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My Perfect Read

FCPL staff can help you find it.

Deb Smith-Cohen

As we move into fall, I've updated some of my lists and recommendations. Hope you enjoy some new options!

Remember, your library branch is offering both Express Service inside and curbside pickup for when you just want to pick up holds.

I'm reading.

What’s important to me in reading or recommending a book?

  1. Has the author done his or her homework on the details of time and place?
  2. Does the “argument” of the book, if it’s non-fiction, hold together and give me a new way to see the world, with compelling stories that validate the insights?
  3. Is there a narrative flow that reads without bumps, preferably with grace and wit?
  4. Do I quickly start to care about the characters, whether or not I identify with them?
  5. Like everyone else, I am trying to read books that challenge some of my own experience and deepen my empathy and values, including books that give nuance to the world in ways I can apply at home, with friends or at work.

I read mysteries to learn more about times, places and people outside my experience. Some favorite mystery authors include Cara Black, James Benn, Sujata Massey and Jacqueline Winspear.  My most recent OLLI (OSHER Lifeline Learning Institute) program in July was Around the World in 80 Mysteries, featuring mysteries that take place other than in the US or UK.

In social science, I’m a big fan of the Daniels: Dan Ariely, Daniel Goleman, Dan Heath, and Daniel Pink, as well as the Freakonomics writers. Not only does it feed my curiosity, applying this research to home and workplace challenges often proves useful.

I’m also a big reader of Jewish fiction and in 2019 I presented a program on Jewish women authors for GMU’s OLLI  program from Naomi Ragen and Elinor Lipman to Diana Bletter and Julia Dahl.

If you’ve enjoyed some of these same authors, ask me for a suggestion. Chances are you’re less than six degrees away from more great reads!

Genres of Interest:

  • historical mysteries
  • social science/business including social trends & research, staff motivation, customer satisfaction
  • Jewish fiction

In no particular order and grouped by genre:

Mysteries

Social Science/Motivation

Jewish Fiction

Other Favorites

RIGHT NOW, LIBRARY BRANCHES ARE OPEN FOR EXPRESS SERVICE FROM 10 AM - 8 PM ON MONDAY & TUESDAY; 10 AM - 6 PM ON WEDNESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY. 

PLEASE GET IN TOUCH!

In my position as Asst. Branch Manager at Patrick Henry Library in Vienna, my hours sometimes vary.  I’m typically in the branch for an early or late shift every Monday-Thursday and either Friday or Saturday.

I try to reply to emails promptly but don’t feel ignored if it takes me a day or two to send you the thoughtful response you deserve!

I'd like to help you find your perfect read, so please complete the Let's Get Started form, and I will be in touch!

 Let's Get Started!

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