:12] And you’re in your readalike?

Shayna: [00:23:17] The Book Charmer.  I haven’t read that one yet. but when I was looking for a readalike, that popped up.  And when I read the summary, I’m like, this sounds like it would be a great one.

So short summary for The Book Charmer.  To Sarah Dove, books have always been more than just objects.

They live, they breathe and sometimes they even speak. As a librarian, her gift helps place every book into the hands of the perfect reader. Recently, however, they have been whispering about something out of the ordinary. And now we have to read and find out.

The Book Charmer is available as a:

St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves
book cover for saint lucy's home for girls
St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell

Jordan: [00:24:03] This book came out, a while ago, I’d say like 10, maybe 15 years ago. It’s actually an anthology of short stories. The title is what got me, which was St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. I’m a big fan of Angela Carter who wrote a lot of fairytale retellings and stuff like that.

So there are 10 short stories  and they’re based in the Florida Everglades, which I personally have never read much based in that area. iSo I learned a lot reading posts, stories like about the area and the culture and everything.

So it was really interesting. and all of the characters are children, very resilient, very misbehaving children. It was really fun. My favorite stories from the collection is  “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves.”

And then my other favorite was called “The Sleep Away Camp for Disordered Dreamers.” That one was really fun. It was a summer camp for kids with  nightmares and insomnia, like all these different sleep disorders. It was really great and the characters were so funny. All of the stories were so relatable, it’s very whimsical storytelling.

Something interesting about these stories was that all of them ended, well, maybe not all, but most of them ended on a cliffhanger. Kind of weird, because they’re not connected. It was an interesting way to end each short story. Because there is like nothing else to satisfy that cliffhanger. So at the end you’re like, no, tell me more. It was a fun read. I really enjoyed it.

St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves is available as a:

Bazaar of Bad Dreams
book cover for bazaar of bad dreams
Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King

Jordan: Bazaar of Bad Dreams  is the readalike. So one of my favorite short story writers is Stephen King.  I’ll read literally anything written by him.

I’ve been reading him since I was 14. He just has the most amazing short story collections. A lot of people actually won’t read his novels. Like they just prefer his short stories. And I picked this one because I read it recently and it’s a huge anthology of short stories. They’re very dark and most of them, you don’t know what’s going on at the end of it.

But it’s just so great. And like in true Stephen King fashion, like the characters are just so real. You’re kind of walking alongside them in the story. That’s just how he writes his plots. And it’s really, really well done.

My favorites from Bazaar of Bad Dreams were called “Morality” and “Afterlife.” Those really stood out to me.

And on that note, if you wanted to check out St. Lucy’s, pretty much anything by  Stephen King, Daphne de Maurier, Shirley Jackson, if you enjoy like the whimsical darker, short stories there, we have so much that so much more you can tell.

Bazaar of Bad Dreams is available as a:

Conclusion: 9 books we’re reading

Andrea: [00:27:51] Come into one of our branches and ask about these books. Get a stack! Absolutely. And just a reminder that you can use our digital selection.

Listen to audiobooks on the Libby app. That’s my favorite way to listen to books.

Also, we have Hoopla, which is instant, offerings of books, but also music. So check those out.

Thank you. Shayna, Jordan and Laura for your selections today!

So if you are listening or watching and want more information, visit us at the library. Also come into any of our 10 branches. Come talk to us. Ask us about your next great read.

Laura: Remember to subscribe to the Booklovers Podcast wherever you get your podcasts. Follow us on social media and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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