Share 6 Recommended Reads from a Small Town Library

6 Recommended Reads from a Small Town Library

Allison Tyler thinks a good book and a cup of tea help cure what ails you. If you're looking for her, she's probably painting in the woods.

I may romanticize the profession, but being a librarian seems like the perfect job. Librarians get to spend their days in a quiet setting, surrounded by books (Does anything smell as good as a book?), interacting with other bibliophiles, and indulging reading passions among the stacks (once their work is done, of course). My small town of 24,000 people is lucky enough to have a beautiful and creatively run public library. I was curious what books my local librarians would recommend for my to-be-read pile, and the staff of New Jersey’s Cranford Public Library was happy to share their compelling and diverse suggestions, all of which I can’t wait to read.

P.S. Ask your local librarians for recommendations and email us at offtheshelf@simonandschuster.com to let us know what they say.


The Portable Veblen
by Elizabeth McKenzie
This quirky, often hilarious novel offers romantic comedy and critique of contemporary American society. Veblen and her fiancé, Paul, must come to terms with their complicated relationships with their families, Veblen’s affinity for a particularly expressive squirrel who takes residence in her attic, and their own differing hopes for the future.
The Portable Veblen
Elizabeth McKenzie

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Station Eleven
by Emily St. John Mandel
This quick, engrossing read begins moments before a pandemic called Georgia Flu wipes out most of civilization. The book jumps from twenty years after the disaster to the years before, a nonlinear format that makes for a riveting postapocalyptic tale.

Read the full review of STATION ELEVEN.

Station Eleven
Emily St. John Mandel

For fans of “The Walking Dead”

While “The Walking Dead” hero Rick Grimes and his gang are keeping hope alive but losing their grip fast after a zombie apocalypse, STATION ELEVEN’s Kirsten Raymonde and her band, the Symphony, have dedicated themselves to keeping the remnants of art and humanity alive after a mysterious pandemic has ravaged civilization.

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Boy, Snow, Bird
by Helen Oyeyemi
Helen Oyeyemi has made a career of adeptly reimagining traditional stories. BOY, SNOW, BIRD is a retelling of Snow White dark enough to rival the source material, but in the hands of one of the most skilled storytellers of our time it takes on a new depth and feels current and relevant.
Boy, Snow, Bird
Helen Oyeyemi

This widely acclaimed novel brilliantly recasts the fairy tale Snow White as a story of family secrets, race, beauty, and vanity. It boldly confronts the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold.

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Grandma Gatewood's Walk
by Ben Montgomery
Emma Gatewood is an incredible woman who walked the Appalachian Trail not once, but three times, first at the age of 67 with only a pair of Keds, a shower curtain, and a tiny bag. This is a great book for fans of Cheryl Strayed’s WILD.
Grandma Gatewood's Walk
Ben Montgomery

MENTIONED IN:

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By Allison Tyler | January 24, 2018

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A Deadly Affection
by Cuyler Overholt
This mystery continues the story of a trailblazing 1907 psychiatrist who treats women with emotional trauma. If the plot doesn’t catch you, Cuyler Overholt’s use of language surely will. She beautifully captures the spirit of early twentieth century New York.
A Deadly Affection
Cuyler Overholt

MENTIONED IN:

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By Allison Tyler | January 24, 2018

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Homegoing
by Yaa Gyasi
When a friend recently asked for a book that would make her cry, the libriarians immediately put HOMEGOING in her hands. The novel begins in Ghana in the mid-eighteenth century with the stories of two half sisters separated at birth—one married off to an Englishman who oversaw the British interest in the Gold Coast slave trade, the other captured by those slave traders and shipped to America. Each subsequent chapter alternates between their descendants in Africa and the United States for 300 years. Yaa Gyasi has a knack for writing characters—each one fully realized—and the myriad ways their actions and circumstances send ripples through their family tree.

Read the full review of HOMEGOING.

Homegoing
Yaa Gyasi

Two half-sisters are separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. HOMEGOING traces the descendants who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and 300 years of history, each life indelibly drawn.

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