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The last garden in England book cover
The last garden in England book cover

The last garden in England

Julia Kelly

FICTION Kelly Julia
Historical Fiction, Fiction

Present day: Emma Lovett has dedicated her career to breathing new life into long-neglected gardens. Given the chance to restore the gardens of the famed Highbury House estate, designed in 1907 by her hero Venetia Smith, she begins to uncover secrets that have long lain hidden. 1907: A talented artist with a growing reputation for her ambitious work, Venetia Smith is determined to make the gardens of Highbury House a triumph; but the gardens-- and the people she meets-- promise to change her life forever. 1944: Land girl Beth Pedley arrives at a farm on the outskirts of the village of Highbury wanting to find a place she can call home. Cook Stella Adderton is desperate to leave Highbury House to pursue her own dreams. And widow Diana Symonds, the mistress of the grand house, is anxiously trying to cling to her pre-war life now that her home has been requisitioned and transformed into a convalescent hospital for wounded soldiers. -- adapted from jacket

I love books where the main character has to research and engage with history in some way and discovers something about the past and themselves along the way. The Last Garden in England fits this bill. Emma, our heroine, is commissioned to restore the gardens of Highbury House to their former glory. In her research, she uncovers the original creation of the gardens in 1907 and the changes that occurred during World War II. We the reader get to take a deep dive with interweaving narratives from those times. And there are secrets to uncover. If you are a fan of Tracey Chevalier (The Girl with the Pearl Earring) or Jennifer Robson (The Gown), this novel will interest you too. -Anne M

Brave New Meal: Fresh as F*ck Food for Every Table: A Vegan Cookbook book cover
Brave New Meal: Fresh as F*ck Food for Every Table: A Vegan Cookbook book cover

Brave New Meal: Fresh as F*ck Food for Every Table: A Vegan Cookbook

Michelle Davis

RECEIVED
Cookbooks

The latest entry from the Bad Manners creative team does not disappoint! This book has you cooking with the seasons, features beautiful photography, and some great recipes. So far everything I have made from this book is a hit. Brussel sprout hash, papusas, and green grape pie are just a few of the gems so far. If you're looking to make more with the freshest produce at the store or for a new plant based cookbook, look no further. -Frannie

Cloud cuckoo land : a novel book cover
Cloud cuckoo land : a novel book cover

Cloud cuckoo land : a novel

Anthony Doerr

FICTION Doerr Anthony
Literary Fiction, Fiction

Constantinople, 1453: Anna lives in a convent where women toil all day embroidering the robes of priests. She learns the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to the paradise of Cloud Cuckoo Land, a better world, and reads it to her sister as the walls of Constantinople are bombarded by armies of Saracens. Lakeport, Idaho, 2020: Seymour, an activist bent on saving the earth, sits in the public library with two homemade bombs in pressure cookers. Upstairs, eighty-five-year old Zeno, a former prisoner-of-war, and an amateur translator, rehearses five children in a play adaptation of Aethon's adventures. The future: On an interstellar ark called The Argos, Konstance, alone in a vault with access to all the information in the world, knows Aethon's story through her father, who has sequestered her to protect her. All are dreamers, misfits on the cusp of adulthood in a world the grown-ups have broken. -- adapted from publisher info

If you read “All the Light We Cannot See,” Anthony Doerr’s 2014 novel about two young people living in war-torn Europe, you know it was phenomenal. This is the much-anticipated next novel. It was worth the wait. This novel spans places and time. It has an interweaving narrative from characters living during the collapse of the Byzantine Empire to 20th century Idaho to sometime in the non-distinct future. What anchors them and puts them together is a book and libraries. It is specifically about a lost book (lost multiple times in history), the aforementioned “Cloud Cuckoo Land” and found again by the characters and what this Greek comedy meant to each person. I can’t recommend it enough. -Anne M

We keep the dead close : a murder at Harvard and a half century of silence book cover
We keep the dead close : a murder at Harvard and a half century of silence book cover

We keep the dead close : a murder at Harvard and a half century of silence

Becky Cooper

364.1523 /Cooper
True Crime

"1969: the height of counterculture; the year Harvard would begin the tumultuous process of merging with sister school Radcliffe; and the year that Jane Britton, an ambitious graduate student in Harvard's Anthrlopology department, would be found bludgeoned to death in her apartment. Forty years later, Becky Cooper, a curious undergrad, will first hear whispers of the story: The dead was nameless. A student had an affair with her professor, and he murdered her in the Peabody Museum. Though this rumor would prove false, it started and investigation that would consume Cooper's life for the next ten years. WE KEEP THE DEAD CLOSE is a narrative of mirrors, misogyny, and murder. It is at once a rumination on the violence and oppression that rules our revered institutions, a ghost story reflecting one young woman's past onto another's present, and a love story for a girl who was lost to history"--Dust jacket flap.

Fascinating. The rumors of a death some 40 years previous instigate a journey of research, sifting through stories, facing and naming some hard-learned truths, and personal reckoning for the author. -Candice

Witches of Brooklyn book cover
Witches of Brooklyn book cover

Witches of Brooklyn

Sophie Escabasse

jGRAPHIC NOVEL Escabasse Witches
Graphic Novels

"Effie moves to Brooklyn to live with her strange aunt and soon discovers that she might be a witch"--

I am beyond obsessed with these aunts! I love the illustration style and the story moves really quickly, just picked up the sequel "What the Hex?!" and can't wait to dive in! -Mari

The dinosaur awards book cover
The dinosaur awards book cover

The dinosaur awards

Barbara Taylor

j567.9 Taylor
Kids, Nonfiction, Humor

Welcome to the Dinosaur Awards. Fifty fabulous dinosaurs are practicing their acceptance speeches. They're in the running for prizes that celebrate their most award-worth qualities and skills (some will surprise you). Who will win the fuzzy and furious award? Who will win the terrifying toes award? And who will take home the loudest trumpeter award? Who will be crowned the Lizard King? Readers can learn all about the dinosaurs' features, diet and habits as well as discover what makes each one so prize-worthy - and there are 10 comic strips to enjoy, too. With easy-to-understand, humorous text by Barbara Taylor and joyful illustrations from cartoonist Stephen Collins, this is the perfect book for dinosaur-loving kids everywhere. There are pronunciation guides, time periods, and vital statistics for each dinosaur, as well as an index to peruse.

A mixture of clever/hilarious text, adorable and colorful illustrations and as always amazing dinosaur trivia, this book is great one to enjoy during Dinovember! I enjoyed many of the award categories such as "Mom-of-the-Era," "Absolutely Crushing It," the "Scissorhands" award and "King of Rock and Roll." The book is delightfully sprinkled with comic strips, infographics, and tons of little quotes and details to keep you engaged all the way through. -Mari

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