Happy Autumn! The leaves are changing, the weather is shifting, and it’s time to curl up with a good book. Check out what our librarians have been reading this month.

For even more recommendations, check out our October Book Talk featuring brand new titles!

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

Shuggie Bain is the unforgettable story of young Hugh “Shuggie” Bain, a sweet and lonely boy who spends his 1980s childhood in run-down public housing in Glasgow, Scotland. Shuggie’s mother Agnes walks a wayward path: she is Shuggie’s guiding light but a burden for him and his siblings. under the surface, Agnes finds increasing solace in drink, and she drains away the lion’s share of each week’s benefits–all the family has to live on–on cans of extra-strong lager hidden in handbags and poured into tea mugs. Agnes’s older children find their own ways to get a safe distance from their mother, abandoning Shuggie to care for her as she swings between alcoholic binges and sobriety. A heartbreaking story of addiction, sexuality, and love, Shuggie Bain is an epic portrayal of a working-class family that is rarely seen in fiction.

Place a Hold

Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster by Adam Higginbotham

The full story of the events that started that night in the control room of Reactor No.4 of the V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Plant has never been told—until now. Through two decades of reporting, new archival information, and firsthand interviews with witnesses, journalist Adam Higginbotham tells the full dramatic story, including Alexander Akimov and Anatoli Dyatlov, who represented the best and worst of Soviet life; denizens of a vanished world of secret policemen, internal passports, food lines, and heroic self-sacrifice for the Motherland.

Place a Hold | Read with Libby | Listen with Libby

Empty: A Memoir by Susan Burton

For almost thirty years, Susan Burton has hidden her obsession with food and the secret life of compulsive eating and starving that dominated her adolescence. Binge eating is more prevalent than anorexia or bulimia, but there is less research and little storytelling to help us understand it. This is the relentlessly honest, fiercely intelligent story of living with both anorexia and binge-eating disorder, moving past her shame, and learning to tell her secret. Susan Burton strikes a blow for the importance of this kind of story; brings to life an indelible cast of characters; and tells an exhilarating story of longing, compulsion and hard-earned self-revelation.

Read with Libby | Listen with Libby

Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America by Laila Lalami

What does it mean to be American? In this starkly illuminating and impassioned book, Pulitzer Prize-finalist Laila Lalami recounts her unlikely journey from Moroccan immigrant to U.S. citizen, using it as a starting point for her exploration of the rights, liberties, and protections that are traditionally associated with American citizenship. Tapping into history, politics, and literature, she elucidates how accidents of birth–such as national origin, race, and gender–that once determined the boundaries of Americanness still their shadows today.

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On the Horizon: World War II Reflections by Lois Lowry and Kenard Pak

Lois Lowry looks back at history through a personal lens as she draws from her own memories as a child in Hawaii and Japan, as well as from historical research, in this work in verse for young readers.

On the Horizon tells the story of people whose lives were lost or forever altered by the twin tragedies of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima.  Composed of poems about individual sailors who lost their lives on the Arizona and about the citizens of Hiroshima who experienced unfathomable horror.

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All book descriptions were borrowed from Goodreads.com.

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