Staff Picks: Four Fresh Reads For Spring
Some readers never have the dilemma of finding that next book to read — they have a list of “To-Be-Read” books that grows at a rate they will never catch up with; maybe they enjoy a certain topic or genre or have a prolific favorite author.
And then are those of us who do wrestle with the dilemma of “what will I read next?”
The Bealeton library staff has put together a few of our favorites that have been published within the last year. We hope we can help you find your next good read or add to an ever-growing list of books you want to make time for. Happy reading!
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom
“The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto,” begins in the unlikeliest of places – a funeral. It’s a memorial service for our protagonist, Frankie Presto, and in attendance are some of the top names in modern music history. From Burt Bacharach to Wynton Marsalis, each attendee has a story to share about Frankie, but no one has more to say than Music. Throughout the book, Music – or rather the muse-like personification of musical talent – illuminates the details of Frankie’s often tumultuous life. Music also gives us clues about the very real magic in the strings of Frankie’s favorite guitar and how that magic changes the lives of those around him.
There are so many wonderful moments in “Magic Strings” both hysterically funny and hauntingly solemn, but my favorite part is when Music describes talent. All the talents, he explains, swirl about you at birth in the form of bright colors. The color that you grasp, taking a little or a lot, is the talent that will accompany you through life. When you pass away, your muse takes back the talent you claimed at birth to offer it once again to another new soul.
This was a beautifully written book with a twist that I never saw coming. Be sure to check it out!
~ Frances, Library Clerk, Bealeton branch library
Under the Influence by Joyce Maynard
As a huge fan of Joyce Maynard’s previous novels, including “Labor Day” and “After Her,” I couldn’t wait to dive into her newest release, “Under the Influence.” From Maynard I’ve come to expect great writing and characters I can relate to (even if I hope never to find myself in similar circumstances as most of them). “Under the Influence” certainly offers both.
The novel tells the story of Helen, whose difficult life is at its lowest point. Her husband has left, and one terrible decision has cost her the custody of the young son she cherishes. When Helen meets Swift and Ava Havilland by chance, her life seems to take a sharp turn for the better. Glamorous, wealthy and very generous, the married Havillands take Helen under their wing and soon she’s spending most of her time with them. They even help her right her relationship with her son, and Helen considers them her best friends and the family she never had. Over time, though, clues emerge that perhaps the Havillands don’t always have Helen’s best interests in mind. When a devastating accident occurs, Helen discovers the Havillands are not the people she thought they were, and worst of all, their friendship comes with a great price tag.
“Under the Influence” will get you thinking about the bonds of friendship and all the ways our lives are influenced, both positively and negatively, by the people we choose to hold close. It’s a good read!
~ Jen S., Library Page, Bealeton branch library
The Promise by Robert Crais
Robert Crais’ newest novel,” The Promise,” is like a Christmas present to fans of his work. In “The Promise,” Crais brings together all of our favorite characters in an explosive race against time. Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are there along with Scott James and his partner K-9, Maggie. Elvis gets hired to find a missing woman whose son was killed by a suicide bomber. While following his only lead, Elvis stumbles into the middle of a police chase and becomes a prime suspect in a murder. He also comes close to getting shot by Scott James.
Officer James and Maggie’s impromptu run-in with Elvis and the murderer leave his career and life in danger. He throws caution to the wind, however, and joins forces with Elvis and Joe when the killer attempts to murder Maggie. Traitors and liars abound in this fast paced novel.
~ Jen B., Library Clerk, Bealeton branch library
If I Run by Terri Blackstock
“If I Run” is a suspense novel with enough intrigue and dynamics to keep the reader turning the page. The protagonist, Casey Cox, finds her best friend murdered. She goes on the run after leaving her DNA at the crime scene in her attempt to help. She does not know who to trust in the local police department, as they failed her when her father supposedly committed suicide. Dylan Roberts, a veteran with PTSD trying to get back to his skills as an investigator, is hired to look for Casey, but soon begins to question Casey’s guilt. The story is told from both characters’ perspectives, going back and forth between them at the most suspenseful times. I always look for Terri Blackstock’s books, as I loved her book Predator and the Cape Refuge series. She is a Christian fiction author, but easily blends the genre with thrilling suspense. I thought this book was a stand-alone novel, but it is the first in a new series – now I have to wait for the second book!
~ Mary Sue, Reference Librarian, Bealeton branch library