Good Reads
Good Reads

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

MAY 6, 2021 – HUG YOUR CAT

Adult Fiction
“Probable Claws” by Rita Mae Brown
It is nearly January and Crozet, Virginia, is covered in a picturesque snow.  Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen is discussing the details of a new work shed with her architect friend Gary Gardner and her friend Cynthia Cooper.  In the midst of their conversation, a mysterious motorcycle rider pulls to a stop in front of them, calmly whips out a gun, and shoots Gary in broad daylight.  Harry is outraged and she is determined to find the culprit.  However, the plot is deeper and further-reaching than she first imagined.  When the killer strikes a second time, Harry becomes even more determined than ever to uncover the murderer.

Adult Non-Fiction
“What is My Cat Thinking?” by Gwen Bailey
Cats are amazing creatures and exhibit some incredibly unique behaviors.  Do you know why cats tuck their tails?  Do you know one of the ways female cats can determine if a male cat is a suitable mate?  Have you ever wondered why cats seem to gravitate to visitors who do not particularly care for cats?  Pick up this resource to find the answers to these questions and more.

Young Adult
“Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat” by Bill Watterson
A hot summer day is the perfect time for a fun easy read.  Check out this book and tag along with Calvin and his stuffed tiger sidekick Hobbes on the incredible adventures that await a very imaginative young boy and his best friend.  Do not be too surprised if, along the way, you see a little of yourself in the adventures of Calvin and Hobbes.

Children
“Bad Kitty Camp Daze” by Nick Bruel
Kitty is having a bad day.  Before this day is over, Kitty takes a nasty blow to the head with a surprising side effect:  Kitty now believes she is a dog.  When Kitty stows away on Puppy’s trip to dog camp, the fur REALLY begins to fly!

MAY 13, 2021 – CHOCOLATE COVERED RAISINS (MARCH 25)

Adult Fiction
“Busy Body” by M.C. Beaton
The village of Carsely enjoys a highly celebrated and decorative Christmas holiday season.  At least they did, until John Sunday, officer of the Mircester Health and Safety Board, throws a wet blanket on their festivities.  Citing a myriad of supposed safety issues, Mr. Sunday stomps on the holiday spirit of nearly everyone in the village.  The Ladies Society decides to join forces with the neighboring village to determine how best to stop Mr. Sunday from ruining the holidays.  Their meeting, however, is interrupted by the appearance of Mr. Sunday himself, who has been stabbed.  No one liked Mr. Sunday, but who hated him enough to kill him?

Adult Non-Fiction
“What to Eat When” by Michael F. Roizen, M.D. and Michael Crupain, M.D., M.P.H.
We all know that WHAT we eat is important to our health.  However, did you know that WHEN you eat it is just as important?  Pick up this informative resource and learn practical tips on when and what to eat and how the food choices you make affect your weight, your health, and your quality of life.

Young Adult
“The Secret of Gumbo Grove” by Eleanora E. Tate
When Miss Effie Pfluggins asks Raisin Stackhouse to help clean up the old church cemetery, Raisin says yes.  Raisin has no idea that the cemetery holds more than bones.  It holds secrets, too.  Some are good and should be revealed.  Some are better left buried.

Children
“Cocoa to Chocolate” by B. J. Best
Did you know that chocolate begins on a tree?  Did you know it is made from the white beans of a cacao tree?  Learn about how those white beans from a tree become the chocolate in your candy in this interesting book.

MAY 20, 2021 – CLAMS ON THE HALF SHELL 

Adult Fiction
“Seashell Season” by Holly Chamberlin
Sixteen years ago, Verity Peterson’s two-month-old baby girl Gemma disappeared.  Gemma’s father Alan had abducted her.  Now, Verity learns that Alan has been arrested for the abduction and 16-year-old Gemma is coming to live with Verity.  Verity is ecstatic – until she discovers that Alan not only took her baby; he raised Gemma to believe that Verity was an unfit mother.

Adult Non-Fiction
“Men are Clams, Women are Crowbars” by David Clarke, Ph.D.
It is what draws men and women together – and what drives them crazy, too:  our differences.  Whether we compare them to Mars and Venus or waffles and spaghetti, men and women are different.  Those differences can drive couples apart or draw them together.  Check out this resource to learn how to appreciate and understand your differences and embrace them.

Young Adult
“Half Brother” by Kenneth Oppel
Thirteen-year-old Ben Tomlin is weary of constantly being scrutinized by his behavioral scientist father.  When Ben learns of his dad’s latest high-profile project, he is a little relieved.  The “high-profile project” is an eight-day-old chimpanzee named Zan.  Zan is to become Ben’s little brother as an experiment to learn if chimpanzees can acquire advanced language skills.  However, while Zan remains just an experiment to Ben’s father, he becomes much more than that to Ben.  When forced to choose between duty and compassion, which will Ben choose?

Children
“The Happy Book and Other Feelings” by Andy Rash
Friends Clam and Camper are living in the “Happy Book”.  Clam is so happy that he bakes a friendship cake for them to share.  Camper is so happy that he eats it – ALL of it.  Suddenly Clam is not feeling so happy.  When you live in the “Happy Book” but you are not happy, what do you do?

MAY 27, 2021 – BEAVERS

Adult Fiction
“Creatures of the Kingdom” by James A. Michener
Do you love animals?  This is the book for you!  Check out this collection of selected excerpts from renowned storyteller James A. Michener’s novels.  Enjoy selections from “Hawaii”, “Centennial”, “Alaska”, “Chesapeake”, and “Texas”.  In addition to these excerpts about nature, Michener includes one never-before-published story.

Adult Non-Fiction
“Bibles, Beavers, and Big Timber” by Bradley W. Antill
Local author Brad Antill shares his experiences in forestry in this devotional book.  As a registered forester in North Carolina and West Virginia, Brad spent a lot of time outdoors.  Join him as he shares what he has learned about the Creator from observing His creation.

Young Adult
“Building Big” by David Macaulay
While working on the PBS 5-part miniseries “Building Big” about the construction of megastructures such as bridges, tunnels, and skyscrapers, author David Macaulay became curious about the more basic questions surrounding these monuments.  Why was one shape chosen over another?  Why was concrete used instead of stone?  Was the structure’s location driven by aesthetics or practicality?  Macauley wrote this companion book to answer these questions.

Children
“Frog and Beaver” by Simon James
Frog and his friends have wonderful homes along the river.  Then Beaver arrives with plans for HIS home on the river.  When Beaver’s plans go awry, his new home causes problems for Frog and all of Frog’s friends – and even Beaver himself!

MARCH 4, 2021 – BLACK HISTORY

Adult Fiction
“Across the Way” by Mary Monroe
The best of friends can sometimes become the worst of enemies.  Such was the fate of neighbors Milton and Yvonne Hamilton and Odell and Joyce Watson.  What started out as “tit for tat” escalated far beyond anything the Hamiltons and the Watsons intended.  When the dust settles, the entire community will forever wear the scars of this feud gone feral.

Adult Non-Fiction
“Overground Railroad” by Candacy Taylor
Many are familiar with the “Green Book”, published from 1936 to 1966 as a travel guide of safe stops for African Americans at hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and other businesses.  “Overground Railroad” is a compilation of the stories of the brave souls who courageously listed their businesses in the “Green Book” in support of integration.

Young Adult
“All the Days Past, All the Days to Come” by Mildred D. Taylor
For those of you who are familiar with the Logan family saga, this is the story’s compelling conclusion.  Cassie Logan, a young girl in “Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry” is now a young woman on the threshold of her future.  Follow her as she leaves her family home, attends law school, and ultimately returns to Mississippi.

Children
“Black Brother, Black Brother” by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Twelve-year-old Donte’s classmates at Middlefield Prep don’t like him.  Being bullied for just being himself is bad enough; but, when he is framed for something he didn’t do, arrested, and suspended, Donte decides he has had enough.  It’s time to confront his bullies, what they stand for, and the corruption that led to his arrest.