Looking for you next great read? See what the Newfields librarians are reading and loving this month…

Book cover titled: Death at the Member-Guest by James Y. Bartlett

A Hacker Golf Mystery

Cover features an extension cord tied into a noose overlaying a bloody 18th hole in the background.

I’ve got an ulterior motive in picking this book for this month’s staff pick. The book is a mystery/ thriller about golf. Please, if that 4-letter world makes you want to turn away from this column, please, please, please – hear me out.

Why am I asking you to continue reading? Because of Hoopla! The Friends of the Library of Newfields just helped us acquire Hoopla digital content. And, since I was going on a week’s vacation and needed to make sure I had plenty of reading with me, I looked through the Hoopla offerings. I wanted to have at least one book with me that was just light, fast and fun reading. When I saw Death at the Member Guest, I was tickled to see it in the Hoopla collection.

Bartlett has written this little series of books about former pro golfer Peter Hacker, as well as a few non-fiction books about golf. He is a good sportswriter and I had never read any of the Peter Hacker mysteries. They are not available from our other digital content provider Overdrive-Libby. Two of these mysteries may be available through our Inter Library Loan system, but the computer did not actually list owning libraries for the 2 titles, and they
are older, so possible but not likely that I might be able to get my hands on one of these mysteries. But there it was in Hoopla!

Oh, you want to know about the book? It’s a fun mystery story taking place at the Shuttlecock Country Club outside of Boston. The setting is a golf tournament that our hero, Peter Hacker, has been invited to play in with his buddy Jack. Jack is a newspaper publisher. Peter is a sportswriter now that he’s left professional golf behind. The Club President is murdered.

Is it because of the dalliances of his beautiful wife? Is it jealousy because of his golfing skills and his arrogance on the course, or is it because of his questionable business practices? Peter and his buddy Jack’s curiosity drive them to get to the root of the mystery. Will they solve the mystery? Who done it? The book uses golf as a backdrop but in most ways, this is a fast moving, traditional mystery.

It was great vacation reading! If unusual mysteries are your thing, this may be for you too!

Find it at Hoopladigital.com or using the Hoopla app. While you’re in Hoopla – please
investigate all that this service offers!

-Carl H., Director

Book cover titled Berlin Diaries: 1940-1945 by Marie Vassiltchikov

Title is red to dark ombre over beige background. A black and white headshot of the author to the left.

In 1976, two years before her death, Marie (Missie) Vassiltchikov, a White Russian princess, agreed to publish her secret diaries dated 1940 – 1945 concerning her time living and working in Berlin, Germany.

“As a refugee from Russia, Missie grew up in Germany: went to school in France and in Lithuania (between 1918 – 1940 an independent republic) and where in the late 1930’s, she worked for a while as a secretary at the British Legation.”

At the start of WW2 she and her sister Tatiana were spending time in Silesia with friends. From there as “stateless” persons they went to Berlin to find work, which was a daunting task. Missie was 23 when she began this diary. In the beginning she first found work at the Broadcasting Service and then with the Foreign Ministry’s Information Department. She worked closely with a dedicated group of anti- Nazi resisters who were to become remembered as “the 20th of July plot” (the plan to assassinate Hitler.) As her world fell apart around her, she got a job as a nurse.

Her succinct day to day observations living through black outs, bombings, deaths of so many friends, food rationing and the high-ranking people who plotted against Hitler is absolutely riveting.

Her circle of friends and colleagues allowed her to live on both sides of society. Sometimes she and her sister go out to dinner and occasionally dancing, many times they almost run out of food coupons, becoming dangerously thin and malnourished.

Her delivery of information is compassionate but rarely emotional, making the book easy to read. Still, I found I could only read  a couple entries at a time because of the intensity of the events. The surprising number of photos brings her story to life and encourages one to research the people and the time period.

This book is available through our state interlibrary loan system.

-Cori C.

Book Cover titled "The Humans" by Matt Haig. Orange background with pink squares and rectangles on top, some with loosely sketched stick figures.

If you’re looking for your next book club read, this is it. The Humans is the second book I’ve read by Matt Haig and once again he doesn’t disappoint.

The Humans is narrated by an alien invader who is sent to destroy evidence of a mathematical breakthrough that would catapult humanity into rapid advances. To complete his mission, he takes over the body of the mathematician who solves the theorem. While at first disgusted by the primitive and alien ways of the humans, the narrator gradually comes to realize there may be more to the humans than just violence and irrationality.

Throughout the book, readers are left to ponder with the alien what does it mean to be a human? What is the nature of reality? And why are peanut butter sandwiches so good?

At once funny, thoughtful, and profound, The Humans will stick with you long after you’ve finished it.

Available through Inter-Library Loan.

-Brittney T.