Meet Libby, and book recommendations from Charlotte librarians

Libby is here!

Happy May! Are you excited for summer reading? I love reading on vacation. But I don’t like running out of books, so I always used to end up traveling with a whole stack of books with me, which takes up quite a bit of room. While my love for hard-copy books will never go away, I have become an ebook reader convert in the last couple of years. And the biggest reason I switched: the Libby app.

Do you know about Libby? Susanna Kahn, Charlotte Library’s tech librarian, taught me about it and now I can’t imagine reading without it. The Libby app provides access to thousands of ebooks and audiobooks—and all you need is your library card. You can read or listen to your ebook directly on the app on your mobile device or read it on a Kindle ebook reader.

You may have three books at a time and five books on hold, which means you will never run out of something to read. There are hundreds of new releases, including a “Charlotte Only” collection, and thousands of books that are available to borrow right now. Finish a book at 10 p.m. and have a new one ready to read just a few minutes later…it’s amazing.

Libraries really have grown with the times, and while libraries will always have hard-copy books, it is so wonderful that we have this audiobook/ebook option. If you have questions about how Libby works, you are in luck! Susanna is available at the Charlotte library to meet in person to answer any of your Libby questions, and the library is hosting a Libby event at the end of this month. Mark your calendars and join us for Libby on the Porch, Wednesday, May 29, from 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.

From our Charlotte librarians, here are some suggestions of books to download or to hold in your hands:

From Jenny Cole, local history curator and interlibrary loan librarian
Around the Mountains: Historical Essays about Charlotte, Ferrisburgh and Monkton, by William Wallace Higbee, published by the Charlotte Historical Society.
In early spring after the snow melts, the contours of the land are especially visible. Old roads, stone walls and other evidence of past land uses can be seen. Building foundations, often close to the road, mark locations where earlier Charlotte residents lived and worked. Around the Mountains will take you on a tour of Charlotte in the 1800s and early 1900s and provide you with a good introduction to the town’s history. The book is loaded with interesting maps, photos, documents and sketches compiled by the Charlotte Historical Society.

Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women, by Kate Moore
Radium Girls traces the lives of women working at two dial-making factories in New Jersey and Illinois after World War I. The book tells of the terrible health effects caused by exposure to radium and the years of legal struggle to hold the companies accountable. The book contains detail that helps you experience the struggle. It serves as a cautionary tale about substances advertised as safe that are not and conditions in the world today that disregard the health and safety of workers.

From Georgia Edwards, cataloging librarian
Any book from the following two series by author, Elly Griffiths:
1) The Ruth Galloway series.
2) The Magic Men series.

Chronologically, The Crossing Places is the first book in the Ruth Galloway mysteries. Ruth is a forensic archaeologist who assists the local Norfolk (England) police—more specifically the police chief!—with sticky crimes. Strong characters and interesting relationships are what make her books so readable.

Griffith’s Magic Men series takes place in the coastal town of Brighton, England, post WW II. Two war buddies, one a detective, the other a magician, get together to solve crimes. The first book in this series is The Zig Zag Girl. The Magic Men stories have humorous moments, at times outrageous, and the relationship between the two former POWs is wonderful.
Any book by Elly Griffiths is a good read, guaranteed to entertain.

From Susanna Kahn, tech librarian
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.
I love to read books that offer a look into a different culture, whether in the U.S. or another country. This satirical novel is a quick, creative and quirky read set in Nigeria.

Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Reichl
I’ve enjoyed many of Ruth Reichl’s books and still regret recycling stacks of Gourmet magazines just before it suddenly folded in 2009. So, her latest memoir recounting her 10 years as editor at Gourmet was a treat to read, offering a look into test kitchens and the (glamorous!) magazine publishing world.

From Cheryl Sloan, youth services librarian
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I re-read this book at least once a year. I love the voice of Scout and her clear, innocent opinions of right and wrong.

A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
I discovered several English authors when I was a Peace Corp volunteer in Jamaica in the early 1980s.  All of Shute’s books are fantastic, but this story has stayed with me over 35 years.

From Margaret Woodruff, library director
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
Taking place in India during the State of Emergency of 1975, this panoramic, detailed story involves residents of an apartment building who are forced to share accommodation when the troubles begin. The detailed drawing of the characters and the weaving of the story are compelling and captivating.

Virgil Wander by Leif Enger
Seemingly an ordinary story, this novel by the author of Peace Like a River opens up the wonder of one man’s life after surviving an automobile accident. The enchanting descriptions of the Minnesota landscape and small-town life, as well as the engaging portrayal of Virgil, his friends and neighbors create a moving and absorbing tale.

See you all next month. For recommendations and reviews before then, please visit Gen The Bookworm.