Our lovely staff at Rugby Library have got some book recommendations for you to look through:

Everyday Kindness Edited by L J Ross

Cheryl says, “This book is gorgeous.  It is a collection of 55 short stories all written on the theme of kindness.  There are a range of genres including gritty crime, ghost stories, romance, and comedy, but all focusing on how small acts of kindness can have an impact.  They are written by a range of authors including Sophie Hannah, Will Dean and J D Kirk. It’s perfect for picking up if you have a spare ten minutes, or if you need a bit of a boost. It has been the perfect read for these dark winter days.  If you enjoyed ‘Dear NHS, 100 stories to say thank you’ edited by Adam Kay, then you will love this one.”

The Thirteen Problems by Agatha Christie

Yssy says, “When a group gathers at Miss Marple’s house, conversation inevitably turns to murder. In this collection of short stories, each member of the group at Miss Marple’s, and later the dinner party at the Bantrys’, describes a mystery that they’ve encountered, and the others try to piece together the solution. Each story is a perfectly crafted puzzle, often featuring Christie’s trademark genius for poison, all satisfyingly solved by Miss Marple thanks to a keen eye for observation and an uncanny ability to link murder and deception to the parochial happenings of her own quaint St Mary Mead.”   

The Leviathan by Rosie Andrews

Alice says, “Thomas is summoned back from the Civil War by his sister when a series of events occur at their farm but is it witchcraft or something more ancient? A slow burner that I took a while to get into as it skips between years, but this builds into a gothic corker!” 

The Secrets of Summer House by Rachel Burton 

Karen says, “I’m only part way through this book, but what a read.  It draws you in and is intriguing to say the least.  

When Olivia’s gran dies, she leaves an envelope for her that completely disproves everything she was ever told about her parents.  The person that raised her and loved her had been lying to her for years and more intriguing is what connects her father-in law to her deceased father, who claimed he never knew him, even though Olivia has proof in her hands. It’s a story of love, family secrets, intrigue and being loyal, no matter what the cost. 1976. Rushing out of the University Library, undergraduate Alice Kenzie bumps straight into PhD student Tristan Somers. There begins a whirlwind romance, and Alice falls pregnant and gives birth to a baby girl. Then Tristan is killed in a car accident. Unable to cope, Alice takes her baby to Summer House, Tristan’s family home in Suffolk, leaves her there and disappears. 2018. Olivia Somers has always been told that her mother died in the same accident as her father. But when she finds a bundle of old letters in Summer House, everything she ever believed about her mother is called into question. Can she find her – and even more importantly, forgive her? Thoroughly recommended.”

I May Be Wrong by Bjorn Nagghiko Lindeblad

Jane says, “Having come to work at Rugby Library in 2022 from quite a stressful job I decided that 2023 was going to be a new year of really focusing on self-care. A friend of mine is in a book club and regularly posts books that she reads on Instagram. This is where this book initially caught my eye, even more so when, by coincidence we received it at the library as new stock two days later. 

Bjorn Lindeblad began his career as a successful Economist working in his home country of Sweden as well as Spain and the UK. At the age of 26 he became aware that this wasn’t a life that he wanted to continue with, so he quit his job and became a Buddhist Forest monk in Thailand. This is where he got his name Natthiko from.  

This book is full of what Natthiko has learnt over the years, his wisdoms, and some valuable lessons about how to face uncertainty and doubt. We all like to think we can determine the path our life takes, but events rarely unfold the way we plan for or expect, and this book is about letting go of the small stuff, accepting the things we can’t control and finding stillness at busy times. 

It is a beautiful book which has been helpful and poignant as the ending is very much left up in the air. (Having got halfway through the book, I also decided to buy my own copy so that I can scribble, highlight, and make notes in it in the future as it is so useful.)”

Stoner by John Williams

Cheryl says, “I can’t remember where I heard about his book, but I am so glad I did.  It is one of the best books I have ever read, and I feel a bit bereft having finished it. Written in 1965 The Times have called it ‘the greatest novel you’ve never read’.  I love contemporary American literature, and for reasons I can’t explain, I particularly enjoy it if it is set in a university and features a disillusioned academic!  My two favourite books are Lessons in Chemistry and The Art of Fielding, so when I read the synopsis, I knew this was for me.  I cannot praise it enough, but when trying to explain why, it is difficult to put into words. Not a lot happens, it is the unremarkable life story of William Stoner.  There are no clever narrative tricks, or plot twists, but it manages to be beautifully heart breaking.  It will stay with me for a long time.  After I finished it I Googled reviews to check if other people felt like I did (they did!) and found that Tom Hanks had reviewed it by saying ‘it’s simply a novel about a guy who goes to college and becomes a teacher. But it’s one of the most fascinating things that you’ve ever come across’.”