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Aired: Sept 10, 2023
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Hello, this is Jessica Russell. I’m the Assistant Director of Collection Services at Sno-Isle Libraries. And welcome to Book Buzz.
Today's reading recommendations take us from intrigues in Paris to insights into incarceration and its tremendous impacts.
First, we’re going to hear from Jennifer, a library associate at the Camano Island Library, who will introduce us to a mystery where nothing is as it seems. Over to you, Jennifer.
Thanks, Jessica. If you’re looking for a riveting suspenseful thriller, “The Paris Apartment” by Lucy Foley fits the bill.
This story is rich with elements that were spooky, racy, and hectic along with a strong sense of urgency to solve the multi-faceted interconnectedness of the well-formed characters.
Jess travels to visit her half-brother Ben at his Paris apartment. Upon arrival, Jess discovers that her brother is nowhere to be found. As Jess investigates her brother's disappearance, she unravels a tightly woven tapestry of secrets amongst the tenants of the apartment building and the mysterious origins of their riches.
The reader will think they know what happened – but they do not. I never guessed the ending! It was a complete jaw dropper.
All of the characters were well-defined and three dimensional. I could hear the different accents in my head, which I confirmed by listening to the AWESOME audiobook. Each character has an interesting shifty backstory. These are revealed with tiny views into their past lives and motivations. Their flaws became more and more pronounced as the plot crescendos and then crashes into clarity of who dun what.
Reading this book will make you feel like you were transported to Paris, a dark and twisted Paris.
Thanks, Jennifer. This sounds like a page-turner, and I love a fast-paced read!
Next, let’s change gears to hear about real stories from behind bars, from Andy, library associate from the Clinton Library. Take it away, Andy.
Thanks, Jessica. “This is Ear Hustle” by Earlonne Woods and Nigel Poor is a nonfiction work gathering interviews from incarcerated people and their families about life in and out of prison. Earlonne was incarcerated from 1997 until 2018 and started the podcast “Ear Hustle” in 2017 with volunteer and artist Nigel Poor while in San Quentin State Prison.
The book’s subtitle ‘unflinching stories of everyday prison life’ is an excellent description of what lies ahead for the reader. I would highly recommend this book to anyone curious about what it means to be incarcerated in the United States.
The main focus is on the prison experience itself, but time is taken to discuss factors that contribute to incarceration. Woods and Poor also devote time to discussing California’s three strikes law which resulted in Earlonne receiving a mandatory sentence of 31 years to life. I very much appreciate the level of vulnerability and honesty that went into creating this book and see a great value in hearing the stories of others – particularly those stories that so frequently go unheard.
I’d also like to recommend the audiobook which features Earlonne Woods, Nigel Poor and a host of contributors. Perhaps because the book was born out of a podcast, it feels very natural and engaging to hear this plurality of voices providing firsthand accounts of experiences of individuals in the prison system.
Thanks, Andy! This sounds like a timely and empathic listen.
Our recommendations this week are: “The Paris Apartment” by Lucy Foley and "This is Ear Hustle” by Earlonne Woods and Nigel Poor.
Join us next time, when we’ll explore more great reading recommendations – interesting books you can find at your favorite local bookstore or at your local library.
Until then, I’m Jessica Russell from Sno-Isle Libraries.
Thanks for joining us for Book Buzz on KSER.
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