Staff Picks: Still Looking for Good Summer Reads?

Posted by Aaron on

The books of summer are usually a little lighter and a little more relaxing. They are books that you simply enjoy and want to share with a friend. Here are a few favorites from the staff at the John Marshall branch library to enjoy as summer winds down.

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

If you’re looking for a light read with just a touch of magic then this book might be the answer. The story takes place in the small town of Bascom, North Carolina where the Waverly family has resided for generations. The women of this family possess unusual magical talents they share with the town, however, when it comes to making the women feel included, the town is not always quite as welcoming.

Claire, the older of two Waverly sisters, is a gifted baker who uses edible flowers and herbs from the family garden in her successful catering business. It is well-known that the family garden is a bit magical and the ingredients, in Claire’s hands, result in baked goods that can influence the emotions of those eating the treats. Claire’s younger sister Sydney, who has recently returned home after many years, is skilled at giving haircuts capable of changing a person’s day or even their life. A quirky, very distant and much older cousin, Evanelle, adds humor to the story by showing up, compelled to gift strange seemingly random items to people who are amazed to discover the gift was exactly what they needed.

“Garden Spells” has small town southern charm, humorous, likable characters and a lovely older home with a special garden that is just a touch magical. This story is a little bit out there, but it’s just enough to allow one to believe that maybe, just maybe, it could happen.

∼ Joan, Circulation, John Marshall branch library

Supremes Sing the Happy Heartache Blues by Edward Kelsey Moore

I loved Edward Kelsey Moore’s first book, The Supremes at Earl’s All- You-Can-Eat.  In his second book, Blues Man, El Walker, returns to Plainview, Indiana setting a whole string of events in motion.

Two men and a woman raised in the same foster home are reunited by the Blues music that they love. The foster-mother had a terrible temper, but as a child, Blues man El Walker, was able to calm her and escape beatings by playing his guitar and singing the blues to her. Lily is the little white foster child who sang the Blues with El when they were hiding out in the woods. The third child, the foster mother’s son, hated El because his mom loved the Blues music he created more than she loved any child.

As the second book in the series, the Supremes are back! Odette, who survived cancer in the first book, is feisty as ever. She was born in a Sycamore tree and that destined her to be fearless, and oh yes, she can see and talk to her dead mother, Eleanor Roosevelt, and several other spirits. Her husband, James, had a difficult childhood and an absent father. El’s return to his hometown stirs up a lot of bad memories for James.  Beautiful Barbara Jean has a connection to El because he knew her troubled mother when she was just a sweet young thing. Barbara Jean is married to Ray, the King of the Pretty White Boys. Clarice, the piano prodigy, has rented a home from Odette and is living happily away from her philandering husband, Richmond. As Richmond tries to coax Clarice back to their shared home, it becomes apparent that age has slowed him down in the only department that he was good at in their marriage. Barbara Jean’s mom, Loretta, used to holler warnings to the patrons of the Pink Slipper Gentlemen’s Club that they were bound for the flames of hell. However, Loretta is now married to the owner of the Club, and she has changed her admonitions to “God bless you sinner,” and “drive safely.”

The second Supremes book is definitely a fun read, but if you haven’t read “The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can Eat”, please pick it up. You will definitely love the characters. It continues to be my favorite!

∼ Gloria, Associate, John Marshall branch library

Book listsreviews from our book clubs and favorites from library staff are great resources when searching for your next book. Or stop by the reference desk at your local library.








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