Good Reads
Good Reads

Picks of the Week as published in The Roanoke Rapids Daily Herald

September 5, 2019 – BE LATE FOR SOMETHING DAY

Adult Fiction
“Late Bloomer” by Fern Michaels
Cady Jordan’s 82-year-old grandmother Lola is ailing.  Cady has returned to her hometown to care for Lola; but, Lola has an ulterior motive for having Cady return.  She wants Cady to come to grips with a serious accident she had when she was ten years old.  Cady can’t remember the events of that fateful day, but it has had a profound effect on her life.  Then, she reunites with her childhood friends.  Bit by bit, she begins to remember.  When the whole story unfolds, Cady wishes she could just forget.

Adult Non-Fiction
“Thank You for Being Late” by Thomas L. Friedman
Have you mastered your cell phone, only to have it update—so now you have to start to learn it all over again?  Does it seem like your “smart” TV is smarter than you are?  Do you wonder why?  Thomas Friedman proposes that mankind’s tremendous capacity to adapt is being outpaced by the rapid changes in the fields of technology, the market and climate change.  Read this interesting explanation of this phenomena; and, decide for yourself if Friedman’s solution to improve the situation would work.

Young Adult
“Topspin” by Sonya Spreen Bates
Kat is excited.  She’s competing in her first junior tennis championship.  There’s just one problem; her doubles partner Miri seems bent on sabotaging their matches.  She’s sneaking around at night.  She’s late for practice.  What’s going on with her?  Kat is determined to find out.

Children
“Late for School” by Steve Martin
Dad has warned his son repeatedly to stop being late for school.  When his son wakes up late—again—he makes a mad dash across town to get to school on time.  He makes it in time all right—in time to make a most shocking discovery!

TONI MORRISON TRIBUTE

With the recent passing of author Toni Morrison, we invite our readers to honor her by reading one of her spectacular contributions to American literature.


Adult Fiction
“Beloved” by Toni Morrison
The late Toni Morrison has penned the gripping story of Sethe, an escaped slave now living in Ohio in the 1870’s.  Slavery has been abolished, but its cruel memories and atrocities continue to haunt Sethe.  She may have escaped slavery, but at a cost so dear that it has followed her into freedom.  This compelling novel is based on the true story of escaped and recaptured slave Margaret Garner and her desperate attempt to save her children from returning to the oppression of bondage.


Adult Non-Fiction
“The Source of Self-Regard:  Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations” by Toni Morrison
In what is now, sadly, her final book, Toni Morrison shares a collection of her powerful writings and provoking thoughts on various subjects and issues that we face today.  Included in this collection are moving tributes to the victims of the 9/11 attacks, Martin Luther King, Jr., and James Baldwin.  Ms. Morrison also shares some insights about her own literary works.  Check out this e-Book from our OverDrive digital book collection to learn more about this amazing lady whose thoughts and stories will be treasured and whose voice will be sorely missed.


Young Adult
“The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison
Meet eleven-year old Pecola Breedlove.  Pecola’s home life is very difficult.  The suffering of her family permeates her so thoroughly that Pecola, herself, feels ugly.  Pecola longs to be pretty like Shirley Temple.  She believes that if she could just have blue eyes, she would be beautiful and her world would be different.  Her search for beauty in the eyes of others has tragic consequences.


Children
“Peeny Butter Fudge” by Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison
Mom goes out and Nana is in charge!  Check out this eBook from our NCKids digital book collection and join Nana and the children on an awesome adventure through a nap-taking, book-reading, puzzle-working, neighborhood-walking, fudge-making day!

September 12, 2019 – HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH

Adult Fiction
“Ripper” by Isabel Allende
High school senior Amanda Jackson loves a mystery.  She devours crime novels and is an avid player of the online mystery game Ripper.  However, reading and playing detective are not enough for Amanda.  She decides to test her skills by beginning her own investigation into a group of strange murders.  The test becomes all too real when Amanda’s mother disappears.

Adult Non-Fiction
“The Spanish West” by the Editors of Time-Life Books
Do you know what 1500’s explorer spent eight years wandering through what later became the American West?  Do you know how the Spanish increased the output of the soil in the Rio Grande valley in the 1600’s?  Do you know what western state was once thought to be an island?  Learn the answer to these fascinating questions and more in this amazing history of the Spanish West.

Young Adult
“Under the Mesquite” by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Lupita is in high school when her mother is diagnosed with cancer.  Lupita is used to helping out with the house and her seven siblings; but, now she finds that she is needed more than ever.  Between school work, house work, learning to act, and taking care of her siblings, Lupita is stretched to the breaking point…and maybe even beyond it.

Children
“Marimba!” by Pat Mora
Once a year something very special happens at the zoo.  One evening the mischievous singing monkey croons all the zookeepers to sleep.  Then, the animals begin to awaken.  It’s fiesta time!

September 19, 2019 – INTERNATIONAL TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY

Adult Fiction
“Pirate Latitudes” by Michael Crichton
The island of Jamaica is a dangerous place in the 1600’s.  It is an English colony holdout against the Spanish empire.  Living in Port Royal, its capital, is not for the faint-hearted.  The word in the port city is that there is a Spanish galleon loaded with gold in a nearby harbor.  It is docked for repairs; and, though guarded, it is just ripe for the picking of a certain English captain, Charles Hunter and his motley crew.

Adult Non-Fiction
“The Age of Piracy” by Robert Carse
Pirates have been immortalized in fiction and film.  However, if you want to explore the true story of what life was like for the “sea-artists” (as they called themselves), this is an excellently researched resource.  Learn all about the origins of pirates, their escapades, and their lives from ship to shore.

Young Adult
“Peter and the Starcatchers” by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
We all know the story of Peter Pan and how he met Wendy and her brothers.  However, did you ever wonder how he came to be Peter Pan in the first place?  Pick up this incredibly rich tale of Peter’s beginnings and enjoy a wonderful adventure into the imaginative world of Never Land.

Children
“Pirates Don’t Change Diapers” by Melinda Long
Jeremy Jacob has twenty-seven cents to his name and a present to buy for his mother’s birthday.  What can he get for just twenty-seven cents?  Then, a certain peg-legged friend and his crew stop by Jeremy’s house for a visit.

September 26, 2019 – JOHNNY APPLESEED DAY

Adult Fiction
“Apple Turnover Murder” by Joanne Fluke
Owner of The Cookie Jar, Hannah Swensen, has never made an apple turnover in her life.  When her business partner suggests they set up an apple turnover stand at an event that already has Hannah up to her ears in cookie dough for 1,100 cookies, Hannah balks.  However, Hannah decides to take a chance and try it, using her partner’s mother-in-law’s recipe.  All goes well, until the event’s host turns up dead…with an apple turnover in his hand.

Adult Non-Fiction
“A Place Called Sweet Apple:  Country Living and Southern Recipes” by Celestine Sibley
Journalist Celestine Sibley fell in love with Sweet Apple Cabin when it was still wearing the effects of 100+ years of age and multiple uses (including a schoolhouse).  Purchasing and fixing it up after moving out of the big city taught Ms. Sibley a love for the simpler style of life.  In addition to her story about the restoration of Sweet Apple Cabin, Ms. Sibley shares many down-home recipes in this book, such as Squirrel Pie, Pickled Pig Feet, and Ash Cakes.

Young Adult
“Chains” by Laurie Halse Anderson
It’s the eve of the Revolutionary War, but thirteen-year-old Isabel Finch is in a battle of her own.  She and her sister Ruth were supposed to be freed when their mistress died.  Instead, they have been sold again, this time to a Tory couple from New York who are malicious and cruel.  Isabel needs to get Ruth safely away, and she just might get her chance when she meets Curzon.

Children
“The Story of Johnny Appleseed” by Aliki
Do you know Johnny Appleseed’s true name?  Do you know how he traveled across the country?  Do you know where he got the apple seeds he gave away?  Learn all this and more in this biography of Johnny Appleseed.