My Journey Through Genres: Psychological Suspense

We all have a comfort zone when it comes to reading. For some people its an author like Nora Roberts or James Patterson, or genres like romances or thrillers, horrors or fiction. As a librarian, its our job to know authors and books and to be able to recommend books to our patrons. This is where I came up with ‘My Journey Through Genres’. I’ve wanted to broaden my reading horizons and I thought it would not only benefit me with finding new books but benefit me in being able to recommend books from genres to patrons.

The first stop in my journey is Psychological Suspense. I actually happened upon this book by accident as I was looking through our collection requests database to put a request in and the title of this book just drew my eye. So like any curious librarian, I went to Goodreads and typed in the title of the book and from there I was hooked. The book was ordered and a few days later I had it in my hands.

The Marsh King’s Daughter written by Karen Dionne captured my attention by the 27th page. It was everything I expected and yet it was more than I expected.

‘I was born two years into my mother’s captivity. She was three weeks shy of seventeen. If I had known then what I do now, things would have been a lot different. I wouldn’t have adored my father.’

Helena is the product of rape after her father abducted her mother as a fourteen year old. When her father, known as the Marsh King, escapes from a maximum security prison, she immediately suspects that her family is in danger.

Shortly after, Helena must tell her husband about her true past: that she was born into captivity, that she had no contact with the outside world before the age of twelve- or that her father raised her to become a killer.

As Helena hunts and tracks her father, we learn more about her childhood and her mother’s captivity.

The Marsh King’s Daughter was just incredibly well done and well written that it’s left me bereft and wanting more. I enjoyed how the author included Helena’s childhood to explain why Helena thought this way or why she though that way. It was incredibly edge-of-your-seat entertaining. Most of all, it was nice to read that even after all her father did to her and her mother growing up, Helena still loved him and idolized him.

We have a copy at both APL and DPL.

It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too)

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If you’re looking for the next book to make you laugh out loud one minute and weep the next, then Nora McInerny Purmort’s memoir It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too) is the perfect fit for you. In 271 pages, Purmort offers advice, anecdotes, and glimpses into her past to help those who are grieving the loss of a loved one or for those who have watched someone grieve and might not have known what to say or do. Purmort does not claim to be an expert on grief, but she does offer her own story of losing her husband, father, and baby within weeks of each other and how she’s working on getting through it.

Nora’s boyfriend Aaron is diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer for which there is no cure. In the subsequent weeks and years following his diagnosis, Nora and Aaron decide to get married and have a baby. In the memoir, Nora emphasizes how important it is to live in the moment because we never know what is coming around the corner. She only got three years to be Aaron’s wife but, as she reiterates throughout the memoir, there is nothing she would have changed, not even the petty parts. It is important to remember that we are all imperfect humans who do and say imperfect things, especially in times of great sadness and loss.

Purmort constantly surprises the reader throughout the memoir by cutting through the thick sadness that surrounds the deaths of those she loves with humorous stories and vignettes into her own life. Rather than focusing her memoir on the respective deaths of her father and husband, Purmort instead offers memories and stories of her loved ones as she chooses to remember them in life. She is a gifted storyteller who can make her readers laugh one sentence, cry the next, and then laugh hysterically again in the next paragraph. Purmort manages to make her readers feel like an old friend in the way that she bares her thoughts and feelings, both good and bad.

This memoir is kind of like an unofficial guidebook for dealing with grief or how to approach a situation in which someone else is grieving and not knowing what to say or do. Nora McInerny Purmort is incredibly snarky, sassy, sarcastic, serious, and sad all in one book. Even if you aren’t experiencing the immense grief that comes with the loss of a loved one, It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too) is a must-read for the fall.