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North and south book cover
North and south book cover

North and south

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

FICTION Gaskell, Elizabeth Cleghorn
Literary Fiction

A wonderful romance set during the Industrial Revolution. If you like Jane Austen, you'll love this! -Amanda

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society book cover
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society book cover

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Mary Ann Shaffer

FICTION Shaffer, Mary Ann
Historical Fiction

In 1946, as London emerges from the shadow of World War II, author Juliet Ashton is having a terrible time finding inspiration for her next book. Then she receives a letter from Guernsey Island, and learns of a unique book club formed on the spur of the moment as an alibi to protect its members from arrest by the occupying Germans during the war. Captivated, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds there will change her life forever.

I spent a wonderful afternoon about 10 years ago reading this book. Recently I saw Netflix is releasing a movie in August based on this book. Actually, I thought the movie was out, and, when I discovered it won't be released until August, I decided to re-read the book by listening to the eAudio version. It was just as funny as I remembered and the characters came alive in a different way through the excellent narration. If you're looking for a great summer read/listen, this is a great book! I'm excited to watch the movie in August! -Kara

I'll be seeing you book cover
I'll be seeing you book cover

I'll be seeing you

Suzanne Hayes

FICTION Hayes Suzanne
Historical Fiction

This is a wonderful epistolary historical fiction story that evolves through letters written by two women whose husbands are soldiers in WWII. Rita lives in Iowa City and Glory lives in New England. Although each woman is different, they share the reality of trying to put on a positive front while struggling with the gut-wrenching fear that comes with a loved one serving in a war. Through letters they share happiness and sorrow, exchange recipes, and help one another come to terms with how they have been changed by war. I listened to the book and Tavia Gilbert's narration is excellent. Note: The book is an imprint of Harlequin Mira. Don't let the word Harlequin scare you. Harlequin Mira is a Harlequin imprint that focuses on mainstream fiction and not romance. This book is not a romance. I discovered it through searching in the eAudio Libby App and was pleasantly surprised to find Iowa City and many local references in the novel. -Kara

Drum dream girl : how one girl's courage changed music book cover
Drum dream girl : how one girl's courage changed music book cover

Drum dream girl : how one girl's courage changed music

Margarita Engle

jE Engle
Kids, Picture Books

Follows a young Cuban girl in the 1930s as she strives to become a drummer, despite being continually reminded that only boys play the drums, and that there's never been a female drummer in Cuba. Includes note about Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, who inspired the story, and Anacaona, the all-girl dance band she formed with her sisters.

The true story of a young Cuban girl who defied cultural norms and became a percussionist. Inspiring and beautiful! -Amanda

Aftermath book cover
Aftermath book cover


Kelley Armstrong

Young Adult

"Three years after losing her brother Luka in a school shooting, Skye Gilchrist is moving home. But there's no sympathy for Skye and her family because Luka wasn't a victim; he was a shooter. Jesse Mandal knows all too well that the scars of the past don't heal easily. The shooting cost Jesse his brother and his best friend--Skye. Ripped apart by tragedy, Jesse and Skye can't resist reopening the mysteries of their past. But old wounds hide darker secrets. And the closer Skye and Jesse get to the truth of what happened that day, the closer they get to a new killer." --

I couldn't put this book down. Every time I thought I had things figured out, there was a new twist. Kelly Armstrong does a great job of tackling an all-too-real event from a perspective we rarely think about. -Meredith

Furiously happy : a funny book about horrible things book cover
Furiously happy : a funny book about horrible things book cover

Furiously happy : a funny book about horrible things

Jenny Lawson

BIOGRAPHY Lawson, Jenny

"In Furiously Happy, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jenny Lawson explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea. But terrible ideas are what Jenny does best.As Jenny says: "Some people might think that being 'furiously happy' is just an excuse to be stupid and irresponsible and invite a herd of kangaroos over to your house without telling your husband first because you suspect he would say no since he's never particularly liked kangaroos. And that would be ridiculous because no one would invite a herd of kangaroos into their house. Two is the limit. I speak from personal experience. My husband says that none is the new limit. I say he should have been clearer about that before I rented all those kangaroos. "Most of my favorite people are dangerously fucked-up but you'd never guess because we've learned to bare it so honestly that it becomes the new normal. Like John Hughes wrote in The Breakfast Club, 'We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it.' Except go back and cross out the word 'hiding.'"Furiously Happy is about "taking those moments when things are fine and making them amazing, because those moments are what make us who we are, and they're the same moments we take into battle with us when our brains declare war on our very existence. It's the difference between "surviving life" and "living life". It's the difference between "taking a shower" and "teaching your monkey butler how to shampoo your hair." It's the difference between being "sane" and being "furiously happy."Lawson is beloved around the world for her inimitable humor and honesty, and in Furiously Happy, she is at her snort-inducing funniest. This is a book about embracing everything that makes us who we are - the beautiful and the flawed - and then using it to find joy in fantastic and outrageous ways. Because as Jenny's mom says, "Maybe 'crazy' isn't so bad after all." Sometimes crazy is just right"--

A truly hilarious book about mental illness! -Amanda

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