Now that GPL’s Summer Reading Program has ended, it seemed like the perfect time for a thorough Fall Cleaning—that is, an aggressive weeding of some titles from my monster “to read” list! I could live many lifetimes and still barely make a dent, and those darn authors insist on putting out new ones! As I was torturing myself with this task, I decided it might be easier if I had a better schema for deciding what books should stay in the queue. It occurred to me that choosing my next book often boiled down to: “What am I in the mood to read next?”

With that in mind, I am using this month’s blog to suggest some titles that encourage or reflect different emotional states. Faced with innumerable possible moods (and a woeful lack of decisiveness), I have picked some of the “biggies”- with one fiction and one non-fiction pick for each.

If You're Feeling:


Where'd You Go, BernadetteWhere'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

"When her notorious, hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled, and agoraphobic mother goes missing, teenage Bee begins a trip that takes her to the ends of the earth to find her."

WildWild by Cheryl Strayed

"A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again."


Remarkably Bright CreaturesRemarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

"a luminous debut novel about a widow's unlikely friendship with a giant Pacific octopus reluctantly residing at the local aquarium..."

The Fun HabitThe Fun Habit by Mike Rucker, Ph.D.

"From teaching you how to escape the happiness trap to finding just the right kind of fun for you, to spreading the fun to your friends and family, Rucker will inspire you to incorporate a bias toward fun into every aspect of your life."


Safe HavenSafe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

"Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven."

The Comfort BookThe Comfort Book by Matt Haig

"Incorporating a diverse array of sources from across the world, history, science, and his own experiences, Haig offers warmth and reassurance, reminding us to slow down and appreciate the beauty and unpredictability of existence."


Nothing to See HereNothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

"A moving and uproarious novel about a woman who finds meaning in her life when she begins caring for two children with remarkable and disturbing abilities."

Planet FunnyPlanet Funny by Ken Jennings

"Presents a history of humor that tells the story of how comedy came to rule the modern world."


The Marlow Murder ClubThe Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood

"Judith Potts is seventy-seven years old and blissfully happy. To keep herself busy she sets crosswords for The Times newspaper. One evening, while out swimming in the Thames..."

The Gardner HeistThe Gardner Heist by Tom Sullivan

"One museum, two thieves, and the Boston underworld--the story behind the lost Gardner masterpieces worth $500 million and the art detective who swore to get them back."


1,000 Books to Read Before You Die1000 Books to Read Before You Die by James Mustich

"Encompassing fiction, poetry, science and science fiction, memoir, travel writing, biography, children's books, history, and more, 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die moves across cultures and through time to present an eclectic collection of titles, each described with the special enthusiasm readers summon when recommending a book to a friend."

The Hidden Habits of GeniusThe Hidden Habits of Genius by Craig Wright, Ph.D.

"The creator of Yale University's popular 'Genius Course' examines how fourteen key habits of genius, from curiosity and creative maladjustment to rebelliousness and obsession, have been effectively demonstrated by history's most influential and change-promoting intellectuals."


Tom LakeTom Lake by Ann Patchett

"Recalling the past at her daughters' request, Lara tells the story of a famous actor with whom she shared both a stage and a romance, which causes her daughters to examine their own lives and reconsider the world and everything they thought they knew."

The Art of Making MemoriesThe Art of Making Memories by Meik Wiking

"The CEO of the Happiness Institute explores how we can learn to create happy memories and do better at holding onto them."


How Can I Help YouHow Can I Help You by Laura Sims

"When a patron's death in the library bathroom gives her a hint of Margo's mysterious past, Patricia can't resist digging deeper--even as this new fixation becomes all-consuming."

Gory DetailsGory Details by Erika Engelhaupt

"Erika Engelhaupt, founding editor of National Geographic's Gory Details blog, explores oft-ignored but alluring facets of biology, anatomy, space exploration, nature, and more. Featuring reporting and interviews with leading researchers in the field, Gory Details illuminates the world's most intriguing real-world applications of science."


The Love HypothesisThe Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

"Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope."

The Love PrescriptionThe Love Prescription by John Gottman, Ph.D. and Julie Schwartz Gottman, Ph.D.

"The Love Prescription distills the data they have gathered over the past fifty years on more than three thousand couples (everything from their body language to the way they converse to their heart rates and stress hormone levels) into a seven-day action plan to transform your relationship."

Summaries sourced from publishers' marketing materials

September's Featured Reviews

The Resting PlaceThe Resting Place by Camilla Sten
A Thousand StepsA Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Hop on the Holds List

1. The Sight – Melanie Golding (Sept.)

2. Holly – Stephen King (Sept.)

3. The Villa – Rachel Hawkins (Nov.)

4. The Future – Naomi Alderman (Nov.)

5. (NF) My Name is Barbra – Barbra Streisand (Nov.)

Recent Readings

I have recently finished reading Mister Magic by Kiersten White and Like Life by Lorrie Moore. I also just finished listening to Swing Time by Zadie Smith.

I am currently reading Bridge by Lauren Beukes and The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton, I am also listening to Out There: Stories by Kate Folk on GPL's Libby app.

What are you in the mood to read these days? Do your selections change with the seasons? Tell me all about it! (

Until next time: Be safe, be well, and be well-read!


So, who am I, anyway? I am a resident of West Groton, with a husband, 3 children in college (and one at GDRHS) and a Samoyed that keeps my vacuum well-employed. I am currently working part time at the Groton Public Library and in a former life I was a Director or PR/Marketing at a high-tech consulting firm. My BA is in Psychology, but most of my time was spent in college earning a Concentration on the Novel. That is all to say that I make no claims at being an expert of any kind and my thoughts, opinions and mistakes are solely my own. I am just a person whose passion for books has continued to grow from the moment I was first able to grip and gnaw on them. I have been devouring them ever since.

Sep 01, 2023 / Joelle M Egan