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American predator : the hunt for the most meticulous serial killer of the 21st century  book cover
American predator : the hunt for the most meticulous serial killer of the 21st century  book cover

American predator : the hunt for the most meticulous serial killer of the 21st century


True Crime

Mari's picture

I enjoyed this super fast read about a serial killer most people have never heard of. This true crime narrative has all of the details you want chronologically about how serial killer Israel Keyes got caught and confessed and none of the information you don't want, or at least I don't. This book delves into interrogation tactics from the police and FBI and psychoanalyzes the childhood of a calculated murderer who managed to abscond law enforcement across several states and over a dozen murders in a post 9/11 high security world. -Mari

Decolonize Your Diet book cover
Decolonize Your Diet book cover

Decolonize Your Diet

Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel


Cookbooks

Great Exploration into Indigenous Mexican Cuisine!

Victoria's picture

The author Michael Pollan advises in Food Rules, "Don't eat anything your grandmother wouldn't recognize;" meaning the food industry has radically changed; especially the Western diet. These words rang particularly true when Decolonize Your Diet co-author Luz Calvo was diagnosed with breast cancer (despite being a vegetarian for 15 years.) She began to research and found that immigrant born Latinas had significantly lower rates of breast cancer than US born Latinas; prompting her to revisit the indigenous cuisine of Mexico. What follows in this cookbook are some amazing recipes cooked with high amounts of fiber, fruits, vegetables and revolutionary love. Fans of Sean Sherman and Beth Dooley's The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen and Michael W. Twitty's The Cooking Gene will deeply appreciate this cookbook. Also, try the Caldo De Quinoa; it's a great soup and Winter is Coming! -Victoria

Pachinko book cover
Pachinko book cover

Pachinko

Min Jin Lee

FICTION Lee Min
Fiction, 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"--

Jason's picture

Terrific historical detail, an engaging story, and compelling characters. -Jason

Utopia Avenue book cover
Utopia Avenue book cover

Utopia Avenue

David Mitchell


Fiction, Historical Fiction

Soho, London, 1967. Folk-rock-psychedelic quartet Utopia Avenue is formed. Guitarist Jasper de Zoet, a shy, half-Dutch public-school musical prodigy, was hearing voices long before he dropped acid. Keyboardist Elf Holloway must defy the prejudices of her bank manager father, her housewife mother, and her age to forge her own career. Bassist Dean Moss cannot, will not, spend his life on the factory floor like everyone else in Gravesend. Band manager Levon Frankland--gay, Jewish, and Canadian--is not unduly burdened by conscience. The drummer is a drummer. Over two years and two albums, Utopia Avenue navigates the dark end of the Sixties: its parties, drugs and egos, political change and personal tragedy; and the trials of life as a working band in London, the provinces, European capitals and, finally, the promised land of America. What is art? What is fame? What is music? How can the whole be more than the sum of its parts? Can idealism change the world? How does your youth shape your life? This is the story of Utopia Avenue. Not everyone lives to the end.

Jason's picture

A decent historical fiction novel from one of my favorite writers. Engaging characters with lots of cameos from classic rock heroes, nothing monumental here but solid writing and pretty fun. -Jason

The dragon thief book cover
The dragon thief book cover

The dragon thief

Zetta Elliott

eBOOK
Read Woke, Fantasy, Adventure

Told in two voices, Jax and Kavita, Kavita's brother Vik, and new friend Kenny try to return the baby dragon to the realm of magic before anything else goes wrong.

Casey's picture

I'm currently reading this one aloud at bedtime for the second time! No surprises that the sequel to Dragons in a Bag is just as fun. -Casey

The pull of the stars : a novel book cover
The pull of the stars : a novel book cover

The pull of the stars : a novel

Emma Donoghue

FICTION Donoghue Emma
Historical Fiction

"In an Ireland doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city center, where expectant mothers who have fallen sick are quarantined into a separate ward to keep the plague at bay. Into Julia's regimented world step two outsiders, a woman doctor who is a rumored Rebel, and a teenage girl, Bridie, procured by the nuns from their orphanage as an extra set of hands. At first, this Bridie seems unschooled in life, she makes up a bed with only the rubber mat and savors the weak tea and barely edible porridge from the hospital kitchen. But in the intensity of this ward, over three brutal days, Julia and the women come together in unexpected ways."--Publisher.

Anne M's picture

Emma Donoghue is one of my current favorite writers. Her books always resonate with me and "The Pull of the Stars" is no exception. Set in a maternity ward for expectant mothers with influenza (...in 1918...in Ireland), Donoghue again takes on grim, almost impossible circumstances with characters who try to manage and do their best. Enter Nurse Julia Power. She works long days, does everything in her power to help her patients, and goes home to her brother, who hasn't spoken since returning from the war front. On the eve of her 30th birthday, overworked and lonely Julia meets Bridie, an eager young helper from one of the church orphanages, and Doctor Kathleen Lynn, an Irish rebel doctor with new ideas on how to help women give birth. Over the next three days, Nurse Power has the best days, and worst, of her life. -Anne M

A deadly education : a novel book cover
A deadly education : a novel book cover

A deadly education : a novel

Naomi Novik

SCIENCE FICTION Novik Naomi
Fantasy

"Enter a school of magic unlike any you have ever encountered: There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won't allow its students to leave until they graduate . . . or die. The rules are deceptively simple: Don't walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere. El is uniquely prepared for the school's dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out untold millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students. So El is trying her hardest not to use her power . . . at least not until she has no other option. Meanwhile, her fellow student, the insufferable Orion Lake, is making heroism look like a breeze. He's saved hundreds of lives--including El's - with his flashy combat magic. But in the spring of their junior year, after Orion rescues El for the second time and makes her look like more of an outcast than she already is, she reaches an impulsive conclusion: Orion Lake must die. But El is about to learn some lessons she never could in the classroom: About the school. About Orion Lake. And about who she really is."--Provided by publisher.

Brian's picture

Novik delivers another super satisfying fantasy with her lethal twist on a school for wizards with characters you'll love. It's an interesting commentary on the haves and have nots as well. I can't wait for the sequel! -Brian

Paper crafts for Halloween book cover
Paper crafts for Halloween book cover

Paper crafts for Halloween

Randel McGee

jHOLIDAY 745.5941 McGee
Crafts

"Provides a brief introduction to the history of Halloween, and Halloween-themed paper craft ideas"--Provided by publisher.

Melody's picture

I am loving Halloween decorating and crafts this year! There's nothing like having fall family time--cozied up after sundown, doing some quiet-ish activities, talking about all the fun fall things you can do. It's easy to find kids activities in the ICPL catalog. Just search for "Halloween decorations juvenile literature." Check the Availability box that says "At the library" and place a hold for Lobby Grab & Go! -Melody

The evil dead book cover
The evil dead book cover

The evil dead

DVD MOVIE SF/HORROR Evil
Horror

Teens in a secluded cabin in the woods are terrorized by evil demons from another world.

Jacy's picture

Calling a movie a “classic” in recommendations lists can be overdone, but in this case it really is true. Not only does this movie have two more after it, it’s been remade AND a series exists to continue the story. I put this one, the original movie, on the list but be sure to also check out Evil Dead II, Army of Darkness, Ash vs. Evil Dead (the TV show), and the remake titled Evil Dead (instead of *The* Evil Dead like the original). -Jacy

The city baker's guide to country living book cover
The city baker's guide to country living book cover

The city baker's guide to country living

Louise Miller

FICTION Miller Louise
Fiction, Romance

When Olivia Rawlings—pastry chef extraordinaire for an exclusive Boston dinner club—sets not just her flambéed dessert but the entire building alight, she escapes to the most comforting place she can think of—the idyllic town of Guthrie, Vermont, home of Bag Balm, the country's longest-running contra dance, and her best friend Hannah. But the getaway turns into something more lasting when Margaret Hurley, the cantankerous, sweater-set-wearing owner of the Sugar Maple Inn, offers Livvy a job. Broke and knowing that her days at the club are numbered, Livvy accepts. Livvy moves with her larger-than-life, uberenthusiastic dog, Salty, into a sugarhouse on the inn's property and begins creating her mouthwatering desserts for the residents of Guthrie. She soon uncovers the real reason she has been hired—to help Margaret reclaim the inn's blue ribbon status at the annual county fair apple pie contest. With the joys of a fragrant kitchen, the sound of banjos and fiddles being tuned in a barn, and the crisp scent of the orchard just outside the front door, Livvy soon finds herself immersed in small town life. And when she meets Martin McCracken, the Guthrie native who has returned from Seattle to tend his ailing father, Livvy comes to understand that she may not be as alone in this world as she once thought. But then another new arrival takes the community by surprise, and Livvy must decide whether to do what she does best and flee—or stay and finally discover what it means to belong. Olivia Rawlings may finally find out that the life you want may not be the one you expected—it could be even better. From the Hardcover edition.

Melody's picture

Added by Melody

King and the dragonflies book cover
King and the dragonflies book cover

King and the dragonflies

Kacen Callender

jFICTION Callende Kacen
Read Woke, Kids, LGBTQ+

"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"--

Becky's picture

An important middle-grade read about a ten-year-old boy working through the grief he feels after his brother’s death and the questions he has surrounding his sexuality. It’s a beautifully written book about coping, identity, friendships, and safety. -Becky

Practical magic book cover
Practical magic book cover

Practical magic

DVD MOVIE SF/HORROR Practical
Horror, Romance, Fantasy

The wry, comic romantic tale follows the Owens sisters as they struggle to use their hereditary gift for practical magic to overcome the obstacles in discovering true love.

Jacy's picture

This witchy classic used to scare me as a child, but overall it isn’t too terrifying. I do get a chill whenever I hear the lyrics “You are always on my mind…” -Jacy

Like the moon loves the sky book cover
Like the moon loves the sky book cover

Like the moon loves the sky

Hena Khan

jE Khan
Read Woke, Diverse Characters, Picture Books

Illustrations and prose inspired by the Quran celebrate a mother's love and hopes for her child.

Casey's picture

This incredible picture book was inspired by the Quran, and celebrates the love between mothers and daughters. -Casey

A closed and common orbit book cover
A closed and common orbit book cover

A closed and common orbit

Becky Chambers

SCIENCE FICTION Chambers Becky
Science Fiction

Lovelace was once merely a ship’s artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in a new body, following a total system shut-down and reboot, she has no memory of what came before. As Lovelace learns to negotiate the universe and discover who she is, she makes friends with Pepper, an excitable engineer, who’s determined to help her learn and grow. Together, Pepper and Lovey will discover that no matter how vast space is, two people can fill it together.

Brian's picture

I said I'd post more books from series, and I'm sticking to it! The second book in the Wayfarers series follows two minor characters from The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. None of the POV characters from the first book even make an appearance, which was a surprise to me. I still really enjoyed it, though, and recommend it to all Sci-fi readers. Did I put off reading the end for a couple days because I knew it would make me cry? Yes. Yes, I did. -Brian

Melmoth : a novel book cover
Melmoth : a novel book cover

Melmoth : a novel

Sarah Perry

FICTION Perry Sarah
Suspense, Thriller, Horror

"It has been years since Helen Franklin left England. In Prague, working as a translator, she has found a home of sorts--or, at least, refuge. That changes when her friend Karel discovers a mysterious letter in the library, a strange confession and a curious warning that speaks of Melmoth the Witness, a dark legend found in obscure fairy tales and antique village lore. As such superstition has it, Melmoth travels through the ages, dooming those she persuades to join her to a damnation of timeless, itinerant solitude. To Helen it all seems the stuff of unenlightened fantasy. But, unaware, as she wanders the cobblestone streets Helen is being watched. And then Karel disappears. . ."--

Anne M's picture

Helen Franklin, a British translator living in Prague is told the legend of Melmoth, a lonely, dark figure that wanders the earth, witnessing our crimes and our sins, a personification of our guilt. The story shakes Franklin and she becomes desperate to know more. As she reads through a professor's research on people who believed they saw Melmoth, the collected knowledge takes its toll and she beings to feel she is being followed. Is it Melmoth? This is a fantastic book. It is truly frightening. It is also rich in narrative and description. I craved the cafes, the music hall, and the food on the pages. I loved the nod to 19th century Gothic novelists. Perry is a talented writer. -Anne M

Beach read book cover
Beach read book cover

Beach read

Emily Henry

FICTION Henry Emily
Romance, Humor

"A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters. Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast. They're polar opposites. In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they're living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer's block. Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She'll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he'll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. But as the summer stretches on, January discovers a gaping plot hole in the story she's been telling herself about her own life, and begins to wonder what other things she might have gotten wrong, including her ideas about the man next door."--Provided by publisher.

Mari's picture

I rarely read romance books, but unabashedly love a good rom com movie. This book was light and fun to read, and the romantic connection between the protagonists, a romance author who's life is falling apart and an emotionally wounded dark lit writer felt real and complex. -Mari

The body : a guide for occupants book cover
The body : a guide for occupants book cover

The body : a guide for occupants

Bill Bryson

612 /Bryson
Science, Health

"Bill Bryson, bestselling author of A Short History of Nearly Everything, takes us on a head-to-toe tour of the marvel that is the human body. As compulsively readable as it is comprehensive, this is Bryson at his very best, a must-read owner's manual for everybody. Bill Bryson once again proves himself to be an incomparable companion as he guides us through the human body--how it functions, its remarkable ability to heal itself, and (unfortunately) the ways it can fail. Full of extraordinary facts (your body made a million red blood cells since you started reading this) and irresistible Bryson-esque anecdotes, The Body will lead you to a deeper understanding of the miracle that is life in general and you in particular. As Bill Bryson writes, "We pass our existence within this wobble of flesh and yet take it almost entirely for granted." The Body will cure that indifference with generous doses of wondrous, compulsively readable facts and information"--

Mari's picture

Maybe my favorite read of the summer! A comprehensive, head to toe guide through the body filled with fascinating science, anecdotes and reflections on our health. It felt like a whirlwind Anatomy and Physiology course, and in time where the world is examining our immune response to a virus, it was oddly compelling and made me reexamine my own health choices. -Mari

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek book cover
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek book cover

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Annie Dillard

508.755 /Dillard
Nature

A collection of essays on the natural world during a year spent in the Blue Ridge Mountains reflects the author's interactions with her wilderness surroundings.

Mari's picture

This book has been on my to-read list for a long time. Dillard's essays on her observations of the natural world in the Blue Ridge mountains are so beautiful and almost otherworldly. There was way too much information about plants and creatures to possibly retain it all but I enjoyed every page. -Mari

Rebecca book cover
Rebecca book cover

Rebecca

Daphne Du Maurier

FICTION DuMaurier, Daphne
Classics, Suspense

A young girl becomes the second Mrs. Max de Winter, only to find that she is not the mistress of Manderley. Instead the house and its occupants are dominated by the memory of Rebecca, her predecessor.

Mari's picture

I saw that this book was getting adapted for the screen via Netflix and felt regret that I hadn't read it. Luckily it was available on Libby and I was done with it roughly 24 hours later. What a read! So much mystery and shroud with a couple good twists and wonderful descriptions. It's hard to believe this was written almost a century ago, it feels ahead of its time and contends with all of the suspense books written more recently. I am a firm believer in reading the book first and this was a great read, and while I am excited to watch it on screen, I doubt it will live up to it's expectations of the book. -Mari

The end of October book cover
The end of October book cover

The end of October

Lawrence Wright

FICTION Wright Lawrence
Fiction

"At an internment camp in Indonesia, within one week, forty-seven people are pronounced dead with acute hemorrhagic fever. When the microbiologist and epidemiologist Henry Parsons travels there on behalf of the World Health Organization to investigate, what he finds will soon have staggering repercussions across the globe: an infected man is on his way to join the millions of worshippers in the annual Hajj to Mecca. Now, Henry joins forces with a Saudi doctor and prince in an attempt to quarantine the entire host of pilgrims in the holy city. Matilda Nachinsky, deputy director of U. S. Homeland Security, scrambles to mount a response to what may be an act of biowarfare already-fraying global relations begin to snap, one by one, in the face of a pandemic. Henry's wife Jill and their children face diminishing odds of survival in Atlanta and the disease slashes across the United States, dismantling institutions - scientific, religious, governmental - and decimating the population."--Provided by publisher.

Mari's picture

It might seem strange to read a book about a pandemic during a pandemic, but I found it oddly comforting to read about a virus even worse than the one we are currently facing. I think during a different time, this work of fiction would feel more similar to science fiction, but so many parallels and realities rang true in this book that it was almost disturbing, but also there were moments that made you appreciate the majority of history in which we lived without a devastating virus. From my earlier reading this summer of Bill Bryson's The Body, it is only by luck that we went a whole century without such a sweeping viral illness as the Spanish Flu, not the proper precautions. I really enjoyed this action packed and at times--devastating read. -Mari

Calypso book cover
Calypso book cover

Calypso

David Sedaris

817.54 /Sedaris
Memoir

Personal essays share the author's adventures after buying a vacation house on the Carolina coast and his reflections on middle age and mortality.

Mari's picture

I have never been disappointed reading a collection of David Sedaris' essays, and this book was no exception. I laughed out loud, felt like crying and once again feel like David Sedaris is one of the most relatable writers ever. -Mari

White fragility : why it's so hard for White people to talk about racism book cover
White fragility : why it's so hard for White people to talk about racism book cover

White fragility : why it's so hard for White people to talk about racism

Robin J. DiAngelo

305.8 /DiAngelo
Nonfiction

In this groundbreaking and timely book, antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility. Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo explores how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively. --

Mari's picture

Every white person needs to read this book. It feels like the most helpful diversity training you will ever experience, and while sometimes the truth hurts, the sooner white people realize we live in a indoctrinated racist society and take steps to reverse it, the better. I love the directness of this book. It's very no nonsense--whether you like it or not, we exist in a racist society. Here's why and what you can do about it. It's very important and I strongly believe it's what everyone needs to get on board with understanding in order to move forward. -Mari

The Sun Down Motel book cover
The Sun Down Motel book cover

The Sun Down Motel

Simone St. James

FICTION St. James, Simone
Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

"The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls. Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn't right at the Sun Down, and before long she's determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden there. Upstate NY, 2017. Carly Kirk has always been fascinated by her aunt Viv who disappeared from the Sun Down before Carly was born. Using a small inheritance from when her mom dies, Carly leaves college to go to Fell to figure out what happened to her aunt thirty-five years ago. Soon, Carly is mirroring her aunt's life, working as the night clerk at the motel, which hasn't changed since 1982. The guest book is still handwritten, the rooms still have actual keys, and a haunting presence still lingers. Carly discovers that Viv had been trying to unravel mysteries of her own--including a possible serial killer working in Fell. If Carly can find the answers Viv was searching for, she might be able to solve the mystery that has haunted her family for years"--

Mari's picture

I'll admit I placed this book on hold without reading the description solely because I was intrigued by the cover. It ended up being a little different than what I expected, which I think was probably a little like the movie Bad Times at the El Royale, but while it did leave some to be desired in the category of character development, it was an intriguing story with ghosts, detective work, and female empowerment. -Mari

Echo Mountain book cover
Echo Mountain book cover

Echo Mountain

Lauren Wolk

jFICTION Wolk Lauren
Kids, Nature, Historical Fiction

When twelve-year-old Ellie and her family lose livelihood and move to a mountain cabin in 1934, she quickly learns to be an outdoors woman and, when needed, a healer.

Mari's picture

I loved this story, and it provides some pretty incredible perspective for kids in the modern age. Financially affected by the Great Depression, a family has no choice but to live off the land on a mountain. Ellie learns about her gift to heal when tragedy leaves her father gravely ill. Ellie uses the survivalist skills he taught her along with her own intuition to save her family and foster a community on the mountain. -Mari

Long bright river book cover
Long bright river book cover

Long bright river

Liz Moore

FICTION Moore Liz
Suspense, Mystery

"A suspense novel that also looks at the anatomy of a Philadelphia family rocked by the opioid crisis and the relationship between two sisters--one, suffering from addiction, who has suddenly gone missing amid a series of mysterious murders; the other a police officer who patrols the neighborhood from which she disappeared: a story about the formidable ties between place, family, and fate" --

Mari's picture

A sad, but compelling read that highlights the intricacies of addiction, family and abuse of power within the criminal justice system. -Mari

The whisper man book cover
The whisper man book cover

The whisper man

Alex North

FICTION North Alex
Thriller, Suspense, Horror

"After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank. But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed "The Whisper Man," for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night. Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter's crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man. And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window." --Amazon.com.

Mari's picture

This book was very riveting and frankly creepy. After losing his wife, Tom and his young son move into an old house in a town that was plagued by a serial killer decades ago. Real life monsters feel supernatural in this scary thriller! -Mari

Rodham : a novel book cover
Rodham : a novel book cover

Rodham : a novel

Curtis Sittenfeld

FICTION Sittenfeld, Curtis
Fiction

"In 1971, Hillary Rodham is a young woman full of promise. Life magazine covered her Wellesley commencement speech, she's attending Yale Law School, and she's on the forefront of student activism and the women's rights movement. Then she meets a fellow law student named Bill Clinton. A charismatic Southerner, Bill is already laying the groundwork for his political career. In each other, Hillary and Bill find a profound intellectual, emotional, and physical connection that neither has previously experienced. In the real world, Hillary followed Bill back to Arkansas, and he proposed several times. Although she turned him down more than once, she eventually accepted and became Hillary Clinton. But in Curtis Sittenfeld's powerfully imagined tour de force of fiction, Hillary follows a different path. Listening to her doubts about the prospective marriage, she endures a devastating break-up and leaves Arkansas. Over the next four decades, she blazes her own trail--one that unfolds in public as well as in private, that crosses paths again (and again) with Bill Clinton, that raises questions about the trade-offs all of us must make to build a life. Brilliantly weaving actual historical events into a riveting fictional tale, Sittenfeld delivers an uncannily astute story for our times. In exploring the loneliness, moral ambivalence, and iron determination that characterize the quest for political power, as well as both the exhilaration and painful compromises demanded of female ambition in a world still mostly run by men, Rodham is a singular and unforgettable novel."--

Mari's picture

I love Curtis Sittenfield, and this type of book is what she does best. This follows Hilary Rodham Clinton in an alternative history where she chooses a different path. This story takes us through her lifetime with an ending we don't know yet, and I couldn't put it down! -Mari

Once upon a river : a novel book cover
Once upon a river : a novel book cover

Once upon a river : a novel

Diane Setterfield

FICTION Setterfi Diane
Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction

On a dark midwinter's night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, a wounded stranger carries in the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later the girl stirs, and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Magic? As the days pass the child remains mute and unable to answer questions. Three families are keen to claim her: the wealthy mother of a kidnapped daughter missing for two years; a farming family sure it is their son's secret daughter; a parson's housekeeper, reminded of her younger sister. Each family has secrets, must be revealed before the girl's identity can be known. -- adapted from jacket

Mari's picture

A character-driven, magical realism story about a town trying to discover the truth after a seemingly dead young girl comes back to life hours after arriving at an ancient inn on the Thames. Beautifully written and full of mystery and folklore. -Mari

How to be an Antiracist book cover
How to be an Antiracist book cover

How to be an Antiracist

Ibram X. Kendi

305.8 /Kendi
Nonfiction

""The only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it -- and then dismantle it." Ibram X. Kendi's concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America -- but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. In this book, Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science, bringing it all together with an engaging personal narrative of his own awakening to antiracism. How to Be an Antiracist is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society." --

Mari's picture

A must-read for everyone who want to learn how to be antiracist in a country that is definitely not post-racial. Kendi recounts the history of racism in the United States, and identifies both the individual responsibility and systemic responsibility for racist ideals in society. -Mari

The wives book cover
The wives book cover

The wives

Tarryn Fisher

FICTION Fisher Tarryn
Suspense

"She's never met the other wives. None of them know each other, and because of this unconventional arrangement, she can see her husband only one day a week. But she loves him so much she doesn't care. Or at least that's what she told herself. But one day, while she's doing laundry, she finds a scrap of paper in his pocket, an appointment reminder for a woman named Hannah, and she knows it's another of the wives. She thought she was fine with her arrangement, but she can't help herself--she tracks her down, and, under false pretense, she strikes up a friendship. Hannah has no idea who she is. Then, Hannah starts showing up to her coffee dates with telltale bruises, and she realized she's being abused by her husband. Who, of course, is also her husband. But she's never known him to be violent, ever. Who exactly is her husband, and how far would she go to find the truth? Would she risk her own life? And who is his mysterious third wife?" -- Provided by publisher.

Mari's picture

In read this book in one day! I was intrigued by the set up, a woman in a polygamist marriage. But it becomes clear right away that it's not what it seems, and it kept me enthralled until the end. This reads very similar to a B.A. Paris novel for those who are fans. -Mari

Pretty things : a novel book cover
Pretty things : a novel book cover

Pretty things : a novel

Janelle Brown

FICTION Brown Janelle
Suspense

"Nina once bought into the idea that her fancy liberal arts degree would lead to a fulfilling career. When that dream crashed, she turned to stealing from rich kids in L.A. alongside her wily Irish boyfriend, Lachlan. Nina learned from the best: Her mother was the original con artist, hustling to give her daughter a decent childhood despite their wayward life. But when her mom gets sick, Nina puts everything on the line to help her, even if it means running her most audacious, dangerous scam yet. Vanessa is a privileged young heiress who wanted to make her mark in the world. Instead she becomes an Instagram influencer - traveling the globe, receiving free clothes and products, and posing for pictures in exotic locales. But behind the covetable façade is a life marked by tragedy. After a broken engagement, Vanessa retreats to her family's sprawling mountain estate, Stonehaven: A mansion of dark secrets not just from Vanessa's past, but from that of a lost and troubled girl named Nina. Nina, Vanessa, and Lachlan's paths collide here, on the cold shores of Lake Tahoe, where their intertwined lives give way to a winter of aspiration and desire, duplicity and revenge."--Provided by publisher.

Mari's picture

I read this while I was a suspense binge and it was enjoyable but felt a little drawn out. You see the whole story from two perspectives, a grifter and an heiress, two women dealing with fear and emotional trauma. The main gist is that the grifter plans to play on the heiress' emotional baggage to pull off the biggest scam of her career, all for the sake of paying for her mother's experimental cancer treatment. But the twists keep on coming and you feel pretty torn on who to sympathize with in the end. -Mari

The Vanishing Half book cover
The Vanishing Half book cover

The Vanishing Half

Brit Bennett

FICTION Bennett Brit
Historical Fiction, Diverse Characters

"The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect? Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins. As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise"--

Mari's picture

My favorite fiction read of the summer. I read Nella Larsen's Passing in college, and it illuminated my white privilege in a historical context that I have never forgotten. This intriguing story follows a set of twin girls who were raised in a light-skinned black community, who ran away as teenagers to forge their own way in the world. One twin returns with a dark black child and the other is never heard from again, and it is revealed that she is passing, hiding her family history for the remainder of her life. By the next generation, the cousins paths are so very different, but by a twist of fate their paths cross and the mystery comes out. Such a great read that will stay in my mind for a long time. -Mari

Hidden Valley Road : inside the mind of an American family book cover
Hidden Valley Road : inside the mind of an American family book cover

Hidden Valley Road : inside the mind of an American family

Robert Kolker

616.890092 /Kolker
Health, Biographies

"Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don's work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those years, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins--aspiration, hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony--and they worked hard to play their parts. But behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after the other, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family? What took place inside the house on Hidden Valley Road was so extraordinary that the Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institutes of Mental Health. Their story offers a shadow history of the science of schizophrenia, from the era of institutionalization, lobotomy, and the schizophrenogenic mother, to the search for genetic markers for the disease, always amidst profound disagreements about the nature of the illness itself. And unbeknownst to the Galvins, samples of their DNA informed decades of genetic research that continues today, offering paths to treatment, prediction, and even eradication of the disease for future generations. With clarity and compassion, bestselling and award-winning author Robert Kolker uncovers one family's unforgettable legacy of suffering, love and hope"--

Mari's picture

I read this author's other book, Lost Girls, a A literary account of the lives and presumed serial killings of five Craigslist prostitutes. I was impressed by his level of detail, and this story follows suit. A fascinating dive into the genetics and behavioral proclivities of sufferers of schizophrenia, as well as a detailed history and exploration of the diagnosis and treatment of this disease. Fascinatingly enough, six of the ten boys in one large family, the Galvins, one after the other, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. This story is tragic and heartbreaking but provides some clarity into one of the most misunderstood diseases in existence. -Mari

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

Sy Montgomery

590 /Montgomery
Animals

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.

Mari's picture

I am constantly on the lookout for survivalist stories and books about the natural world, and this one showed up on my search on Libby. This is a quick read that I thoroughly enjoyed about one woman's deep connection to animals, with an essay love letter for each one that has profoundly affected her in her lifetime. I would have loved for it to be longer! -Mari

The devil all the time book cover
The devil all the time book cover

The devil all the time

Donald Ray Pollock

FICTION Pollock, Donald Ray
Fiction, Historical Fiction

Mari's picture

This is another book I was sparked to read because I saw that it was a movie on Netflix. I watched about half an hour of the show, decided that I really liked it, and decided to stop watching and read the book first. I am so glad I did. The book was fantastic, disturbing and completely engrossing. Several characters' narratives make up this dark tale of the powers and dangers of religious devoutness, all leading up to the narrative of Arvin, an orphaned boy in rural Ohio that learns that has to battle with redemption. The book was much better than the movie, but I recommend both! -Mari

White Fragility  book cover
White Fragility  book cover

White Fragility


Nonfiction, Black Lives Matter

Mari's picture

Every white person needs to read this book. It feels like the most helpful diversity training you will ever experience, and while sometimes the truth hurts, the sooner white people realize we live in a indoctrinated racist society and take steps to reverse it, the better. I love the directness of this book. It's very no nonsense--whether you like it or not, we exist in a racist society. Here's why and what you can do about it. It's very important and I strongly believe it's what everyone needs to get on board with understanding in order to move forward. -Mari

Me & Patsy, kickin' up dust : my friendship with Patsy Cline book cover
Me & Patsy, kickin' up dust : my friendship with Patsy Cline book cover

Me & Patsy, kickin' up dust : my friendship with Patsy Cline

Loretta Lynn

781.642092 /Lynn
Biographies, Music

"Me & Patsy Kickin' Up Dust shares the 'important and inspiring' (Miranda Lambert) never-before-told complete story of the remarkable relationship between country music icons Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn. Loretta Lynn and the late Patsy Cline are legends--country icons and sisters of the heart. For the first time ever Loretta tells their story: a celebration of their music and their relationship up until Patsy's tragic and untimely death. Full of laughter and tears, this eye-opening, heartwarming memoir paints a picture of two stubborn, spirited country gals who'd be damned if they'd let men or convention tell them how to be. Set in the heady streets of the 1960s South, this nostalgia ride shows how Nashville blossomed into the city of music it is today. Tender and fierce, Me & Patsy Kickin' Up Dust is an up-close-and-personal portrait of a friendship that defined a generation and changed country music indelibly--and a meditation on love, loss and legacy"--Amazon.com.

Mari's picture

As a fan of Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, and both the movies made about these women's lives, I was thrilled to finally get the full story of the friendship between these two incredible women. This book does not disappoint! I was enthralled with Loretta's honesty through her storytelling. and I could completely visualize their powerful friendship. A quick read that I completely enjoyed. -Mari

The night tiger book cover
The night tiger book cover

The night tiger

Yangsze Choo

FICTION Choo Yangsze
Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction

A vivacious dance-hall girl in 1930s colonial Malaysia is drawn into unexpected danger by the discovery of a severed finger that is being sought by a young houseboy in order to protect his late master's soul.

Mari's picture

A strange story set in the 1930's that weaves in mythology and folklore of Malaysia and brings in to the question the existence of weretigers. -Mari

Circe : a novel book cover
Circe : a novel book cover

Circe : a novel

Madeline Miller

FICTION Miller Madeline
Literary Fiction

Follows Circe, the banished witch daughter of Helios, as she hones her powers and interacts with famous mythological beings before a conflict with one of the most vengeful Olympians forces her to choose between the worlds of the gods and mortals.

Mari's picture

For lovers of mythology, this is the story of Circe, the banished witch daughter of Helios. -Mari

The silence of the girls : a novel book cover
The silence of the girls : a novel book cover

The silence of the girls : a novel

Pat Barker

FICTION Barker Pat
Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction

"The Iliad, as experienced by the captured women living in the Greek camp in the final weeks of the Trojan War"--

Anne M's picture

If you love Madeline Miller's "Circe" or "The Song of Achilles," you should check out Pat Barker's "The Silence of the Girls." Like Miller, Pat Barker takes on the epics of Homer, re-imagining the story of "The Iliad" through the eyes of Briseis, Achilles' captured "war bride" at the heart of the spat between Achilles and Agamemnon. Barker's writing is effective. It is beautiful, yet distressing. I found myself having to shut the book, sit still for a few moments, and breathe. As you witness Briseis loose all sense of self as she lives with Achilles in the war camp, as she numbs herself to fear and anger, while everything she knows disappears in a moment, you begin to question what was actually heroic to the story we know. -Anne M

The truants book cover
The truants book cover

The truants

Kate Weinberg

FICTION Weinberg Kate
Suspense, Mystery

People disappear when they most want to be seen. Jess Walker has come to a concrete campus under the flat grey skies of East Anglia for one reason: To be taught by the mesmerizing and rebellious Dr Lorna Clay, whose seminars soon transform Jess's thinking on life, love, and Agatha Christie. Swept up in Lorna's thrall, Jess falls in with a tightly-knit group of rule-breakers--Alec, a courageous South African journalist with a nihilistic streak; Georgie, a seductive, pill-popping aristocrat; and Nick, a handsome geologist with layers of his own. But when tragedy strikes the group, Jess turns to Lorna. Together, the two seek refuge on a remote Italian island, where Jess tastes the life she's long dreamed of--and uncovers a shocking secret that will challenge everything she's learned.

Anne M's picture

Looking for a back to school college mystery? How about a modern mystery inspired by Agatha Christie? "The Truants" would fit the bill! Jess chose her college to study under Dr. Lorna Clay and is amazed and honored that the professor takes a shine to her. She also feels like she has found a place at school with a new group of friends. But of course, there are secrets. And things get complicated. And then someone goes missing...Great read for a fall night. -Anne M

Lift book cover
Lift book cover

Lift

Minh Lê

jE Le
Read Woke, Diverse Characters, Picture Books, Graphic Novels

From the award-winning and bestselling creators of Drawn Together comes the fantastic tale of a magical elevator that will lift your spirits--and press all the right buttons! Iris loves to push the elevator buttons in her apartment building, but when it's time to share the fun with a new member of the family, she's pretty put out. That is, until the sudden appearance of a mysterious new button opens up entire realms of possibility, places where she can escape and explore on her own. But when she's forced to choose between going at it alone or letting her little brother tag along, Iris finds that sharing a discovery with the people you love can be the most wonderful experience of all. Using their dynamic comics-inspired storytelling, acclaimed author Minh Lê and Caldecott Medal-winning artist Dan Santat carry readers on a journey of ups, downs, and twists and turns that will send hearts--and imaginations--soaring.

Casey's picture

DING! ---Looking for a lift?--- -Casey

Drawing the vote : an illustrated guide to voting in America book cover
Drawing the vote : an illustrated guide to voting in America book cover

Drawing the vote : an illustrated guide to voting in America

Tommy Jenkins

324.62 /Jenkins
Graphic Novels, Political, History

"Coinciding with the 2020 US presidential election, Drawing the Vote, an original graphic novel, looks at the history of voting rights in the United States, and how it has affected the way we vote today. Author Tommy Jenkins traces this history from the earliest steps toward democracy during the American Revolution, to the upheaval caused by the Civil War, the fight for women's suffrage, the Civil Rights movement, the election of an African American president, and the control by a Republican majority. Along the way, Jenkins identifies events and trends that led to the unprecedented results of the 2016 presidential election that left Americans wondering, "how did this happen?" To balance these complex ideas and statistics, Kati Lacker's clean artistic style makes the book both beautiful and accessible. At a time when many citizens are experiencing apathy about voting and skepticism concerning our bitterly divided political parties, Drawing the Vote seeks to offer some explanation for how we got here and how every American can take action to make their vote count"--

Anne M's picture

After seeing the students in his college classes become cynical about voting, Tommy Jenkins wanted to show the hard fight in expanding voting rights in our country. This fun, accessible history comic is the result. But the fight isn't over. Jenkins explains new methods, as well as the tried-and-true restrictions, cropping up to limit who can vote and when. -Anne M

A burning book cover
A burning book cover

A burning

Megha Majumdar

FICTION Majumdar Megha
Literary Fiction, Fiction, Suspense

"After a fiery attack on a train leaves 104 people dead, the fates of three people become inextricably entangled. Jivan, a bright, striving woman from the slums looking for a way out of poverty, is wrongly accused of planning the attack because of a careless comment on Facebook. PT Sir, a slippery gym teacher from Jivan's former high school, has hitched his aspirations to a rising right wing party, and his own ascent becomes increasingly linked to Jivan's fall. Lovely, a spirited, impoverished, relentlessly optimistic hjira, who harbors dreams of becoming a Bollywood star, can provide the alibi that would set Jivan free--but her appearance in court will have unexpected consequences that will change the course of all of their lives. A novel about fate, power, opportunity, and class; about innocence and guilt, betrayal and love, and the corrosive media cycle that manufactures falsehoods masquerading as truths--A Burning is a debut novel of exceptional power and urgency, haunting and beautiful, brutal, vibrant, impossible to forget"--

Anne M's picture

Megha Majumdar's terrifying novel shows us that those we know don't always come through when we need them, especially if there is something to gain if they throw us over. This book serves as an allegory about society without sacrificing well-developed, carefully crafted, individual characters. -Anne M

Exit strategy book cover
Exit strategy book cover

Exit strategy

Martha Wells

SCIENCE FICTION Wells Martha
Science Fiction

"Martha Wells's Hugo, Nebula, Alex, and Locus Award-winning, New York Times and USA Today bestselling series, The Murderbot Diaries, comes to a thrilling conclusion in Exit Strategy. Murderbot wasn't programmed to care. So, its decision to help the only human who ever showed it respect must be a system glitch, right? Having traveled the width of the galaxy to unearth details of its own murderous transgressions, as well as those of the GrayCris Corporation, Murderbot is heading home to help Dr. Mensah--its former owner (protector? friend?)--submit evidence that could prevent GrayCris from destroying more colonists in its never-ending quest for profit. But who's going to believe a SecUnit gone rogue? And what will become of it when it's caught?"--Provided by publisher.

Brian's picture

Sometimes when I'm reading a series, I wonder if I need to share the later titles. There are series that drop off in quality or that you lose interest in. That is not the case with Martha Well's Murderbot Diaries. If anything, these books are getting better. So, if you haven't started "All Systems Red," I highly encourage you to give it a try. This is fun, Sci-Fi adventure with a cranky, but loveable, cyborg that I can't recommend enough. -Brian

Mexican Gothic book cover
Mexican Gothic book cover

Mexican Gothic

Silvia Moreno-Garcia

eAUDIO
Read Woke, Historical Fiction, Horror, Suspense

"The acclaimed author of Gods of Jade and Shadow returns with a darkly enchanting reimagining of Gothic fantasy, in which a spirited young woman discovers the haunting secrets of a beautiful old mansion in 1950s Mexico"--

Casey's picture

Lovecraft, Machado, Hitchcock, Burroughs, Shelley, and Poe fans will delight in this slow-burn horror. Leave the lights on afterward, they may help with the lingering ghosts. -Casey

Boy, snow, bird book cover
Boy, snow, bird book cover

Boy, snow, bird

Helen Oyeyemi

FICTION Oyeyemi Helen
Fiction, Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction

"A reimagining of the Snow White story set in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s"--

Anne M's picture

Set in the 1950's, Boy flees her abusive home in New York City to a bucolic town in Massachusetts, settles in, and eventually marries into a well-established, respected family. The birth of Boy's daughter threatens this stability. Her husband's family was "passing" as white since they moved to the town from the South. Oyeyemi skillfully shows the surrealism of a society that determines who you are by what you look like. -Anne M

The mercies : a novel book cover
The mercies : a novel book cover

The mercies : a novel

Kiran Millwood Hargrave

FICTION Hargrave Kiran
Historical Fiction, LGBTQ+

Finnmark, Norway, 1617. Forty fishermen, including Maren Magnusdatter's brother and father, are drowned and left broken on the rocks below. The women of the tiny Arctic town of Vardø must fend for themselves. Three years later Absalom Cornet comes from Scotland, where he burned witches in the northern isles. His young Norwegian wife, Ursa, sees something she has never seen before: independent women. But Absalom sees only a place untouched by God, and flooded with a mighty evil. Maren and Ursa are drawn to one another in ways that surprise them both, but Absalom's iron rule threatening Vardø's very existence. -- adapted from jacket

Becky's picture

“The Mercies” is a stimulating account of life in a small Norwegian fishing village in the early 1600's. Kiran Hargrave cleverly weaves together historical elements of gender roles, religion, and witchcraft with a narrative strongly rooted in its setting and characters. -Becky

Recipe for persuasion : A Novel book cover
Recipe for persuasion : A Novel book cover

Recipe for persuasion : A Novel

Sonali Dev

eBOOK
Fiction, Romance

Chef Ashna Raje desperately needs a new strategy. How else can she save her beloved restaurant and prove to her estranged, overachieving mother that she isn’t a complete screw up? When she’s asked to join the cast of Cooking with the Stars, the latest hit reality show teaming chefs with celebrities, it seems like just the leap of faith she needs to put her restaurant back on the map. She’s a chef, what’s the worst that could happen? Rico Silva, that’s what. Being paired with a celebrity who was her first love, the man who ghosted her at the worst possible time in her life, only proves what Ashna has always believed: leaps of faith are a recipe for disaster.

Melody's picture

Sonali Dev is one of my new favorite authors! Loving both this book and her previous book in this series, Pride, Prejudice, and other flavors. Will definitely be looking for her other books soon. -Melody

Dirt : adventures in Lyon as a chef in training, father, and sleuth looking for the secret of French cooking book cover
Dirt : adventures in Lyon as a chef in training, father, and sleuth looking for the secret of French cooking book cover

Dirt : adventures in Lyon as a chef in training, father, and sleuth looking for the secret of French cooking

Bill Buford

641.5092 /Buford
Nonfiction, Memoir

"Bill Buford turns his inimitable attention from Italian cuisine to the food of France. Baffled by the language, but convinced that he can master the art of French cooking - or at least get to the bottom of why it is so revered - he begins what becomes a five-year odyssey by shadowing the esteemed French chef, Michel Richard, in Washington, D.C. But when Buford (quickly) realizes that a stage in France is necessary, he goes--this time with his wife and three-year-old twin sons in tow--to Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France. Studying at Institut Bocuse, cooking at the storied, Michelin-starred Mère Brazier, enduring the endless hours and exacting "rigeur" of the kitchen, Buford becomes a man obsessed with proving himself on the line, proving that he is worthy of the gastronomic secrets he's learning, proving that French cooking actually derives from (mon dieu!) the Italian. With his signature humor, sense of adventure, and masterful ability to immerse himself, and us, in his surroundings, Bill Buford has written what is sure to be the food-lover's book of the year"--

Anne M's picture

Buford takes on French cooking in this follow up to Heat. It is funny and a celebration of cooking. A small way to travel to the restaurants of Lyon and the villages in the Alps just by turning the pages. -Anne M

Fry bread : A Native American Family Story book cover
Fry bread : A Native American Family Story book cover

Fry bread : A Native American Family Story

Kevin Noble Maillard

eBOOK
Read Woke, Picture Books

Casey's picture

This one has it all! Fabulous rhyming text, wonderful illustrations, and a wealth of backmatter make this a perfect book for sharing in groups or one on one. -Casey

The book of eels : our enduring fascination with the most mysterious creature in the natural world book cover
The book of eels : our enduring fascination with the most mysterious creature in the natural world book cover

The book of eels : our enduring fascination with the most mysterious creature in the natural world

Patrik Svensson

597.43 /Svensson
Nature, Nonfiction

"Part H Is for Hawk, part The Soul of an Octopus, The Book of Eels is both a meditation on the world's most elusive fish-the eel-and a reflection on the human condition. Remarkably little is known about the European eel, Anguilla anguilla. So little, in fact, that scientists and philosophers have, for centuries, been obsessed with what has become known as the "eel question": Where do eels come from? What are they? Are they fish or some other kind of creature altogether? Even today, in an age of advanced science, no one has ever seen eels mating or giving birth, and we still don't understand what drives them, after living for decades in freshwater, to swim great distances back to the ocean at the end of their lives. They remain a mystery. Drawing on a breadth of research about eels in literature, history, and modern marine biology, as well as his own experience fishing for eels with his father, Patrik Svensson crafts a mesmerizing portrait of an unusual, utterly misunderstood, and completely captivating animal. In The Book of Eels, we meet renowned historical thinkers, from Aristotle to Sigmund Freud to Rachel Carson, for whom the eel was a singular obsession. And we meet the scientists who spearheaded the search for the eel's point of origin, including Danish marine biologist Johannes Schmidt, who led research efforts in the early twentieth century, catching thousands upon thousands of eels, in the hopes of proving their birthing grounds in the Sargasso Sea. Blending memoir and nature writing at its best, Svensson's journey to understand the eel becomes an exploration of the human condition that delves into overarching issues about our roots and destiny, both as humans and as animals, and, ultimately, how to handle the biggest question of all: death. The result is a gripping and slippery narrative that will surprise and enchant."--

Anne M's picture

Part natural history, part philosophy, and part eulogy for his father, Svensson writes beautifully about the mysteries of the eel, an animal that has beguiled scientists from ancient times to the present. -Anne M

Three hours in Paris book cover
Three hours in Paris book cover

Three hours in Paris

Cara Black

FICTION Black, Cara
Fiction, Adventure, Historical Fiction

"Three Hours in Paris is the story of Kate Rees, the young American markswoman who has been recruited by British intelligence to drop into Paris on the dangerous business of trying to assassinate the Fuhrer. A country girl from rural Oregon - a grieving widow with no spy training but a vendetta and a lot of gumption - now has the state of the entire war in her hands. When the hit goes badly wrong, Kate is on the run for her life - all the time wrestling with the suspicion that the whole operation was a set-up."--Provided by publisher.

Anne M's picture

If you are looking for that fast-paced, keeps-your-attention, end-of-summer read, consider "Three Hours in Paris." Cara Black, stepping away from her usual mystery genre, takes on the World War II spy thriller. -Anne M

Preaching to the chickens : the story of young John Lewis book cover
Preaching to the chickens : the story of young John Lewis book cover

Preaching to the chickens : the story of young John Lewis

Jabari Asim

jE Asim
Black Lives Matter, Black History, Read Woke, Picture Books, Biographies

Casey's picture

John Lewis's early life is chronicled here and it is beautifully done. If you haven't read about how he used to preach to his flock, I can't imagine a more poignant time. -Casey

Five days : the fiery reckoning of an American city book cover
Five days : the fiery reckoning of an American city book cover

Five days : the fiery reckoning of an American city

Wes Moore

305.896 /Moore
Nonfiction, Political

Baltimore When Freddie Gray was arrested for possessing an 'illegal knife' in April 2015, he was, by eyewitness accounts that video evidence later confirmed, treated 'roughly' as police loaded him into a vehicle. By the end of his trip in the police van, Gray was in a coma he would never recover from. This killing led to a week of protests and then five days described alternately as a riot or an uprising that set the entire city on edge, and caught the nation's attention. Moore attended Gray's funeral, and saw every strata of the city come together, all looking to comfort each other, but also looking for answers. Through shifting points of view, Moore and Green create an engrossing account of the deep causes of the violence-- and the small seeds of hope planted in its aftermath. -- adapted from jacket

Anne M's picture

Wes Moore and Erica Green take us through Baltimore's reckoning with systemic racism, crippling poverty, and police brutality after Freddie Gray's murder in police custody. Focusing on the five days after Gray's death, they show us Baltimore through the individuals that lived events of that week, from a protest organizer, a police officer, and an owner of the Baltimore Orioles. Moore and Green slow those days down and tell us what happened. It is a powerful book, gives interesting context on the city's history, and individualizes life in America. -Anne M

Mudlark : in search of London's past along the River Thames book cover
Mudlark : in search of London's past along the River Thames book cover

Mudlark : in search of London's past along the River Thames

Lara Maiklem

942.1 /Maiklem
History

Long heralded as a city treasure herself, expert “mudlarker” Lara Maiklem is uniquely trained in the art of seeking. Tirelessly trekking across miles of the Thames’ muddy shores, where others only see the detritus of city life, Maiklem unearths evidence of England’s captivating, if sometimes murky, history—with some objects dating back to 43 AD, when London was but an outpost of the Roman Empire. From medieval mail worn by warriors on English battlefields to nineteenth-century glass marbles mass-produced for the nation’s first soda bottles, Maiklem deduces the historical significance of these artifacts with the quirky enthusiasm and sharp-sightedness of a twenty-first century Sherlock Holmes.

Anne M's picture

Explore the history of England through its discarded objects, the ones reclaimed by Lara Maiklem from the river. Lara is a 'mudlark,' or someone who scavenges the Thames for lost objects dating from pre-Roman times to the Victorian era. It is a fascinating read. -Anne M

Joy at work : organizing your professional life book cover
Joy at work : organizing your professional life book cover

Joy at work : organizing your professional life

Marie Kondō

650.1 /Kondo
Nonfiction, Business, Self Help

"The workplace is a magnet for clutter and mess. Who hasn't felt drained by wasteful meetings, disorganized papers, endless emails, and unnecessary tasks? These are the modern-day hazards of working, and they can slowly drain the joy from work, limit our chances of career progress, and undermine our well-being. There is another way. In Joy at Work, bestselling author and Netflix star Marie Kondo and Rice University business professor Scott Sonenshein offer stories, studies, and strategies to help you eliminate clutter and make space for work that really matters. Using the world-renowned KonMari Method and cutting-edge research, Joy at Work will help you overcome the challenges of workplace mess and enjoy the productivity, success, and happiness that come with a tidy desk and mind."--Amazon.

Amanda's picture

I’m a big fan of the KonMari method, and this book broadened my understanding of how it can be applied to work life as well. This is a great follow-up to her Tidying Up title, and a worthy place to Spark Joy! -Amanda

The resisters : a novel book cover
The resisters : a novel book cover

The resisters : a novel

Gish Jen

FICTION Jen Gish
Dystopian

An audacious wonder of a novel about baseball and a future America, from the always inventive and exciting author of The Love Wife and Who's Irish. The time: Some thirty-five years hence. The place: AutoAmerica--governed by "Aunt Nettie," an iBurrito of AI algorithms and the internet, in a land half under water. The people: Divided into the angelfair "Netted," whose fate it is to have jobs and live on high ground, and the mostly coppertoned "Surplus," whose jobs have been stripped and whose sole duty now is to consume, living in plastic houses that talk and multi-colored houseboats at the water's edge. Neither group is happy. The story: A Surplus family--he was once a professor, she is still a lawyer--has a girl child, Gwen, who's born with a golden arm. By two she can throw her toy animals straight to the same spot every time. When AutoAmerica and ChinRussia decide to revive the Olympics, suddenly Gwen, who's been playing in the Resisters League her parents have organized, is in great demand. Soon she's at angelfair university, Net U, falling in love with her baseball coach and facing questions of "crossing over," while her mother and her "group" are bringing charges before the botjudge about Surplus rights. An amazing story of a world that looks only too possible, and a family struggling to maintain its humanity in circumstances that daily threaten their every value as well as their very existence.

Frannie's picture

A perfect book for the return to baseball! Gish Jen's new book tells of a Dystopian future where the Internet of things has taken over our lives and society is divided into producers and consumers and America is half under water because of rising sea levels. Wait, I thought this was about baseball? It is! The national past time is much different in the future and in this book a young girl gets her opportunity to move up in the class hierarchy due to her talent on the field. Come for the sports, stay for the nuanced description of a world that seems just around the corner... -Frannie

Clean getaway book cover
Clean getaway book cover

Clean getaway

Nic Stone

eBOOK
Black Lives Matter, Read Woke, Adventure, Black History, Travel

"For the life of him, William "Scoob" Lamar can't seem to stay out of trouble--and now the run-ins at school have led to lockdown at home. So when G'ma, Scoob's favorite person on Earth, asks him to go on an impromptu road trip, he's in the RV faster than he can say FREEDOM. With G'ma's old maps and a strange pamphlet called the 'Travelers' Green Book' at their side, the pair takes off on a journey down G'ma's memory lane. But adventure quickly turns to uncertainty: G'ma keeps changing the license plate, dodging Scoob's questions, and refusing to check Dad's voice mails. And the farther they go, the more Scoob realizes that the world hasn't always been a welcoming place for kids like him, and things aren't always what they seem--G'ma included."--Jacket flap.

Casey's picture

A clandestine road trip, The Green Book, and a rad G'Ma--Nic Stone's first middle grade novel is perfection! -Casey

The nickel boys : a novel book cover
The nickel boys : a novel book cover

The nickel boys : a novel

Colson Whitehead

eAUDIO
Black Lives Matter

Becky's picture

This was my first read by Colson Whitehead, but will certainly not be my last. “The Nickel Boys” is a fictionalized account based on an actual reform school in Florida, set during the Jim Crow era. It follows Elwood Curtis, a hardworking teenage boy, inspired by the ideals upheld by Dr. Martin Luther King. Elwood was on track to attend a local black college, but one innocent misstep sends him to a segregated juvenile reform school, where violence, brutality and abuse alter his life forever. A poignant and important read that exposes unjust political and social structures. -Becky

The ballad of songbirds and snakes book cover
The ballad of songbirds and snakes book cover

The ballad of songbirds and snakes

Suzanne Collins

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Collins Suzanne
Young Adult

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute. The odds are against him. He's been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined, every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute, and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

Becky's picture

Fans of the Hunger Games will not be disappointed with this intimate account of a teenage Coriolanus Snow, future president of Panem. -Becky

Laura dean keeps breaking up with me book cover
Laura dean keeps breaking up with me book cover

Laura dean keeps breaking up with me

Mariko Tamaki

eBOOK
Read Woke, LGBTQ+, Young Adult, Graphic Novels, Diverse Characters

Casey's picture

Touching and beautifully rendered in grayscale with occasional splashes of pink, this is a love story for everyone. If you have yet to be kicked to the curb by Laura Dean, it might be time to get dumped. -Casey

Toil & trouble : 15 tales of women & witchcraft book cover
Toil & trouble : 15 tales of women & witchcraft book cover

Toil & trouble : 15 tales of women & witchcraft

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Toil
Young Adult, Read Woke, Short Story, LGBTQ+, Fantasy

"History is filled with stories of women accused of witchcraft, of fearsome girls with arcane knowledge. Toil & Trouble features fifteen stories of girls embracing their power, reclaiming their destinies and using their magic to create, to curse, to cure--and to kill...This collection reveals a universal truth: there's nothing more powerful than a teenage girl who believes in herself"--Publisher.

Casey's picture

This collection of short stories , some by YA superstars, casts a charm firm and good. Look for culturally, and LGBTQIA+ diverse characters, strong women, and some worlds you won't want to leave. -Casey

Flush book cover
Flush book cover

Flush

Carl Hiaasen

eBOOK
Kids

Noah’s dad is in jail for sinking a local gambling boat, which he believes has been emptying its onboard toilets straight into the waters around their Florida Keys home. The trouble is, so far there’s no proof. Noah needs to solve this environmental mystery so his dad can be released from jail. Also, this isn’t the first time his dad has taken the law into his own hands when it comes to stopping local polluters, and his mom is fed up and talking about divorce. Noah hatches a plan to expose the environmental crime with the help of some eccentric local characters.

Anne W's picture

Added by Anne W

Indian no more book cover
Indian no more book cover

Indian no more

Charlene Willing McManis

jFICTION McManis, Charlene
Kids

When Regina's Umpqua tribe is legally terminated and her family must relocate from Oregon to Los Angeles, she goes on a quest to understand her identity as an Indian despite being so far from home.

Angie's picture

In this moving middle-grade novel drawing upon Umpqua author Charlene Willing McManis's own tribal history, Regina must find out: Who is Regina Petit? Is she Indian, American, or both? And will she and her family ever be okay? -Angie

Rise of the rocket girls : the women who propelled us, from missiles to the moon to Mars book cover
Rise of the rocket girls : the women who propelled us, from missiles to the moon to Mars book cover

Rise of the rocket girls : the women who propelled us, from missiles to the moon to Mars

Nathalia Holt

629.4 /Holt
Nonfiction, History

During World War Il, when the brand-new minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate jet velocities and plot missile trajectories, they recruited an elite group of young women--known as "computers"--who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design and helped bring about America's first ballistic missiles. But they were never interested in developing weapons--their hearts lay in the dream of space exploration. So when JPL became part of a new agency called NASA, the computers worked on the first probes to the moon, Venus, Mars, and beyond. Later, as digital computers largely replaced human ones, JPL was unique in training and retaining its brilliant pool of women. They became the first computer programmers and engineers, and through their efforts, we launched the ships that showed us the contours of our solar system. For the first time, this book tells the stories of these women who charted a course not only for the future of space exploration but also for the prospects of female scientists. Based on extensive research and interviews with the living members of the team, Rise of the Rocket Girls offers a unique perspective on the role of women in science, illuminating both where we've been and the far reaches of where we're heading.--Adapted from dust jacket.

Amanda's picture

This was a delightful and fascinating read! We follow a few key women throughout the decades, following the progression of the space program and the role of women in the sciences. The author throws in some fun anecdotes, like when a couple of the women decided it was acceptable to finally wear pant suits, along with the struggles many of these women had in the early days of getting married, getting pregnant, and facing the choice of leaving a job you loved or attempt the fine balancing act of being a working mother. Just enough science is covered to give the reader an idea of what's going on in the profession without being overwhelming. Great companion read with Hidden Figures! -Amanda

Dear Committee Members book cover
Dear Committee Members book cover

Dear Committee Members

Julie Schumacher

FICTION Schumacher, Julie
Fiction, Literary Fiction

Finally, a novel that puts the "pissed" back into "epistolary." Jason Fitger is a beleaguered professor of creative writing and literature at Payne University, a small and not very distinguished liberal arts college in the midwest. His department is facing draconian cuts and squalid quarters, while one floor above them the Economics Department is getting lavishly remodeled offices. His once-promising writing career is in the doldrums, as is his romantic life, in part as the result of his unwise use of his private affairs for his novels. His star (he thinks) student can't catch a break with his brilliant (he thinks) work Accountant in a Bordello, based on Melville's Bartleby. In short, his life is a tale of woe, and the vehicle this droll and inventive novel uses to tell that tale is a series of hilarious letters of recommendation that Fitger is endlessly called upon by his students and colleagues to produce, each one of which is a small masterpiece of high dudgeon, low spirits, and passive-aggressive strategies. We recommend Dear Committee Members to you in the strongest possible terms.

Amanda's picture

Having experienced grad school, I found so much humor in all of this. You follow a curmudgeonly English professor as he crafts numerous letters of recommendation (LORs) for his students - some he knows better than others - and frequently inserts his own opinions and politics in them because he's reached a point of tenure where he just doesn't care. Highly recommended if you are in academia (especially English!), or are at least acquainted with the trials and tribulations of being a middle-of-the-road college professor. -Amanda

Landline book cover
Landline book cover

Landline

Rainbow Rowell

FICTION Rowell Rainbow
Fiction, Humor

"In New York Times bestselling author Rainbow Rowell's Landline, Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it's been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply -- but that almost seems besides the point now. Maybe that was always besides the point.Two days before they're supposed to visit Neal's family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can't go. She's a TV writer, and something's come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her -- Neal is always a little upset with Georgie -- but she doesn't expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her. When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she's finally done it. If she's ruined everything. That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It's not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she's been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts. Is that what she's supposed to do? Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?"--

Amanda's picture

I couldn't put this book down. It was like her YA novels in pace and spirit, but with older adults as the main characters. I fell in love with all of these characters for all their quirks. I rooted for Georgie, knowing she had to face a lot of "between a rock and a hard place" choices. Georgie's life is a fine balancing act, and you don't want her to drop anything. I loved the premise of the book, and how it reveals Georgie to herself. -Amanda

The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street : a novel book cover
The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street : a novel book cover

The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street : a novel

Susan Jane Gilman

FICTION Gilman Susan
Fiction, Historical Fiction

In 1913, little Malka Treynovsky flees Russia with her family. Bedazzled by tales of gold and movie stardom, she tricks them into buying tickets for America. Yet no sooner do they land on the squalid Lower East Side of Manhattan, than Malka is crippled and abandoned in the street. Taken in by a tough-loving Italian ices peddler, she manages to survive through cunning and inventiveness. As she learns the secrets of his trade, she begins to shape her own destiny. She falls in love with a gorgeous, illiterate radical named Albert, and they set off across America in an ice cream truck. Slowly, she transforms herself into Lillian Dunkle, "The Ice Cream Queen" -- doyenne of an empire of ice cream franchises and a celebrated television personality. Lillian's rise to fame and fortune spans seventy years and is inextricably linked to the course of American history itself, from Prohibition to the disco days of Studio 54. Yet Lillian Dunkle is nothing like the whimsical motherly persona she crafts for herself in the media. Conniving, profane, and irreverent, she is a supremely complex woman who prefers a good stiff drink to an ice cream cone. And when her past begins to catch up with her, everything she has spent her life building is at stake.

Amanda's picture

Loved this book! Highly entertaining story surrounding a highly entertaining lady. She's like a more endearing Scarlett O'Hara of the 20th century. We follow her rags-to-riches story, learn of her scrapes and sorrows, her triumphs and bouts of luck. This woman has chutzpah and I love it. She's an antihero, but entirely loveable. Plus, it's shades of Forrest Gump, as this woman claims her touch on many small points of American history. Definitely give it a whirl! -Amanda

The animals at Lockwood Manor book cover
The animals at Lockwood Manor book cover

The animals at Lockwood Manor

Jane Healey

FICTION Healey Jane
Historical Fiction, Suspense

"A debut novel for fans of Sarah Perry and Kate Morton: when a young woman is tasked with safeguarding a natural history collection as it is spirited out of London during World War II, she discovers her new manor home is a place of secrets and terror instead of protection"--

Anne M's picture

Set during World War II, Hetty Cartwright works for a natural history museum in London and is tasked to oversee the move and storage of the mammal collection (and some birds) to a country manor house. The house is as those houses were during the middle of the 20th century. It is in disrepair and has a limited number of servants trying to keep up the property as best they can. There is the lord of the manor, Major Lockwood, who is a little mean and scary and used to getting his way. Although he signs up to house the collection, he isn't happy having his space invaded and overseen by a woman. There is also Major Lockwood's daughter, who is beautiful and kind. She captivates Hetty's imagination. The house has secrets. At least something isn't right. Hetty tries to ignore it until it starts affecting her work--and herself. If you liked "Jane Eyre" or "The Little Stranger" or "Rebecca," this would be a good summer read for you. -Anne M

Twilight hauntings : Enchanter's Child Series book cover
Twilight hauntings : Enchanter's Child Series book cover

Twilight hauntings : Enchanter's Child Series

Angie Sage

eBOOK
Kids

Alex has a set of Enchanted cards. When she flutters her fingers above them, something magical happens: the cards come alive and create moving pictures of what is now and what is yet to come. But Enchantment is illegal in the city of Luma, and those who practice it are imprisoned forever in the Vaults—dark dungeons deep below the city. When Alex is betrayed by her foster sister Zerra, she knows she is in great danger. With the help of her little foster brother, Louie, she makes a daring escape. But Alex discovers she is not safe outside Luma either. Here lurk deadly Hauntings that seek out those who practice magic: Enchanters and their children. The Hauntings take many forms and Alex is hunted by a giant bird of prey, the Hawke, a murderous Night Wraith called the Grey Walker, and the eerie Xin. But why do the Hauntings haunt Alex? Alex doesn’t believe she’s an Enchanter’s Child, but she has no idea who her parents are. Her precious Enchanted cards are her only clue to her true identity, and she becomes determined to find out who she is. And, while she is at it, to get rid of the deadly Twilight Hauntings forever.

Paul's picture

A richly developed world packed with engaging detail and a multitude of well developed characters I can hardly wait until the next volume is published to see where the often unpredictable action leads. -Paul

The Penderwicks : a summer tale of four sisters, two rabbits, and a very interesting boy book cover
The Penderwicks : a summer tale of four sisters, two rabbits, and a very interesting boy book cover

The Penderwicks : a summer tale of four sisters, two rabbits, and a very interesting boy

Jeanne Birdsall

eBOOK
Kids

While vacationing with their widowed father in the Berkshire Mountains, four lovable sisters, ages four through twelve, share adventures with a local boy, much to the dismay of his snobbish mother.

Anne W's picture

The perfect book for the whole family to enjoy together, either as a family read-aloud or audiobook. Everything turns out all right in the end, with good, wholesome messages about courage, loyalty, creativity, and girls unapologetically claiming their intelligence. This is also a National Book Award winner. -Anne W