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Red, white & royal blue : a novel book cover
Red, white & royal blue : a novel book cover

Red, white & royal blue : a novel

Casey McQuiston

FICTION Mcquisto Casey
Romance

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius―his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There's only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse. Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through? Casey McQuiston's Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn't always diplomatic.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and proclaim Red, White & Royal Blue my favorite book of 2019! I was immediately captivated by the world newcomer Casey McQuiston created and loved all of her characters, Alex and Henry especially, but also the supporting cast of equally great people. For as long as I can remember, my parenting goals were Myron and Katherine Krupnik (from the Anastasia Krupnik series by Lois Lowry), but now I want to be a mom like President Ellen Claremont. The perfect summer read! -Meredith

Heroines book cover
Heroines book cover

Heroines

Kate Zambreno

809.89287 /Zambreno
Literary Nonfiction, Nonfiction

I am beginning to realize that taking the self out of our essays is a form of repression. Taking the self out feels like obeying a gag order—pretending an objectivity where there is nothing objective about the experience of confronting and engaging with and swooning over literature.”—from Heroines On the last day of December, 2009 Kate Zambreno began a blog called Frances Farmer Is My Sister, arising from her obsession with the female modernists and her recent transplantation to Akron, Ohio, where her husband held a university job. Widely reposted, Zambreno's blog became an outlet for her highly informed and passionate rants about the fates of the modernist “wives and mistresses.” In her blog entries, Zambreno reclaimed the traditionally pathologized biographies of Vivienne Eliot, Jane Bowles, Jean Rhys, and Zelda Fitzgerald: writers and artists themselves who served as male writers' muses only to end their lives silenced, erased, and institutionalized. Over the course of two years, Frances Farmer Is My Sister helped create a community where today's “toxic girls” could devise a new feminist discourse, writing in the margins and developing an alternative canon. In Heroines, Zambreno extends the polemic begun on her blog into a dazzling, original work of literary scholarship. Combing theories that have dictated what literature should be and who is allowed to write it—from T. S. Eliot's New Criticism to the writings of such mid-century intellectuals as Elizabeth Hardwick and Mary McCarthy to the occasional “girl-on-girl crime” of the Second Wave of feminism—she traces the genesis of a cultural template that consistently exiles female experience to the realm of the “minor,” and diagnoses women for transgressing social bounds. “ANXIETY: When she experiences it, it's pathological,” writes Zambreno. “When he does, it's existential.” By advancing the Girl-As-Philosopher, Zambreno reinvents feminism for her generation while providing a model for a newly subjectivized criticism.

If you have any interest in the lives and work of Modernist female authors (Virginia Woolf, Zelda Fitzgerald, Jean Rhys, Anais Nin...) do yourself a favor and pick up this book! Kate Zambreno, author of the novel Green Girl, creates a fascinating work of nonfiction by braiding personal narrative and historical research. She offers fascinating analysis on how feminine creativity has been conflated with mental illness both historically and today. -Heidi K

My sister, the serial killer : a novel book cover
My sister, the serial killer : a novel book cover

My sister, the serial killer : a novel

Oyinkan Braithwaite

FICTION Braithwaite, Oyinkan
Horror, Humor

"Slasher meets satire, in this darkly comic novel set in Nigeria about a woman whose younger sister has a very inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends"--

I was tickled by this darkly comic quick read! Even if you are put off by horror/murder as a plot element, as I usually am, check this book out - it's very funny and the narrator's voice is wonderful. -Heidi K

Hakumei & Mikochi : tiny little life in the woods book cover
Hakumei & Mikochi : tiny little life in the woods book cover

Hakumei & Mikochi : tiny little life in the woods

Takuto Kashiki‏

MANGA Kashiki Hakumei
Graphic Novels, Nature, Fantasy, Humor, Short Story

"Deep within a lush, green forest live Hakumei and Mikochi. Making their home in trees, using leaves for umbrellas, and riding bugs for transportation is just part of everyday life for these tiny pals!"--

Nonstop cuteness from start to finish--a sweet slice of teeny tiny life! -Casey

The library book book cover
The library book book cover

The library book

Susan Orlean

COMPACT DISC 027.4794 Orlean
Nonfiction

Susan Orlean re-opens the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in American history, and delivers a dazzling love letter to the beloved institution of libraries.

The Library Book by Susan Orlean weaves the story of a catastrophic fire at the Los Angeles Public Library with a narrative about the history and purpose of libraries. Orlean reads the audiobook and her narration is perfect. Orlean’s book is a testament to the importance of libraries and their service to communities. -Kara

Mistress of the Ritz book cover
Mistress of the Ritz book cover

Mistress of the Ritz

Melanie Benjamin

ON ORDER AUDIO DISC
Historical Fiction

In March 1940, the Nazis sweep Paris and immediately take up residence in one of the city's most iconic sites: The Hotel Ritz. There, under a roof legendary for its unprecedented luxury and for its fabled residents--including Coco Chanel, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Cole Porter, Hemingway, Balanchine, Doris Duke, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and now Hermann Göering--the Nazis rule over a paralyzed city. But two residents of the Ritz refuse to be defeated: its director, Claude Auzello, and his beautiful American actress wife, Blanche. They not only oversee the smooth workings of the hotel, but both Blanche and Claude throw themselves fearlessly into the dangerous and clandestine workings of the French Resistance. This is a true-to-life novel of a courageous woman and her husband who put their marriage--and ultimately their lives--in jeopardy to fight for freedom. Intimate, fearless, and moving, it spins a brilliantly and unforgettably vivid human portrait at a time of unimaginable crisis and sacrifice.

Another historical fiction story with a hotel as a backdrop that brings the story of the 1940 Nazi sweep of Paris and the French Resistance to life. -Kara

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