1932. After the Great War took both her beloved brother and her fiancé, Violet Speedwell has become a "surplus woman," one of a generation doomed to a life of spinsterhood after the war killed so many young men. Yet Violet cannot reconcile herself to a life spent caring for her grieving, embittered mother. After countless meals of boiled eggs and dry toast, she saves enough to move out of her mother's place and into the town of Winchester, home to one of England's grandest cathedrals. There, Violet is drawn into a society of broderers--women who embroider kneelers for the Cathedral, carrying on a centuries-long tradition of bringing comfort to worshippers.
Violet finds support and community in the group, fulfillment in the work they create, and even a growing friendship with the vivacious Gilda. But when forces threaten her new independence and another war appears on the horizon, Violet must fight to put down roots in a place where women aren't expected to grow. Told in Chevalier's glorious prose, A Single Thread is a timeless story of friendship, love, and a woman crafting her own life.
Read a review by Ann Reeves:
With the help of her rescue cat, Eddie, librarian Minnie Hamilton is driving a bookmobile based in the resort town of Chilson, Michigan. But she’d better keep both hands on the wheel, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride…
Eddie followed Minnie home one day, and now she can’t seem to shake the furry little shadow. But despite her efforts to contain her new pal, the tabby sneaks out and trails her all the way to the bookmobile on its maiden voyage. Before she knows it, her slinky stowaway becomes her cat co-pilot!
Minnie and Eddie’s first day visiting readers around the county seems to pass without trouble—until Eddie darts outside at the last stop and leads her to the body of a local man who’s reached his final chapter.
Initially, Minnie is ready to let the police handle this case, but Eddie seems to smell a rat. Together, they’ll work to find the killer—because a good librarian always knows when justice is overdue.
Read a review by Gennifer King:
Karen Brewer lives next door to Mrs. Porter, who wears long robes and has wild gray hair. Mrs. Porter has a black cat named Midnight and always seems to be working in her garden. Karen isn't supposed to spy on her neighbor, but she's determined to prove that Mrs. Porter is a witch named Morbidda Destiny!Mrs. Porter is getting ready to have a special meeting at her house, and Karen is sure the meeting is for witches. Are they going to cast a spell on Karen? Or will she be brave enough to send them away -- once and for all?
Read a review by Gennifer King:
If you've always wanted to make your favorite Korean dishes at home, Simply Korean is for you. With streamlined techniques, minimal ingredients, and clear instructions, Aaron and Claire show you the easiest way to make fried rice, bulgogi, kimchi, and more. Learn the best ways to use traditional Korean ingredients, and save money by cooking at home. Includes:
- Introduction to Korean cuisine, including essential ingredients and cooking methods
- How to make restaurant-quality meals at home--shortcuts for boosting flavor and reducing prep
- Easy-to-remember formulas for Korean sauces to make any dish more delicious
Read a review by Gennifer King:
Sophie Breeze is a brilliant bridesmaid. So brilliant, in fact, that she’s made it her full-time job.
As a professional bridesmaid, Sophie is hired by London brides to be their right-hand woman, posing as a friend but working behind the scenes to help plan the perfect wedding and ensure their big day goes off without a hitch. When she’s hired by Lady Victoria Swann––a former model and “It Girl" of 1970’s London; now the Marchioness of Meade––for the society wedding of the year, it should be a chance for Sophie to prove just how talented she is.
Of course, it’s not ideal that the bride, Lady Victoria’s daughter, Cordelia, is an absolute diva and determined to make Sophie’s life a nightmare. It’s also a bit inconvenient that Sophie finds herself drawn to Cordelia’s posh older brother, who is absolutely off limits. But when a rival society wedding is announced for the very same day, things start to get…well, complicated.
Can Sophie pull off the biggest challenge of her career––execute a high-profile gala for four hundred and fifty guests in record time, win over a reluctant bride, and catch the eye of handsome Lord Swann––all while keeping her true identity a secret, and her dignity intact?
Heartwarming and hilarious, The Secret Bridesmaid celebrates the joys (and foibles) of weddings, the nuances of female friendship, and the redeeming power of love in its many unexpected forms.
Read a review by Cindy O'Neill:
Citizen science is the public involvement in the discovery of new scientific knowledge. A citizen science project can involve one person or millions of people collaborating towards a common goal. The citizen science movement is approachable and inclusive, making it an excellent option for people looking for ways to get involved and make a difference.
The Field Guide to Citizen Science—by the expert team at SciStarter—makes it easier than ever for those new to the process to get involved. It explains what citizen science is, explores the various types of projects available, shows how to succeed and stay motivated when you’re participating in a project, and explains how the data are used. The included projects range from passive observation to active data collection. With an upbeat and accessible tone and a lively, illustrated layout, this must-have guide is for anyone looking to join the fun and rewarding world of citizen science.
Read a review by Jill Martin:
Our honorable mentions for 2022:
Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen; Are You a Cheeseburger? By Monica Arnaldo; Long Way Home by Lynn Austin; The Women of the Bible Speak: The Wisdom of 16 Women and Their Lessons for Today by Shannon Bream; Fresh Brewed Murder by Emmeline Duncan; Simply Korean: Easy Recipes for Korean Favorites That Anyone Can Make by Aaron Huh; The Christmas Owl: Based on the True Story of a Little Owl Named Rockefeller by Ellen Kalish; When Perfect Isn’t Enough: How I Conquered My Fear of the Proverbs 31 Woman by Nancy Kennedy; Shoe Dog: Young Readers Edition by Philip H. Knight; The Matchmaker's Gift by Lynda Cohen Loigman; A Song of Comfortable Chairs by Alexander McCall Smith; Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire; Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala; Saturday at the Food Pantry by Diane O'Neill; Lyric McKerrigan, Secret Librarian by Jacob Sager Weinstein; Emmett and Jez (Adventures in Fosterland) by Hannah Shaw; Crave by Tracy Wolff.
Happy New Year! We'll be back with new book reviews next week!