Note to Shelf: January 2022

Created on February 24, 2022, 11:37 am

Last Updated March 4, 2022, 9:57 pm

Happy New Year everyone! While 2021 wasn’t necessarily the comeback year that we had all anticipated, we have great hopes for 2022.
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Ann shares “the quietly unfolding story of a Prussian woman’s life in Germany from the early 1900s until her death in the 1950s. The beginning of this novel tells the story of young Olga and the love of her life, Herbert. In spite of their family’s disapproval, they continue to secretly see each other. However, Herbert, unlike Olga, wants to see the world and abandons her for adventures and war. After the war, Olga has lost her hearing and become a seamstress for a family. Ferdinand, a young boy who befriends Olga, narrates the second section. The two of them share their stories and their lives, forming a friendship that will last a lifetime. Olga's letters to Herbert, discovered after her mysterious death, reveal her lifelong secrets. This book is very interesting in such a quiet way. While written very simply, it tells the engrossing story of Olga's life. I enjoyed this book very much and found Olga to be a truly captivating character.
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Marianne loved "a beautiful and tender story of Bill Furlong and his past, his family, and how he handles a difficult situation in just 128 pages. The year is 1985. Christmas is approaching, but the residents in the small Irish town of New Ross are struggling with an increasingly difficult recession. Bill Furlong, a coal and timber merchant, manages to support his family of five daughters and a wife, and while they don’t have much, they have enough. One day, while making a delivery to the Magdalene laundry run by the Good Shepherd Sisters, he makes a disturbing discovery: a young girl has been locked in the coal shed. Faced with the possibility of ruin by defying a powerful organization, the question is: will Bill act on what he’s found? You only need an afternoon or an evening to treat yourself to a great read!"
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Jill loved this "powerful debut novel set in Georgia at the end of the Civil War. George Walker and his wife Isabelle live on the outskirts of Old Ox, Georgia and are waiting for their only child, Caleb, to return from the war. When Caleb’s best friend, August, comes home and tells them that Caleb did not make it back, Isabelle’s world collapses. Isabelle takes to her room to grieve while George retreats into the woods where he spends his days just meandering. One day, he encounters two men, Prentiss and Landry, who he slowly befriends over time. The Sweetness of Water is a story of relationships, integrity, and moral strength all rolled into one remarkable debut novel for this 29-year-old author. There are spoilers that I have omitted, so you’ll just have to read this beautifully written novel. It’s one of my most favorite books from 2021!"
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Sarah discovered "a riveting mystery unlike any you’ve ever read. Clara and Oliver meet in a Dublin supermarket the same week that COVID-19 reaches Ireland. When lockdown begins, the couple decide to take a chance and live together in Oliver’s apartment. Less than a month later, the police discover a decomposing body in that apartment. So: whose body is it, and what happened? All I can tell you is that neither Clara nor Oliver are being honest about who they are, and the smoldering pile of lies between them turns into a raging fire under the pressure of lockdown. 56 Days is a perfect read for fans of thrillers, mysteries, and crime fiction who are looking for a book that breaks new ground in these genres. I guarantee you’ll stay up late to finish it, no matter how disciplined you are about your bedtime. It’s that good. Check it out!"
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Caroline whole-heartedly "recommends Plants First by Dr. Katie Takayasu in hopes that sharing this wonderful book with thousands of people will motivate me to actually incorporate all of her excellent recommendations into my life! Plants First is a beautiful book – several of my family members received it for Christmas. If the cover is not enough to draw you in, Dr. Katie then makes “The Case for Plants” and explains how wellness is all about finding the right balance in all aspects of your life. There are sections on everything from water intake to sleep to extra-dark chocolate (yay!) and, of course, recipes. If you’re looking to kick-start 2022 with a healthy lifestyle, definitely check it out!"
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