My colleague and I were excited to embark on a grand book buzz tour for Winter of Reading this year. We were going to share a little something for everyone–mysteries, self-help, graphic histories; you name it, we wanted to talk about it–as we hopped around to different library branches presenting to anyone who would listen. Sadly, we had to cancel our in-person book buzzes, but we couldn’t hold back–so we consolidated our grand tour to one presentation and put it online!
Here’s a snippet of the twenty-eight recent and forthcoming titles we featured:
The Maid by Nita Prose
If you’re looking for a novel that straddles the line between cozy mystery and thriller, this one may be for you. Our neurodivergent narrator, Molly Gray, has always known that others perceive her as being different and “robotic.” She takes solace in her job as a maid at the Regency Grand boutique hotel, where she follows prescribed rules and procedures to restore each room to a “state of perfection.” When she finds tycoon Charles Black dead in his suite and his wife Giselle missing, her orderly life is upended as she tries to defend herself from the police–who consider her a “person of interest”–and her ill-intentioned coworkers. Fortunately, Molly has strong allies to support her as the mystery unravels and the true culprit is revealed, and the ending to this warm whodunnit is gratifying. This is perfect for those who enjoy the Flavia de Luce mystery series, which has an equally compelling and precocious heroine.
Midlife Bites by Jen Mann
I think the subtitle of this book really nails what author Jen Mann wants to know–Anyone Else Falling Apart, Or Is It Just Me? An outgrowth of her blog, People I Want to Punch in the Throat, Mann tackles all the things women generally don’t talk about with regards to aging and the act of living and being women. While Mann’s viewpoint may seem harsh to some, it’s truthful, bold, no-nonsense, and so freaking funny! Mann writes in a way that’s engaging, honest, and makes even the most heart-breaking and mortifying topics seem survivable. For fans of Roz Chast’s Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant or Cathy Guisewite’s Fifty Things That Aren’t My Fault.
Pinball: A Graphic History of the Silver Ball by Jon Chad
This book is a true love letter to pinball.This illustrated history, packed with information at close to 200 pages, is probably more than you think you’d like to know about pinball. There are some interesting psychological observations about how our brains process the game and other games like it but the real standout is the art. It’s visually reminiscent of pinball itself, a riotous cacophony of detail and color, cleverly and beautifully rendered to represent the subject. Pinball game themes are also covered, from superheroes to gangsters! The back of the text has a glossary and gaming tips. If you're a novice player like me, be sure to check out the different flipper techniques! I’m offering a listening suggestion for this one–is Tommy by The Who too obvious? And to meet a real-life pinball wizard, check out Wizard Mode on Kanopy!
If you’d like to hear Dodie and me chat more about these books, you can watch the whole book buzz on YouTube. Need an extra incentive? If you’re participating in Winter of Reading, watching this video fulfills the “Attend a library event online…” prompt. That means you’ll be one step closer to completing your brochure, earning a mug or tote bag, and filling out a brief survey to win a gift package from Tattered Cover Bookstore!
Disappointed you won’t get to see us present live? Don’t worry; we’re already planning another Book Buzz Tour for this spring. Keep an eye on our website for details in the coming months. We hope to see you then! And if you watch the buzz (or just read the handout!) and pick a title or two to read, let us know in the comments below!
Submitted and written by Katie M.
Excited to read The Maid and Midlife Bites, thank you for the recommendations!