At Your Dauphin Co. Library

Good reads for cool days


Don’t stop reading just because summer is over. Here’s a list that covers the gamut from true crime, memoir, fun-loving romance, coming-of-age stories in far-away places, and even a good ‘ole mystery.  There’s sure to be something to enjoy as the days cool down. Remember, the Dauphin County Library System has even more titles to enjoy. Find out more by either visiting us in person or online at

The Frangipani Tree Mystery, by Ovidia Yu

"1936 in the Crown Colony of Singapore, and the British abdication crisis and rising Japanese threat seem very far away. When the Irish nanny looking after Acting Governor Palin's daughter dies suddenly - and in mysterious circumstances - mission school-educated local girl SuLin - an aspiring journalist trying to escape an arranged marriage - is invited to take her place. But then another murder at the residence occurs and it seems very likely that a killer is stalking the corridors of Government House. It now takes all SuLin's traditional skills and intelligence to help British-born Chief Inspector Thomas LeFroy solve the murders - and escape with her own life" (From the publisher)

Gender Queer: A Memoir, by Maia Kobabe

“This heartfelt graphic memoir relates, with sometimes painful honesty, the experience of growing up non-gender-conforming. From a very young age, Kobabe is unsure whether to claim a lesbian/gay, bisexual, or even transgender identity: ‘I don't want to be a girl. I don't want to be a boy either. I just want to be myself.’ Kobabe comes of age having to navigate expressions of identity such as clothing and haircuts, with fraught attempts at romantic and sexual entanglements. Eventually, Kobabe's supportive sister concludes: ‘I think you're a genderless person.’ (Kobabe: ‘She knew before I did.’) Kobabe continues to explore the challenges of a nonbinary identity, including the use of alternate pronouns (in Kobabe's case, e/em/eir).” (From Publishers Weekly)

 Disoriental, by Negar Djavadi

“Djavadi's momentous first novel is a both a multigenerational family saga and a history of modern Iran. Narrated by 25-year-old Kimia Sadr, the story opens in 1996 in a fertility clinic in Paris, but Kimia's Iranian ancestors' stories take over right there in the waiting room, careening back and forth in time. When Kimia is still quite young, her journalist father, Darius Sadr, is forced to flee Iran after his outspoken criticism, first of the shah, and then of Khomeini. In 1981, when Kimia is 10, she, her sisters, and her mother, Sara, cross dangerous mountains on horseback to join Darius in Paris, where their home becomes a dangerous hub of expat dissident activity. Kimia rebels, traveling Europe looking for a new self in debauchery and punk rock. Violence, meanwhile, follows the family to Europe, with tragic consequences. The novel convincingly and powerfully explores the enormous weight of one's family and culture on individual identity, especially the exile's.“ (From Publishers Weekly(

 Last Night in Nuuk, by Niviaq Korneliussen

“Korneliussen's lean, heterogeneous prose captures the confusion, tenacity, rage and blessing of queer lives in flux. "I'm terribly homesick but don't know what sort of home I'm longing for." Amid the ambivalence of fear and desire, however, there is an unwavering compassion that blooms over the course of that spring. By the summer's end, nothing will be the same for Fia, Inuk, Arnaq, Ivik and Sara, but in Korneliussen's capable hands, the reader may find their courses gently turned toward home. This novel is an utter delight. “ (From Shelf Awareness newsletter)

Indecent Advances: A Hidden History of True Crime and Prejudice Before Stonewall, by Jame Polchin

“Polchin (liberal studies, New York Univ.) presents a reflective, thoughtful first book that perfectly blends true crime and the history of discrimination against gay men in the 20th century. The author takes a deep dive into the specific crimes against gay men and how their deaths fed the competing cultural narratives of the time; that homosexuality was both a crime and a mental illness. Using these two narratives and the salacious nature of true crime, the public began to see homosexuality as a social and moral issue instead of a personal one. Polchin expertly uses men's stories between World War I and the Stonewall Riots to prove that the fight for equal treatment is not over, and that the history of the LGBTQ+ movement is not always one of activism and celebration. In fact, the LGBTQ+ community is fighting against the stereotypes built on the deaths of these men.” (From L J Reviews)

Red, White and Royal Blue, by Casey McQuiston

“McQuiston's outstanding debut pivots on an inspired rom-com premise: What if Alex Claremont-Diaz, the half-Mexican son of the first female president of the United States, fell in love with Prince Henry, England's heir? The two heartthrobs are arch-nemeses at first. After a scandalous mishap at a wedding, however, they are required to pretend to be best friends lest their enmity spark an international incident. Not surprisingly, their hate turns into a bromance. When Henry kisses Alex, the First Son goes into a mild gay panic, but their snide texts soon become gushy emails ending with romantic quotes. The scions also contrive ways of being together at Wimbledon, in Texas, and at a West Hollywood karaoke bar to steal kisses or have secretive sex. Of course, their romance will eventually be discovered and leaked to the press during the president's heated reelection campaign. The impossible relationship between Alex and Henry is portrayed with quick wit and clever plotting. The drama, which involves political rivals, possible betrayals, and even a meeting with the queen, is both irresistible and delicious. Readers will be eager to see more from McQuiston after this extremely promising start.” (From Publishers Weekly)


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