Looking for your next read? What's better than a book...about books?
Summer Hours at the Robbers Library by Sue Halpern: When 15-year-old, home-schooled Sunny gets arrested for shoplifting a dictionary, the judge throws the book at her—literally. She is assigned to do community service at the local library in Riverton, New Hampshire; her “boss” for the summer is the head librarian, Kit, who is herself a refugee from what she thought was a settled, suburban, midwestern life. They're joined by Rusty, a former high flying Wall Streeter in search of his roots (and, maybe, a once-forgotten bank account.) With a cast of supporting characters, Kit and Sunny and Rusty circle around one another, taking measure of each other and of themselves. As the summer progresses, we learn how their lives unraveled, and discover how they can be knit together again. It is appropriate that in a novel that takes place in a library, Sue Halpern—a long-time contributor to The New York Review of Books—reveals her own love of reading, libraries, and librarians.
A wry and observant look at contemporary life and the refuges we find, Summer Hours at the Robbers Library is an unforgettable tale of family, the kind you come from and the kind you create.
The Binding by Bridget Collins: Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder—a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice amongst their small community, but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.
For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. Under the old woman’s watchful eye, Emmett learns to hand-craft the elegant leather-bound volumes. Within each one they will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed, and the past is locked away.
An unforgettable novel of enchantment, mystery, memory, and forbidden love, The Binding is a beautiful homage to the allure and life-changing power of books—and a reminder to us all that knowledge can be its own kind of magic. Be sure to check out The Binding (ISBN: 9780062838094), coming out on April 16, 2019.
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