Black Mountain Library reviews and recommendations

Special to Black Mountain News

With thousands of books to choose from, and new titles coming in regularly, the Black Mountain Library offers reading material for everyone. 

Below are six book recommendations with reviews by library staff. Call the Black Mountain Library at 250-4765 or visit buncombecounty.org/libraries if you would like to reserve any of these titles. 


"The Water Dancer"           

by Ta-Nehisi Coates    

"The Water Dancer" by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power that, years later, saves him from a near drowning. This brush with death inspires Hiram to escape from the only home he’s ever known, and the resulting journey takes him from Virginia’s plantations to guerrilla cells in the wilderness. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram resolves to rescue the family he left behind. This is the story of an atrocity inflicted on generations of women, men, and children—the violent and capricious separation of families—and the war they waged to simply make lives with the people they loved.

If you like this one, also try: "Kindred" by Octavia Butler, "The Known World" by Edward Jones, and "Property" by Valerie Martin

"The Dutch House"             

by Ann Patchett

"The Dutch House" by Ann Patchett

At the end of the WWII, Cyril Conroy begins a real estate empire, purchasing the Dutch House and propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His children, Danny and Maeve, are later exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into poverty and find that all they have to count on is one another. Set over five decades, "The Dutch House" is the story of a paradise lost that digs into questions of inheritance, love, and forgiveness, of how we see ourselves and of who we really are.

If you like this one, also try: "The Lowland" by Jhumpa Lahiri, "The Children’s Crusade" by Ann Packer, and "Anything is Possible" by Elizabeth Strout


"Change Is the Only Constant"      

"Change is the Only Constant" by Ben Orlin

by Ben Orlin     

"Change Is the Only Constant: The Wisdom of Calculus in a Madcap World" is an eloquent exploration of the intersection between calculus and daily life, complete with Orlin’s sly humor and memorably bad drawings. By spinning 28 engaging mathematical tales, Orlin shows us that calculus is simply another language to express the things humans grapple with every day—love, risk, time, and most importantly, change. This is not just math for math’s sake; it’s math for the sake of becoming a wiser and more thoughtful human.

"Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs"       

by Caitlin Doughty, illustrated by Dianné Ruz  

"Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?" by Caitlin Doughty

Every day, funeral director Caitlin Doughty receives dozens of questions about death. The best questions come from kids. What would happen to an astronaut’s body if it were pushed out of a space shuttle? Do people poop when they die? Can Grandma have a Viking funeral? In Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals about Death, Doughty blends her mortician’s knowledge and the history behind common misconceptions about corpses to offer candid and hilarious answers to questions posed by her youngest fans.



by Marie Lu 

"Rebel" by Marie Lu

With unmatched suspense, Marie Lu plunges readers back into the world of Legend for a truly grand finale. Even though he’s a brilliant inventor, Eden Wing lives in the shadow of his brother Daniel, who a decade ago, led a revolution that saved the Republic of America. But all that matters to Daniel now is keeping Eden safe. As the brothers struggle to accept who they’ve become since the Republic, a new danger creeps in. Eden finds himself drawn into Ross City’s dark side, and even his legendary brother can’t save him on his own.

"Guest: A Changling Tale"

by Mary Downing Hahn

"Guest: A Changeling Tale" by Mary Downing Hahn

From the master of spookiness, Mary Downing Hahn. When her adorable baby brother is replaced by an ugly, ill-tempered changeling, Mollie is determined to find the so-called Kinde Folke who took baby Thomas, return the changeling she calls Guest, and make them give Thomas back. Natural and magical obstacles and her own reckless temperament make her journey arduous and full of dangers, and a plot rich in surprises and twists makes this book a must-read for fans of creepy tales. Ages 10-12.