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 if you would like to reserve any of these titles. 



by Max Porter  


An entrancing new novel by the author of "Grief Is the Thing with Feathers." There’s a village near London, no different from many others today, but that it belongs to Dead Papa Toothwort, a mythical figure schoolchildren used to draw as green and leafy, choked by tendrils growing out of his mouth. He has now awakened after a glorious nap, and is listening to this 21st-century village, to its confessions and gossip. He is listening, intently, for a mischievous, ethereal boy whose parents have recently made the village their home: Lanny.

If you like this one, also try: "The Painted Drum" Louise Erdrich and "Lincoln in the Bardo" by George Saunders

"Light From Other Stars"

by Erika Swyler

"Light From Other Stars"

The year is 1986 and 11-year-old Nedda Papas is obsessed with becoming an astronaut. But her scientist father has been laid off from NASA and is still reeling from the loss of Nedda’s newborn brother several years before. He turns to the dangerous dream of extending his daughter’s childhood, which results is an invention that alters the fabric of time. Decades later, astronaut Nedda floats far from earth, and she and her crewmates are in crisis. Nedda may hold the solution, if she can come to terms with her past and her future.

If you like this one, also try: "Never Let Me Go" by Kazuo Ishiguro and "The Testaments" by Margaret Atwood


"Furious Hours"

by Casey Cep

"Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee"

Reverend Willie Maxwell was accused of murdering his family members in the 1970s, but escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead. Maxwell’s murderer was acquitted thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the Reverend. Author Harper Lee spent years working on the case as a true crime book. Now in "Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee," Casey Cep brings this story to life, exploring the murders, courtroom drama, racial politics and one of the country’s most beloved writers.

"The Second Mountain"

by David Brooks

"The Second Mountain" The Quest for a Moral Life"

Every so often, you meet people who radiate joy—who seem to know why they were put on this earth. Life, for these people, has often followed what we might think of as a two-mountain shape. They get out of school, start a career, and begin climbing the mountain they thought was theirs. But when they get to the top, they find the view unsatisfying. It’s then they discover another, bigger mountain. In "The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life," Brooks explores what it takes to lead a meaningful life in a self-centered world.

Middle Grade:

"Serafina and the Seven Stars"

by Robert Beatty

"Serafina and the Seven Stars"

Serafina, the Guardian of Biltmore Estate, patrols the grounds night and day, uncertain of her place after her best friend Braeden Vanderbilt’s departure for boarding school. At the start of the estate’s annual hunt, Serafina keeps a close eye on the guests. But she becomes increasingly unsettled by what Biltmore has become—a place haunted by nameless terrors where no dark corridor is safe. Serafina and the Seven Stars marks the return of a heroine like no other in this fourth installment of the Serafina series.

Young Adult:


by Samira Ahmed


Rebellions are built on hope. Set in a horrifying near-future United States, 17-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens. With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the Director and his guards. Heart-racing and emotional, "Internment" challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society.