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Longboat Key Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020 5 months ago

Library staff read a lot into new books

Three librarians provide their takes on some of the library's most popular selections and give their own favorites.
by: Brendan Lavell Staff Writer

The Observer chatted withLongboat Library president Mary Baker as well as volunteer librarians Bonney and Len Libman to learn about which authors and books are most popular with reader this season. Then, we gave them a chance to make one recommendation. Here's what they said:


Jojo Moyes

Baker: “She established her reputation with her first book, which was ‘Me Before You.’ And I think that it was such an engaging story ... that people want to read more heart-wrenching books that could be true that deal with difficult issues. I mean, it is fiction, but it reads like it's realistic.

"If you want to read a book that makes you feel like you are meeting a character in person and following them through whatever struggles they're going through, this is the book for you.”

John Grisham

Baker: “People like stories that have to do with the law and especially the underdog who takes on the big guys.”

“[You’ll like Grisham’s books if] you like ... reading about lawsuits, the intricacies of a trial and lawsuits.”

Bonney: “I think he’s clever.”

Len: “He's always got an interesting little twist. It's fun reading, it’s good reading.”

David Baldacci

Baker: “His books are fast-paced, and they're good escape reading.”

Len: “He's similar to Grisham in [a certain way] because he writes stuff that's easy to read, and always has a pretty good theme or subject that he brings up. And he's funny.”

“[You’ll like Baldacci’s books if] the subject of the particular Baldacci book is something [you’re] interested in, and [you] want to be entertained and informed at the same time.”


“Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

Baker: “It's a charming book all the way through. The characters are very engaging. People talk to each other about the book and try not to reveal the ending, but it is a surprise ending.”

Bonney: “I thought it was so beautifully written, almost like poetry. Visually you could see it.”

Len: “Throughout the whole thing, … you're thinking about what's going on.”

“Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover

Baker: “What she accomplished, given her family background and her difficulties as a child, make her quite an amazing woman.

"[You’ll like this book] if you don't mind reading a story that's difficult and realistic.”

“The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah

Baker: “Everything by Kristin Hannah is popular right now. … She can bring characters to life."

"[You’ll like this book if] you've ever been to Alaska.”

Staff choice

Baker: “The Dutch House: A Novel” by Ann Patchett

“I was surprised that the house itself becomes a character in the book. … I hadn’t read a book like that before.”

Bonney: “The Water Dancer” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

“Fabulous book. … It's a lot of reading, but it has everything in it. You just have to read it. You can't explain it. It's just good.”

Len: “The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides

“It's fascinating. … It’s not only intriguing but it's well-written. ... There are stunning twists and turns in it. The style the author wrote it, it's kind of unique in the way he handled it. Very much worth reading, for entertainment and information.”

Brendan Lavell is a general assignment reporter for the Observer. He earned degrees in journalism and history at the University of Missouri. He has visited 48 of the 50 United States, has a black cat named Arya and roots for the Eagles, Flyers, Phillies, 76ers and Chelsea FC.

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