I usually blog on my lunch hour at work, but the library has been extremely busy. We lost another 25 employees last week. They were "re-balanced" to work at other locations. We have eight people left in my department, which has the highest circulation in the library system. There are literally THOUSANDS of books waiting to be re-shelved on my floor. With only four staff members able to shelve a couple of hours a day (the others either have a disability or are senior citizens), there is no way we can make a dent in the mountains of books, even with help from other staff in the building. We used to have 15 pages, and with each one working 20 hours per week, they were just able to keep up with the shelving. Now with 0 pages, we are hopelessly behind and don't ever expect to catch up.
With that said, here are the titles that I finished since the first of the month:
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen - women's fiction meets up with magical realism in this story of two sisters whose family has a way with herbs: the food they cook is infused with magical properties. I love their cousin, who gives people things that they will need, only they don't know exactly when or why they will need them. Read-alikes include Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender; also Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman.
Secrets of Eden by Chris Bohjalian - the murder/suicide of a couple with a troubled marriage shakes their small Vermont town. Told from the points of view of four different narrators, there are some pretty good twists throughout the story.
Death on the Moors by Deanna Raybourn - This is the third title in the Lady Julia Grey series, with Julia accompanying her sister Portia north to the moors to the home of Nicholas Brisbane, Julia's evasive love. This is different from the previous titles, in that it's more of a cold case rather than a current murder. But the mystery comes to a satisfying conclusion, and Julia and Nicholas' story continues in the next title in the series, Dark Road to Darjeeling.
A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff - After a life-changing event, Phoebe Swift decides to leave her position as a buyer of vintage clothing for Sotheby's and start her own vintage clothing shop. Her purchase of an elegant collection of vintage clothing leads her to a special friend with an intriguing story that helps her to move past her own personal tragedy and get on with her life. Especially entertaining if you love fashion, designer clothing, and vintage anything - I would love to have (or at least see) some of those clothes!
Defending Jacob by William Landay - a legal thriller that is also the story of a family unraveling. When district attorney Andy Barber's son Jacob is accused of killing a classmate, Andy is put on administrative leave from his job and his whole life become about doing all he can to defend his son. Crisis and learning more about each other does not necessarily bring a family closer together. Hard to put down.