Recommendations from Terri Leslie, Adult Services Librarian, Library in the Forest

Terri Leslie

Terri Leslie

A patron coined the term one year when her kids were going back to school. “It’s book season!” she told Terri Leslie. And it stuck. For that reason, Terri often recommends books this time of year with both broad appeal and depth like the titles below. She gravitates toward reading suspense and nonfiction, so that often shows up in her recommendations. In fact, some library patrons at Library in the Forest call her the “psycho librarian” because she is so fascinated by how the brain works and by psychopaths.

The Marsh King’s Daughter

The Marsh King's DaughterBy Karen Dionne | Fiction

People say they can’t put it down, and I’m still in line to read it. The main character thinks she finally has the life she deserves with her loving husband and two daughters, until an emergency news announcement brings back her past. Her mother had been kidnapped by her father and raised her in a remote cabin in Michigan, where she loved her home in nature but also saw her father’s odd behavior. It’s hard for me to get sucker punched by an ending, but I hope I do on this one.

The Stranger in the Woods

The Stranger in the WoodsBy Michael Finkel | Nonfiction

It’s only 160 pages, but it made for one of the best discussions our book group has had. A 20-year-old man, Chris, grew up in Maine and drove to the woods one day and lived there for 30 years. He didn’t have a conversation with anyone for three decades, and he was caught stealing food methodically to stock up for the winter. It was controversial whether he should be prosecuted. Some say he is a modern day Theroux because he loved nature and solitude. He was known as the “Hermit of North Pond,” but he was clean shaven.

The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir

The Fact of a BodyBy Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich | True Crime

I don’t often recommend true crime, but this one is so well done they are already talking movie rights. The author thought that she was sure of her feelings on the death penalty until she gets caught up in a specific case, and she is surprised about how quickly she starts changing her mind and questioning her own beliefs. It’s a narrative, so it’s almost like reading fiction. It’s a page turner.

The Wonder

The WonderBy Emma Donoghue | Historical Fiction

This novel is set in Ireland just after the potato famine. It sounds so heavy and drab, and in a sense it is. It’s about an 11-year-old girl who says she hasn’t eaten in four months, so they send a nurse to see if she’s a fraud. It’s all tied into Catholicism and ritual and how kids are swayed by what adults tell them. It’s well researched about the Nightingales, and how Florence Nightingale revolutionized the nursing profession. It’s so different from the author’s last book Room, which was made into a movie—it’s a mark of a good writer.

The Snowman

The SnowmanBy Jo Nesbo | Fiction

This legal police detective procedural is by a Norwegian author. If you like Patricia Cornwell and Lee Child’s detective series, it’s wonderful. The translation is well done. Detective Harry Hole traces the work of a serial killer after a woman disappears, and the only clue to what happened is a pink scarf wrapped around a snowman. Each book in the series grows in popularity, and they are making a movie out of this one with Val Kilmer and Michael Fassbender