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Greenburgh Public Library Blog

Unexpected: 5 Feel-Good Books You Might Have Missed

by Laura Burk on 2022-06-11T06:00:00-04:00 in Adults, Books & Literature, What To Read | Comments


There's nothing like a nice, tidy literary resolution to a tough real-world problem. These books start with a heavy premise, but are some of the most satisfying stories I’ve read in the past year or two. Use your Westchester Library card to place a hold on any of these titles or call (914) 721-8225 for help.

Cover ArtDial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her even more meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body. Unfortunately, a dead body proves to be a lot more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is inadvertently shipped in a cake cooler to the over-the-top billionaire wedding Meddy, her Ma, and aunties are working at an island resort on the California coastline. It's the biggest job yet for the family wedding business--"Don't leave your big day to chance, leave it to the Chans!"--and nothing, not even an unsavory corpse, will get in the way of her auntie's perfect buttercream flowers. But things go from inconvenient to downright torturous when Meddy's great college love--and biggest heartbreak--makes a surprise appearance amid the wedding chaos. Is it possible to escape murder charges, charm her ex back into her life, and pull off a stunning wedding all in one weekend?
Publication Date: April 2021
Get the ebook or the audio from Libby or Cloud Library
Read Dial A for Aunties because the plot gets more and more ridiculous with every page, and somehow the absurdity just makes it better. Madcap adventures ensue when Meddy accidentally kills her blind date. 
Bonus: The author’s note mentions a Netflix option, so that should be fun. And don't miss the sequel, Four Aunties and a Wedding
Cover ArtMiss Benson's Beetle by Rachel Joyce It is 1950. London is still reeling from World War II, and Margery Benson, a schoolteacher and spinster, is trying to get through life, surviving on scraps. One day, she reaches her breaking point, abandoning her job and small existence to set out on an expedition to the other side of the world in search of her childhood obsession: an insect that may or may not exist--the golden beetle of New Caledonia. When she advertises for an assistant to accompany her, the woman she ends up with is the last person she had in mind. Fun-loving Enid Pretty in her tight-fitting pink suit and pom-pom sandals seems to attract trouble wherever she goes. But together these two British women find themselves drawn into a cross-ocean adventure that exceeds all expectations and delivers something neither of them expected to find: the transformative power of friendship.
Publication Date: November 2020
Get the ebook or audio from Libby 
Read Miss Bensons’s Beetle because it’s an adventure story and a murder mystery, and also a coming of age story with an protagonist of an unusual age. Margery Benson lives a sheltered solitary life after a horrible traumatic childhood event. She leaves her job and  sets off from London on a naturalist’s “expedition to the other side of the world in search of her childhood obsession: an insect that may or may not exist--the golden beetle of New Caledonia. When she advertises for an assistant to accompany her, the woman she ends up with is the last person she had in mind.  Fun-loving Enid Pretty seems to attract trouble wherever she goes. But together these two British women find themselves drawn into a cross-ocean adventure that exceeds all expectations and delivers something neither of them expected to find: the transformative power of friendship.”(from the publisher)

Cover ArtThe Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley The story of a solitary green notebook that brings together six strangers and leads to unexpected friendship, and even love Julian Jessop, an eccentric, lonely artist and septuagenarian believes that most people aren't really honest with each other. But what if they were? And so he writes--in a plain, green journal--the truth about his own life and leaves it in his local café. It's run by the incredibly tidy and efficient Monica, who furtively adds her own entry and leaves the book in the wine bar across the street. Before long, the others who find the green notebook add the truths about their own deepest selves--and soon find each other In Real Life at Monica's Café. The Authenticity Project's cast of characters--including Hazard, the charming addict who makes a vow to get sober; Alice, the fabulous mommy Instagrammer whose real life is a lot less perfect than it looks online; and their other new friends--is by turns quirky and funny, heartbreakingly sad and painfully true-to-life. It's a story about being brave and putting your real self forward--and finding out that it's not as scary as it seems. In fact, it looks a lot like happiness. The Authenticity Project is just the tonic for our times that readers are clamoring for--and one they will take to their hearts and read with unabashed pleasure.
Publication Date: February 2020
Get the ebook from Libby
Read The Authenticity Project because it’s filled with realistic and quirky characters who learn about community and living an honest life. The Authenticity Project's cast of characters--including Hazard, the charming addict who makes a vow to get sober; Alice, the fabulous mommy Instagrammer whose real life is a lot less perfect than it looks online; and their other new friends--is by turns quirky and funny, heartbreakingly sad and painfully true-to-life. It's a story about being brave and putting your real self
Cover ArtThe Guncle by Steven Rowley From the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus and The Editor comes a warm and deeply funny novel about a once-famous gay sitcom star whose unexpected family tragedy leaves him with his niece and nephew for the summer. Patrick, or Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP, for short), has always loved his niece, Maisie, and nephew, Grant. That is, he loves spending time with them when they come out to Palm Springs for weeklong visits, or when he heads home to Connecticut for the holidays. But in terms of caretaking and relating to two children, no matter how adorable, Patrick is, honestly, overwhelmed. So when tragedy strikes and Maisie and Grant lose their mother and Patrick's brother has a health crisis of his own, Patrick finds himself suddenly taking on the role of primary guardian. Despite having a set of "Guncle Rules" ready to go, Patrick has no idea what to expect, having spent years barely holding on after the loss of his great love, a somewhat-stalled acting career, and a lifestyle not-so-suited to a six- and a nine-year-old. Quickly realizing that parenting--even if temporary--isn't solved with treats and jokes, Patrick's eyes are opened to a new sense of responsibility, and the realization that, sometimes, even being larger than life means you're unfailingly human. With the humor and heart we've come to expect from bestselling author Steven Rowley, The Guncle is a moving tribute to the power of love, patience, and family in even the most trying of times.
Publication Date: 2021-05-25
Get the ebook from Libby
Read The Guncle because Patrick is adorable; it’s sad and funny and just a pleasant read. Two grieving kids plunked into the glamorous life of the Hollywood rich and famous makes for a story that will leave you wanting more.( Also, you’ll be casting the movie in your head.) Rowley has already proven he can break our hearts with Lily and the Octopus. While that book had some hilarious moments, this one leans more towards the comedic, although it doesn’t shy away from tough moments.

Cover ArtThe House in the Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune Linus Baker is a by-the-book case worker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. He's tasked with determining whether six dangerous magical children are likely to bring about the end of the world. Arthur Parnassus is the master of the orphanage. He would do anything to keep the children safe, even if it means the world will burn. And his secrets will come to light. The House in the Cerulean Sea is an enchanting love story, masterfully told, about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place--and realizing that family is yours.
Publication Date: 2020-03-17
Get the ebook from Libby or Cloud Library
Read The House in The Cerulean Sea because it’s so ordinary and so magical, simultaneously. Linus Baker has a government job: he spends his days as an orphanage inspector. But the orphanage on Marsyasa Island is different, as it houses six unique and dangerous children, and Extremely Upper Management has tasked him with determining exactly how dangerous, and whether or not the orphanage is being managed to government standards.
Seriously, I don’t know anyone who didn’t love this book. And if you like this one, check out Under the Whispering Door, a unique take on the afterlife 

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