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Whereabouts book cover
Whereabouts book cover

Whereabouts

Jhumpa Lahiri

FICTION Lahiri Jhumpa
Fiction

"A marvelous new novel from the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Lowland and Interpreter of Maladies--her first in nearly a decade. Exuberance and dread, attachment and estrangement: in this novel, Jhumpa Lahiri stretches her themes to the limit. The woman at the center wavers between stasis and movement, between the need to belong and the refusal to form lasting ties. The city she calls home, an engaging backdrop to her days, acts as a confidant: the sidewalks around her house, parks, bridges, piazzas, streets, stores, coffee bars. We follow her to the pool she frequents and to the train station that sometimes leads her to her mother, mired in a desperate solitude after her father's untimely death. In addition to colleagues at work, where she never quite feels at ease, she has girl friends, guy friends, and "him," a shadow who both consoles and unsettles her. But in the arc of a year, as one season gives way to the next, transformation awaits. One day at the sea, both overwhelmed and replenished by the sun's vital heat, her perspective will change. This is Jhumpa Lahiri's first novel she wrote in Italian and translated into English. It brims with the impulse to cross barriers. By grafting herself onto a new literary language, Lahiri has pushed herself to a new level of artistic achievement"--

Victoria's picture

It's always fascinating to me when authors learn a language and create new literary works in their new tongue. In this book Lahiri, born to Bengali parents and immersed in English as a child, moved to Italy as an adult to learn yet a third language. Whereabouts; a frameless, semi-plotless novel written in Italian and translated back to English by Lahiri is a story that follows a woman in the middle of her life's journey and, in succinct chapters describes among other things a year of her living, loving and losing. The author's language is sparse, pared down and distilled completely to only what is necessary. Her observational insights and metaphors are astute and deep. I listened to the audiobook while meandering around and while unlike anything she's written before, this is an introspective and contemplative read I would recommend. -Victoria

Watercress book cover
Watercress book cover

Watercress

Andrea Wang

jE Wang
Picture Books, Read Woke, Memoir

Embarrassed about gathering watercress from a roadside ditch, a girl learns to appreciate her Chinese heritage after learning why the plant is so important to her parents.

Casey's picture

Inspired by Andrea Wang's upbringing in rural Ohio and illustrated by Jason Chin, Watercress is pertinent reading for all ages. Text and illustrations pair perfectly, elevating this story of hope shining through grief, and love overcoming loss, beyond solely a childhood audience. Great for sharing as a family or reading on your own. -Casey

The Hill We Climb: an Inaugural Poem for the Country book cover
The Hill We Climb: an Inaugural Poem for the Country book cover

The Hill We Climb: an Inaugural Poem for the Country

Amanda Gorman

811.6 /Gorman
Poetry, Black Lives Matter

"On January 20, 2021, Amanda Gorman became the sixth and youngest poet, at age twenty-two, to deliver a poetry reading at a presidential inauguration. Her inaugural poem, "The Hill We Climb," is now available to cherish in this special edition."--

Frannie's picture

I missed the live reading of "the Hill We Climb", but when I watched the video after it was one of the few that lived up to the Twitter hype. I had not felt that sort of hope in a LONG time. Reading the text is a great way to revisit what might have been an initial flood of emotions, sit with them, and digest the words with thorough consideration. -Frannie

Fugitive telemetry book cover
Fugitive telemetry book cover

Fugitive telemetry

Martha Wells

SCIENCE FICTION Wells Martha
Science Fiction

"When Murderbot discovers a dead body on Preservation Station, it knows it is going to have to assist station security to determine who the body is (was), how they were killed (that should be relatively straightforward, at least), and why (because apparently that matters to a lot of people-who knew?) Yes, the unthinkable is about to happen: Murderbot must voluntarily speak to humans! Again! A new standalone adventure in the New York Times-bestselling, Hugo and Nebula Award winning series!"--

Brian's picture

Yes, another Muderbot book for me to rave about! Am I ever going to be quiet about these? No. Only when all of you have given it a try! Seriously, if you're a Sci-Fi fan, you should be reading these. -Brian

Into the dark book cover
Into the dark book cover

Into the dark

Claudia Gray

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Star Wars
Science Fiction

"Long before the First Order, before the Empire, before even The Phantom Menace...Jedi lit the way for the galaxy in The High Republic. Padawan Reath Silas is being sent from the cosmopolitan galactic capital of Coruscant to the undeveloped frontier and he couldn't be less happy about it. He'd rather stay at the Jedi Temple, studying the archives. But when the ship he's traveling on is knocked out of hyperspace in a galactic-wide disaster, Reath finds himself at the center of the action. The Jedi and their traveling companions find refuge on what appears to be an abandoned space station. But then strange things start happening, leading the Jedi to investigate the truth behind the mysterious station, a truth that could end in tragedy..."--Amazon.com.

Brian's picture

I have drank deep from The High Republic Kool-Aid! I liked this YA outing even more than the Adult "Light of the Jedi." I loved each and every character that was introduced. Especially Geode! Oh, my heart belongs to Geode. If the entire The High Republic initiative is going to be like this, I might not be able to handle it! There's a middle-grade novel as well, and it's calling my name... -Brian

A memory called empire book cover
A memory called empire book cover

A memory called empire

Arkady Martine

SCIENCE FICTION Martine Arkady
Science Fiction

"During a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court, Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn't an accident--or that Mahit might be next to die. Now Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan's unceasing expansion--all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret--one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life--or rescue it from annihilation"--From publisher.

Brian's picture

I loved this engrossing and ridiculously smart science fiction novel! I was blown away by the worldbuilding! The thought and care that went into brewing up this galaxy is staggering. On top of all of that, it's a complex mystery and political thriller. I was very pleased to learn that there's a sequel for me to read. -Brian

The Tree in Me book cover
The Tree in Me book cover

The Tree in Me

Corinna Luyken

jE Luyken
Picture Books

Through text and illustrations of children reveling in nature, explores the various ways we as human beings are strong, creative, and connected to others. Each of us is like a tree, with roots and fruit, and an enduring link to everything else in nature.

Victoria's picture

Corinna Luyken has done it again! Author of The Book of Mistakes and My Heart, The Tree in Me is an ode to the connection and bond that inextricably links us to the natural world: how we are in nature and nature is in us. The illustrations are absolutely delightful and this is an ode to that feeling you get when you're admiring everything that is blooming around you right now. Perfect for ages 4-8, though adults will appreciate this little treasure as well! -Victoria

I sang you down from the stars book cover
I sang you down from the stars book cover

I sang you down from the stars

Tasha Spillett-Sumner

jE Spillett
Picture Books, Read Woke, Diverse Characters

A Native American woman describes how she loved her child before it was born and, throughout her pregnancy, gathered a bundle of gifts to welcome the newborn.

Casey's picture

Tasha Spillet-Sumner's poetry and Michaela Goade's illustrations are a beautiful pairing not to be missed. -Casey

Broken: (in the best possible way) book cover
Broken: (in the best possible way) book cover

Broken: (in the best possible way)

Jenny Lawson


Humor, Self Help

"As Jenny Lawson's hundreds of thousands of fans know, she suffers from depression. In Broken (in the best possible way), she explores her experimental treatment of transcranial magnetic stimulation with brutal honesty. But also with brutal humor: "People do different things to distract themselves during each treatment. I embroider. It feels fitting. I'm being magnetically stabbed in the head thousands of times as I'm stabbing the embroidery myself. I don't embroider the same patterns my grandmother did. I embroider girls with octopus faces, David Bowie, a flowery bouquet with FUCK YES written in the middle. They let you do anything as long as it's 'positive.'" Jenny discusses the frustration of dealing with her insurance company in "An Open Letter to My Insurance Company," which should be an anthem for anyone who has ever had to call their insurance company to try and get a claim covered. On the lighter side, she tackles such timelessly debated questions as "How do dogs know they have penises?" We see how her vacuum cleaner almost set her house on fire, how she was attacked by three bears, business ideas she wants to pitch to Shark Tank, and why she can never go back to the post office. Of course, Jenny's long-suffering husband Victor-the Ricky to Jenny's Lucille Ball-is present throughout. A treat for Jenny Lawson's already existing fans, and destined to convert new ones, Broken is a beacon of hope and a wellspring of laughter"-- Provided by publisher.

Victoria's picture

Thank you Jenny Lawson for another hilarious, mortifying and insightful sojourn into your wacky and entirely relatable world. Lawson hits all of the important things you may have thought about yourself but have never admitted out loud. I definitely received some suspicious looks on the bus ride home for giggling to myself- not sorry! Fallible is the new flawless y'all! Fans of David Sedaris, Allie Brosh and Samantha Irby will appreciate this one. -Victoria

A thousand ships book cover
A thousand ships book cover

A thousand ships

Natalie Haynes

eAUDIO
Literary Fiction

"This was never the story of one woman, or two. It was the story of all of them. In the middle of the night, Creusa wakes to find her beloved Troy engulfed in flames. Ten seemingly endless years of brutal conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans are over, and the Greeks are victorious. Over the next few hours, the only life she has ever known will turn to ash. The devastating consequences of the fall of Troy stretch from Mount Olympus to Mount Ida, from the citadel of Troy to the distant Greek islands, and across oceans and sky in between. These are the stories of the women embroiled in that legendary war and its terrible aftermath, as well as the feud and the fatal decisions that started it all"--

Anne M's picture

With the success of Madeline Miller's "Circe" and "The Song of Achilles", publishers have embraced the "reimaging ancient Greek plots" trend and I'm perfectly happy with that. I loved Natalie Haynes' "A Thousand Ships," which retells the Trojan War from the perspectives of individual female characters. Familiar personalities from Homer's epics to Aeschylus' plays appear throughout to tell their stories. From Cassandra to Clytemnestra to Penelope to the goddess Eris, "A Thousand Ships" is a rich tapestry of the war's impact on women. Haynes (podcaster for the BBC) is also a gifted narrator, so do check out the audiobook. -Anne M

Batman book cover
Batman book cover

Batman

DVD MOVIE SF/HORROR Batman
Action

Batman begins his protection of Gotham City. He battles against a corrupt police force, mob gangsters and the worst villain of all ... The Joker.

Mykle's picture

Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson are amazing as Batman and the Joker. Classic Danny Elfman on the music score. The perfect balance of action and comedy. -Mykle

The ethical assassin : a novel book cover
The ethical assassin : a novel book cover

The ethical assassin : a novel

David Liss

FICTION Liss, David
Suspense

A 2006 novel written by David Liss that revolves around Lem Atlick, a door to door encyclopedia salesman who is caught in the middle of an assassination and becomes a sole witness.

Mykle's picture

A compelling story that dives into the ethics of activism and murder after a young man meets a surprisingly pleasant assassin. -Mykle

Office space book cover
Office space book cover

Office space

DVD MOVIE COMEDY Office
Comedy

When white-collar peon Peter Gibbons decides he's had enough and neglects his job, he is quickly promoted to upper management.

Mykle's picture

If you've ever worked in an office, you will relate to Peter. Ron Livingston has the performance of a lifetime with help from Diedrich Bader and Jennifer Aniston. -Mykle

The promised Neverland book cover
The promised Neverland book cover

The promised Neverland

Kaiu Shirai

MANGA Shirai Promised
Graphic Novels

The orphans at Grace Field House lead a comfortable life under the care of "Mom," but Emma and Norman uncover a dark truth that is going to change their lives completely.

Mykle's picture

This Manga series is dark and compelling. Some brilliant orphans find out what really happens to those who get adopted and begin an escape plan. Not for the squeamish. -Mykle

Zero belly cookbook : 150+ delicious recipes to flatten your belly, turn off your fat genes, and help keep you lean for life! book cover
Zero belly cookbook : 150+ delicious recipes to flatten your belly, turn off your fat genes, and help keep you lean for life! book cover

Zero belly cookbook : 150+ delicious recipes to flatten your belly, turn off your fat genes, and help keep you lean for life!

David Zinczenko

641.5635 /Zinczenko
Cookbooks

Based on Zero Belly Diet, the revolutionary bestselling weight-loss plan from NBC News health and wellness contributor David Zinczenko, creator of Eat This, Not That!, Zero Belly Cookbook is a groundbreaking collection of recipes that will teach anyone how to cook beautifully, lose weight fast, and get healthier in just minutes a day.

Mykle's picture

The Asian Spring Rolls are one of the best things I've ever made. Many other good meals and delicious treats in this one. -Mykle

The silmarillion book cover
The silmarillion book cover

The silmarillion

J. R. R. (John Ronald Reuel) Tolkien

SCIENCE FICTION Tolkien, J. R. R.
Fantasy

A number-one New York Times bestseller when it was originally published, The Silmarillion is the core of J.R.R. Tolkien's imaginative writing, a work whose origins stretch back to a time long before The Hobbit. Tolkien considered The Silmarillion his most important work, and, though it was published last and posthumously, this great collection of tales and legends clearly sets the stage for all his other writing. The story of the creation of the world and of the First Age, this is the ancient drama to which the characters in The Lord of the Rings look back and in whose events some of them, such as Elrond and Galadriel, took part. The three Silmarils were jewels created by Feanor, most gifted of the Elves. Within them was imprisoned the Light of the Two Trees of Valinor before the Trees themselves were destroyed by Morgoth, the first Dark Lord. Thereafter, the unsullied Light of Valinor lived on only in the Silmarils, but they were seized by Morgoth and set in his crown, which was guarded in the impenetrable fortress of Angband in the north of Middle-earth. The Silmarillion is the history of the rebellion of Feanor and his kindred against the gods, their exile from Valinor and return to Middle-earth, and their war, hopeless despite all their heroism, against the great Enemy. This second edition features a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien describing his intentions for the book, which serves as a brilliant exposition of his conception of the earlier Ages of Middle-earth.

Mykle's picture

A bit of a heavy read because it almost like a history book. However, it sets up the world of Middle Earth from its conception until the end of the third age. So many good characters and stories jammed into one book. All of the magic and intrigue that makes Lord of the Rings great with a mix of love, loss and history. -Mykle

The Mandalorian armor book cover
The Mandalorian armor book cover

The Mandalorian armor

K. W. Jeter

SCIENCE FICTION Star Wars Bounty
Science Fiction

He's the most feared and successful bounty hunter in the galaxy. He is Boba Fett, and even the most hardened criminals tremble at his name. Now he faces the deadliest challenge of his infamous career—an all-out war against his most dangerous enemies. As the Rebellion gathers force, Prince Xizor proposes a cunning plan to the Emperor and Darth Vader: smash the power of the Bounty Hunters Guild by turning its members against each other. Only the strongest and most ruthless will survive, and they can be used against the Rebellion. It's a job for the fiercely independent Boba Fett, who jumps at the chance to destroy his rivals. But Fett soon realizes the game is rigged, as he finds himself the target of murderous factions, criminal conspiracies, and the evil at the Empire's dark heart. Boba Fett has always finished first. And in this game, anything less is death.

Mykle's picture

This book is the first in a trilogy that explores the life of Boba Fett as he miraculously escapes his apparent demise in the film, Return of the Jedi. One of my all time favorite stories in the Star Wars universe. -Mykle

Choke book cover
Choke book cover

Choke

DVD MOVIE COMEDY Choke
Comedy

Sex addict Victor Mancini works at a colonial reenactment theme park. He tries to hook up with everything on two legs. He courts the love and money of complete strangers via a demented con that might just kill him. But first, Victor must save his dying, delusional mother by seducing and impregnating her comely physician, a task easier said than done. A twisted tale of dysfunction, salvation, love and libido.

Mykle's picture

From the creator of Fight Club, This movie is a wild ride. It's about a sexual addict trying to save his mother's life. Sam Rockwell and Anjelica Huston give great performances. -Mykle

Altered Carbon book cover
Altered Carbon book cover

Altered Carbon

Richard K. Morgan

SCIENCE FICTION Morgan, Richard K.
Science Fiction

Four hundred years from now mankind is strung out across a region of interstellar space inherited from an ancient civilization discovered on Mars. The colonies are linked together by the occasional sublight colony ship voyages and hyperspatial data-casting. Human consciousness is digitally freighted between the stars and downloaded into bodies as a matter of course. But some things never change. So when ex-envoy, now-convict Takeshi Kovacs has his consciousness and skills downloaded into the body of a nicotine-addicted ex-thug and presented with a catch-22 offer, he really shouldn't be surprised. Contracted by a billionaire to discover who murdered his last body, Kovacs is drawn into a terrifying conspiracy that stretches across known space and to the very top of society.

Mykle's picture

Altered Carbon is a cyber-punk murder/mystery. Set in a world where people's consciousness is stored in a removable container, it makes you question immortality and who can afford it. Filled with social commentary on sexuality, endgame capitalism, human rights, and political corruption. A++ -Mykle

Sleeping Giants book cover
Sleeping Giants book cover

Sleeping Giants

Sylvain Neuvel

SCIENCE FICTION Neuvel Sylvain
Science Fiction

"17 years ago: A girl in South Dakota falls through the earth, then wakes up dozens of feet below ground on the palm of what seems to be a giant metal hand. Today: She is a top-level physicist leading a team of people to understand exactly what that hand is, where it came from, and what it portends for humanity. A swift and spellbinding tale told almost exclusively through transcriptions of interviews conducted by a mysterious and unnamed character, this is a unique debut that describes a hunt for truth, power, and giant body parts"--

Mykle's picture

Sylvain's first book in this series is an addictive and easy read. It is written more like a journal than a traditional novel and I find it fascinating how well it works. The book makes you question humanity, society, war, and ethics. -Mykle

The Thursday murder club book cover
The Thursday murder club book cover

The Thursday murder club

Richard Osman

MYSTERY Osman Richard
Mystery

"In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves The Thursday Murder Club. There's Red Ron, the infamous former socialist firebrand, still causing trouble; gentle Joyce, widowed, pining for another resident, but surely not as innocent as she seems; Ibrahim, a former therapist who undersands the darker side of human nature; and Elizabeth? Well, no one is quite sure who she really is, but she's definitely not a woman to underestimate. When a local developer is found dead, the Thursday Murder Club suddenly find themselves in the middle of their first live case. The friends might be septuagenarians, but they are cleverer than most. Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before its too late?

Anne M's picture

Looking for a fun, quick read? Look no further than Richard Osman's "The Thursday Murder Club." -Anne M

The Barbizon : the hotel that set women free book cover
The Barbizon : the hotel that set women free book cover

The Barbizon : the hotel that set women free

Paulina Bren

305.409 /Bren
Nonfiction, History

World War I had liberated women from home and hearth, setting them on the path to political enfranchisement and gainful employment. Arriving in New York to work in the dazzling new skyscrapers, they did not want to stay in uncomfortable boarding houses; they wanted what men already had: exclusive residential hotels that catered to their needs, with daily maid service, cultural programs, workout rooms, and private dining. The Barbizon would become the most famous residential hotel of them all. Bren shows how young women arrived at the Barbizon with a suitcase, and hope, and found a chance to remake themselves however they pleased. -- adapted from jacket

Amanda's picture

What a fun book. I’ve always been fascinated by the Barbizon, and it was wonderful to read a book on its history that also is a marvelous history lesson in mid-century New York for women. The author details so many interesting women who lived in the Barbizon, most particularly the guest editors of Mademoiselle magazine over the years (like Sylvia Plath and Joan Didion). I could barely keep up with the wealth of information and all the intriguing characters and stories over the many decades of the Barbizon, and kept pausing to look more into many of them. This is as much of a page-turner as a non-fiction book can be! -Amanda

Cross of snow : a life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow book cover
Cross of snow : a life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow book cover

Cross of snow : a life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Nicholas A. Basbanes

BIOGRAPHY Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
Biographies

"A biography of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his wife, Fanny Appleton Longfellow"--

Anne M's picture

Longfellow lived a life of contradictions. In some ways, he has this incredibly charmed life--graduated top of his class at Bowdoin, hired to teach languages as a college professor immediately after graduation on the condition he travel through Europe and learn those languages, and gained the position of college librarian as long as he devoted one hour a day to the library. Of course, he was an internationally beloved poet, able to retire as a professor and devote his time to his literary craft. But he also lived a life of tragedy. His first wife passed away within four years of their marriage while traveling through Europe. He recovered the loss and married the delightful Fanny Appleton, an individual in her own right that deserves a full biography. She passed away prematurely as well (in a terrifying way!). I quietly moved through this book. It was a wonderfully, calming read (aside from poor Fanny's demise). Overall, Basbanes made me appreciate how much Longfellow influenced America's literary culture in ways we can still see today. -Anne M

The four winds book cover
The four winds book cover

The four winds

Kristin Hannah

FICTION Hannah Kristin
Fiction, Historical Fiction

"Texas, 1921. A time of abundance. The Great War is over, the bounty of the land is plentiful, and America is on the brink of a new and optimistic era. But for Elsa Wolcott, deemed too old to marry in a time when marriage is a woman's only option, the future seems bleak. Until the night she meets Rafe Martinelli and decides to change the direction of her life. With her reputation in ruin, there is only one respectable choice: marriage to a man she barely knows. By 1934, the world has changed; millions are out of work and drought has devastated the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as crops fail and water dries up and the earth cracks open. Dust storms roll relentlessly across the plains. Everything on the Martinelli farm is dying, including Elsa's tenuous marriage; each day is a desperate battle against nature and a fight to keep her children alive. In this uncertain and perilous time, Elsa - like so many of her neighbors - must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or leave it behind and go west, to California, in search of a better life for her family."--Provided by publisher.

Mari's picture

An intriguing historical fiction that demonstrates the total devastation of farmland in the dust bowl, the hardships suffered by the people of the Great Plains, the poverty and disadvantages endured by migrant workers escaping the dust bowl and heading to California in the depression era of the 1930s. A lot of the political unrest and action may resonate for readers of this time as we see some parallels between the depression and our current challenges during a pandemic. -Mari

Successful aging : a neuroscientist explores the power and potential of our lives book cover
Successful aging : a neuroscientist explores the power and potential of our lives book cover

Successful aging : a neuroscientist explores the power and potential of our lives

Daniel J. Levitin

612.82 /Levitin
Health, Science

Recent studies show that our decision-making skills improve as we age, and that our happiness levels peak at age eighty-two. Levitin examines the neuroscientific evidence to challenge many of the beliefs that surround aging. He provides realistic plans for how you can make the most of your seventies, eighties, and nineties today-- no matter how old you are now. -- adapted from jacket

Mari's picture

Even though I am physically a couple decades away from the 60+ years developmental stage this book is most applicable to, I found the research done and compiled in this book to be both fascinating and enlightening. For me some key takeaways were; 1. Always try new things for neuroplasticity, for example, new hobbies, travel to new places, try new technologies. 2. Be social, particularly intergenerational, every generation has different qualities to offer. 3 Move your bodies, preferably outside. Survival skills are engaged even on a walk around the neighborhood because of the potential for unknown variables, and it keeps your body and mind sharp. This book is full of resilience strategies and practical, cognitive enhancing tricks everyone should do as they age as well as an appreciation for what we can learn from the wisdom of older generations. -Mari

I love you, baby burrito book cover
I love you, baby burrito book cover

I love you, baby burrito

Angela Dominguez

jE Domingue
Picture Books, Read Woke

"From Pura Belpre honoree Angela Dominguez, Love You Baby Burrito is a modern classic picture book celebrating the act of swaddling a newborn into a baby burrito." -- Provided by publisher.

Casey's picture

Angela Dominguez's latest book is beyond adorable. Karen G. and I were "oohing" over it when it first came in. I can't wait to share it in Book Babies soon! Anyone who's ever burritoed a baby owes this one a read. -Casey

All the ways we said goodbye : a novel of the Ritz Paris book cover
All the ways we said goodbye : a novel of the Ritz Paris book cover

All the ways we said goodbye : a novel of the Ritz Paris

Beatriz Williams

FICTION Williams Beatriz
Historical Fiction, Romance, Mystery

An heiress, a resistance fighter, and a widow are all joined by one legendary hotel: the Ritz in Paris.

Angie's picture

This isn’t just a historic romance, it’s a multi-generational mystery, set in the Ritz Paris, and spanning World War I, World War II, and the late 1960s. At the center of the story are three women: Aurelie, the young demoiselles de Courcelles surviving World War I; Daisy, a quiet housewife married to an odious Nazi sympathizer; and Babs, a recent widow who receives an interesting letter in the mail about a famous French spy. At first glance, these women don’t seem at all connected, but they are brought together by a talisman and the iconic Ritz Paris. Charming characters, amazing settings, and so much culture make this a great read! -Angie

Darius the Great is Not Okay book cover
Darius the Great is Not Okay book cover

Darius the Great is Not Okay

Adib Khorram

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Khorram Adib
Diverse Characters, Young Adult

Clinically-depressed Darius Kellner, a high school sophomore, travels to Iran to meet his grandparents, but it is their next-door neighbor, Sohrab, who changes his life.

Victoria's picture

A great story about friendship, finding value, purpose and acceptance of yourself for who you really are at your core. I really loved how this book realistically tackled mental illness and the interactions Darius has with his family and friends about it. Soccer, Iran, bullying, depression, and tea; this book has it all! -Victoria

Our little kitchen book cover
Our little kitchen book cover

Our little kitchen

Jillian Tamaki

jE Tamaki
Picture Books, Diverse Characters, Poetry

"A crew of resourceful neighbors comes together to prepare a meal for their community. Includes a recipe and an author's note about the volunteering experience that inspired the book"--

Casey's picture

Picture book perfection, made to be shared! -Casey

Grandparents book cover
Grandparents book cover

Grandparents

Chema Heras

jE Heras
Picture Books

"In this funny and heartwarming picture book, a grandfather shows his love and appreciation for a grandmother as he persuades her to attend a local dance with him. Grandfather is tending his garden when a loudspeaker announces a dance in the local park. He asks Grandmother to join him, but she has many reasons to delay their outing: she needs to put eyeliner around her eyes--which are as sad as a moonless night--and color in her hair--which is as gray as an autumn cloud. Grandfather counters with loving arguments of his own: her sad eyes look like stars and her hair is as perfect and white as a summer cloud. Playful illustrations complement this touching banter, which culminates in a trip to the dance where Grandmother tells Grandfather, "You are as pretty as the moon.""--

Karen's picture

Added by Karen

A plan for Pops book cover
A plan for Pops book cover

A plan for Pops

Heather Smith

jE Smith
Picture Books

"In this illustrated picture book, a child helps their grandparents deal with a difficult change in abilities."--

Karen's picture

Added by Karen

Concrete Rose book cover
Concrete Rose book cover

Concrete Rose


Young Adult

Maverick feels strongly about family ties, making choices he feels necessary to help support his mom while his King father serves time, and leave him literally holding his son in a doctor's waiting room after he gets paternity test results back and his babymomma ghosts. Now the child he's raising is impacting the lives of his family and his girlfriend, and the gang life he led to support them all financially could leave them all bearing his responsibilities since it endangers his life. It looks like he may have been offered a chance to go straight, but leaving the King Lords won't be easy, and a "real" job has high demand for low return.

Victoria's picture

Incredible prequel to Angie Thomas' The Hate U Give. Learning about who Maverick and Lisa are as teenagers as well as looking at exploring a different generation in Garden Heights felt like I gained so much perspective into Starr's life and upbringing. In a recent interview I watched with Thomas, she said the novels are stand-alone in a way and could be read in any order so if you missed The Hate U Give, check it out while you wait! -Victoria

Nana in the City book cover
Nana in the City book cover

Nana in the City

Lauren Castillo


A young boy is frightened by how busy and noisy the city is when he goes there to visit his Nana, but she makes him a fancy red cape that keeps him from being scared as she shows him how wonderful a place it is.

Karen's picture

Added by Karen

Grandma's Purse book cover
Grandma's Purse book cover

Grandma's Purse

Vanessa Brantley-Newton


When Grandma Mimi comes to visit, her granddaughter cannot wait to see what treasures she has hidden in her purse.

Karen's picture

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Drawn Together book cover
Drawn Together book cover

Drawn Together

Minh Le


A boy and his grandfather cross a language and cultural barrier using their shared love of art, storytelling, and fantasy.

Karen's picture

Added by Karen

My Grandparents Love Me book cover
My Grandparents Love Me book cover

My Grandparents Love Me

Claire Freedman


Picture Books

A visit to Gran and Grandpa's house is always a special and fun time for a child.

Karen's picture

Added by Karen

Encyclopedia of Grannies book cover
Encyclopedia of Grannies book cover

Encyclopedia of Grannies

Eric Veille


Picture Books

An offbeat, humorous book that answers all your questions about grandmas-especially the ones you never thought to ask: Why do grannies always tell us to speak up? Why do they have creases on their faces? Are grannies flexible? How do you cheer up a sad granny? Exactly how old are grannies anyway?

Karen's picture

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The truth about grandparents book cover
The truth about grandparents book cover

The truth about grandparents

Elina Ellis


Picture Books

A child relates strange things that might be heard about grandparents but concludes that they are amazing.

Karen's picture

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A Stopwatch from Grampa book cover
A Stopwatch from Grampa book cover

A Stopwatch from Grampa

Loretta Garbutt


Picture Books

A sensitive portrayal of loss and grief, told through a grandchild's inheritance of a stopwatch that belonged to Grampa. In this touching debut picture book about the loss of a beloved grandfather, author Loretta Garbutt explores the stages of grief with a delicate hand. The story opens with our narrator inheriting a stopwatch. For the grandchild, the object carries many cherished memories. "Grampa used to time everything. He timed me when I ran to the end of our street and back. Best speed, 24 seconds." As the year passes, and the seasons change, our narrator slowly moves through the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance). At first, the stopwatch is a painful reminder of Grampa. But in time, our character finds a special way to honor Grampa and carry forward his traditions.

Karen's picture

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Our Favorite Day book cover
Our Favorite Day book cover

Our Favorite Day

Joowon Oh


Follows Papa and his granddaughter as they spend another Thursday together.

Karen's picture

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Finding Grandma's Memories book cover
Finding Grandma's Memories book cover

Finding Grandma's Memories

Jiyeon Pak


Picture Books

A little girl helps her grandma with her memory.

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Where Are You From book cover
Where Are You From book cover

Where Are You From

Yamile Saied Mendez


Picture Books

"When a young girl is asked where she's from--where she's really from--she's no longer as she was. She decides to turn to her dear abuelo for some help with this ever-persistent question. But he doesn't quite give her the answer she expects."

Karen's picture

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Hey Grandude! book cover
Hey Grandude! book cover

Hey Grandude!

Paul McCartney


Picture Books

Grandude brightens a dreary weekend for his visiting grandchildren, Lucy, Tom, Em, and Bob, by using his magic compass and postcards to take them on adventures around the world.

Karen's picture

Added by Karen

MY Hippie Grandmother book cover
MY Hippie Grandmother book cover

MY Hippie Grandmother

Reeve Lindbergh


Picture Books

A young girl describes all the things she likes about her grandmother, including the purple bus she drives, growing vegetables, picketing City Hall, and playing the banjo.

Karen's picture

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Nana Akua goes to school  book cover
Nana Akua goes to school  book cover

Nana Akua goes to school

Tricia Elam Walker


Picture Books

Zura is worried about how her classmates will react to her Ghanaian Nana's tattoos on Grandparents Day, but Nana finds a way to show how special and meaningful they are.

Karen's picture

Added by Karen

Little Owl's bedtime book cover
Little Owl's bedtime book cover

Little Owl's bedtime

Debi Gliori

jE Gliori

Little Owl cannot sleep--his pillow is lumpy, his quilt too hot, and he hears strange noises--until Mommy Owl says that tomorrow, and his grandparents' visit, will come sooner if he sleeps.

Karen's picture

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Someday we will : a book for grandparents and grandchildren book cover
Someday we will : a book for grandparents and grandchildren book cover

Someday we will : a book for grandparents and grandchildren

Pam Webb

jE Webb

Grandparents and children anticipate their next visit by imagining all of the wonderful things they will do together, such as playing games, reading library books, and riding bicycles.

Karen's picture

Added by Karen

I'll be the water : a story of a grandparent's love book cover
I'll be the water : a story of a grandparent's love book cover

I'll be the water : a story of a grandparent's love

Alec Aspinwall

jE Aspinwal
Picture Books

Joshua and his grandfather love being together. More than anything else they love fishing. But Grandpa gets sick and is in the hospital a long time. When he gets out, he and Joshua share one more fishing adventure, and Grandpa promises Joshua that he will always be near. "Think of it this way," Grandpa says. "Today, you and I are like two fish swimming together in this lake. When I die, things will be different. I won't be a fish anymore, but I'll become something even better. My love will be like the water in the lake. You might think I'm not with you, but we'll be closer than ever because you'll be surrounded by my love."

Karen's picture

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A day at the museum book cover
A day at the museum book cover

A day at the museum

Christine A. Platt

jREADER Platt Christin
Early Readers

"It's a surprise visit! Ana & Andrew are excited when Grandma comes to visit. While she is there, the family tours the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and learns about important African American achievements"--Page [4] of cover.

Karen's picture

Added by Karen

Coquí in the city book cover
Coquí in the city book cover

Coquí in the city

Nomar Perez


A heartfelt picture book based on the author-illustrator's own experiences, about a boy who moves to the U.S. mainland from Puerto Rico and realizes that New York City might have more in common with San Juan than he initially thought.

Karen's picture

The cover art is so colorful! I'm looking forward to reading this one. Book is on order -Karen

The Patron Saints of Nothing book cover
The Patron Saints of Nothing book cover

The Patron Saints of Nothing


Read Woke, Young Adult

When seventeen-year-old Jay Reguero learns his Filipino cousin and former best friend, Jun, was murdered as part of President Duterte's war on drugs, he flies to the Philippines to learn more.

Victoria's picture

This is the story of Jay- a Filipino-American straddling two countries; the US where he's spent most of his life and the Philippines, where his parents chose to leave shortly after he was born in pursuit of a better life. Author Randy Ribay excels in exploring identity, what it means to look a certain way and be interpreted in another. Another theme I appreciated was no matter how much you feel a part of the country you left behind, you will often be seen as an outsider once you leave making you question where your home really is. This book is an excellent read for young adults and adults. It humanizes victims of the war on drugs in the Philippines and allows the reader to explore the conflict from alternative perspectives. This is an exceptional read and provides many opportunities for discussion around immigration, politics, family tradition and connections. -Victoria

King and the Dragonflies book cover
King and the Dragonflies book cover

King and the Dragonflies


Black History, Diverse Characters

"In a small but turbulent Louisiana town, one boy's grief takes him beyond the bayous of his backyard, to learn that there is no right way to be yourself"-- Provided by publisher.

Victoria's picture

Kacen Callendar's 2021 Coretta Scott King Author Honor is a fantastic read. This book will have you hooked from the beginning; highly descriptive locations, complex and relatable characters and important themes that will evoke discussion with young readers. I would recommended this for ages 10 and up. -Victoria

The midnight library : A Novel book cover
The midnight library : A Novel book cover

The midnight library : A Novel

Matt Haig

eAUDIO
Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Literary Fiction

"'Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices... Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?' A dazzling novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived, from the internationally bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and How To Stop Time. Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better? In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig's enchanting new novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place"-- Provided by publisher.

Anne M's picture

Before I begin, The Midnight Library contains themes of depression and a description of a suicide. Nora Seed believes she has made some very wrong choices in her life and none of it can be rectified. In trying to end her life, Nora finds herself in a library--a library of her own somewhere between life and death. All the books on the shelf contain different versions of her life if she had made different choices along the way, both small and large. Nora Seed gets to explore these lives from pursuing Olympic swimming to fronting a rock band with the opportunity to make a permanent swap. But Nora begins to understand that there are many things about her original life that were significant and meaningful. Carey Mulligan narrates the audio and she is wonderful. -Anne M

How to be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals book cover
How to be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals book cover

How to be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals


Memoir, Animals, Nature

A naturalist and adventurer discusses the personalities and quirks of thirteen animals who have profoundly affected her, exploring themes of learning to become empathetic, creating families, coping with loss, and the otherness and sameness of people and animals.

Victoria's picture

A delightful book for anyone who admires the sentient intellect and all the life lessons animals outside of own species can share with us-if we're paying attention. -Victoria

Sing, unburied, sing : a novel book cover
Sing, unburied, sing : a novel book cover

Sing, unburied, sing : a novel

Jesmyn Ward

FICTION Ward Jesmyn
Fiction, Diverse Characters, Read Woke

"A searing and profound Southern odyssey through Mississippi's past and present"--

Jason's picture

Ward's story grapples with the trauma of racism, gun violence, and incarceration via a multi-generational household. Her story is set in rural southern Mississippi yet these themes are familiar to many in America. Chapters are told from alternating character's point of view including those of a ghost. -Jason

One day : the extraordinary story of an ordinary 24 hours in America book cover
One day : the extraordinary story of an ordinary 24 hours in America book cover

One day : the extraordinary story of an ordinary 24 hours in America

Gene Weingarten

973 /Weingarten
Nonfiction, History

"The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary 24 Hours in America"--

Anne M's picture

Washington Post humor columnist Gene Weingarten picked a single day from the last 40 years to see if there was anything worth noting about an ordinary day in America. At first, he thought he was doomed. The day chosen at random was December 28, 1986, a Sunday that landed right in the middle of two major holidays. This time of year is always a slow news time. But Weingarten found some truly extraordinary stories from around the country, including Cedar Rapids. This book is both funny and heartbreaking, containing stories of individual triumphs as well as tragedies. It may be a snapshot of America in the late 1980's, but many of the themes hold for today. -Anne M

Light of the Jedi book cover
Light of the Jedi book cover

Light of the Jedi

Charles Soule

SCIENCE FICTION Star Wars
Science Fiction

"The lead book in an exciting cross-publishing event, exploring a new era of Star Wars storytelling: the never-before-seen in any medium High Republic"--

Brian's picture

Light of the Jedi marks the beginning of a brand new era in Star Wars--The High Republic. It takes places 200 years before Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, and introduces us to a huge new cast of characters. We meet many of them at a breakneck pace and get to see the Jedi in their prime. This is an exciting novel that I think is a perfect introduction to Star Wars books. -Brian

Solutions and other problems book cover
Solutions and other problems book cover

Solutions and other problems

Allie Brosh

817.6 /Brosh
Memoir, Graphic Novels

Solutions and Other Problems includes humorous stories from Allie Brosh's childhood; the adventures of her very bad animals; merciless dissection of her own character flaws; incisive essays on grief, loneliness, and powerlessness; as well as reflections on the absurdity of modern life.

Frannie's picture

The latest from graphic memoirist Allie Brosh builds on her previous book Hyberbole and a Half in the best way possible. Same great childlike scrawl done in MS Paint, new deeper truths. At times I sat on my couch giggling and kicking my legs from laughter trying not to disturb other people in my home, and at others I was paralyzed with some of the darker turns. I won't divulge details, but urge you to challenge yourself not to laugh and then also look deeper. This was also 1 of 10 2021 Alex Award winners, a prize for books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults. -Frannie

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder book cover
Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder book cover

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

Richard Louv


Nature, Science

As children’s connections to nature diminish and the social, psychological, and spiritual implications become apparent, new research shows that nature can offer powerful therapy for such maladies as depression, obesity, and attention deficit disorder. Environment-based education dramatically improves standardized test scores and grade-point averages and develops skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making. Anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that childhood experiences in nature stimulate creativity. In Last Child in the Woods, Louv talks with parents, children, teachers, scientists, religious leaders, child-development researchers, and environmentalists who recognize the threat and offer solutions. Louv shows us an alternative future, one in which parents help their kids experience the natural world more deeply—and find the joy of family connectedness in the process.

Mari's picture

This book presents an interesting examination of why children no longer play outside, the health benefits of interacting with nature and ways to encourage kids and communities to reconnect with and the outdoor world. All of this resonated deeply with me, and I felt grateful for the parts of my childhood spent running around in the woods, in the creek, through the farmlands, on bikes, all unsupervised with the neighborhood kids. Now when I go back to visit my dad at my childhood home, the forest is gone and the rural countryside is developed with new houses, streets, businesses, schools, and even hotels and a sports plex. think it's hard to dispute the author's message of how formative these experiences are to the development of children in becoming productive members of society and personally made me want to be engaged more in nature as adult. It also left me feeling a little sad knowing that most children today and in the future, as quoted by a child in the book, "like to play indoors better 'cause that's where all the electrical outlets are." -Mari

The great influenza : the epic story of the deadliest plague in history book cover
The great influenza : the epic story of the deadliest plague in history book cover

The great influenza : the epic story of the deadliest plague in history

John M. Barry

614.518 /Barry
Science

At the height of WWI, history’s most lethal influenza virus erupted in an army camp in Kansas, moved east with American troops, then exploded, killing as many as 100 million people worldwide. It killed more people in twenty-four months than AIDS killed in twenty-four years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century. But this was not the Middle Ages, and 1918 marked the first collision of science and epidemic disease. Magisterial in its breadth of perspective and depth of research and now revised to reflect the growing danger of the avian flu, The Great Influenza is ultimately a tale of triumph amid tragedy, which provides us with a precise and sobering model as we confront the epidemics looming on our own horizon. John M. Barry has written a new afterword for this edition that brings us up to speed on the terrible threat of the avian flu and suggest ways in which we might head off another flu pandemic.

Mari's picture

I found this book to be a generally fascinating account of medical research history. It provides a history of American medicine, especially the development of modern day medical schools, an explanation of viruses, histories of other epidemics. Of course my interest was sparked to read this in order to draw a comparison between this pandemic a century ago and the current one, but this book has a lot more, and provides a great deal of perspective. Lasting from February 1918 to April 1920, the Spanish-flu infected 500 million people–about a third of the world's population at the time. The death toll is estimated between 17 million and 50 million, some even claim 100 million, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in human history. I think this would be a great read for any individuals in leadership roles who have the power to control the outcome of this pandemic, and of course those are simply curious. -Mari

We are all the same in the dark : a novel book cover
We are all the same in the dark : a novel book cover

We are all the same in the dark : a novel


Thriller, Suspense

A seasoned cop's interest in a mysterious one-eyed girl takes her back to the worst night of her life in this fast-paced thriller from the internationally bestselling author of Black-Eyed Susans. They call her Angel. Found on the side of a remote highway, half-dead and blowing wishes in a field of dandelions, the young girl refuses to speak. No one knows who she is or where she came from--only that she fell from the sky. It's Wyatt who finds her and takes her home to nurse her back to health, setting into motion the town's rumor mill. A pariah, Wyatt still believes he can still communicate with his long-gone sister, and he might be the only one left who knows the truth about the night of her disappearance. The night that Wyatt's cousin, Odette Tucker, also lost something important: her leg. Now a cop, uninhibited by her prosthetic, Odette must reenter Wyatt's ghost-ridden world. In Angel's case and her beautiful green eye, she sees her once-broken self and all the things she was told she'd never do. As she begins to coax Angel into speaking and slowly pieces together her identity, Odette is ignited to reopen the cold case that has haunted her. Soon she is ensnared in a lethal game of cat and mouse with someone who doesn't want that night revisited. The night that inspired her to become a cop, the night her friend disappeared and they both exploded into a small Texas town's dark, violent mythology.

Mari's picture

A gritty, violent thriller set in Texas with a new mystery sparked by an old one. Odette Tucker follows in her cop father's footsteps after a decade old disappearance of a small town's homecoming queen and sweetheart, Trumanell on a night that changes Odette's life forever. Trumanell's brother Wyatt, the town's outcast, picks up a young girl with a missing eye, and Odette rushes to action and brings the young girl, whom Wyatt dubs Angel, to keep her safe. I quickly devoured this gut-wrenching and suspenseful story. -Mari

Caste : the origins of our discontents book cover
Caste : the origins of our discontents book cover

Caste : the origins of our discontents

Isabel Wilkerson

305.5122 /Wilkerson

The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power-- which groups have it and which do not. Wilkerson explores how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. She discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity. -- adapted from jacket

Victoria's picture

This book has helped me to process much of what has happened in the US recently. Inequity goes beyond racism and classism. Rather, Wilkerson contends it's rooted in caste; an historically manufactured human pecking order set on ranking humanity that has had lasting impacts not only on our institutions but also in framing our daily individual biases and worldviews. Though originally designed to produce well-oiled economic systems and societies (at the behest of those who were subjugated,) today caste still effectively divides; foreshadowing how others see us, how we see them and our perceived place in economies. Insightful, impactful and I could not put this down until I had read every last word! A fantastic piece of Nonfiction! -Victoria

The sky atlas : the greatest maps, myths and discoveries of the universe book cover
The sky atlas : the greatest maps, myths and discoveries of the universe book cover

The sky atlas : the greatest maps, myths and discoveries of the universe

Edward Brooke-Hitching

520.9 /Brooke-Hitching
Nonfiction, Art / Art History, Science

"THE SKY ATLAS assembles some of the most beautiful maps and charts ever created to understand the skies above us. This richly illustrated treasury showcases the finest examples of celestial cartography-a glorious art often overlooked by modern map books-as well as medieval manuscripts, masterpiece paintings, ancient star catalogues, antique instruments, and other curiosities. This is the sky as it has never been presented before: the realm of stars and planets, but also of gods, devils, weather wizards, flying sailors, ancient aliens, mythological animals, and rampaging spirits. Here are the crystal cosmos of the ancient Greeks; the medieval sea, sailed by ships above the clouds; Tibetan sky burials; secret messages hidden in starlight, and much more. With thrilling stories and gorgeous artwork, this remarkable atlas explores our fascination with the sky across time and cultures to form an extraordinary chronicle of cosmic imagination and discovery"-- Provided by publisher.

Melody's picture

Excited to say I'm first in line for this book! I happened upon this book while cataloging and it's just gorgeous. It's full of illustrations of historic interpretations of our sky and its relationship to earth. I can't wait to take it home and flip through it on my downtime. -Melody

The office : the untold story of the greatest sitcom of the 2000s book cover
The office : the untold story of the greatest sitcom of the 2000s book cover

The office : the untold story of the greatest sitcom of the 2000s

Andy Greene

791.4572 /Office
Art / Art History

"The untold stories behind The Office, one of the most iconic television shows of the twenty-first century, told by its creators, writers, and actors"--

Amanda's picture

I loved the show, I loved the characters, and I could feel the love and devotion everyone working on the show had for The Office as I read this book. I've watched the episodes with the commentaries and am an avid listener of the Office Ladies Podcast, and even with all that random trivia in my head, I learned so many fun facts about the show through this book. So many gems! Well worth reading for any fan of the show. You're going to fall in love with the episodes and actors (in particular Steve Carell!!) and gain a whole new appreciation for the writers and crew. Highly recommended! -Amanda

Sisters in hate : American women on the front lines of white nationalism book cover
Sisters in hate : American women on the front lines of white nationalism book cover

Sisters in hate : American women on the front lines of white nationalism

Seyward Darby

322.42 /Darby
Political

"After the election of Donald J. Trump, journalist Seyward Darby went looking for the women of the so-called "alt-right" -- really just white nationalism with a new label. The mainstream media depicted the alt-right as a bastion of angry white men, but was it? As women headlined resistance to the Trump administration's bigotry and sexism, most notably at the Women's Marches, Darby wanted to know why others were joining a movement espousing racism and anti-feminism. Who were these women, and what did their activism reveal about America's past, present, and future? Darby researched dozens of women across the country before settling on three -- Corinna Olsen, Ayla Stewart, and Lana Lokteff. Each was born in 1979, and became a white nationalist in the post-9/11 era. Their respective stories of radicalization upend much of what we assume about women, politics, and political extremism. Corinna, a professional embalmer who was once a body builder, found community in white nationalism before it was the alt-right, while she was grieving the death of her brother and the end of her marriage. For Corinna, hate was more than just personal animus -- it could also bring people together. Eventually, she decided to leave the movement and served as an informant for the FBI. Ayla, a devoutly Christian mother of six, underwent a personal transformation from self-professed feminist to far-right online personality. Her identification with the burgeoning "tradwife" movement reveals how white nationalism traffics in society's preferred, retrograde ways of seeing women. Lana, who runs a right-wing media company with her husband, enjoys greater fame and notoriety than many of her sisters in hate. Her work disseminating and monetizing far-right dogma is a testament to the power of disinformation. With acute psychological insight and eye-opening reporting, Darby steps inside the contemporary hate movement and draws connections to precursors like the Ku Klux Klan. Far more than mere helpmeets, women like Corinna, Ayla, and Lana have been sustaining features of white nationalism. Sisters in Hate shows how the work women do to normalize and propagate racist extremism has consequences well beyond the hate movement."--Amazon.

Amanda's picture

This book shows how easily a person can be seduced by racism and white nationalism, how innocuous it can seem, and how deep a person can get into it. One of the main women featured is no longer a participant in the culture, and has found a different way to belong, and I really wish the best for her. This was a fascinating and engaging read, and I highly recommend it. -Amanda

Sometimes you have to lie : the life and times of Louise Fitzhugh, renegade author of Harriet the spy book cover
Sometimes you have to lie : the life and times of Louise Fitzhugh, renegade author of Harriet the spy book cover

Sometimes you have to lie : the life and times of Louise Fitzhugh, renegade author of Harriet the spy

Leslie Brody

BIOGRAPHY Fitzhugh, Louise
Biographies

"The protagonist and anti-heroine of Louise Fitzhugh's masterpiece Harriet the Spy, first published first in 1964, continues to mesmerize generation after generation of readers. Harriet is an erratic, unsentimental, and endearing prototype--someone very like the woman who dreamed her up, author and artist Louise Fitzhugh. Born in 1928, Fitzhugh was raised in a wealthy home in segregated Memphis, and she escaped her cloistered world and made a beeline for New York as soon as she could. Her expanded milieu stretched from the lesbian bars of Greenwich Village to the dance clubs of Harlem, on to the resurgent artist studios of post-war New York, France, and Italy. Her circle of friends included artists like Maurice Sendak and playwrights like Lorraine Hansberry. In the 1960s, Fitzhugh wrote Harriet the Spy, and in doing so she introduced "new realism" into children's books-she launched a genre of children's books that allowed characters to experience authentic feelings and acknowledged topics that were formerly considered taboo. Fitzhugh's books are full of resistance: to liars, to conformity, to authority, and even (radically, for a children's author) to make-believe. As a commercial children's author and lesbian, Fitzhugh often had to disguise the nature of her most intimate relationships. She lived her life as a dissenter--a friend to underdogs, outsiders, and artists--and her masterpiece remains long after her death to influence and provoke new generations of readers. Harriet is massively influential among girls and women in contemporary culture; she is the missing link between Jo March and Scout Finch, and it's not surprising that writers have thought of her as a kind of patron saint for misfit writers and unfeminine girls. This lively, rich biography brings Harriet's creator into the frame, shedding new light on an extraordinary author and her marvelous creation"--

Amanda's picture

An absolutely delightful and engaging biography on the woman behind one of my favorite books, Harriet the Spy. I knew absolutely nothing about Louise Fitzhugh prior to reading this, and found her a truly wonderful artist who knew so many people and had a genuine talent that Harriet the Spy was able to exemplify... but she had so much more to offer. I highly recommend this to fans of Harriet, anyone who appreciates LGBTQ+ history, and fans of midcentury literature in general. -Amanda

The only good Indians : a novel book cover
The only good Indians : a novel book cover

The only good Indians : a novel

Stephen Graham Jones

eAUDIO
Horror, Read Woke

"Peter Straub's Ghost Story meets Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies in this American Indian horror story of revenge on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Four American Indian men from the Blackfeet Nation, who were childhood friends, find themselves in a desperate struggle for their lives, against an entity that wants to exact revenge upon them for what they did during an elk hunt ten years earlier by killing them, their families, and friends"--

Casey's picture

The Only Good Indians is a masterpiece, and not for the faint of heart. If you're up for it, I recommend going into this title cold, cover material only, and no spoilers here! However, I will say that Shaun Taylor-Corbett's narration lends the perfect tone to Stephen Graham Jones's hauntingly beautiful prose. I'm adding it to my 2021 rereads list for the Fall, as I'm still thinking about it and have yet to pick up another novel after finishing weeks ago. -Casey

Snow book cover
Snow book cover

Snow

John Banville

MYSTERY Banville John
Fiction, Mystery

1957. Detective Inspector St. John Strafford has been summoned to County Wexford to investigate when a parish priest is found dead in Ballyglass House, the family seat of the aristocratic, secretive Osborne family. The Catholic Church rules Ireland with an iron fist, and Strafford-- a Protestant-- faces obstruction at every turn. There is a culture of silence in this tight-knit community, and Stafford learns the Osbornes are not at all what they seem. When his own deputy goes missing, Strafford must work to unravel the ever-expanding mystery before the community's secrets, like the snowfall itself, threatens to obliterate everything. -- adapted from jacket

Candice's picture

I've been saving this to read over the holiday break...set in 1957, in County Wexford, Ireland. A craggy inspector investigates the murder of a priest in the local aristocratic home of the town's wealthy family. He has to deal to with a family with dark secrets and a small town that doesn't give up much to outsiders, all while battling the winter weather and snow as far as the eye can see. Perfect. -Candice

Other people : Days of the Bagnold summer & Driving short distances book cover
Other people : Days of the Bagnold summer & Driving short distances book cover

Other people : Days of the Bagnold summer & Driving short distances

Joff Winterhart

GRAPHIC NOVEL Winterhart
Graphic Novels

A librarian mother spends a summer with her metalhead teenage son. A depressive young man becomes an apprentice to a legend-in-his-own mind. These people you never think about will make you reexamine yourself.

Stacey's picture

I came across this lovely book after checking out the Belle & Sebastian soundtrack to the film "Days of the Bagnold Summer." The library doesn't have the movie (and it doesn't look like it's orderable?) but we did have this graphic novel on which it was based. The two stories in this book have just the right kind of slow, melancholy description of everyday life that is perfect for 2020. A mother and son spend several weeks together not doing much... A wayward 28-year-old is given a pity job with a relative that involves driving around depressing scenes all day... But the observations and drawings are very poignant and worth spending some time with. -Stacey

Pachinko book cover
Pachinko book cover

Pachinko

Min Jin Lee

FICTION Lee Min
Historical Fiction

"A new tour de force from the bestselling author of Free Food for Millionaires, for readers of The Kite Runner and Cutting for Stone. PACHINKO follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them all. Deserted by her lover, Sunja is saved when a young tubercular minister offers to marry and bring her to Japan. So begins a sweeping saga of an exceptional family in exile from its homeland and caught in the indifferent arc of history. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, its members are bound together by deep roots as they face enduring questions of faith, family, and identity"--

Heidi K's picture

OK, OK...so this isn't the newest book and many have already heard about it or even actually read it by now. But, I need to add this as a recommendation at this time to encourage everyone who still has this in their to-read pile. Perhaps you, like me, have been a bit intimidated by the size of the novel. I had no idea how fast reading this would go once I started it! It's one of those books I look for moments to read bits and pieces of, and can't wait to go back to. So if you're still waiting to read Pachinko, like I was: What are you waiting for? This is the perfect saga to whisk you away from your reality this winter. -Heidi K

Hamnet book cover
Hamnet book cover

Hamnet

Maggie O'Farrell

eAUDIO
Historical Fiction, Fiction

"A thrilling departure: a short, piercing, deeply moving novel about the death of Shakespeare's 11 year old son Hamnet--a name interchangeable with Hamlet in 15th century Britain--and the years leading up to the production of his great play. England, 1580. A young Latin tutor--penniless, bullied by a violent father--falls in love with an extraordinary, eccentric young woman--a wild creature who walks her family's estate with a falcon on her shoulder and is known throughout the countryside for her unusual gifts as a healer. Agnes understands plants and potions better than she does people, but once she settles with her husband on Henley Street in Stratford she becomes a fiercely protective mother and a steadfast, centrifugal force in the life of her young husband, whose gifts as a writer are just beginning to awaken when his beloved young son succumbs to bubonic plague. A luminous portrait of a marriage, a shattering evocation of a family ravaged by grief and loss, and a hypnotic recreation of the story that inspired one of the greatest masterpieces of all time, Hamnet is mesmerizing, seductive, impossible to put down--a magnificent departure from one of our most gifted novelists"--

Anne M's picture

This was my favorite book of the year. Maggie O'Farrell beautifully writes about the loss of a child and its impact on a family, specifically the loss of Hamnet, the young son of William Shakespeare. It was incredibly written. Descriptions are vivid. Characters become familiar. The story well-paced. It was one of those books where I kept wanting to listen--I would dutifully find more chores to do, run another mile, and organize my house just to keep listening. It is a novel that will stay with me. -Anne M

The women in black : a novel book cover
The women in black : a novel book cover

The women in black : a novel

Madeleine St. John

FICTION St. John, Madeleine
Fiction, Historical Fiction

"The women in black, so named for the black frocks they wear while working at an upscale department store called Goode's, are run off their feet selling ladies' cocktail dresses during the busy season. But in Sydney in the 1950s, there's always time to pursue other goals... Patty, in her mid-thirties, has been working at Goode's for years. She's married to Frank, who eats a steak for dinner every night, watches a few minutes of TV, and then turns in, leaving Patty to her own thoughts. She wants a baby, but Frank is always too tired for that kind of thing. Sweet Fay wants to settle down with a nice man, but somehow nice men don't see her as marriage material. The glamorous Magda runs the high-end gowns department. A Slovenian émigré who met her Hungarian husband in a refugee camp, Magda is clever and cultured. She finds the Australians to be unfashionable, and dreams of opening her own boutique one day. Lisa, a teenager awaiting the results of her final exams, takes a job at Goode's for the holidays. She wants to go to university and secretly dreams of being a poet, but her father objects to both notions. Magda takes Lisa under her wing, and by the time the last marked-down dress has been sold, all of their lives will be forever changed" --

Anne M's picture

Looking for a light and funny read? Set in an Australian 1950's department store during the holiday season, Madeleine St. John's "The Women in Black" is delightful. You'll meet Lisa, Patty, Fay, and Magda--all at different points in their lives--all with different hopes and dreams--as they work during the busiest time of the year. Christmas does not play a major part in this book other than it being a specific time and adding additional stress both at work and at home. What is important here is the relationships of the women, the changes they experience...and of course, the department store. -Anne M