Podcast: We share our current great reads

During this episode of the Booklovers Podcast, I chat with Jordan. We talk about what we’ve recently read, what we’re currently reading, and even an upcoming book that I’m crazy-excited about. Realistic fiction, mysteries, foodie fiction, and young adult fairytale retellings – we cover all sorts of great reads. Plus, we share that we’d both like to be mermaids.

Let us know what you’re reading and enjoying! Leave us a comment or reach out on Twitter. We’re @ClermontLibrary.

Current great reads

The Peacock Emporium by Jojo Moyes

The Institute by Stephen King

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Transcript of the show

Laura: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Clermont County Public Library’s Booklovers Podcast where we talk about all things Library. I’m your host, Laura and I’m joined today by Jordan, a library assistant specialist from our branches. Hey, Jordan.

Jordan: [00:00:12] Hi. Thanks for having me again.

Laura: [00:00:14] Absolutely. I love having you. So today we’re going to talk about books that we’ve recently read and enjoyed.

I’m going to let Jordan go first. What’s  your first pick?

Jordan: [00:00:23] All right. So the first one I have in my stack here  I finished about two hours ago. And then that’s good. So it is the Peacock Emporium by Jojo Moyes. So I typically read like horror, sci-fi, fantasy, stuff like that.

Laura: [00:00:46] My favorite catnip.

Jordan: [00:00:47] Yeah. I like it. I very rarely read like real people books like stuff that could actually happen. But whenever I’m in the mood for one, just every now and then I always go to Jojo Moyes. She wrote the Me Before You trilogy, right? Okay, and they were so good. I just finished the last one a couple weeks ago and they’re so good. And she just writes the best characters. All of her stories no matter how tame and predictable they seem they’re always twists and so so great.

So this book I got kind of a nostalgic kind of vibe from it, but it’s actually set in mostly in 2001 and it was actually published in 2004, but I think it was just recently reprinted. Sure. Yeah, so it’s on a lot of our new shelves. So I it’s about this woman named Susanna Peacock. That’s her actual married name.

Laura: [00:01:48] I want to change my name now.

Jordan: [00:01:51] The title caught me first. Was it like a menagerie of peacocks or something? Like I have to read this. So she’s kind of felt very disconnected from her family her whole life and throughout the book you realized why. And she’s married, but she’s not super happy in her marriage.

But the one thing that she does find fulfillment in is the shop that she opens. And she ends up naming it the Peacock Emporium. So it’s like shop and Cafe full of things that she likes. She got in trouble previously for her shopping habits, just try to cope with her own stress.

Laura: [00:02:37] Sure. So we’ve all been there -retail therapy is a thing.

Jordan: [00:02:42] Yeah, and so she decides to make something practical out of that and turn that Obsession into selling and making money. The only problem is she’s not a very warm personable type of person just naturally and then people start coming into the shop like, oh you should do this, you know, you should arrange it this way to make it more welcoming and you should actually talk to people when they come in.

Laura: [00:03:11] Wow. Yeah crazy.

Jordan: [00:03:13] Yeah, the characters are just so great and there are so many twists and this is not the type of book you would expect there to be a lot of twists, but I really enjoyed it.

Laura: [00:03:23] Oh, good.

Jordan: [00:03:24] And she’s just an amazing writer.

Laura: [00:03:27] Fantastic. I’ve never read one of her books, but that one actually sounds super interesting to me.

Okay. So my first one is called And Then There Were Crumbs by Eve Calder. It’s one of those,  I know it’s super popular with Mysteries to have a cozy mystery and then the person who solves the crime,  the amateur detective, so bakeries , food-related things are a big. Yes. Oh, yes. This is one of those but I have to say that I found it a little less formulaic, a little less predictable than a lot of them are so I’m really enjoyed the writing.

So, of course, it has a very traditional start.

Our heroine ,Kate, has lost her job as a pastry chef for a fancy restaurant. And of course, her fiance dumps her so her solution to deal with those things is to move from Manhattan to this tiny little town. In Coral City, Florida because that’s what you do, right?

Yeah, right, so she’s going to start over.  And she applies at this bakery called the Cookie House, which is owned by this crusty old guy named Sam. But of course he’s going to have a heart of gold because that’s just the way these things work. So he hires her and because she doesn’t have anywhere to live he also conveniently offers to rent her the apartment that’s above the bakery. So life is looking pretty good because there also happens to be an attractive man in the picture.

Jordan: [00:04:56] Surprise.

Laura: [00:04:57] I know right? Yes. I don’t know how that happens in these books. So everything is looking pretty good and until this aggressive real estate developer drops dead after eating a batch of Sam’s cinnamon rolls.

So of course is the crusty old guy is arrested and it’s up to Kate and her newly made friends to prove his innocence because of course, you know, it will be so I say not not really any surprises, but the journey was delightful. It’s a super nice cozy mystery, light romance, and small-town charm. So I think if you’re looking for Light reading perfect way to go.

Jordan: [00:05:33] Bethel, where I’m still helping out until I move around to other branches, we just put together a fall book display and a lot of it is Mysteries just like that. Just something cozy and yes usually cookie related.

Laura: [00:05:50] Of course. Well, it’s the perfect kind of book to have with your pumpkin spice. Latte. All right, so you’re going to change the tone because I do believe that I see – is that Stephen King over there?

Jordan: [00:06:01] All right, so I’ve been reading Stephen King since I was 14. I’ve read about 30-something of his books. I think I’ve read at least half of his catalog the stuff he continues to put

Laura: [00:06:17] I was going to say  you’ve got a big backlist to catch up on.

Jordan: [00:06:21] And then this is the Institute which just came out like two or three weeks ago.

Laura: [00:06:27] Right.

Jordan: [00:06:28] And I just started it since it’s so new and I have a literal stack on my coffee table book eight or nine books. Yeah, it just started this one. I’m on page 9 but those nine pages have been awesome so far.

Laura: [00:06:45] That’s good. There’s nothing worse than looking forward to reading something and you get super excited. It finally comes in and you sit down with it and you read the first few pages and you’re like this is not what I thought it was going to be. I always find that heartbreaking and it makes me super sad. So I love it when you dive in and you’re like, yes, this is it.

Jordan: [00:07:06] Mmm. I’m really excited to dive further into it.

I read somewhere that it’s kind of a combination of It and Fire Starter and I’ve read both of them. Okay, and I looked those were two of the first ones. Ever read.  It was actually the first Stephen King book I ever read. It Was a really good. I was the same age as the character. So that was super fun  but yeah, I’ve been listening to a lot of Stephen King audiobooks.

Like he’s just amazing.

Laura: [00:07:42] Absolutely he has definitely had an amazing career.

Jordan: [00:07:46] The last year I started working for  CCPL and. I just kept watching more and more of his books come on the new list and I’m just like how is he doing this amazing? And the quality is just remain the same.

He’s still just yeah,

Laura: [00:08:06] He’s definitely a master Craftsman when it comes to writing.

Jordan: [00:08:08] I shared when this hold came in for me. I was so excited. I posted a picture of it on my Facebook page. Like look what I got everybody and a couple people were like, how did you get that already?

And I was like, I have a library card, but we usually get the new books in the system at least the day that come out absolutely and we have our lucky day collection as well. So, yeah, if you want to read this way to tell everyone you want to read the new and exciting books get a library card.

Laura: [00:08:41] That’s right way to do it. So tell me just a little bit about what the Institute is about.

Jordan: [00:08:48] So from what I understand. It’s along the lines of they’re children that have like supernatural abilities, which I think is where the Fire Ftarter  kind of comes in and so far it seems like it’s going to be told from different perspectives.

And the Institute is I guess studying these kids. And I’m assuming at some point there’s going to be an escape.

Laura: [00:09:17] Of course, there’s got to be right. Yeah, especially when you’re calling at The Institute, nothing good sounds like the Institute.

Jordan: [00:09:25] Yeah, I’ve heard it’s pretty intense and I’ve read a lot of his stuff. So hopefully I can handle it but I’m very excited about this book so far.

Okay. I hope you continue to enjoy that sounds really fun. Okay. I’m going to shift back to the light and fluffy. That’s what I’ve been reading. So my next one is called Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle limb.

So it starts with the main character Natalie Tan ,  returning home because her mom has passed away and she and her mother had been estranged for the past seven years because Natalie wanted to be a chef and her mom didn’t approve of her choice.

So Natalie moved out and they stopped speaking. So she’s pretty shocked to learn that her mother has left her  the family restaurant that’s been closed since her grandmother’s death. She didn’t realize her mom still owned it and so it’s been closed up for all these years and she’s super surprised.

So the neighborhood fortune teller because of course what neighborhood doesn’t need a fortune teller tells Natalie that she needs to cook three recipes from her grandmother’s cookbook to Aid her struggling neighbors before she can successfully reopen the restaurant so I don’t usually do this, but I would like to read just a couple paragraphs to show kind of delicious food writing is in this book. Her descriptions are just beautiful.

So this is Natalie and she’s talking about cooking. It Says “I reached for the two beefsteak tomatoes in the grocery bag the shade of their skins bore a hint of orange indicating the firmness of the juicy flesh within. My Sharp blade sliced into the fruit dripping sticky dotted with the jeweled seeds inside I cut the flesh into tiny cubes as the scent of sunshine and Vines filled the air. I transferred the tomatoes to a ceramic Bowl before rinsing the board and knife clean.

Using the flat side of the blade. I smash three cloves of garlic. The Fragrant Aroma teased my nostrils as I rolled a fat red onion onto the board the papery amaranthine skin crinkled under my fingertips.  According to Mama the red onion contained too much chi.  The reason it caused so many tears. She compared The Red Onion to younger Shen rich in color and bold in flavor. I never questioned her Logic for no other onion induced the same reaction. ”

This made me want to go eat every Chinese dish. I could possibly find at the local Chinese place.

It just sounded absolutely fabulous and it made me drool for the whole book. Mmm. So again, it’s one of those light things. There’s a little bit of light romance. Lots of discussions about food. Natalie’s trying to get this restaurant open because she knows it’s going to help the neighborhood.

It’s neighborhood that she grew up in and it’s kind of facing harder times. It’s a little bit off the beaten path so they don’t see as many tourists and she thinks if she can make the restaurant successful to bring more people to their neighborhood so good cause .

Yeah, I didn’t know food writing was even a thing until I was in grad school and one of my colleagues her she specialized in the food writing and how culture and identity comes into it. It’s super interesting and that’s a perfect example. Yeah. Yeah, I’m hungry. I know it was the little thing.

Laura: [00:12:40] At one point just talking about dumplings and  it’s very late at night. There are no place open but now I want dumplings. So delicious. All right next book.

Jordan: [00:12:52] All right, so you actually recommended this book to me. We had a social media meeting. Oh, that’s right meeting. Yeah. I had brought in another book  called Sea Witch and you asked me if I’ve read this one. I had never even heard of it, but just the title. I love this like yeah, I have to have to read this now. I meant to have it finished by now, but it’s just so good that it’s one of those things where you just want to take your time with it.

Laura: [00:13:24] I do that. There’s some books you did some books. I have to race through and I cannot stop myself and there are others that are so beautifully written. I want to just read it a little bit at a time. To make it last and that was one of those books. I thought the writing was really beautiful. Yeah.

Jordan: [00:13:38] Yeah. I really love it so far. It’s kind of a dark retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. This is one that I don’t think has ever really been touched on before it’s not as popular as other fairytales.

Laura: [00:13:53] I think because it’s one of my favorite fairy tales and I don’t think that it’s I think I’ve read one other young adult retelling but I don’t think it’s a super popular fairy tale.

I mean, it’s definitely not Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty and I don’t think a lot of people know about it. Yeah, so I was excited. I don’t think we mentioned the title.

Jordan: [00:14:13] All right. Oops, that’s okay. So this is called the House of Salt and Sorrows and by Erin A. Craig and I think it just came out  in August and yeah soon as I heard the title like that sounds like something I would have loved to read. So it’s kind of a dark retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. And those Seaside Kingdom which I love anything. That’s by the Sea like nautical nautical related.

I love it all I think I was a mermaid in the past and I’m waiting to be one in this life. So excited about that and what’s happening is it’s told mainly from one of the sisters perspectives of Amelie. I think her name is and. Happens over the course of her life. Is that her sisters? Just one by one have been dying a very mysterious and sudden causes and it happens so much that she starts to think wait a minute like this is happening pretty frequently.

What if it’s not what are these aren’t accidents and it was. It’s been really interesting to read her perspectives. They have I’m not sure exactly what belief system it is, but she talks about the different gods and goddesses and what they stand for and I’m a huge fan of like Greek and Roman and Norse mythology.

So I’m not sure exactly which mythology this is or if it’s even though I think she’s I was going to say, I think it’s her. I think she made it up. I didn’t recognize any of the names so I think. Yeah creation. Yeah, but yeah, it was really cool. And then there’s a lot of paranormal type stuff.

I’ve gotten to a point in the book where she starts to sense ghosts and spirits and have just an overall Eerie feeling about the. Environment around her and about her sisters ,

Laura: [00:16:19] Has the baby sister talked about seeing the dead sister’s yet.?

Jordan: [00:16:23] I think so.

Laura: [00:16:26] Yeah. I thought that was great because you have this happy little I don’t remember how old she is. I think she’s a little older than a toddler but she’s not super old and she’s talking about seeing the dead sister’s like yes, they’re still here. Well creepy. So yeah, I liked it very much Dark Fantasy. with a little horror.

Jordan: [00:16:43] I’m really excited to continue reading it as soon as like the ghosts and the creepy drawings and spooky ocean and everything came in.

I’m just like yes. Yes is my thing.

Laura: [00:16:56] Yeah, I really enjoyed it and it is I really do enjoy the writing. I  don’t know if she has other books. I know I’d never heard the author’s name before.

Jordan: [00:17:05] We use this website called Fantastic Fiction to look up. It’s super super useful. If there’s an author that you really like and you want to see if this is the first book in a series or if this is whatever number book they’ve written.

You can find it on there. It’s a from the United Kingdom. So some of the titles are different that but it’s such a useful website. I think anyone can access it but on Fantastic Fiction. This was the only one so, I think it’s her first novel.

Laura: [00:17:40] Yes, I won’t be surprised to see more from her because it’s very beautifully written definitely a captivating story.

Wow, five fabulous suggestions. Oh, and I wanted to mention to people that if they are fans of Erin Morgenstern’s book  The Night Circus that came out almost a decade ago that her second book called The Starless Sea is going to come out soon. And it sounds like it’s one of those beautiful fantasy books like The Night Circus.

So people should go put their holds on that now, but only after I have the chance to put my hold on it first.

So hey, thanks Jordan. Thank you for joining me today.

Jordan: [00:18:19] Thank you.

Laura: [00:18:20] And thank you listeners. If you are so inclined please rate and review our podcast. It helps other listeners find us.  The show notes with links to the books and the websites that we talked about today are available at clermontlibrary.org/category/podcast.

Reach out on Twitter. Let us know what you think of our suggestions or tell us what great things you’ve been reading. We’re  @ClermontLibrary.

And until next time reader read on.


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