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

A delight for readers of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, this blockbuster debut set in 1960s California features the singular voice of Elizabeth Zott, a scientist whose career takes a detour when she becomes the star of a beloved TV cooking show.” -Goodreads

I loved this book! Lessons in Chemistry immediately draws you into the world of Elizabeth Zott as she struggles to make a name for herself in the male-dominated field of science.

Early on we follow Elizabeth as she falls in love with her coworker Calvin—a brilliant Nobel-nominated chemist. But when fate takes a turn, and Elizabeth finds herself an unemployed single mother, she does what she has to to survive—which turns out to be hosting a cooking show “Supper at Six.”

But this is not your average cooking show. Elizabeth’s unconventional approach to cooking not only teaches women how to cook but encourages them to change the status quo.

At times both hilarious and heartbreaking, Elizabeth’s story shines a light on the sexism women endured at this time in history (and often in ways that continue to reverberate today) and how our lives never turn out quite like we expect.

-Brittney T.

This was the first book I’ve read by Krueger, and I absolutely can’t wait to read the rest of this series of books about “Cork” O’Connor.  And, I understand why this book received multiple awards as a first novel!

Iron Lake is set in the woods of Minnesota, with a great cast of characters beginning with our introduction to young “Cork” (part Irish, and part Anishinaabe Indian) and his Anishinaabe mentor Sam Winter Moon.

Sam and Cork are on a bear hunt.  Sam shares stories and wisdom with “Cork”, including the tale of the Windigo. “Cork” asks if this is just a story and Sam responds with this wisdom: “In these woods it’s best to believe in all possibilities.”  

Thirty years later “Cork” is the former sheriff of a small town—Aurora, Minnesota. Embittered by his “former” status, and the marital meltdown that has separated him from his wife Jo and their 3 children, “Cork” gets by on heavy doses of caffeine, nicotine, and guilt. As a former cop on Chicago’s South Side, he’s not easily shocked but when the town’s judge is murdered, and a young Eagle Scout disappears, “Cork” finds himself in the middle of a dangerous mystery involving the deepest, darkest and nastiest secrets of Aurora.

The complex mystery, sense of place and the native lore add much to the story.

If you like the mysteries written by CJ Box, Tony or Anne Hillerman or Paul Doiron, I think you will really enjoy this series!

-Carl H., Director

Book cover of "The Emerald Atlas" by John Stephens

If you enjoy magic, mystery and stories like Harry Potter, Narnia, “Dr. Who,” Oliver Twist, The Wolves of Willowby Chase and similar fantasy books, you’ll love The Emerald Atlas, the first of three books.  

Three children are awakened by their frantic parents late on Christmas Eve. The mother, Claire, insists her eldest daughter, Kate promise to keep her younger sister Emma and brother, Michael, safe from harm until they meet again. They have no idea it’ll be ten years before that happens.  

The children are hustled into a waiting car where they fall into a magically induced asleep through a harrowing ride while chased by sinister specters.  Just as they are about to be caught, the car vanishes into another time/dimension.

When the children wake in the morning they find out they will be living in an orphanage while they wait for their parents. This miserable orphanage is the first of many they will be staying in over the next ten years.  

When they have irritated the nasty orphanage matron, she sends them to Cambridge Falls Mansion—a place that is promised to be the worst of the worst.   

But Cambridge Falls turns out not to be so bad, they are given amazing food, introduced to the elderly owner, Dr. Stanislaus Pym who is kind and very mysterious. 

The children who never thought of themselves as particularly special begin to learn of their gifts.  After Kate has frightening prophetic dreams, she and her siblings find themselves in the mansion’s  basement where they discover a blank emerald-colored book.  Kate takes one of the old photos they discovered while exploring the mansion and places it inside the book to keep it safe and the children find themselves transported to wear the photo was taken. 

There they discover an evil Countess who has locked all the village children into an orphanage.  Kate, Michael and Emma listen in horror as she promises to kill a child every week until a certain item is found.  They also encounter a much younger Dr. Pym. 

I will let you read the  rest of the books to discover how Kate, Michael and Emma  learn how to use the magic book and what it s true significance is.

This series does a good job showing Kate, Michael and Emma growing up. All three have distinct personalities and quirks. The dialogue between them is engaging. Emma is passionate in all that she does and its rarely a secret how she feels. As the youngest she is the only who has no real memory of her parents and she acts out to cover how scared she is.  Michael is quite comfortable being a nerd and rises admirably to the occasion when called on to be brave. And Kate as the eldest is responsible, loving, shouldering the responsibility of becoming a parent while she was still a child taking care of her siblings. Stephens is sensitive as he shows her navigating her way from child to young woman.  As she matures in the last book we see her torn between being everything to her siblings or following her own desires towards love.

After reading the first book, I discovered Jim Dale (from Harry Potter) narrated all three Books of the Beginning books. So I downloaded the rest on Libby from our Paul Memorial Library site and enjoyed listening to the rest of the series.

-Cori C.