Skip to main content
Font size options
Increase or decrease the font size for this website by clicking on the 'A's.
Contrast options
Choose a color combination to give the most comfortable contrast.

Our Favorite Books of the Year

Highland Park Public Library staff selects their favorite books of the year.

    • What You are Looking for is in the Library by Michiko Aoyama
      I love books about books that have cats on the cover, and this is no exception. This book is so charming and lovely. The library is nestled in the Hatori community house. It’s where the librarian helps those in need of books and maybe a little guidance. Enter 5 people of various ages who find their lives lacking. They know the life they are living isn’t the one they want, but they can't figure out how to change it. That changes after they talk with the librarian. I highly recommend reading this if you loved "Before the Coffee gets Cold."
      —Michelle, Information & Reader Services

      The Making of Yolanda la Bruja by Lorraine Avila
      This enchanting contemporary YA is about Yolanda, an Afro Latina experiencing her bruja initiation through visions while struggling to prove a new student with white supremacist ideology will endanger her community. Loved the themes of self-care, community care, restorative justice, and disability pride!
      —Cynthia, Information & Reader Services

      Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree
      Baldree does it again in this prequel to his award winning and very beloved cozy fantasy Legends and Lattes. This low stakes high fantasy will be a welcome visit from an old friend for those who are already fans and a perfect introduction to new friends for those just joining the fun. It's warm, sweet, and something often in short supply in fantasy literature, kind. Quick read and a good choice for fans of the lighthearted comradery seen in the latest Dungeons and Dragons movie.
      —Aaron, Information & Reader Services

      Prophet by Sin Blanché and Helen Macdonald
      It’s Barbenheimer meets mutual pining. It’s X-Files fanfiction with the serial numbers shaved off. It’s Shakespearean interpersonal drama using the abandoned set of Movie America. Prophet is a story about British civilian and walking disaster Sunil Rao, who can tell truth from lies the minute they’re told; and Adam Rubenstein, the career US Air Force monolith who hasn’t met an emotion he can’t repress. Adam’s assigned to protect Rao again as they uncover the mysterious substance Prophet, which causes victims to magically generate childhood objects and go into comas as soon as they touch them. If they don’t find out who’s making it and how it’s spreading, the whole world might fall victim to its own nostalgia. Add to this that Rao and Adam have feelings for each other that they both think the other denies, and you have the twisting, aching longing permeating every page of this book as the clock ticks down towards apocalypse. It’s slow-burn romance with a sci-fi wrapper and it works better than it should. I’d even recommend the audiobook version, even though the British narrator’s American accent is the human equivalent of the “you tried” star.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      How to Love Your Daughter by Hila Blum
      Psychological suspense builds as a seemingly devoted mother tries to determine why her adult daughter has lied to her about virtually every aspect of her life, even what country she lives in. Though the mother allows her daughter to think her lies have gone undetected, she is relentless in re-tracing her steps as a parent, desperate to see how her relationship with her only child went awry. There is a sense that all relationships carry both an element of uncertainty and the possibility of making profound mistakes.
      —Cynthia, Youth Services

      The Serpent and the Wings of Night by Carissa Broadbent
      I’ll be honest: I HATE that I like this book so much. It’s supposedly TikTok famous, which means I thought I would hate it immediately. Instead I was so sucked in I didn’t put the book down for hours. It’s a political dark romance focusing on Oraya, the adopted human daughter of a vampire king in a continent of competing vampire kingdoms and competing clans within them. The book opens with her murdering a vampire! Not even a plot-important vampire, either! It’s just one of her nightly kills to protect the small human population and which keeps her emotions in check. And the action continues non-stop from there. Oraya jumps at the chance to compete in a winner-gets-to-live tournament where the champion also gets a favor from the death goddess. She’s the only human competing, but there’s one vampire competitor from a rival clan who’s kind, unlike any vamp she’s ever met before. When he offers a temporary alliance, she agrees just to survive. Instead she starts to open up to this stranger, putting their hearts in both emotional and physical danger. It’s twisty and political, well-rounded and complex, with no easy answer or clear hero. It’s got no right to be as good as it is.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      Stars in Your Eyes by Kacen Callendar
      Gorgeous romance by acclaimed children’s author Callendar in their first book aimed at adults. Mattie is an actor with a golden retriever image who’s been cast in a romcom opposite Logan, the prototypical Hollywood bad boy. It’s less than a week into filming before Logan jeopardizes the movie by getting into another fight. The producers think having Mattie and Logan fake a relationship might save their romcom. They soon find the other’s not quite as they’ve been portrayed in the media, and it soon becomes more than just a fake relationship. But they can’t save each other—they need to save themselves. I loved this because it’s struck the balance of a “how to do healthy relationships” story while also containing gut-clenching twists and turns that don’t come at the expense of the building narrative. Little asides from other sources, including tweets and the best bad fanfiction I’ve ever read, set it apart and get you to really feel the pressure the leads are under. Sweet and honest and hits like a punch to the ribs.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      The Haunting of Alejandra by V. Castro
      Living in a world that demands children from those able to birth a child without providing adequate support is a horror. This book describes how community care exists through the living and the power and resilience of our ancestors. Read if you enjoy extreme imagery, heart pounding drama, modern ghost stories, cathartic release, and a celebration of women.
      —Cynthia, Information & Reader Services

      Birnam Wood by Eleanor Cattan
      I was captivated by this tense, richly drawn eco-thriller. Cattan's long-awaited follow-up to her Booker-Prize winning The Luminaries is populated by fully realized (and deeply flawed) characters, monkey-wrenching politics, unchecked Randian greed, misguided idealism, and (naturally) the rare, orange-fronted parakeet. Birnam Wood's explosive denouement will leave you gasping, and doubles as a grim warning against climbing into bed with the despicably wealthy and a (related) call to action to avert climate catastrophe.
      —Katharine, Membership Services

      The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi by Shannon Chakraborty
      A legendary retired pirate queen is pulled back in for one final job (through guile and guilt) and needs to lean on every bit of her years of experience to get it done. An amazing cast of characters and a breezy writing style make this a great read.
      —William, Membership Services

      Tomb Sweeping by Alexandra Chang
      Slightly unsettling, slice-of-life stories, mostly neutral but complex, mostly from the point of view of women of Chinese descent. Some take place in China, others in Philly or the Bay Area. There's a great short one with two women coworkers having a strained conversation about their cats, and a third coworker's cat, but they're really just talking about each other. "Ruth's cat is a snobby b*tch."
      —Kelly, Youth Services

      Organ Meats by K-Ming Chang
      Women are dogs, dogs are women, people grow up on the underside of islands, and your bones can transform into mushrooms if you wander away from your body for too long. It’s another surrealist masterwork by Chang, who doesn’t shy away from the gross and weird while also holding insights on the sacred, the familial, and the romantic. There’s a tiny plot here, but the most focus is on how the world feels like dream in progress. If you like poetry, feel like Toni Morrison is too literal, or just want a quick vibes-based journey through two generations of dog-women, give this a shot.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      Play the Fool by Lina Chern
      Katie True, black sheep of her solidly middle-class family has exactly one notable talent: reading Tarot cards. Unfortunately for her (and her family's expectations) she hasn't figured out a way to live off of that, instead lurching from low-paying job to job to try, and fail, to make ends meet. Then she accidentally does a card reading for a man who just killed someone (or did he?) and finds herself unable to walk away from the murder investigation, no matter how many times she nearly gets arrested. A fun, fast-paced debut by a Lake County author, this is a great pick for fans of the TV show Psych.
      —Rebecca, Information & Reader Services

      The Guest by Emma Cline
      A twentysomething woman is dating an older, wealthy man who lives in the Hamptons. Lacking the education, income, and social training that is a given in this circle, her outsider status allows her to make incisive class observations even as she tries mightily to convince people that she shares their background. The reader walks a tightrope with her as she makes blunders that can have serious consequences, always living in fear of being found out and worse. This fast, riveting book is like a beach read with substance.
      —Cynthia, Youth Services

      Scorched Grace by Margaret Douaihy
      A chain-smoking lesbian nun solves crimes in a New Orleans neo-noir. I could end my review right there—and for some people, that’s enough—but what really draws me to this book isn’t the mystery, but the voice. Sister Holiday (the gay nun in question) talks like a stew of a sailor, a priest, and every noir detective poured into the shape of a person. I would read a book about her eating cereal. She’s observant, tough, smart, and relentless, which means she constantly butts heads with the gorgeous detective assigned to investigate the mysterious fires around the church and the parish school. Perfect for noir lovers, mystery fans, or anyone interested in hearing the most distinct voice I’ve seen in a while.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      Ripe by Sarah Rose Etter
      Trapped in a corporate hellscape, Cassie deals with the horrifying day-to-day of toxic tech company hustle culture. From her fancy office in San Francisco, where rapid-fire productivity and is valued above all else, she can see abject poverty and hopelessness on the streets. She is accompanied everywhere she goes by a black hole which grows and shrinks depending on what she experiences. This book is extremely well-done and thought-provoking, and if you're looking for something to ruin your day, look no further!
      —Kelly, Youth Services

      10 Things That Never Happened by Alexis Hall
      A sunshine and a grump fall in love, but the grump is just overly protective of his heart and the sunshine is fun because he’s got nothing left to lose. Sam comes all the way to London to talk to boss Jonathan only to find out he’s fired. So when Sam falls into a furniture display, he thinks it’s no harm to faking amnesia along with his real mild concussion. He didn’t count on Jonathan feeling guilty and taking him in while he recovers, or on Jonathan starting to show a human side under his all-business façade. Now Sam’s got fuzzy feelings and a big secret, and it all comes to a head at the big company Christmas party. This one actually avoids the easy tropes and instead examines the romance slowly and naturally. Sweet and interesting and full of delightfully deranged optimistic nihilism.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      Reproduction by Louisa Hall
      This novel about the absolute strangeness of making new human life begins with the (pregnant) narrator attempting to write a novel about Mary Shelley, while “parts of her story detached themselves from the page and clung to my life.” Covering pregnancy, loss, infertility, and childbirth, the story moves quickly, and the combination of weirdness and ordinariness is wonderful. I loved this book as much as Weather by Jenny Offill.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix
      Hendrix strikes again. Taxidermized squirrels, possessed clown puppets, repressed childhood trauma, and the numbing banal horror of how loss can mess with estranged family members left behind when a parent passes. If you are looking for a fun creepy and darkly humorous read, you can't go wrong with this one.
      —Aaron, Information & Reader Services

      The God of Endings by Jacqueline Holland
      In 1830s New York, Anna is a child in a rural community beset by tuberculosis. After she falls ill, she is rescued by her grandfather, who makes her immortal like him. But her grandfather is a vampire, and Anna will spend the rest of the novel struggling with the consequences of his gift. While we see her life play out in flashbacks throughout the book, the other part of the novel focuses on Anna's present life in 1984, where she lives in Upstate New York as Collette LeSange and runs an elite fine arts preschool for upper class children. Her well-ordered life is turned upside down with the arrival in her school of Leo Hardiman, a gifted child from a troubled family, who will change everything for her. This novel is best described as a vampire story for people who don't like vampire stories. The word "vampire" is never actually mentioned, and the only signs that Anna is a vampire at all are that she survives on blood, is immortal, and is self-healing. The book's true concern is what it means to live, who gets to live and what it means to exist in this world. This is a very emotional read.
      —Michelle, Technical Services

      Mimi's Tales of Terror by Junji Ito, Hirokatsu Kihara and Ichiro Nakayama
      If you like horror, you're in for a treat. These nine incredibly creepy stories are from a book of Japanese urban legends, and horror manga master Junji Ito has brought them to life with his signature grotesque imagery. All the stories center on a girl named Mimi, who keeps running into all sorts of terrifying situations and can't seem to catch a break.
      —Kelly, Youth Services

      Don’t Fear the Reaper by Stephen Graham Jones (Indian Lake Trilogy #2)
      A sequel to 2021 pick “My Heart is a Chainsaw”. When our narrator Jade returns to the town of Proofrock 4 years after the first book, she finds people still healing from that book’s bloodshed. Many of them turned to Jade’s love of slasher movies to recover, which might let her fit in for the first time—except a convicted serial killer is set loose on the town as soon as she arrives. Her encyclopedic knowledge of horror let her escape mostly-whole from the last book, so surely a horror-savvy town can defeat a killer more easily. But that assumes everyone’s on the side of survival. Stephen Graham Jones is a legend among mortals. He weaves a story about the messiness of healing, the scars of love, and being a superfan among superfans, all while letting the blood drip down the page. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to feel like their grief and healing are being seen while the body count keeps rising.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      Maeve Fly by C.J. Leede
      Maeve Fly is a force to be reckoned with. This book made my brain just want to stay in this LA where it is perpetually Halloween, creepy dolls pop up everywhere, and all the decorations are made from real bones.
      —Louise, Youth Services

      Terrace Story by Hilary Leichter
      Reading Terrace Story is a little like looking through a kaleidoscope: One set of components is always present, but from one chapter to the next they shift and rearrange to create dizzying new patterns. The result is a playful novel of tremendous depth that will turn your brain into exciting and unexpected new shapes. A surreal romp for fans of Donald Barthelme or Roald Dahl's stories for adults.
      —Katharine, Membership Services

      Extended Stay by Juan Martinez
      Cerebral, visceral horror by a local author! This is the first novel by Martinez, but it’s a hell of an opener. Alvaro survived a roadside execution that claimed almost all of his family, so he leaves Colombia for the US with his surviving sister Carmen. They’re barely scraping by in Las Vegas, where he works at the Hotel Alicia and she goes to school. His manager starts to give him more and more responsibility at the Alicia and a heftier paycheck. But the hotel isn’t remotely what it seems, and there are things under the Alicia that are getting hungrier for something that Alvaro can’t yet provide.
      What I love about this book is not only that it’s a well-executed horror, but that it messes with your mind as a reader, too. Sometimes you’ll be in the middle of a dream-logic scenario only to drop you into the PTSD Alvaro feels about seeing his family die. Or you’ll be in a naturalistic scene and suddenly someone starts to walk out of the wall. The narrator addresses the reader and implies that they’ve changed the story for you. It’s magnificently unsettling, mind-bending, spine-chilling horror done masterfully.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      Past Lying by Val McDermid
      The seventh book in McDermid's Karen Pirie series opens in Edinburgh in April 2020, during the heart of the Covid-19 lockdowns. Karen and her team of cold case investigators are stuck at home when a source at the National Library contacts them about a possible lead on a murder case found in the recently archived papers of a deceased crime novelist. Once the team gets ahold of the relevant manuscript, it's game on. This is a riveting read, made even more impressive by the fact that I hadn't read any of the previous six books in the series (the barrier to entry is very low). McDermid utilizes the lockdown setting perfectly, showing both how difficult it is to investigate a crime during a pandemic while avoiding any sensationalizing of that difficult time. Finally, by focusing the mystery on two rival crime writers, McDermid allows herself to poke a little fun at her industry—and the result is a very good time for the reader.
      —Michelle, Technical Services

      I Am Homeless if This Is Not My Home by Lorrie Moore
      This book starts weird, normals up a bit, and then gets downright surreal. It’s about grief and death and one of the main characters in a major section is a talking corpse. But it’s great because Lorrie Moore is writing it and never does the story get out of control. Going along for the ride is very rewarding.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      The Vulnerables by Sigrid Nunez
      Sigrid Nunez is quickly becoming an automatic read for me. I have loved her 2 previous books and this did not disappoint! Set during the early days of New York’s covid lockdowns the female narrator finds herself with two unlikely roommates, a troubled college student and a parrot named Eureka. Between musings of history and humanity, the two human roommates slowly learn to get along and even perform small acts of kindness to get them through the bad days. Though it takes place during hard times, the story is very hopeful and uplifting. Beautifully written as I expect from Nunez. 😊
      —Michelle, Information & Reader Services

      The Rachel Incident by Caroline O'Donoghue
      Rachel meets James at their bookstore job, and they become immediate best friends. Inseparable, the two decide to rent an apartment together while Rachel finishes her degree. It's 2009, and the financial crash isn't the only thing upending Rachel's life. While she makes the slow realization that finding work in an economic crisis is a job in itself, she's also falling for her professor, Dr. Fred Byrne. But married Fred is falling for someone else, and Rachel finds herself stuck in the middle of his illicit affair while trying to find love, and work, of her own. This book is perfect for fans of Sally Rooney.
      —Marissa, Youth Services

      Honeybees and Distant Thunder by Riku Onda
      By far the best book I read all year, this is the story of four competitors in the Yoshigae Piano Competition in Japan. Aya Eiden is a child prodigy who is attempting a comeback years later, Masaru Carlos Levi Anatole is a brilliant Japanese Peruvian Juilliard student who knew Aya when they were children, Jin Kazama is an untested 16-year-old prodigy who doesn't own a piano, and Akashi Takashima, the oldest competitor, is trying to make his musical dreams come true before it's too late. Immersive, suspenseful, and brilliant, the novel takes you inside the competition from these perspectives, as well as that of the judges, stage manager, various audience members, a few other competitors and a composer. Onda has a background in classical music, and it shows in her vivid descriptions of the pieces performed and her clear affection for her subject. She almost dares you to finish the book without a new appreciation for music and all it is capable of (and yes, there is a Spotify playlist of all the pieces mentioned in the book).
      —Michelle, Technical Services

      The September House by Carissa Orlando
      Darkly humorous, yet creepy and terrifying, The September House is expertly plotted and frighteningly addictive. This book has everything readers seek from a gothic horror novel. A creepy house, ghosts, demons, a priest, killer birds, and oh so much blood…
      But just in September.
      Margaret and Hal buy their dream house, a 19th century Victorian with a turret and wrap around porch. Every September, objects move around the house and mutilated strangers appear. The walls weep blood and constant screams can be heard. Everything returns to normal for the rest of the year. Margaret is used to being the caretaker. After all, she learned how to survive an abusive marriage. Then the couple encounter Master Vale, the demon-like man in the basement and Hal disappears. A month after his disappearance, Margaret’s daughter Katherine comes to the house to find her father. But did she have to visit in September?
      Orlando explores themes of abuse and survival in this stellar debut. Hitchcockian and deeply disturbing, The September House is one of the best debut gothic novels of the year.
      —Jayme, Administration

      Night Wherever We Go by Tracey Rose Peyton
      Set on a small Texas plantation in 1852, this novel captures the experiences, inner thoughts, and valiant efforts of 6 enslaved women staging a covert rebellion against their captors. What I loved about this book was the compelling narrative structure and detailed research that gave me insight into each character’s motivation. While devastating to read, I was illuminated to an aspect of history that still informs and affects reproductive justice and the lives of Black women.
      —Cynthia, Information & Reader Services

      A Light Most Hateful by Haley Piper
      A sudden lightning storm turns everyone in the mountain town of Chapel Hill into shuffling mannequins reciting other people’s memories. Everyone, that is, except Olivia, who decides to save her best friend Sunflower from the storm. Haley Piper is a genius of horror. She takes a seed of a normal human emotion—loneliness, unrequited love, being sick of everyone in town—and spins it into something monstrous. It’s a gory, twisted, beautiful cosmic horror made for anyone who’s enjoyed Steven King.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      The End of Drum-Time by Hanna Pylväinen
      Here is my tip for getting through the Illinois winters: find a good story about somewhere even colder, and you’ll feel better. And here is such a book! In 1851, Lutherans are attempting to convert the Sámi to Christianity, while the Sámi are also being squeezed culturally and economically, as the nations surrounding them enact border regulations that interfere with the movement of their reindeer herds across their traditional lands. A pair of star-crossed lovers emerge from the two groups, but because every character is living through upheaval, everyone has an interesting story.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      We Could Be So Good by Cat Sebastian
      Sebastian latest queer historical romance novel is a delight from start to finish, about two newspaper reporters in 1950's Manhattan. Working class, workaholic Nick is busy trying to unravel a dangerous story about police corruption, so the last thing he needs is to be babysitting bumbling, newbie reporter Andy, who just so happens to be the newspaper owner's only son. It's a shame then, that the two quickly become friends, and then something more. But how do two men from such different walks of life find their happy ever after? Sebastian excels at gently poking at traditional romance novel tropes while still providing satisfying happy endings. Highly recommended for fans of Alexis Hall.
      —Rebecca, Information & Reader Services

      The Only One Left by Riley Sager
      The Only One Left is Riley Sager’s BEST thriller to date! This twisty Gothic mystery will leave even savvy thriller readers gasping until the very last page. In 1983, Kit McDeere lost her job as a home-health aide when one of her patients died under suspicious circumstances. Kit is given one last opportunity of employment, a job that will require her to care for Lenora Hope, the longtime suspect in the murder of her whole family. She accepts the job working at Hope’s End, a decaying mansion on a cliff, but soon suspects things are not as they appear. Secrets, lies, and deception run amuck in Hope’s End. Who actually killed the Hope family? Will Kit find the answers before the decrepit mansion collapses?
      —Jayme, Administration

      Unorthodox Love by Heidi Shertok
      Jewish romance with an Orthodox Jewish woman protagonist! Penina is considered an impossible marriage prospect because of her infertility, so she’s resigned herself to being a spinster aunt forever. It’s made even worse with the arrival of handsome Sam, the new owner of the jewelry store she works at, who is untouchable both literally and figuratively. That doesn’t make their professional relationship or attraction any easier, especially once Penina gets an offer from a nice gay Orthodox man for a one-year fake marriage in exchange for enough money to keep her sister from losing her house. If you’ve ever enjoyed an Amish romance, a Jane Austen story, or another love story where touching is absolutely forbidden, you’ll love the first in (I hope!) a new wave of Orthodox romance.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      Mother-Daughter Murder Night by Nina Simon
      Simply a delightful cozy mystery. Perfect for fans of Osman's Thursday Murder Club series. Instantly likeable nuanced characters, witty and fun. If you've ever watched a program like The Gilmore Girls and thought to yourself "what this show needs is a murder mystery for this family to solve, this is your book.
      —Aaron, Information & Reader Services

      Beyond That, The Sea by Laura Spence-Ash
      This novel tells the story of a young girl whose parents send her from London during WWII to live with a family in America. Over time, she becomes part of the American family. When the war is over, she returns to London where she must now navigate life without the American family she was so much a part of. The story spans decades as we see how each character’s life unfolds in this beautifully written book. I’ve recommended it to everyone!
      —Beth, Administration

      Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson
      Perfect for fans of metafiction and Agatha Christie’s locked room mysteries, Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone can best be described as Clue meets Knives Out. Writer Ernest Cunningham attends his family reunion at a ski chalet. By the end of the trip, people will die. But as you know, everyone in Ernest’s family has killed someone, so it’s his job to figure out who killed whom and why. This cleverly plotted mystery is expertly executed. Ernest is an intrusive narrator with a witty sense of humor who attempts to spoil the mystery, but it is all good fun!
      —Jayme, Administration

      Camp Damascus by Chuck Tingle
      Already an internet sensation (if you know, you know) Chuck Tingle debuts his first traditionally published novel with a queer, coming of age horror novel that defies all expectation. You might expect the demons to be the scary part of the book, but it's the actions of people, many of whom claim to act from love, that provide the most thought-provoking scares. Rose, the queer autistic protagonist starts out as a card-carrying member of the Kingdom of Pines, an Evangelical Christian sect best known for their terrifying success rate with conversion therapy. However, frightening encounters with unexplainable beings, and moments of intense body horror prompt Rose to start asking questions no one will answer, and eventually forces her to find her own truth. It's Rose's journey to accepting and loving her authentic self that elevates this book to something special. Truly, the only book I've read that I'd describe as 'heartwarming horror.'
      —Rebecca, Information & Reader Services

      A gay conversion camp boasts a 100% success rate, but what really happens to make this successful will flay your nerves. Tingle has mastered lurking horror that also manages to make you feel like you’ve slipped into a warm embrace. He’s best known for being an internet “inside joke”, but Tingle is ruthlessly sincere, utterly disorienting, and throws curveballs that’ll have the most experienced horror fans wondering what happens next. While it doesn’t skimp on body horror, the tenderness Tingle handles his protagonists with makes this a can’t-miss.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      My Husband by Maud Ventura
      This short novel is a tour de force in the domestic suspense genre. Winner of France’s First Novel Prize in 2021, My Husband is perfectly plotted perfection. Over the course of one week, a nameless female Parisian wife and mother psychoanalyzes her 15-year marriage to her husband. Love is her hobby of choice, as she is a desperate romantic. Or is she just neurotic, paranoid, and jealous?
      What happens when you love too intensely? Is she enough for her husband? After all, he compared her to a vulgar clementine.
      …and he sleeps with the shutters closed.
      …and he ordered the lasagna.
      As relayed by her husband, the adjectives that best describe her are very beautiful, cold, in love, and observant.
      How well does he really “see” her? This darkly humorous novel of obsession is psychological fiction at its best. You won't guess the phenomenal twist!
      —Jayme, Administration

      My Murder by Katie Williams
      A futuristic sci-fi murder mystery with a killer twist! Louise, Lacy, Fern, Jasmine, and Angela are all members of the Luminols, a group of clones whose past selves were murdered by serial killer, Edward Early. The plot centers around Louise, the final murder victim before Early was caught and jailed. A new mother to nine-month-old Nova and Silas’ wife, she and the other clones are determined to find out why Early killed them.
      In this Virtual Reality obsessed society, a video game is soon created about the serial killer and his murder victims. Louise and the other clones play along, hoping to uncover clues about their murders. Louise also works at The Room, a business created to mimic a banned video game room that players didn’t want to leave. Here, she wears different skins to hug and comfort patrons who pay for her service. Eventually, the clones’ investigation takes a surprising turn, and Louise must learn the painful truth about her murder. My Murder’s completely unique and original plot, engaging characters, and darkly humorous tone are captivating. I highly recommend listening to this one!
      —Jayme, Administration

      Androne by Dwain Worrell
      Paxton is an android drone pilot whose days consist of looking through an endless desert and whose nights are spent sleepless while picking up desk duty shifts. He only rejoined the army because he wanted to make money for his girlfriend and their upcoming baby. He’d also like to know who the military is fighting, since that’s classified to the highest levels of the government. While slowly rising through the ranks, he starts to notice movement in the far-off desert where his androne stands watch. It’s a group of people unlike any he’s seen before. Where is his androne, who is he fighting, and can he really make a difference? What I really love about this is it’s military scifi that shows how boring and brain-numbing being a soldier can be, which tends to fall to the wayside in most military fiction. Though there are some interesting robot fights, the meat of the story is really in the ways Paxton gathers information about the war, the enemy, and the mission around his base while fighting through the world’s worst brain fog. It adds realism to the stakes and means every day is a potential catastrophe. Exciting and cinematic and softhearted. I recommend it to anyone who likes mecha, who’s lost sleep over a bad job, or who’s interested in a complex layered mystery.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      My Stupid Intentions by Bernardo Zannoni, translated by Alex Andriesse
      Archy is a hedonistic beech marten who, upon developing the ability to read and write, discovers the troubling concepts of God and death. The rest of his life is spent struggling with this knowledge and futilely wishing to return to his carefree, animal nature. This remarkably accomplished debut by Italian wunderkind Bernardo Zannoni reads as though Wind in the Willows was written by Albert Camus. Terrific.
      —Katharine, Membership Services

    • My Home Team: a sportswriter's life and the redemptive power of small-town girls basketball by Dave Kindred
      Being fortunate to have grown up in a small town where high school sports were supported by a community of die-hard fans and when they could not travel to a game, you could turn on your radio and hear a play-by-play broadcast by a minister. The book is written by a legendary sportswriter who found that a small-town girls basketball team can bring you the greatest success of your career. A community who cares about you and are there for you during the worst times. Where kind gestures by high school students will remain with you for the rest of your life. When life gives you lemons, these players of Morton, Illinois, gave you lemonade. A book reminding us that our actions and kindness do make a difference.
      —Stephanie, Information & Reader Services

      The Declassification Engine: What History Reveals about America’s Top Secrets by Matthew Connelly
      How do citizens know if the government is doing a good job, if citizens don’t know what the government is doing? How can we learn from the past, if the past is kept secret? Connelly is a historian working on using data analysis to address the explosively growing number of classified--and dwindling number of formerly classified--documents produced by the United States. What might sound like a dry treatise on records management is actually a very interesting look at why access to declassified (and never classified) documents matters, who really benefits from secrecy, and how artificial intelligence can help to fix a completely broken system.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      The League of Lady Poisoners by Lisa Perrin
      A gorgeously illustrated true crime compendium from Perrin, who did both the writing and the illustrations. A veritable feast for the eyes--the pages are gilded arsenic green--Perrin's work is also a delightfully detailed look at the historical intersection of women and poison. She writes with candor and compassion about a diverse group of women from all over the world. The book is divided into six chapters guided by the motive of her subjects, and covers women who killed in self-defense, women who were unfairly slandered by history, and even some who killed with impunity and enjoyment. Highly recommended for fans of feminist history, true crime, or anyone looking for a unique holiday gift.
      —Rebecca, Information & Reader Services

      Judas Goat by Gabrielle Bates
      This was a fantastic poetry collection. Some of the themes include growing up in the American South and feeling alienated from the messages of Christianity. This is also a collection about growing up near meat processing factories. A beautiful and haunting first collection from a young poet.
      —Maureen, Information & Reader Services

      Quietly Hostile by Samantha Irby
      If you haven't already read Samantha Irby: 1) Who are you and how do you live? 2) This is a perfect time to start. A humorist and blogger with 4 books to her name, Irby's latest does not disappoint, offering her reader insights into everything from the most romantic Dave Matthews Band songs to the joys of QVC. Reading her relatable essays feels like hanging out with a cool older friend or a sister who doesn't sugarcoat the awkward parts of life and helps you realize you’re not the only one faking your way through adulthood.
      —Rebecca, Information & Reader Services

      The Plot to Save South Africa: The Week Mandela Averted Civil War and Forged a New Nation by Justice Malala
      The year is 1993. Nelson Mandela's protege Chris Hani has been assassinated by a white supremacist. What follows is a tense, riveting account of the next nine days. As South Africa teeters on the brink of civil war, Mandela and other leaders steer the young nation away from disaster. This is the perfect history book that doesn't read like a history book. Malala writes with immediacy and urgency, drawing the reader into one of the most turbulent moments in South Africa's history.
      —Hannah, Youth Services

      Paris: The Memoir by Paris Hilton
      Listening to this audiobook (read by Paris herself!) confirmed that Paris Hilton and I have almost nothing in common. But I truly enjoyed learning about what’s behind her party girl persona and the admirable work she has done by advocating for legislation to regulate the “troubled teen” industry, of which she and many others have been victims. For me, perfect listening for the commute.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      In Limbo by Deb JJ Lee
      An excellent graphic memoir! This is a look at Deb JJ Lee's tumultuous teen years as she struggles with her mental health. She's constantly in limbo--not Korean enough and not American enough; transitioning from the comfort of orchestra to her true passion, which is art; having a sometimes supportive mother, and sometimes a violently abusive one. The art is breathtaking, and the depictions of mental illness and growth are powerful.
      —Kelly, Youth Services

      Unraveling by Peggy Orenstein
      While some of us spent 2020's Covid lockdowns stress watching Netflix, Peggy Orenstein was slightly more ambitious. She took her long-term hobby of knitting, and turned it into this book, where she details her ultimate goal—knit a sweater from scratch. Any by 'scratch' she means shear the sheep, spin & dye the wool, and finally design and knit the sweater. Along the way she, and her readers, learn not just about the process but also the history of sheep shearing, the environmental impact of fast fashion, the way dyeing wool makes you feel like a Shakespearean witch with a cauldron and more. Warning: this book will inspire you to pick up new hobbies, read with caution.
      —Rebecca, Information & Reader Services

      Impossible People: A Completely Average Recovery Story by Julia Wertz
      Wertz spends a lot of this graphic memoir on her feelings of awkwardness around other people, but you know what? I enjoyed reading this book because it felt like spending time with someone I like. She tells her recovery story without a lot of drama, but with some humor.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      Julia is a cartoonist in her 20s living in NYC in an illegal basement apartment. She's a depressing antisocial alcoholic, and she decides to get help. The art in this memoir is phenomenal, particularly the staggering detail of New York buildings and storefronts. Julia will draw a panel of herself walking to an AA meeting, and you can see every single detail of the buildings behind her; you can read all of the tiny signs and advertisements and things. The panels are drawn with such love and exacting attention, and there's so much to look at.
      —Kelly, Youth Services

      Para chicas fuertes de corazón tierno y piel canela: Una carta de amor para mujeres de color / For Brown Girls With Tender Hearts And Sharp Edges (Spanish Edition) by Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez
      Leí este libro por primera vez en inglés y me conecté profundamente con las experiencias del autor. Yo tambien fui a la universidad como estudiante de primera generación y entiendo los sentimientos de soledad, no pertenencia y trabajar muy duro para ser valorada. Ver una edición en español publicada fue muy emocionante porque creo que muchos hispanohablantes encontrará conexión y motivación para luchar contra la injusticia en esta colección de ensayos.

      I first read this in English and connected deeply with the author's experiences attending college as a first-generation student, including the feelings of loneliness, not belonging, and working extra hard to be valued. Seeing a Spanish edition released was so exciting as I think many Spanish-speakers will find connection and validation in this collection of essays.
      —Cynthia, Information & Reader Services

    • Meredith, Alone by Claire Alexander
      Meredith Maggs has not left her home in 1,214 days but she is not bored or lonely. Her days are filled with work, reading, complex jigsaw puzzles and baking. She gets visits from her best friend Sadie and her two children and of course the grocery delivery man. She has her online support group, her therapist, and her rescue cat Fred. But she is also haunted by memories of her dysfunctional childhood, her estrangement from her beloved older sister and a traumatic event that triggered her anxiety and depression and keeps her from stepping outside.
      Her life starts to change when two new friends enter her life, and an unexpected reconnection starts her on the slow journey to healing. Heartbreaking and hopeful, Meredith, Alone is a gem of a book that I devoured in two days.
      —Michelle, Information & Reader Services

      The Littlest Library by Poppy Alexander
      Jess Metcalf decides to make some changes in her life, after she loses her job. She buys a cottage, which includes a disused telephone box, that inspires her to share her love of reading with her new neighbors.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf
      This book is about a murder mystery that happens at an international Scrabble tournament. There is a lot of fun word play and the characters really explain their Scrabble strategies. This was a really great book about friendship and how it is helpful to have friends with many talents as they can be a big help in solving a murder.
      —Maureen, Information & Reader Services

      Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree
      This is a low-stakes feel good big-hearted story set in a High Fantasy world, a "Cozy Fantasy" if you will. Weary of getting into fights and battling monsters, an orc chooses to pursue a better life by opening a coffee shop. The challenges of moving beyond her past and the obstacles she and her friends must overcome to achieve their goals will keep readers engaged and invested in the journey. Who do you want to be and what will you do to get there?
      —Aaron, Information & Reader Services

      Atomic Anna by Rachel Barenbaum
      In 1986, nuclear scientist Anna Berkova is asleep in her bed at Chernobyl when the reactor melts down. At that exact moment, she is pulled through time to 1992 where she finds her estranged daughter, Molly, dying from a gunshot wound to the chest. Before she dies, Molly begs Anna to fix the disaster, save her granddaughter, Raisa, and save their family's future. A mix of science fiction, historical fiction, bildungsroman, and family drama, Atomic Anna is a powerful, moving story of three women who are trying to save themselves and their world and maybe make better choices along the way.
      —Michelle, Technical Services

      Marple: Twelve New Stories by various authors
      A delightful collection of new mysteries featuring the shrewdly observant Miss Marple.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      The Art of Prophecy by Wesley Chu
      A young boy is prophesied to one day defeat the Eternal Khan, an immortal god-king, and save his kingdom. So far, this is standard fantasy novel fare. Except, what happens when said Eternal Khan is killed instead by a random group of soldiers on patrol while he is blind drunk? This terrific novel explores what happens to a chosen one when he's no longer of use to his country. Full of great characters, including an older, one-armed woman who happens to be the greatest grandmaster of magical martial arts alive, a psychotic shadow assassin who delights in her kills, and the chosen one himself, who as a confused, suddenly rudderless teenager is quite relatable, this novel is just pure fun.
      —Michelle, Technical Services

      The Violence by Delilah S. Dawson
      This is an empathetic, passionate love letter to people trying to break out of abusive systems with a fantastic creeping horror story and ticking-clock survival narrative layered on top of it. The Violence is a disease that causes random acts fatal violence in its sufferers, who have no idea what they have done when the outburst stops. The invisibility and deadliness of the virus cause the whole nation to lock down. But this isn't your normal pandemic fiction: it uses its premise to examine the invisible parts of society, how people manipulate systems for their own desires, and the communities people can create when everything else fails them. The story starts off with the main character figuring out how to use this virus to escape her abusive husband, but things get better—and worse—from there. If you mixed The Only Good Indians in a blender with COVID, Till Death (2021) and the WWE, you'd get a good feel for this book. 
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      Murder By the Book: Mysteries for Bibliophiles edited by Martin Edwards
      Here's another excellent mystery anthology by Mr. Edwards. Classic authors such as Ngaio Marsh, Edmund Crispin, Michael Innes, Gladys Mitchell, Nicholas Blake and others offer several entertaining stories. 
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      Look Closer by David Ellis
      David Ellis is a terrific local Chicago author. Nothing is what it seems in this book about greed, revenge, and dangerous obsessions. Who is conning who? Look closer, as it may be you! There are twists and turns around every corner that will shock and surprise even the savvy thriller reader!  
      —Jayme, Administration

      Love and Saffron: A Novel of Friendship, Food, and Love by Kim Fay
      I loved this short and bittersweet book about two women who develop a friendship through corresponding via letters during the 1960s.The book tells the story of Joan and Immy -- one is a young woman starting her career and her adult life, the other is an older woman. an established magazine columnist who's been married for many years. Through their correspondence and ensuing friendship, their worlds are expanded and enhanced. The subtitle of the book, “a novel of Friendship, Food, and Love”, says it all!  
      —Beth, Administration

      Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney
      You are cordially invited to the Darker family reunion! A palm reader once told Nana that she wouldn’t live past 80 years old. Convinced this is her last birthday, she invites her estranged family members to Sea Glass to celebrate. The Darker family are a miserable, selfish bunch, who only care about themselves and how much money they have. Everyone has their own reason for attending the party. When one family member is found murdered every hour, the rest must solve the puzzle before they wind up dead. In a family filled with devastating secrets, no one will go unpunished. It is a fantastic gothic tale and murder mystery filled with domestic drama and suspense. Alice Feeney has done it again! You do not want to be tardy to this party. 
      —Jayme, Administration

      Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey
      Sarah Gailey’s Just Like Home is a disturbing Gothic Horror thriller. This book makes the reader squirmy and uncomfortable, yet it intrigues until the very end with its clever and thought-provoking themes. Can love and hate exist together? What makes a person good? Can hope and desperation be a liability? Are all men evil? Vera Crowder is about to find out, as she is coming home for two reasons: To clear out the house her dad built and to watch her mother die. It has been 12 years since Vera left Marion, New York. She couldn’t escape fast enough after a true crime book is published about her family with information she unknowingly provided. What happened inside the Crowder house all those years ago? Vera must discover the house’s secrets to find a way to move on with her life.
      —Jayme, Administration

      A Career in Books: A Novel about Friends, Money, and the Occasional Duck Bun by Kate Gavino
      This graphic novel reads like a memoir, in that it feels very personal and doesn’t follow a strongly-formed plot. The story follows three Asian-American friends/roommates as they navigate various book-related jobs in New York. Maybe it does have extra appeal for bookish people, but I’m recommending it because I felt happy every time I picked it up. I liked these characters, and I really liked reading about them.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill
      A great mystery who done it. The story is set in Boston when 4 random individuals are brought together by a scream they hear in the Boston Public Library. Excellent twist and turns along with great stories within stories. It keeps you guessing to the end.
      —Stephanie, Information & Reader Services

      Hawk Mountain by Conner Habib
      This is a psychological thriller that keeps you unsettled from the first page and doesn't let go until long after the book ends. What happens to someone who's every attempt at emotion has been met with violence or neglect, and then another person tries to worm their way into their life and expose their vulnerabilities? Bad, bad things. Todd's at the beach with his son when his high school tormentor, Jack, shows up and asks Todd if he would mind grabbing some food since it's been so long—and maybe giving him a place to stay while he's down on his luck. What happens from there is an odd mix of tender and bleak, emotional and repressed, and entirely unpredictable. If you want something brutal, complex, and twisty, give this a shot.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      A Lady for a Duke by Alexis Hall
      Hall is one of the best romance writers out there, and his newest books are no exception. This is a slow-burn friends-to-lovers romance about two damaged people finding a safe place to heal within each other. Viola is new to presenting herself publicly as the woman she's always been, and has little idea of the things she should be doing as a lady, accidentally creating scandal for those she's around; Gracewood is an alcoholic Waterloo veteran plagued with flashbacks of the friend he thought he lost. They slowly reveal their scars over the course of the book and realize they can finally find someone who accepts them wholly. It's sweet, sincere, charming, well-researched, and fresh.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      A Caribbean Heiress in Paris by Adriana Herrera
      This is both meticulously-researched historical fiction and a great romance. Historical romances can be incredibly predictable, but this is a refreshing look at what the genre could be. Two distillery owners meet at the Paris 1889 Exposition and realize they will both soon lose their businesses—unless they find themselves married. Naturally, they agree to marry each other to keep themselves afloat, and their relationship deepens from there. Despite the common premise, this is a rare romance book that has under-explored history, emotionally honest characters, and real threats to both their work and their happiness. I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction as well as regular romance readers.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Servies

      Motherthing by Ainslie Hogarth
      Ainslie Hogarth explores the human desire to be loved and mothered in this dark highly original domestic horror novel. In Abby’s search for unconditional love, she must figure out what it means to be a good woman. An opal ring, a 1930’s cookbook, creepy mystics, and loving couches all provide guidance in Abby’s ambitious endeavor. She will do absolutely ANYTHING to prevent being abandoned again.
      —Jayme, Administration

      One’s Company by Ashley Huston
      In the aftermath of severe trauma, a young woman, Bonnie, takes refuge in the TV show "Three’s Company"--eventually recreating the world of the show so that she can live inside it. This book has no easy answers to trauma recovery, if recovering is even what Bonnie is doing, but it is fascinating, even entertaining, and an amazingly good book, especially for a debut novel—one of the best books I read this year.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson
      I love Stephen King's Carrie. This book is Carrie but with race relations thrown in. The story centers around Maddy, a biracial outcast at her school in Georgia, which is going to host its first ever racially integrated prom. I thought this book was nothing short of phenomenal. It is SO well written, the characters are SO developed and believable, the plot is SO interesting, and there's a HUGE heart at the center of this story that I think is lacking in Carrie.
      —Kelly, Youth Services

      The World We Make by N.K. Jemisin
      A very satisfying conclusion to the author’s "Great Cities" duology which began with The City We Became. The four time Hugo Award winning author is frequently described as, arguably, one of the most important voices in contemporary speculative fiction with good cause. Her talents as a wordsmith and storyteller are on full display in her latest. The World We Make is both an entertaining story that celebrates the power of compassion and community and powerful commentary about many of the modern day evils we face today.
      —Aaron, Information & Reader Services

      Trespasses by Louise Kennedy
      In her debut novel, Kennedy tells the story of a doomed love affair in a town on the outskirts of Belfast. Her concise, almost terse style is peppered with Irish slang, and she vividly evokes the day-to-day atmosphere in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. A neighbor who appears to be doing calisthenics--dropping to the ground each morning before leaving for work—is in fact checking the underside of his car for bombs. The young Catholic parochial schoolteacher and the Protestant barrister twice her age know that their affair can’t end well, but the way it does end is surprising and unsettling.
      —Karen, Information & Reader Services

      A Botanist's Guide to Parties & Poisons by Kate Khavari
      The new research assistant, Saffron Everleigh, finds it difficult to be taken seriously at the University College London. She becomes embroiled in a murder that takes place during a dinner party, and involves her mentor Dr. Maxwell.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher
      Kingfisher's fast-paced novella is a fleshed out (pun very much intended) retelling of The Fall of the House of Usher. You don't need to go into it with any knowledge of the original Poe short story, just an appreciation for spooky houses, queer characters, environmental horror stories, and ideally a strong stomach. Fans of Silvia Moreno-Garcia's Mexican Gothic will find much to enjoy.
      —Rebecca, Information & Reader Services

      Woman, Eating by Claire Kohda
      Lydia is a young mixed-race vampire who is living away from her mother for the first time in a windowless art studio in London. She contemplates her place in the world as a vampire, which her mother has taught her is a shameful existence, and reckons with the fact that she must subsist on blood rather than the human food she longs to try.
      —Kelly, Youth Services

      An Unthinkable Thing by Nicole Lundrigan
       An Unthinkable Thing is a heart wrenching and disturbing character driven domestic suspense novel. Lundrigan explores themes of infidelity, social class, and motherhood while depicting the post WWII era. In the summer of 1958, 11-year-old Tommie Ware is happy living with his aunt Celia in Lower Washbourne. His world is turned upside down after his birthday when Aunt Celia is found brutally murdered. Tommy must move in with his mother in Upper Washbourne, where she works as a live-in housekeeper for the wealthy Henneberry family. Why did Tommie’s mother give up custody? What secrets are the Henneberrys hiding? When the Henneberrys are murdered at the end of the summer, could Tommie have pulled the trigger? 
      —Jayme, Administration

      The Last Party by Clare Mackintosh
       After finishing this mystery, I was happy to see that it was the first volume of a new detective series by British policewoman-turned-author Clare Mackintosh. Two young detectives (Ffion Morgan from Wales and Leo Brady from England) appear to be strangers when they meet to collaborate on a murder case, but the clever opening chapter reveals the circumstances of their very first encounter. As the book goes on, we see that nearly everyone in the small Welsh town of Cym Coed has a motive for the murder and secrets to protect, including the detectives themselves. 
      —Karen, Information & Reader Services

      The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna
      This fantasy romance puts an excellent twist on classic governess stories. Orphaned as a child, Mika is a witch who is compelled to keep her identity under wraps. As a result, she doesn't have close ties with anyone, except for the fans of her social media account, where she "pretends" to be a witch. Out of the blue, Mika is contacted by a mysterious agent with a job offer: to become a tutor to three young witches. Mika accepts the job and is thrown into the chaos of Nowhere House, as she attempts to keep her charges under control and win over the house's non-witch caretakers, including the handsome Jamie. Filled with heart and humor, this is a great book for a cozy night in.
      —Hannah, Youth Services

      Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie
      This teen book was a fun read. Ophelia has always been boy crazy. So much so, that her friends and family tease her about her never-ending list of crushes. When she meets Talia Sanches, she begins to question her identity in more ways than one. Marie writes an amazing character in Ophelia, but the real winner here is the group of friends you will grow to love.
      —Marissa, Youth Services

      The Killing Code by Ellie Marney
      Four young women who are involved with the code breaking unit in Washington during World War II, try to discover the killer who's targeting other women in the government sector.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister
      What would you do to save the ones you love? While waiting for her son Todd to return home from a night out, Jen Brotherhood witnesses him murder a man in the street. After he is arrested and taken to the police station that night, Jen goes to sleep and wakes up the next morning, which is the day before the murder. From then on, every night she goes to sleep, she wakes up further in the past. She is caught in a time loop and must figure out why her son committed the murder in order to prevent it from happening. Following the clues all the way to the beginning, Jen hopes to figure out the puzzle and change her son’s future. This engaging Groundhog’s Day premise will have you questioning the choices you make and their unintended consequences and will appeal to those who enjoy twisty sci-fi thrillers.
      —Jayme, Administration

      The Hero of this Book by Elizabeth McCracken
      The narrator of this book claims she doesn’t know what autofiction is, and I’m not sure I truly do, either. But I think this is it—that is, a blending of autobiography and fiction. At any rate, it’s a touching account of the narrator (or author’s) relationship with her mother, who has passed on.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      Death and the Conjuror by Tom Mead
      Fans of the classic locked room mystery should be well pleased with this debut novel, first in a new series by Mysterious press. What I liked most about this title was that it was exactly what it said on the proverbial tin.
      A magician-turned-sleuth in 1930’s pre-war London solves three impossible crimes. When celebrity psychiatrist Anselm Rees is found dead in his locked study, with no apparent clues no witnesses, and no way the killer could have escaped unseen Scotland Yard stumped by the high profile case, calls upon retired stage magician turned sleuth Joseph Spector. Clearly the ideal choice to figure out how the seemingly impossible is possible. For who would be better to see through a murderer’s deceptions than someone practiced at the art or illusion and misdirection.
      It's just such a pitch perfect homage to the golden age of mystery fiction. I appreciated the footnotes the author included in the book’s big "someone in this room is a murderer" reveal so that the reader could go back to see the breadcrumbs Mead laid out that they themselves may have missed in the fair play mystery. I look forward to seeing what comes next in this new book series and getting to learn more about Spector.
      —Aaron, Information & Reader Services

      Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (Locked Tomb #3)
      This is a series about forgiveness, love, grief, climate change, empire, arrogance, duty—and, most importantly, skeletons with swords in space. Muir is an expert in crafting books that feel completely different from each other while keeping the whole series a cohesive whole: the first book, Gideon the Ninth, is a romp narrated by a sarcastic-yet-naive jock; the second, Harrow the Ninth, is a psychological puzzle narrated by a deeply traumatized nerd. This book is something entirely different. Nona is a sweet, innocent girl who just wants a nice birthday party with her school friends, while the people who take care of her try to shield her from their ongoing life-or-death negotiations that may rely upon her for the fate of all humanity. The glimpses we get of the big-picture mystery are incredibly tantalizing, the humor that goes over Nona's head is meant to resonate deeply with the reader, and it helps answer some questions raised by the series while leaving plenty for the last installment. If you want to try the series, I highly recommend reading or listening to the books in order.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      How High We Go In The Dark by Sequioa Nagamatsu
      This dystopian science fiction novel was a slow burn but it's worth sticking with. It's a series of interwoven stories set, for the most part, in the time following a mysterious plague born from an ancient virus. Survivors are left to pick up the pieces and create a new world while grieving so many loved ones. They all do so in various ways, some of them seemingly strange and the result is a collection that takes the reader to different places within the human psyche and within the universe. One bereaved husband and father, for instance, becomes a surrogate father to a pig that has learned human speech. Another woman and her granddaughter journey into space, seeking a place to outrun ghosts and find a new home other than Earth.
      —Louise, Youth Services

      Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
      Celeste Ng really blew me away with this thought provoking and heartbreaking dystopia. But don’t be put off by the dystopian label. Her writing is as brilliant as ever and with characters you will fall in love with. I listened to the audiobook, which is narrated by the extremely talented Lucy Lu. Her brilliant narration brought the story to life, and I highly recommend listening to it.
      —Michelle, Information & Reader Services

      Set in a dystopian future far too close to our present, this book is a celebration of fighting back against an unfair and imposing government - and bonus points for celebrating librarians as humanitarians and activists.
      —Louise, Youth Services

      The Mountain in the Sea by Ray Nayler
      In the near-future, marine biologist Ha Nguyen is invited by the mysterious, powerful DIANIMA Corporation to an isolated Vietnamese archipelago to study a newly discovered society of intelligent octopuses. Along with Evrim, the world's first android, and Altantsetseg, a secretive, expert drone operator, she attempts to understand and communicate with the octopuses and discover what, if anything, they really want. Two additional subplots involve Rustem, a genius hacker hired by an anonymous woman to hack into an unspecified system, and Eiko, a young man kidnapped into slavery aboard an autonomous fishing vessel. What makes this novel work so well is that Nayler takes the interior life and nature of every character, both human and non-human, incredibly seriously. From what an octopus's language might realistically look like to whether an autonomous ship is capable of evil to the morality of drone warfare, everything is deeply considered and thought-provoking. This intellectually stimulating, sometimes moving and sometimes frightening book is well worth a read.
      —Michelle, Technical Services

      We Spread by Iain Reid
      Iain Reid explores the nature of loneliness and the effect it has on a person’s psyche in his third novel, We Spread. Perfect for book club discussions, this psychological horror/suspense is filled with atmosphere, tension, and unease. Its disturbing and thought-provoking take on life and death begs the question, Is living forever the best solution? Reid explores the themes of art, getting older, the relationships we form, and losing control over our lives. Through rules, order, structure, and neatness Penny pursues life at all costs. This book will leave readers scared, anxious, unsettled, and pondering deep philosophical questions.
      —Jayme, Administration

      The Maid by Nita Prose
      Molly is neurodivergent, meaning in this case, in part, that she doesn’t pick up on social ques that may be commonplace and easily understood by most. She’s always had her grandmother to help her navigate the complexities of interacting with others. Now, with her grandmother gone, she must use the many lessons she was taught to manage her life as a maid in an upscale luxury hotel. Her unique world view complicates things for her when she finds a dead body when cleaning one of the hotel rooms, getting pulled into the resulting murder investigation. The maid is a short, cute, and simple cozy mystery. The protagonist, Molly, is delightful and the reader is sure to root for her happiness.
      —Aaron, Information & Reader Services

      Lavender House by Lev AC Rosen
      If you want a murder mystery, where is the murder and mystery are not the main focus of the book, then check out this book. This book features a detective who gets let go from his job as a police officer after he is found at a raid at a gay bar. This book is a great examination of how queer people have always had to build their own communities and how to navigate a world that is rampant with homophobia.
      —Maureen, Information & Reader Services

      A Taste of Gold and Iron by Alexandra Rowland
      When you think of the word “lush,” this book should come to mind. A prince and his bodyguard find grudging respect, then love, in this slow-burn tale set in a fantasy kingdom where royals can read metal with their skin. There’s a counterfeit coin-maker out in the city, threatening to bring the whole economy down. The anxious second-in-line Prince Kadou must investigate or the kingdom will lose its status and most of its trade partners. By his side is the gruff Evemer, who thinks that Kadou is aloof and superior instead of nervous and awkward. The painfully gradual thawing of their feelings, the slow entry into this fantastical world, and the way every plot thread comes back set this above most fantasy romance by a mile.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      Steeped to Death by Gretchen Rue
      Phoebe Winchester has inherited her aunt Eudora's mansion, bookshop/tea store, and more than a few mysteries to figure out.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      The Oleander Sword by Tasha Suri (Burning Kingdoms #2)
      I’m a sucker for sword-wielding star-crossed lovers, and this book is no exception. The first book of the Burning Kingdoms saw Malini regain her strength after months of being fed poison by her brother, and Priya came into her own as a devotee of the yaksa. This book opens with them on different sides of an impending war. Malini is gathering an army to wrench the throne away from her brother, and Priya is trying to rebuild the devastated Ahiranya as one of only two elders of the yaksa religion. But now every sinister thread that started in The Jasmine Throne is twisted hard in this second book, complicating Priya and Malini’s love and devotion to both each other and their causes. It’s morally grey, ethically complicated, and utterly heart-wrenching. Highly recommended for anyone who loves fantasy, action, religious themes, or just longing expressed through letters.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      Kings of B'More by R. Eric Thomas
      A witty and heartfelt ode to friendship between two queer, black teenagers in Baltimore. Harrison's best friend Linus has just dropped a bombshell: he's moving to South Carolina at the end of the week. Inspired by Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Harrison plans the perfect send off: a Ferris Day, to highlight the best of Baltimore and the boys' friendship. The two trek across town to cram museum visits, a Pride parade, a rooftop party, and more in one day, all while trying to keep their helicopter parents off their trail. As characters, Harrison and Linus are beautifully drawn. Thomas perfectly captures the electric thrill of their adventure, the impending dread of their separation, and most of all, the power of their friendship.
      —Hannah, Youth Services

      Olav Audunssøn. III Crossroads by Sigrid Undset and Tiina Nunnally
      The Highland Park Press, April 18, 1929 describes Nobel Prize winning Sigrud Undsets tetralogy Olav Audunsson, published as one English volume entitled "The Axe," as "probably the most sought-after fiction" at the Library. New English translations, in four volumes, update linguistically this mesmeric historical Norwegian fiction series to the modern reader. Undset's narrative depiction of medieval Norway are sublime.
      —Nancy, Information & Reader Services

      A Flicker in the Dark by Stacey Willingham
      In this debut thriller, Baton Rouge psychologist Chloe Davis is happily engaged and ready to marry the love of her life while trying to forget her troubled past. Her father is the infamous Breaux Bridge serial killer and has been imprisoned for the past twenty years. When the murders of two teenagers appear to be the work of a copycat, Chloe begins to doubt her memory and suspect that the killer is trying to get her attention. Who is murdering young girls? Expertly plotted and masterfully executed, readers will be left guessing until the very end.
      —Jayme, Administration

      Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
      The premise of this book didn't appeal to me at first; two childhood friends reconnect and create a video game. This book was so much more than that. Zevin explores life, death, and all the tomorrows in between. Come for the 90's gaming nostalgia but stay for the rollercoaster of emotions Sadie and Sam take you on.
      —Marissa, Youth Services

    • Money Magic: An Economist’s Secrets to More Money, Less Risk, and a Better Life by Laurence Kotlikoff
      Kotlikoff, an economics professor at Boston University, points out that most books on personal finance are written by financial planners, who tend to emphasize the accumulation of wealth in preparation for retirement. In contrast, he encourages us to "invest like an economist," an approach that focuses less on long-term goals and more on a person’s standard of living at various stages of life. Sound interesting? Feel free to start with chapter 10, Kotlikoff’s list of "top 50 secrets" for financial security, and then go back and read the details in earlier chapters.
      —Karen, Information & Reader Services

      Taking Down Backpage: Fighting the World’s Largest Sex Trafficker by Maggy Krell
      California prosecutor Maggy Krell set an ambitious goal when she decided to take down, a classified ad website that made most of its profit from ads for sex work. The case made headlines and attracted protests from some sex workers, but Krell details the case against Backpage, which made money from aiding the trafficking of teenaged children for commercial sex. While the courtroom drama fizzles out a bit—Krell’s successes are the real-life kind, not the perfect-ending fictional kind—her legal strategies make for interesting reading and, ultimately, this is a feel-good story about a big win for those who were endangered and exploited.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      Of Ice and Men: How We've Used Cold to Transform Humanity by Fred Hogge
      Ice and refrigeration have changed what we can eat, where we can comfortably live, contributed to lifesaving surgical techniques, and now, as it melts at alarming rates, is a harbinger of climate change. Hogge writes with wit and flair, similar to Mary Roach and Bill Bryson.
      —Laurie, Information & Reader Services

      An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms around Us by Ed Yong
      I took this book (in audio form) along on a road trip, and it was a great choice! Packed with animal facts (for example, humans have relatively recently learned that most other mammals can see UV), it has a larger narrative about how we perceive the world around us—and how every species’ abilities cause us to perceive somewhat different worlds. Mind-expanding.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      What We Wish Were True: Reflections on Nurturing Life and Facing Death by Tallu Quinn
      A memoir of the founder of the Nashville Food Project, a nonprofit that strives to feed the hungry, who tragically died of brain cancer mere months after the publishing of this courageous book. In it, she documents what it's like to grapple with a terminal diagnosis in her 40s and make peace with it while preparing her family and her community for her departure from the world. For anyone who has ever contemplated if death is the worst thing or what they would want their own death to be like, the book is a gift of insight and contemplation.
      —Louise, Youth Services

      Eat, Drink and Be Murray: A Feast of Family Fun and Favorites by Andy Murray
      I loved reading about the Murray clan, looking at their family photos, and swooning over the recipes. It's such a fabulous book, I bought my own copy.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      Revenge of the Librarians by Tom Gauld
      Mr. Gauld has done it again. His cartoons capture the fundamental essence of writers, readers, and books, with a good dose of laughter as well.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      Get Messy Art: The No-Rules, No-Judgment, and No-Pressure Approach to Making Art by Caylee Grey
      I love watching this author on Creative Bug. She makes crafting inventive and fun.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      The Life of Crime: Detecting the History of Mysteries and their Creators by Martin Edwards
      Reading about the evolution of crime fiction in the last fifty years was captivating. I appreciate the interesting notes at the end of each chapter.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      How to Read Now by Elaine Castillo
      I am a nerd for books about reading, and Elaine Castillo’s book is an important one, urging readers to read more deeply and create a more inclusive reading culture. Castillo covers a lot of ground in these essays, and at times I felt I was taking criticism and at other times I felt she was standing up for readers like me, which taken together is what all of us need.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      The Science of Murder: The Forensics of Agatha Christie by Carla Valentine
      Being one of the many ardent Christie Fans on the planet, I enjoyed this book immensely. I loved reading about the science behind her mysteries.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      A Waiter in Paris: Adventures in the Dark Heart of the City by Edward Chisholm
      This is one of the most memorable books I’ve read this year. In the introduction, the author asks the age-old question: ". . . in a post-financial crisis world, what were we, as university graduates with humanities degrees, meant to do with our lives?" What follows is the entertaining and eye-opening story of the four years Chisholm spent working 14-hour days in menial jobs in Paris restaurants as he tried to establish himself as a writer. You’ll never see fine dining (or Paris) in the same way again!
      —Karen, Information & Reader Services

      A Brave and Cunning Prince: The Great Chief Opechancanough and the War for America by James Horn
      In the late 1540s, Opechancanough (also known as Paquiquineo) was born in the Chesapeake Bay area. A relative of a chief, he was familiar with the diplomatic relations of the time, including with European visitors. However, he must have been surprised to have been kidnapped and taken to Spain to be presented before King Phillip II. Allowed to return home, he ended up first having to go to Mexico City and then Cuba. Finally back with his people, he led a war against the Europeans. Eventually, he was taken prisoner and subsequently murdered at Jamestown, but not before reaching almost 100 years old. This fascinating history connects various accounts into a fuller picture of one historical person and provided great context to my knowledge of this period in North American history.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      Le Guide Michelin France : Restaurants : Sélection 2022. by Michelin Éditions 2022
      The post-pandemic iconic guide to French restaurants still has the celebrated, aureate menu descriptions. The guide is now more expansive and inclusive with green ratings and spectrum of culinary and ambiance categories, including creative, modern, traditional, or Mediterranean and cosy, elegant, or pastoral. The guide includes bilingual articles and travel information. This guide is interesting to read or as a travel guide.
      —Nancy, Informaton & Reader Services

      The Dark Queens : The Bloody Rivalry That Forged the Medieval World by Shelley Puhak
      More than a kiloyear of artwork depicts the gruesome death of Queen Brunhilda, born a Visigoth princess (circa 543-613). Queen Fredegonde, born a slave, (died 597) is famously depicting attempting to decapitate her her rebellious daughter Rigunth with the lid of a trunk. Writer Shelly Pumak returns to the epoch's primary sources, including the chronicler Gregory of Tours (538-598), to write a biography of these two queens and a history of the Merovingian empire, its boundaries and vassals extending beyond contemporary France and parts of Switzerland, Italy, Benelux, and Germany. There are a couple, minor historical missteps; in particular, regarding Charibert I's daughter, Queen Berthe of Kent. Her fresh analysis and complete research are illuminative.
      —Nancy, Information & Reader Services

      In Whose Ruins : Power Possession and the Landscapes of American Empire by Alicia Puglionesi
      "In whose ruins..." reads like a set of separate stories on the evolution of narratives and interpretation. The granular examination of American sites and "origin stories" has a single thread: how humans in the "New World" invented historical records as a means to an end. This is a fascinating and provocative exposé.
      —Nancy, Information & Reader Services

      Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton
      Kate Beaton is known for her hilarious comic strips collected in books like Hark! A Vagrant!, but this book, her first graphic memoir, is more serious. As a recent college graduate struggling to pay off her debt, Beaton leaves her home to find more lucrative work in the oil industry. Like Guy DeLisle in his own graphic memoir Factory Summers, she’s a working-class Canadian whose education makes her a fish out of water in an industrial job. But Beaton is much more isolated--a woman among few others, working in a remote area, and in some cases living on site. Beaton focuses on her goals of emerging from debt and becoming successful with her comics, but the depression and trauma of her dangerous work situation are nearly overwhelming. Despite the darkness, I really related to her experiences as a young adult navigating workplace sexism while trying to find an economic foothold.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss by Amy Bloom
      Yes, another death memoir. This one tells the story of the author's journey with her husband to Switzerland to seek a legal assisted suicide following an Alzheimer's diagnosis. It's sweet, funny, and devastating all at once.
      —Louise, Youth Services

      I Was Better Last Night: A Memoir by Harvey Fierstein
      Treat yourself to listening to I Was Better Last Night on audio, and hear actor, screenwriter, and playwright Harvey Fierstein’s memoir of his life and work in his own voice. From creative problem-solving in his art to his self-understanding of his gender identity, every story in this book makes you listen.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      Stay True: A Memoir by Hua Hsu
      This very personal memoir explores the author’s college years as a developing music fan in the grunge era and his somewhat unlikely friendship with a popular fraternity member. While not long, the book explores a lot about relationships and human experience.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      Putin by Philip Short
      Vladimir Putin has had his finger in almost every international political pie of the 21st century. Short has written a remarkable biography, rich in fact and detail, of Putin’s life and reign. It may not be the definitive biography, but given Putin's penchant for obfuscation, that may never be done.
      —Laurie, Information & Reader Services

    • The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams
      One list, with eight book recommendations on it, is discovered by different characters. Their interactions with each other help them to connect in meaningful ways, and invite the reader to join is as well. I loved the ending.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      We Know You Remember by Tove Alsterdal
      Tove Alsterdal is a find for fans of Scandinavian crime novels. We Know You Remember, her U.S. debut and second novel to be translated into English, introduces a conscientious female detective who, against the advice of colleagues, reopens 23-year-old cold case files to help prove the innocence of a young man who was wrongly convicted of a past crime and is now under suspicion in the recent death of his father. Set in a small town in rural northeast Sweden, this fast-paced and suspenseful novel is part psychological study, part police procedural.
      —Karen, Information & Reader Services

      Darling by K. Ancrum
      A satisfying twist of Peter Pan in a contemporary Chicago setting, where fantasy meets reality with noir-like consequences.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki
      A donut shop owner has a meet-cute with a violin instructor, and they slowly develop feelings for each other. The only complicating factors are that the donut shop owner is an alien outrunning a plague of nihilism, and the violin instructor sold her soul to a devil and needs to deliver just one more violin prodigy to him to escape. Meanwhile, a teen girl runs away from home, survives homelessness, and only finds joy in her violin playing in a park—which gets the attention of the instructor. The tension between all these characters, their hopes to do better, and their struggles to find meaning and hope in a time of hopelessness power the story. It's an incredibly kind and utterly original book that everyone should read. 
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour
      This is a hilarious satire on startup culture, the commodification of Blackness, and the way people of color have to fight to blend in and get ahead in an industry that doesn't care about them. Great if you liked the movie Sorry to Bother You.
      —Julia, Information & Reader Services

      Darren "Buck" Vender gets caught up in the insanity of the Somwun start-up company while trying to improve his prospects. He imparts his wisdom of all that he learned while trying to survive, and shows the consequences of his decisions while blazing the path through a new frontier.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      Who is Maud Dixon? by Alexandra Andrews
      Florence Darrow has high hopes of becoming a well-known novelist. Working as a low-level assistant at a New York publishing house, she is thrilled when she receives an offer to work for her favorite author. She jumps at the chance to upgrade her status and live the life her mother always envisioned for her. However, the one caveat is that she must not reveal her boss’s identity. Can she keep the secret? This is a perfectly paced thriller by newcomer, Alexandra Andrews! You will not want to put this book down, as there are surprising twists and turns around every corner.
      —Jayme, Administration

      This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron
      Briseis has an uncanny ability to nurture plant life. When she inherits a mysterious estate full of unusual surprises, she discovers her ancient and powerful lineage. I love the descriptions of the various plants and the way they react to her presence, as well as the way she reacts to them.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      Milk Fed by Melissa Broder
      I don't even know how to describe this one. It's about being a lesbian, it's about having mother issues, it's about having body issues, it's about finding comfort through someone else. It's a tough read and a little bit twisted, which I like, but I think Broder depicts body issues and how it permeates one's everyday life in a way that's both funny and powerful.
      —Julia, Information & Reader Services

      Rachel carries the weight of her emotionally abusive mother and a resultant eating disorder. Then her therapist persuades her to put her maternal relationship on hold and, in the meantime, she meets Miriam, who carries the weight of her religious family and her literally large body, but does so quite happily. Rachel finds herself letting go, hanging on, exploring a new territory of emotional connections. Broder’s novels are offbeat and smart.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      Yolk by Mary H. K. Choi
      Jayne and June are two estranged sisters living in New York City. June is wealthy with a fancy finance job, and Jayne is barely scraping by with fashion school, bad anxiety, and an eating disorder she isn't dealing with. The sisters are brought together, suddenly living with each other, when June is diagnosed with uterine cancer. Jayne and June are two of my favorite characters I've read about in a while; they feel so lived-in, and I adore their relationship and their crazy sister dialog.
      —Kelly, Youth Services

      A Master of Djinn by P. Djeli Clark
      Cairo, 1912. Agent Fatma, who works for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments, and Supernatural Entities, tries to find out how the members of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Al-Jahiz died so mysteriously and why. She encounters djinn, thieves, angels, and a new partner. It was an exceedingly satisfying investigation from beginning to end.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan
      A Jewish inspirational romance! A young rabbi with a flagging congregation and a sex-positive startup owner work together on a daring Modern Intimacy workshop series—it'll attract young people to his shul and clean up her start-up's image. But things start to go wrong when their series goes viral and they can't fight their attraction to each other.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
      I've read other books by Laura Dave and really liked Eight Hundred Grapes. I wasn't sure that this one would appeal to me, though, as mysteries aren't my usual genre. I'm glad that I decided to read it, and since then, I've been recommending it to everyone! The Last Thing He Told Me is a page turner! Hannah, a new wife is trying to figure out why her husband disappeared and left her and his daughter. Together, the two embark on a journey to discover what happened. The plot will keep you reading into the night. It's a great book to curl up with during a snowy weekend or while on vacation.
      —Beth, Administration

      Paradise, Nevada by Dario Diofebi
      The novel begins with a bomb going off in a Las Vegas resort and casino. It then flashes back six months to tell the story of four very different characters whose lives will eventually converge that night. There's Ray, the high stakes professional poker player; Mary Ann, the depressed cocktail waitress; Tom, an Italian tourist who overstays his visa to stay a gambler in America; and Lindsay, a journalist who'd rather have a literary career. The author really is an Italian who played professional high stakes poker, and that authenticity shows. Additionally, the writing is lively, the characters read as fleshed out people you really care about, and the story is genuinely suspenseful. Highly recommended!
      —Michelle, Technical Services

      For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing
      Teddy Crutcher is teacher of the year at the exclusive private school Belmont Academy. His only goal is to help his students fulfill their potential greatness at any cost. When other teachers and colleagues get in his way, he decides that he must teach them a lesson. Does that make him a murderer or savior? For Your Own Good is an unputdownable, unpredictable, twisty thriller. It is so completely original, quirky, and creepy. Prepare to fall in love with the characters, even though you should hate them. The short chapters further the plot with every turn of the page and the cat and mouse game is so completely addicting!
      —Jayme, Administration

      Mrs. March by Virginia Feito
      Mrs. March is a self-proclaimed observer who is caught up in appearances. She even married her husband because everyone said he was the most attractive man on campus. But, who is George March? How well does she really know her husband? When Mrs. March visits her favorite shop for her usual loaf of olive bread, the shopkeeper insinuates that the main character in her husband’s new best-selling book is based on her. Mrs. March is horrified! How can that be? George’s book is about a prostitute, right? Why would he humiliate her like that? Or did he? You see, she hasn’t read the book. Mrs. March snoops around in George’s office for clues about herself in his book and comes across an article he saved about a woman who was recently murdered. She soon becomes increasingly convinced that she doesn’t really know her husband. Could he be capable of murder? Virginia Feito’s Hitchcockian, character driven, suspenseful, dark psychological thriller will keep you guessing until the very last page. Mrs. March is an expertly flawed complex character. This is one of those books that makes you think, What did I just read? What just happened? What is real? What is imagined?
      —Jayme, Administration

      Infinitum: An Afrofuturist Tale by Tim Fielder
      This brilliant graphic novel presents a vibrant narrative in powerful images that left me stunned in admiration.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch by Rivka Galchen
      Based on a real-life accused witch whose son is a still a household name four hundred years later (hint: his first name is Johannes), this story was a lot of fun because its portrayal of small-town life really rang true to me, an originally small-town reader. Rivka Galchen is one of my favorite writers.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney
      Quinn's journal, full of lists about very private thoughts, is misplaced. It's found by another student at her school who starts posting it online. As Quinn tries to find out who her blackmailer is, she hooks up with some new friends who help her discover her true self. It's full of surprises, and lots of love.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      The Witch's Heart by Genevieve Gornichec
      One of many books re-imagining mythology through the points of view of female characters, this book looks at the story of Angrboda and following her perspective through Ragnarok. Great read if you're a fan of Madeline Miller or Norse mythology.
      —Julia, Information & Reader Services

      The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel
      A gripping World War II story about a young woman who helps others evade the Nazis by surviving in the forest. The book opens with an old woman stealing a young child from her German parents in the middle of the night. I found the beginning of the book weak, but the book gets better! The woman and the child live in the forest where the young child grows up learning how to survive in the wilderness. When she's older and now on her own as the old woman has died, she comes across groups hiding from the Nazis and uses her skills and knowledge of the forest to help them survive. It's a good story!
      —Beth, Administration

      When You Look Like Us by Pamela N. Harris
      Jay Murphy can't stop blaming himself about his sister Nicole's disappearance. As he frantically tries to find her, his life tips from one crisis to another. Luckily, he has several people to help him through all those challenges, and he discovers an alternative path he can choose in life.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
      The men of the Trojan War have always been called heroes, but what about the women? In this story all women: Trojan and Greek, Goddess and Mortal, get their stories told, no matter how short they are. I hope this trend of telling the women of the Iliad's stories continue because I find them the most interesting. Also great on audiobook!
      —Michelle, Information & Reader Services

      Bacchanal by Veronica Henry
      Eliza Meeks joins a mysterious and sinister carnival that travels across the South during the Depression. When her own supernatural heritage is revealed, she discovers her powers and follows her destiny to its gripping finale.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth
      Two sisters. Two versions of the truth.
      Rose and Fern are fraternal twin sisters, each with their own personality. Rose is responsible, while Fern is quirky. They have always looked out for one another, especially from their overbearing mother. When Rose is unable to get pregnant, Fern decides to become her surrogate in order to give her the baby that she desires. However, Fern soon realizes that Rose may not be looking out for Fern’s best interests. Rose is hiding secrets that could change everything. The Good Sister is an absolutely unputdownable fast-paced thriller with many cleverly crafted twists. Prepare to fall in love with all the characters. Hepworth masterfully deals with issues of abuse, sensory disorders, and sibling rivalry.
      —Jayme, Administration

      The Removed by Brandon Hobson
      A Cherokee family consisting of aging parents—one with Alzheimer’s—and two adult children plans a memorial bonfire in honor of the third child, who died by a police shooting. While the two remaining children make their own journeys, the parents take in a foster child who begins to seem preternatural. Heartfelt and strange, this book kept me thinking even after I finished it.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      The Moon, the Stars, and Madame Burova by Ruth Hogan
      If you haven't read anything by Hogan, you're in for a treat. Hogan writes once again of quirky British characters who come together as family in this heartening novel.
      —Laurie, Information & Reader Services

      Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
      This book got plenty of attention and may need no introduction. Ishiguro isn’t strictly a science fiction writer, but he goes where his interests take him. Here, Klara is an Artificial Friend who allows Ishiguro to explore what emotional needs humans are hoping to fill with AI, and what emotional needs AI may have. Another great book from a great writer.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers
      A real family saga—the kind with a family tree at the front—this book covers several generations, but focuses on Ailey Pearl Garfield, born in 1973. Ailey lives in the city but spends her summers with her mother’s family in Chicasetta, Georgia, where they have lived for generations, beginning when some members were kidnapped in Africa. As Ailey grows up, continues her education, and begins to find her way in the world, the past echoes around her, through older relatives still living and some long dead. As she eventually discovers history work at the university level, the book rolls in an academic mystery just as a bonus. This is a long book, but I’m hoping for additional ones about some of the characters whose stories don’t get told here, like sister Coco and cousin Veronica.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      After the Rain by John Jennings, David Brame, Nnedi Okorafor
      This was my first introduction to Nnedi Okorafor's extraordinary writing. I was inspired to read the collection, Kabu-Kabu, that this story came from. Jennings does an excellent job of catching her rare imagination.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson
      A beautiful sad sweet story about two young women, Olivia and Toni, who collide at a music festival. I was touched by their personal stories, and felt uplifted by the ending.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones (Indian Lake Trilogy #1)
      Part horror, part mystery, part coming-of-age, part revenge, quarts of blood, and a whole lot of school essays about slasher films—it doesn't sound like it should work, but it absolutely does. Jade is a slasher devotee, and believes she sees the signs of a classic slasher film in the making around her small town of Proofrock. Now she just has to figure out how to get people to take it seriously while also protecting the perfect new Final Girl that she's sure the killer will target. What happens when it turns out that she's right, and that no one else can help?
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      The Secret Keeper of Jaipur by Alka Joshi (Jaipur Trilogy, #2)
       For those who love stories about beautiful India, I recommend the "Jaipur Trilogy Series" by Alka Joshi. In The Henna Artist, Lakshi, a seventeen-year-old courageous woman escapes from an abusive marriage and moves to Jaipur, the pink city, to become the best henna artist in town and confidante of the wealthy women. However, gossip and the sudden surprise of an unknown sister threaten her dreams of becoming an independent woman. In The Secret Keeper of Jaipur, Lakshmi now moves to the foothills of the Himalayan mountains and marries Dr. Kumar. Her protégé, Malik, is now back in Jaipur working on the construction of a movie theater that tragically collapses. Corruption is the main cause and Lakshmi reveals the secrets of Jaipur, so justice prevails during this scandal. I cannot wait to read The Perfumist of Paris which will be released in 2023!  
      —Cary, Administration

      On the Origin of Species and Other Stories by Bo-Young Kim
      If you like science fiction and you're not reading Bo-Young Kim, something has gone horribly wrong with your life. But don't worry this is reversible if you hurry. Bo-Young Kim is like Ted Chiang for people who liked the non-science parts of Liu Cixin, except less sexist. Her stories are thoughtful and fascinating and moving, and my favorite was about robots trying to invent biology by trying to prove that organic matter counts as life. It's a horribly stereotypical statement, but her stories really do ask what it means to be human, and I'd recommend this to anyone who likes Ted Chiang.
      —Julia, Information & Reader Services

      The War for Gloria by Atticus Lish
      Teenaged Corey Goltz lives with his mom, Gloria, in the working-class outskirts of Boston. They aren't rich, but they get by. Gloria once had big dreams, but they got derailed in college when she met Corey's father, Leonard, and got pregnant. Leonard, an MIT security guard and self-proclaimed physics genius with questionable morals, eventually disappears from their lives, but he reappears when Gloria receives a diagnosis of ALS when Corey is fifteen. This return is not good news. This is a brutal, raw and devastating book. Reading about Corey and Gloria's struggles to survive through unbearable circumstances left me in tears. Additionally, the author's mother was diagnosed with ALS when he was a teenager, and the authenticity shows. Lish holds nothing back, and the book is all the better for it. 
      —Michelle, Technical Services

      Reprieve by James Han Mattson
      A literary fiction glimpsed between the moments of a courtroom drama. The book opens with court documents showing that something terrible has happened inside a full-contact haunted house that offers a prize to those who can finish without saying the safe word "reprieve". Finding out whodunnit, what they did, and why takes a backseat to fully exploring the characters that went into the house, their obsessions, and their connections with each other.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue
      This page-turner pits a small African village against a big American company that is polluting their land. When children get sick and start dying, and the men who set out to plead their case disappear, the villagers resort to kidnapping. And that’s just the beginning of the attempts to save the village, which stretch out over years. Some of the children grow up in the struggle. This book deals with problems of environmental degradation that happen the world over, but its language was a pleasure to read.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire (Wayward Children #6)
      It's the latest book in her Wayward Children series, but each one generally acts as a solid standalone. I'm a big fan of this series, which is a love letter to every book featuring a child being whisked away on a fantastical adventure. If you loved books like Alice in Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz or any such books, I definitely recommend the series as a whole.
      —Julia, Information & Reader Services

      In by Will McPhail
      *Lady Gaga meme* Brilliant, phenomenal, fantastic, genius. McPhail is a stupidly talented cartoonist, his book is funny as hell and heartwarming, the use of color and lineart is phenomenal, I bought a copy of my own like days after I read this. It's about connecting with people, about overcoming the rituals that dictate everyday life and forging a real relationship with people, it's about opening up in turn, read this book or else.
      —Julia, Information & Reader Services

      When the Reckoning Comes by LaTanya McQueen
      It's horror set at a modern-day plantation wedding, where the main character Mira is one of two black people invited—you know where this is going, right? Actually, you might not. McQueen keeps you on your toes the whole way through, leaning into standard horror tropes one minute and dodging them the next. It perfectly blends the horrors of the supernatural and the horrors of humanity. And at under 250 pages, it's short enough to keep you completely invested the whole way through.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      Margaret and the Mystery of the Missing Body by Megan Milks
       If you've ever had a difficult relationship with your body, this is a book for you. It's several things at once, and all of them are weird. At first, it's a satire of middle-grade book series with can-do heroines that never age, with this club having a regular client who's a disembodied brain. But what happens if you're a regular person and you do age, and it changes your body, your friends, and your relationships in ways that you hate? If you're Margaret, you develop an eating disorder. The second part is an insiders' view of an eating disorder recovery clinic, haunted by ghosts mental and real, which lets you out once you go on a carnival-ride tour of a body. The third part tears away the fantastic and turns into a fictionalized memoir of Milks, using Margaret as a mouthpiece. This is a fantastic example of using unreality to make something more powerful and honest than the strictly real—because of the fun and whimsy of the first two sections, the third section hits particularly hard. Anyone who's struggled with their physical self will find something that resonates with them in this book.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      The Night Singer by Johanna Mo
      A police detective returns to her hometown in this novel set on the Swedish island of Öland. Hanna Duncker returns to Öland to join their police force, though she's not exactly eagerly welcomed back, as her father was found guilty of brutally murdering an old woman when she was a teenager. After a local teenage boy is found dead, Hanna and her very chatty new partner have to solve the case. What I loved about this book was its focus on the humanity of all the characters, from victim to police to perpetrator. There are no monsters in this book—just deeply flawed people. The real standout for me, though, was Mo's decision to show us the teenage victim's entire last day over the course of the book. By the time I reached the end, I was in tears. A deeply satisfying psychological mystery.
      —Michelle, Technical Services

      This Thing Between Us by Gus Moreno
      A man who just lost his wife mourns her passing while also trying to figure out what caused it. His smart speaker talks to people who aren't there and orders mysterious packages. He hears scratches through the walls and feels himself sleepwalk. Some sinister presence is haunting him, but the lines of reality start to bend as he investigates what it might be.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      The Cost of Knowing by Brittney Morris
      Alex Rufus is cursed with visions of the future. When he sees a fatal ending for his brother Isaiah, he questions the choices he made in a previous tragedy, and tries to make better ones this time. The powerful ending was unforgettable.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      Summerwater by Sarah Moss
      For holiday, several families are staying in cabins on a loch where there’s no cell service and it’s raining a lot, even for Scotland. Very subtly, we start to feel that something isn’t quite right. This book is a good one for those who like books that are unsettling but not outright scary. It’s a short novel told in a stream-of-consciousness style, but every chapter is told from a different character’s point of view. The book didn’t end like I thought it would—and that was probably the point!
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      Hot Stew by Fiona Mozley
      Gentrification is stalking London’s Soho neighborhood, as a wealthy building owner attempts to evict the residents, and the residents fight back. This book is like a group portrait of a close-knit neighborhood. If you like books with a large cast of characters, like Deacon King Kong or The Great Believers, check this one out.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      Suburban Dicks by Fabian Nicieza
      A new mystery author! Suburban New Jersey mom Andie Stern stumbles into a gas station murder scene when one of her kids has to pee—which she proceeds to do, all over the place. Well, good thing that before mom life, Andie was a top profiler. And good thing that she can team up with down-on-his-luck reporter (and former classmate) Kenneth Lee. The diverse cast of characters makes this mystery a lot of fun, as does Andie’s inner seething, which is worthy of any hardboiled detective who doesn’t have to usher five kids safely through life while also catching killers.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse
      A great debut novel, it is both a spooky and tense thriller. What do you get when you have estranged siblings meeting at a remote hotel which once was a sanatorium, run by siblings who have different vested interest? You get a cat and mouse game of who is telling the truth, what are they hiding, who will survive.
      —Stephanie, Information & Reader Services

      The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
      The Lost Apothecary takes the reader between the past and the present as two very different women grapple with their identity after being betrayed by the men they love. What secrets does the old apothecary vile hold, is it linked to murder? Will an aspiring historian be able to piece together the past while finding a new future for herself?
      —Stephanie, Information & Reader Services

      The Five Wounds: A Novel by Kirstin Valdez Quade
      A matriarch oversees the lives of her troubled, adult children and grandchildren in their tiny New Mexico town. Of particular concern is her son, Amadeo, who struggles with employment, addiction, his teenage daughter, and relationships. Life is just hard for him. When he receives the high honor of portraying Jesus in the town's Good Friday procession, he sees this as his chance to redeem himself in the eyes of others and himself. Though I inwardly groaned at some of his dubious choices, I loved this family. I was sorry to leave them.
      —Cynthia, Youth Services

      Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney
      A great follow up to Normal People, Rooney's next entry is another millennial-centric slice of life. Following novelist Alice and her best friend Eileen through a series of meetings and emails, we watch the two grow in relationships and come to terms with an ever-tumultuous world. This is especially poignant as a (somewhat) post Covid-19 novel. 
      —Marissa, Youth Services

      Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell (Simon Snow trilogy, book 3)
      I love this series on audiobook. This emotional conclusion was rocky and challenging, but absolutely worth the read. Beautiful characters with layers of emotion and experience. Includes some potentially triggering scenes.
      —Heidi, Administration

      The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan
      This delightful book features four British women during World War II who compete in a cooking contest. They can only use ingredients from the rationing guidelines set up by the government. Reading about their triumphs, and mishaps, was a treat. I love that the author included their recipes.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      Meet Me in Another Life by Catriona Silvey
      Two strangers keep meeting each other over separate lifetimes in the same city. Once they realize their connection, they set out to find the reason behind it. Along the way, they find out what happens when you know someone completely in all their contexts—you start to not know where one person ends and the other begins.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford
      The day I heard that this novel had been nominated for the Booker Prize, I felt lucky to find it on the New Fiction shelf and checked it out. The book was inspired by a plaque the author saw in London as he walked to work. The plaque commemorated the 168 people who died in the 1944 bombing of a South London Woolworths store. Fifteen of the victims were children who “lost their chance to experience the rest of the twentieth century,” Spufford writes. After a brief description of the bombing, Spufford imagines how the lives of five of these children might’ve turned out if they’d lived, visiting them at 15-year intervals till 2009.
      —Karen, Information & Reader Services

      Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater (Dreamer Trilogy, book 2)
      I can’t even talk about this book, it was so good! I can say I didn’t like the audiobook. The narrator was fantastic with the Raven Cycle, but his English accent for Hennessy, Jordan, et al., is distracting. I can’t wait for the 3rd book!
      —Heidi, Administration

      Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto
      A romantic farce featuring meddling family, a romantic encounter from the past, and one woman trying desperately to do her job and hide a dead body. I thought the book was delightful, and I especially loved the maternal relationships explored between the protagonist and her many aunts.
      —Julia, Information & Reader Services

      Lady Joker. Volume 1 by Kaoru Takamura
      This slowly unfolding crime novel was hard to put down, and I'm eagerly anticipating volume 2 so I can find out what happens! First the characters are set up—the men who form a criminal crime ring at a racetrack, and the beer company executive who becomes their kidnapping victim—then the crime is executed, and by the end the screws are starting to tighten as the kidnappers pull the threads to extract their payment, while police and journalists circle for clues. This book is great for fans of the shows "The Wire" and "Luck."
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      There's No Such Thing as an Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura
      This novel tells the story of a young, unnamed woman in Japan who, after suffering from career burnout, works a series of unusual jobs in search of something altogether different and more meaningful. These jobs, which include observing an author suspected of criminal activity for hours at a time via a hidden camera feed and writing an advice column which appears on rice cracker wrappers, are monotonous and bizarre and yet somehow riveting to read about. Ultimately, this is a book about how we live and how we spend our lives, and I found it incredibly moving.
      —Michelle, Technical Services

      The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward
      A serial killer lives inside the last house on Needless Street. Or does he? What secrets lie buried in the forest? This is a very dark and uncomfortable read told by multiple unreliable narrators (one is even a cat!) It will mess with your sense of time and place and have you questioning everything you think you know and understand. Things are not always as they seem. Meet Ted.
      —Jayme, Administration

      Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead
      Colson Whitehead switches gears (again) and gives us a crime thriller / sociogram of civil rights-era Harlem. Think Langston Hughes meets Frank Miller.
      —Chad, Administration

      Seven Days in June by Tia Williams
      If you ever wondered what the perfect intersection of literary fiction and romance is, it's this book. Two deeply troubled teens met 15 years ago, spend an unforgettable week together, and leave with the path of their lives forever changed. In the present day, they meet up again as fellow authors and start to discover that their feelings for each other are complicated, but haven't lost any passion at all.
      —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      Covet by Tracy Wolff (Crave, book 3)
      The Crave series is a moody, fun, dark high-school vampire/dragon/werewolf boarding school romantic series, reminiscent of Twilight with some overt references to that series. Book 4 comes out in February and Book 5 in May!
      —Heidi, Administration

      Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder
      The unnamed mother has given up her art career to be a stay-at-home mom to her toddler son, and she is less than thrilled about it. While her husband is away at work all week every week, the mother starts experiencing confusing feelings of rage and developing canine impulses. She believes she is turning into a dog. This novel is a fascinating, brutal, and vital commentary on modern motherhood.
      —Kelly, Youth Services

    •  Praying with Jane Eyre: Reflections on Reading as a Sacred Practice by Vanessa Zoltan
      Zoltan is an atheist hospital chaplain who digs deep into secular texts in the same way that a religious person would with sacred texts. This book is part a guide and part a memoir, as she describes how her reading processes help her support others and process her own inherited trauma as the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors. Reading on another level.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      The Icepick Surgeon by Sam Kean
      An interesting look at what steps some will take in the name of science. It covers the gambit of dastardly experiments on the living and dead, the chapters cover many different times in history. What was Cleopatra up to? Thomas Edison may have been a genius, but still was not a nice guy. Why the Tuskegee project proceeded for years. Some of the deeds are cringe worthy but worth the read. 
      —Stephanie, Information & Reader Services

      The Barbizon: The Hotel that Set Women Free by Paulina Bren
      This gives a great account of why the Barbizon was so important to the foundation of many famous individuals. The book looks at the "women only" residence that was deemed safe for young woman looking to take a less traditional path. It focuses a great deal on the summer guest editor competition at Mademoiselle Magazine. Writers such as Joan Didion, Sylvia Plath, Dianne Johnson, actress Ali McGraw were all collegiate winners of the competition. Grace Kelly resided here, along with many other famous individuals. A thorough look at the history of this institution and the many lives it changed.
      —Stephanie, Information & Reader Services

      The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee
      This well researched book clarifies how exclusion profoundly affects those who exclude across the spectrum of public and private activities. Through anecdotes and descriptions McGhee articulates the material losses to generations of those descended from American Slaves. Data and stories again recount the relationship of these losses to economic blight across ethnic lines in the working class. The metaphor of the "drained-pool" supports her research. White resistance to integrated pools resulted and violence and closure across the country, including the once enormous Fairground Park Pool in Missouri. The author ties "drained-pool" politics to healthcare and other exclusion policies convincingly. Thought-provoking and tragic.
      —Nancy, Archivist

      You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey by Amber Ruffin & Lacey Lamar
      Eyebrow raising, jaw dropping, uncomfortably humorous book about the clueless remarks white people have made to Amber's sister Lacey.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      All That She Carried by Tiya Miles
      A simple, compelling embroidered sack on display in the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC tells a fascinating, heartbreaking history of life in enslavement and beyond. Historian Miles traces the provenance of the sack and the lives of the women whose hands it passed through. This book won the 2021 National Book Award for Nonfiction, and I'm glad that these women, previously unknown, get some recognition.
      —Laurie, Information & Reader Services

      Brothers on Three: A True Story of Family, Resistance, and Hope on a Reservation in Montana by Abe Streep
      Basketball brings hope, dreams, tradition and history together for a basketball team from a public high school on a reservation in Montana and the community that supports them. Journalist Streep combines riveting sports reporting with a nuanced portrait of life as a Native American.
      —Laurie, Information & Reader Services

      Press Reset: Ruin and Recovery in the Video Game Industry by Jason Schreier
      When it comes to learning how the proverbial sausage gets made in the Video Game industry, few people are as good at getting the inside scoop as Jason Schreier. In his second book, Press Reset, Schreier looks at the various ways things can and have gone wrong in the development process and shows that even having the backing of mega-corporations like Walt Disney or affluent athletes like Curt Schilling does not equate to success. Even better, he follows up with the developers caught in the tumult to see what happens after these failures to assess the human cost.
      —William, Membership Services

      Salud emocional para mujeres migrantes by Graciela Polanco, Maria Vidal, Marta Lundy y Cary Rositas-Sheftel
       El libro Salud emocional para mujeres migrantes presenta temas y herramientas psicosociales y de empoderamiento para las mujeres en su proceso de migrar. El propósito de este libro es apoyar la creacion de grupos de autoayuda en la comunidad. Algunos de los temas que se incluyen son aculturación, detención, deportación, violencia de género y el rostro de la migración, entre otros. Cada tema incluye una agenda de trabajo para la sesión del grupo de autoayuda, dinámicas, lecturas, así como referencias para profundizar en el tema. Fue un placer trabajar durante más de cinco años en la elaboración de este libro, junto mis colegas Maria, Graciela y Marta. 
      —Cary, Administration

      We Own This City: A True Story of Crime, Cops and Corruption in an American City by Justin Fenton
      This true-crime story of police corruption in Baltimore is a real page-turner. Sgt. Wayne Jenkins was known as an unorthodox go-getter who showed results—but all along he was stealing from suspects, stealing from the city in the form of massive overtime fraud, and planting evidence resulting in false convictions. This is story of how he was taken down in scandal. For fans of the show “The Shield” and of David Simon.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      Don't Call It a Cult: The Shocking Story of Keith Raniere and the Women of NXIVM by Sarah Berman
      A thrilling true-crime account of Keith Raniere, a charismatic huckster whose self-help empire was revealed to be a front for a ring of sex slavery in which women were branded with his initials. It was fascinating reading about how he selected and ensnared his victims, and I highly recommend it if you're a fan of true crime.
      —Julia, Information & Reader Services

      A Better Life for Their Children: Julius Rosenwald, Booker T. Washington, and the 4,978 Schools That Changed America by Andrew Feiler
      I pass the sidewalk marker in town dedicated to Julius Rosenwald every day, but didn't know much about him. This excellent book reveals his partnership with the incomparable Booker T. Washington in their effort to build decent schools in the South for African American children. The photographs and commentary are outstanding.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      This is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan
      Fascinating scatter-brained read on caffeine, the war on drugs, opium, and cultural appropriation.
      —Laura, Media Services

      Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering How the Forest is Wired for Intelligence and Healing by Suzanne Simard
      I am a big fan of Richard Powers’ novel The Overstory, and I was excited for this memoir because Suzanne Simard is the scientist fictionalized in it. Simard has been on the vanguard of discovering how trees communicate and help one another—it's much more sophisticated than we used to think. This book also falls into a genre I quite enjoy, which is memoirs by people who aren’t really writers. What you might lack in eloquent phrasing, you more than make up for in getting to peer into how people in other fields think about their work. Simard has fought uphill to get her research taken seriously, and it is eye-opening.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      Do Right by Me: Learning to Raise Black Children in White Spaces by Valerie I. Harrison & Kathryn Peach D'Angelo
      A practical guide to an important subject. Both authors provide excellent examples of various interactions when discussing issues such as racial assumptions, education, health care, and encounters with police officers.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      All of the Marvels: A Journey to the Ends of the Biggest Story Ever Told by Douglas Wolk
      I've been a fan of Marvel since the first X-Men movie came out over twenty years ago. I've since watched nearly everything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and many of the TV shows. What I've never done is read any of the comics, so when I found out about this book, in which author Douglas Wolk sets out to read all 27,000+ Marvel superhero comics, I was intrigued. The book does not disappoint. At only 367 pages, the book is highly readable and engaging, the footnotes are hilariously informative, and the focus is just broad enough to give you a sense of 60 years' worth of comics without overwhelming you with the fact that he's covering 60 years' worth of comics. Overall, this is a super fun read!
      —Michelle, Technical Services

      Chasing Me to My Grave by Winfred Rembert
      Rembert grew up impoverished and Black in the Jim Crow South. In prison he honed his artistic talent, and in this memoir he tells his life story accompanied by his vivid artwork illustrating what he went through.
      —Laurie, Information & Reader Services

      Can't Stop Won't Stop: A Hip-Hop History by Jeff Chang & Dave "Davey D" Cook
      A riveting, all-encompassing book that covers the inception and development of Hip-Hop from 1969-2020. I loved it!
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      Lev’s Violin: A Story of Music, Culture, and Italian Adventure by Helena Attlee
      The author, captivated by the sound of a gypsy violin she hears in a performance in Wales, is stunned to find that, up close, it is a very ordinary, even decrepit looking, instrument. The owner tells her that experts have declared it worthless. He, a British classical musician, says he bought the violin from a Russian man named Lev. Learning that the instrument was probably made in Cremona, Attlee travels to Italy (and beyond) on a quest to discover how this unusual violin might’ve lived its life. The result is a fascinating and detailed story of the violin’s development and its role in the musical world over several centuries. Musicians and armchair travelers will especially enjoy this book.
      —Karen, Information & Reader Services

      We Had a Little Real Estate Problem: The Unheralded Story of Native Americans & Comedy by Kliph Nesteroff
      This book is full of humor and resilience that defies the challenges faced by the vast indigenous communities in the U.S. and Canada. It was a revelation to me.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      Doppelgangbanger: Poems by Cortney Lamar Charleston
      Every notable poem in this book captures and delivers the rich diversity of being a Black man, with all the implications and experiences chiselled in memorable details.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      Living Nations, Living Words: An Anthology of First Peoples Poetry collected by Joy Harjo, 23rd U.S. Poet Laureate
      A gathering of brilliant poets. It was a privilege to read their diverse and far-ranging poems. It's an excellent extension of the Library of Congress link online.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      She Memes Well by Quinta Brunson
      Not only did this book make me laugh, it was encouraging and captivating too. Chapter 14 is my favorite. I also loved her classic picks.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      Sure, I'll Be Your Black Friend: Notes from the Other Side of the Fist Bump by Ben Philippe
      I learned so much from this book. His honesty was refreshing, and the examples from his own life were memorable.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World by Andrea Pitzer
      In the winter, I like to read about cold places and feel better about the winters here. Reading this book made me feel better about the fact that my only shelter isn’t trapped in the ice, I know how to prevent scurvy, and I’m not being stalked by polar bears. In the 1590s, the Netherlands were thirty years into—and nowhere near the end of—their war of independence from Spain. Several Dutch expeditions set out northward, hoping to find a Northeast Passage that would allow them to more easily trade with China. The crew of one ship, mired in ice within the Arctic Circle, were forced to overwinter in the unfamiliar climate, for which they were ill-quipped. Pitzer is a great narrator, relating their difficulties while focusing less on the “man against nature” narrative of centuries past and more on our changing view of exploration and what constitutes an unknown place.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      The Ravine: A Family, a Photograph, a Holocaust Massacre Revealed by Wendy Lower
      The title belies the fact many identities remain unsolved in Professor Lower's search for everything and everyone involved in this "open air" massacre in German occupied Ukraine. The United States Museum of the Holocaust estimates that two million people, chiefly Jews, were murdered in this way: shot or buried alive; in the early years of the German occupation.
      The subject photo is Miropol, Ukraine, October 13, 1941. The photographer a Slovakian, Lubomir Skrovina, conscript who photographed atrocities to bear witness. (He also hid Jews in his home and facilitated escapes.) Soviet Major Mikola Makareyvych pursued the case for more almost 20 years, 1969-1986, resulting the conviction of three Ukranian collaborators. Lubor weaves the chronology and characters together, especially the murdered Jewish family. This book is a challenging and educational read.
      —Nancy, Archivist

      Sleeper Agent: The Atomic Spy in America Who Got Away by Ann Hagedorn
      In 1929 Honor Society member George Abramovich Koval (1913-2006) became the youngest graduate Central High School in Sioux City, Iowa, his birthplace. His parents had fled the 1905 pogroms in the Russian Empire's Pale of Settlement. The family, immigrant parents and American-born sons, moved to the fledgling Soviet Union in 1932, traveling with a family passport, influenced by the Organization for Jewish Colonization in Russia. Koval obtained a degree in chemistry from the Mendeleev Institute of Chemistry. He returned to the Mendeleev Institute and served as an instructor until his retirement.
      In 1940 Koval returned to the United States as part of the elaborate system of Soviet spies and cover storefronts. After being drafted into the United States Army, Koval went on to work on the Manhattan and Dayton Projects with top security clearance. He sent coded information on the projects via the network to Moscow on a regular schedule. Author Hagedorn traces Koval and his successful mission without cloying anticommunist tropes. She places his work amid a tableau of humanist ideals, global antisemitism, fear of the Soviet security services, and family ties. The writing flows beautifully in this well-researched book. Author Hagedorn traces Kovals education from the United States to Russia, back the U.S. and silently returning to Russia.
      —Nancy, Archivist

      Those We Throw Away Are Diamonds: A Refugee's Search for Home by Mondiant Dogon
      This is a brutal history of a young man who became a refugee at the age of three when his Tutsi Bagogwe family fled genocide and civil war at the hands of long-time Hutu friends and neighbors in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Monidant is also insightful as he describes a spectrum of violent times and locations and decades in refugee camps; chiefly in Rwanda. He shares his success vis perseverance, educational opportunities, and luck. Mondiant's story also interweaves a history of ethnicity and tribes, colonization, and political evolutions and revolutions, providing context throughout the work. The work is a treatise for compassion toward refugees everywhere; a reminder that one's life can change in an instant due to socio-political forces.
      —Nancy, Archivist

      Until Justice Be Done: America's First Civil Rights Movement, From The Revolution To Reconstruction by Kate Masur
      Professor Masur takes her books title from a petition by African Americans in Ohio to address the state's "Black Laws." Beginning with 1803 Ohio Constitution, many free states enacted these laws under the guise of "keeping the peace." (The laws were repealed in the 1840s.)
      Using local, state, and national archives, especially magisterial records, Masur explores the decisions and laws throughout antebellum United State. She shares the stories of the African American activists and allies who fought the laws and public opinion "until justice be done." One chapter is devoted to Illinois in the 1850s. She articulates the changes in laws and public opinion and the Civil War that culminated in the 1866 Civil Rights Act and Fourteenth Amendment.
      —Nancy, Archivist

      The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History by David F. Walker and Marcus Kwame Anderson
      An exceptional presentation of a significant organization that developed in the turbulent 1960s and '70s. I was impressed with the coverage of the individuals involved in its complicated history. The Ten Points were particularly noteworthy.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      The Ground Breaking: An American City and its Search for Justice by Scott Ellsworth
      Reading about the determined individuals who tried to rescue the facts about the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 that were covered-up, denied, and blocked over and over again was a revelation of hopeful perseverance.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      The Secret to Superhuman Strength by Alison Bechdel
      Frankly I think everyone on the planet should read Bechdel, who is a skilled artist, obnoxiously intelligent, and funny to boot. Her latest comic, part autobiography and part musing on fitness trends, also delves into topics of transcendence and enlightenment because of course she would. A great book about ourselves and our relationships with, well, our selves, I'd recommend this to just about anyone who likes graphic nonfiction.
      —Julia, Information & Reader Services

      ¡Hola Papi!: How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons by John Paul Brammer
      I'm a big fan of memoirs written by queer people of color so like, obviously I was gonna read this and like it. But it's GOOD! Brammar writes so tenderly I wanted to give him a hug for every page I read. He writes about growing up gay in a largely conservative town, growing up half-Mexican in a largely white town, having to negotiate these identities and then, later, the trauma he didn't even realize he was carrying until later. It's a beautiful and clever memoir and I highly, highly recommend it.
      —Julia, Information & Reader Services

      Factory Summers by Guy Delisle
      Guy Delisle is best known for his travel memoirs in graphic format, but in this book he returns to his teen years in Quebec City, where he spent summers working in a factory. His reflections on starting his work life in a factory but then moving on to other things hit close to home for me. (Once, in an office job, a coworker and I realized that we also had this in common, and he was glad to find someone who understood him.) At the same time, Delisle recounts rediscovering comics—at the public library, I can’t help but add—and we get the satisfaction of seeing him start on the path that led to his eventual career, but we also feel his uncertainty because of course he didn’t know it at the time.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      Every Day Is a Gift by Tammy Duckworth
      Senator Tammy Duckworth's life story and outlook are inspirational. It's a great read or a great listen, and narrated by the author.
      —Laurie, Information & Reader Services

      Feelings: A Story in Seasons by Manjit Thapp
      A beautiful book by the artist who illustrated the amazing Little Book of Feminist Saints that shows the cycle of feelings, negative and positive, experienced by the author during the year. I loved it.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      Ida B. the Queen: The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells by Michelle Duster
      Not only does the author discuss the achievements of her great-grandmother, she highlights the people who continue to fight for the issues that need to be addressed even now. I love the artwork by Monica Ahanonu.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
      I'm sure everyone and their mother has read this book already but if anyone hasn't, they should. A memoir about Michelle Zauner (of Japanese Breakfast fame)'s relationship with her Korean mother who is eventually diagnosed with cancer, this book was hilarious, moving, and most of importantly of all, indeed made me cry at an H-Mart. I don't like to overuse the word "poignant" but this really was it.
      —Julia, Information & Reader Services

      I often complain that too many books feature mothers dying, and this one is wholly about a mother dying. Still, I liked it. Zauner relates her difficult relationship with her mother, her overwhelming grief at her mother’s early death, and the difficulties in maintaining links to the Korean side of her life without her mother there to provide the connection. Zauner reads the audiobook herself, which makes it extra good.
      —Catherine, Technical Services

      I loved this memoir so, so much. Zauner documents her strained yet tender relationship with her Korean mother who is dying of cancer. Being raised in the US, Zauner struggles to find her place in Korean culture and feels that her only connection to it is through her mother. Having little in common, they bond deeply through shopping for, cooking, and sharing Korean food. Zauner's writing is lovely, and her emotions come through so beautifully. I can't wait to read it again.
      —Kelly, Youth Services

    • Enter the Aardvark by Jessica Anthony
      This slim but engaging novel opens with a U.S. Congressman finding a stuffed aardvark on his front doorstep. His quest to uncover the meaning of the gift exposes interconnections between Victorian England, the African savannah, and 21st century D.C.. What begins as an absurdist comedy flowers into a deeply intelligent meditation on repressed desire, political power, and self-knowledge. —Bea, Membership Services

      Snow by John Banville
      Set in rural County Wexford in the mid-twentieth century, Snow introduces young Anglo-Irish Dublin detective St. John Strafford. Late one December, Strafford is called to investigate the death of a priest (was he murdered? or did a fall down the stairs kill him?) in the country house of the Osborne family. The Osbornes, like Strafford himself, are part of the very small minority Protestant population, lending the story both social and religious tension. Banville, who’s been called Ireland’s greatest living novelist, gives literary polish to this police procedural. This was my first Banville book, and it won’t be my last!
      —Karen, Information & Reader Services

      Everywhere You Don’t Belong by Gabriel Bump
      This book is both hilarious and serious—often at the same time. It’s a coming-of-age story about a boy who grows up in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood and, in the second part of the book, moves to Missouri for college. It’s a fast read, and you won’t regret it! —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark
      Not only are the Klan evil, they're slowly turning into Lovecraftian horrors. And this small band of Black fighters assembled in 1922 are the only thing in several universes that can take them down.  —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      500 Miles from You by Jenny Colgan
      The third novel in Colgan’s Scottish Bookshop series but can be read on its own. This is the story of Lissie, a nurse from London suffering from PTSD and Cormack, an Army veteran and nurse living in Scotland. These two nurses take the opportunity to switch places and then begin communicating through their patient notes, becoming friends and possibly more. For fans of The Flatshare. —Sara, Information & Reader Services

      At Night All Blood is Black/Frère d'âme by David Diop
      The lyrical, flowing prose of this short novel recounts the story of a young Senegalese Rifleman and his best friend in the trenches of World War I. More than 135,000 Africans from the French colonies fought for France in World War I. Many did not speak the national language. (Nor did many Corsican, Breton, Provençal or others. They were, however, citizens of the Republic at the time of fighting.) The book interweaves the chronology of protagonists, Mademba Diop and Alfa Ndiaye, upbringing and families with the violence of the trenches. One dies and the other descends into a violent response that expands beyond the trenches. Accolades include the International Booker and Prix Goncourt des Lycéens which is selected by French high school level students.
      Both the original French and the English translation are available at the Library. The English translation is entitled "At Night All Blood is Black," a quote from the early chapters of the book. The original French is accessible to those with basic reading level of the language.
      —Nancy, Archivist

      The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
      Inspired by the centenary of the Spanish flu pandemic, the author began writing this book in 2018 and delivered the final draft to her publisher in March 2020. Rich in authentic medical and historical detail, the book covers a few harrowing days in the life of a young Irish nurse working in a Dublin hospital in 1918, doing her best to care for several women in a supply closet that's been converted into a maternity ward. The New York Times review calls the novel's parallels to 2020 "uncanny." —Karen, Information & Reader Services

      Set in Ireland during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic – this gorgeously-written, short novel takes place over the course of several days in a Maternity ward of a Dublin hospital. Nurse Julia finds herself in charge of the ward, taking care of expectant mothers suffering from influenza. —Sara, Information & Reader Services

      Actress by Anne Enright
      I loved this book for its setting in the world of 20th-century Irish theater—the actress of the title is the protagonist’s mother, who publicly went mad—but also for telling the story of a dramatic, emotional mother-daughter relationship without melodrama. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop by Fannie Flagg
      Whistle Stop and its idiosyncratic residents are back again in the story of Bud Threadgoode.  Bad things happen, good things happen, heartwarming and amazing things happen.  People are so wise and funny even the mean ones turn out OK or get their just dessert.  A great read. —Laurie, Information & Reader Services

      The Guest List by Lucy Foley
      From the beginning of this mystery set at a remote island in Ireland, we know only that a body has been found. The narrative switches perspectives between the bride, the bridesmaid, the wedding planner, the plus one, and the best man, as pieces of the puzzle are slowly and masterfully revealed. —Sara, Information & Reader Services

      Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey
      Librarians as resistance fighters against an oppressive dystopia in the Weird Wild West in 100 pages of utterly engrossing action and a tiny peek at the wider world beyond it. —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      Glass Town by Isabel Greenberg 
      The Brontës—Anne, Charlotte, Emily, and Branwell—were a writing family, and as children they began writing adventures together, set in fictional Glass Town. This graphic novel is based on that writing but turns metafictional, as characters emerge from the story to confront Charlotte, who has become mired in the grief and hardship of her life. The smudgy style of the artwork didn’t grab me at first, but as I read, I came to like it because it perfectly depicted the atmosphere of the moor. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall
      Luc O’Donnell is the son of two former rock stars and was once famous for his outrageous behavior and his trips in and out of rehab. Now that his dad's making a comeback, Luc's back in the public eye, and one compromising photo is enough to ruin everything.
      To clean up his image, Luc must find a nice, normal relationship...and Oliver Blackwood is as nice and normal as they come. He's a barrister, an ethical vegetarian, and he's never inspired a moment of scandal in his life. In other words: perfect boyfriend material. Unfortunately, apart from being gay, single, and really, really in need of a date for a big event, Luc and Oliver have nothing in common. So, they strike a deal to be publicity-friendly (fake) boyfriends until the dust has settled. Then they can go their separate ways and pretend it never happened.
      If you love the fake dating trope, this the book for you. Full of humor, yearning and a whole lot of heart; you will be feeling all the feelings until the last page. —Michelle, Information & Reader Services

      The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed
      Getting caught in the backlash of the Rodney King tragedy makes Ashley question her privileged upbringing, and helped me understand what's at stake in our country.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
      This book has elegant southern style to it with character you revere and identify with. I can’t say enough good things about it!
      —Heidi, Administration

      Beach Read by Emily Henry
      January Andrews is a romance novelist who is having a hard time writing her next book after finding out that her father had an affair before his recent death. She moves to his cottage in northern Michigan to clean out the house and try to end her writer’s block but finds her college nemesis living next door. Augustus Everett is now an author of dark, realistic, literary fiction and he is also working on a new book. They decide to strike a deal – she'll teach him about romantic comedies while he’ll take her on field trips to meet the surviving members of a cult – both will write, and whoever gets a book deal first wins. —Sara, Information & Reader Services

      Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
      The second book in the Brown Sisters series finds middle sister Danika about to finish her PhD, lecturing at a university, and with NO time for a relationship. When the campus security Zafir rescues her from an elevator during a fire drill and video of them goes viral, they make a deal. She will pretend to be his girlfriend to help him get publicity for a charity that he started, and he will be her “friend with benefits” -- as any romance reader can guess – this deal doesn’t go as planned. (The third and final book in the series, Act Your Age, Eve Brown, comes out in March 2021 and is equally delightful) —Sara, Information & Reader Services

      28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand
      I've never read anything by Elin Hilderbrand, but I'm glad I picked up 28 Summers! If you're looking for a great light read, dive into 28 Summers.  It's a perfect escape -- easy to devour and a page turner.  The setting was beautiful and summery.  The two main characters, who are so likeable (!), have a "same time next year" romance that takes place on Nantucket.  The author introduces every year in the characters' long romance with cultural references to that year. It's a fun look back, and just another element that makes it such a great read! —Beth, Marketing

      The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner
      A Historical novel set in Chawton, England – the village where Jane Austen wrote her last novels -- a group of villagers, each dealing with grief in their own way, comes together to preserve Austen’s home and legacy. For fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. —Sara, Information & Reader Services

      The Crossroads at Midnight by Abby Howard
      Abby Howard is a phenomenal cartoonist, and her disturbing ink drawings make this a delightfully creepy read. Her comics exploring the intersection of the mundane and the macabre are phenomenal. If you like horror you really have to give her a try.
      —Julia, Information & Reader Services

      The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin
      Four-time Hugo Award winning author N. K. Jemisin has an amazing talent for examining well-trodden tropes within speculative fiction in fresh, humane, and socially progressive ways. In her latest book, the author presents a fast-paced tale of good vs evil. In it, the souls of modern-day New York’s diverse boroughs, manifested within human avatars, must defend the city against an eldritch horror personified by evils that are all too familiar to contemporary readers. Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Kirkus Starred reviewed title.
      —Aaron, Information & Reader Services

      The Half Sister by Sandie Jones
      Sisters Kate and Lauren have grown apart as adults – Lauren is married with children, while Kate is (secretly) suffering from infertility – but they still have lunch with their recently widowed mother every Sunday. But one Sunday, a young woman appears on their doorstep, claiming to be their father’s daughter. Kate does not believe her, but Lauren does... and this domestic thriller keeps readers turning pages until the end. —Sara, Information & Reader Services

      Antkind by Charlie Kaufmann
      The screenwriter Charlie Kaufmann (known for Being John Malkovich and many others) brings the same sensibility of his movie writing to his first novel. It’s long, surreal, and lots of fun. Much of the humor is at the expense of the book’s narrator, a movie critic who discovers an outsider filmmaker, tries to use him to cement his own reputation, and is, basically, an ass. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline
      A historical novel by the author of Orphan Train, this novel tells the story of several English women convicted of crimes and sentenced to transport to Australia. Evangeline has been seduced by the son of her employer, finds herself pregnant with his child, and is ultimately convicted of stealing the ring that he had given her. On the ship to Australia, she meets Hazel, a teenager from Scotland who has learned midwifery from her mother. Their stories are interwoven with that of an aboriginal girl who has been removed from her home in Australia. —Sara, Information & Reader Services

      In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
      Another romantic comedy from Christina Lauren, this novel is best described as Hallmark Christmas Movie meets Groundhog Day. Maelyn Jones is spending Christmas with her family and family friends in a cabin in Utah, like she does every year – but this year is not going well. After finding out that the cabin is being sold and this will be the last year of the tradition, Mae and family are driving away for the last time when their car is hit by a Christmas tree truck.... but when Mae wakes up, it’s five days earlier and she is living the same week over (and over) again! —Sara, Information & Reader Services

      Code Name Hélène by Ariel Lawhon
      Based on the true story of Nancy Wake, an Australian woman living in France during WWII, who ultimately became a leader in the French Resistance. The novel switches between two time periods in Nancy’s life, ultimately leading to a dramatic conclusion. —Sara, Information & Reader Services

      Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy
      In a near future where humans are facing mass extinctions of wildlife, Franny is attempting to track some of the last remaining arctic terns, a bird that migrates all the way from the arctic to Antarctica and back every year. Franny herself is migratory, in a way, finding it impossible to stay at home with her husband, despite their loving relationship. To follow the terns, she talks her way onto a fishing boat, whose crew is trying to find fish in the depleted seas. She’s a flawed but interesting main character, and this is perhaps the first adult book I’ve read in which a woman serves on the crew of ship that isn’t a spaceship. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      Death in Her Hands by Ottessa Moshfegh
      A widow out walking her dog finds a note referring to a murder and a body—but no body. This book starts as a murder mystery, but both the widow and the story get stranger as it goes along. I recommend just going where the book takes you. By the way, if you’ve read Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk, you’ll find some striking similarities (an older woman living in a resort cabin in the off-season and William Blake), but a very different book. The two books have nothing to do with each other in author or conception, but they make a great pair. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire (Wayward Children, book 5)
      What happens to children once they return from worlds similar to Wonderland, Oz, or Neverland? How can they cope with living in a world where they are no longer the heroes of the fantastical worlds they have visited? Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children is a refuge for children who have trouble adjusting to being back on earth or whose families can’t cope with how their children have changed as a result of their experiences. Come Tumbling Down resolves shocking plot threads left dangling in previous volumes of McGuire’s Wayward Children series, a contemporary spin on the Portal Fantasy sub-genre. The story focuses on fan favorite characters Jack and Jill Wolcott, rival twins who wound up in a world reminiscent of classic monster movies filled with Vampires, Mad Scientists, werewolves etc. A perfect quick read for the Halloween season.
      McGuire deftly blurs the line between the monstrous and heroic. Her beautifully crafted characters come across as real people, coping with overwhelming challenges in unreal and fascinating worlds The series shows the reader that our flaws don’t have to define us, they can empower us. Additionally, a recurring theme in the series is finding one’s true home, the place where a person is comfortable, safe, supported, and free to be their truest most genuine self without fear or shame.
      Each previous novella leading up to and including this title are short novellas. You will definitely want to at least have read the first two books to fully appreciate Come Tumbling Down but the investment will be worth it.
      —Aaron, Information & Reader Services

      Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
      During his family's cross-country move, 12-year-old Edward becomes the sole survivor of a plane crash and is adopted by his aunt and uncle. In their home in suburban New Jersey, he begins the long process of physical and emotional healing that forms the backbone of this inventive novel. Flashbacks to the flight itself reveal the stories of various fellow passengers, people whose lives intersected with Edward's at that time and years later. Edward's story is touchingly and gracefully told in this hard-to-forget book. —Karen, Information & Reader Services

      Weather by Jenny Offill
      Lizzie Benson is a librarian coping with a lot of anxieties—especially climate change, as she begins answering email for a friend’s podcast. Even though COVID-19 knocked climate change down a peg on our list of global anxieties, I related. However, what made this book was great were the humor and the small human moments. The very short chapters pass almost like the changing weather. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      The Switch by Beth O’Leary
      In this new novel from the author of The Flatshare, Leena Cotton and her grandmother Eileen decide to switch homes. Leena has been forced to take a two-month sabbatical at work, so she takes over her grandmother’s cottage in a rural Yorkshire, and her grandmother moves into her London flat and takes up online dating. Both grandmother and granddaughter end up finding love in unexpected places. —Sara, Information & Reader Services

      Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
      Phenomenally well-written novel about three people, cis and trans, debating raising a child together. An unapologetically queer novel filled with references and allusions to being trans in ways that made me laugh out loud in delight. Peters tackles taboo issues within the queer community with empathy and wit and I genuinely couldn't believe this was her first full-length novel.
      —Julia, Information & Reader Services

      Cars on Fire by Monica Ramon Rios
      In a work that might be described as Cubism meets 21st century Latina prose, "Cars on Fire" is poignant. Composed in English by Chilean writer Monica Ramon Rios, this series of short stories describes a spectrum of personalities and their lives, sometimes tragic and sometimes inspiring. The stories are best read in sequence as the reader discovers citizens in repressive regimes, refugees adapting to a new home and others adjusting to their fates. The work is ultimately a tableau painted as subversion to an ever-moving cultural structure. —Nancy, Archivist

      Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
      Want a fantasy that will never let you know where it's headed? Where the characters are varied and interesting, never asking you to pick a side? Where each page reveals more of the secret twists and turns of the city it calls home? This is the book for you. For fans of Game of Thrones. —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      The Last Emperox by John Scalzi (Interdependency trilogy, book 3)
      It’s great when a Sci-Fi trilogy manages to stick the landing and offer readers a thoroughly satisfying conclusion. In the finale of The Interdependency trilogy, Scalzi’s talent for crafting wry witty dialogue from snarky protagonists, his skill at deftly juggling multiple intricate plotlines, and his prowess for building interesting fantastical worlds are on full gratifying display.
      —Aaron, Information & Reader Services

      Unspoken by Ian Smith
      I recommend this book for those who love mysteries and fiction that take place in their hometown of Chicago and the North Shore. —Laura, Media Services

      The Book of V. by Anna Solomon
      Riffing on the story of Esther and Vashti, this book tells the story of three women in three different times—Esther herself, Vee—a U.S. senator’s wife in the 1970s, and Lily—an academic-turned-housewife in nearly-present-day Brooklyn. The storytelling kept me turning pages, and the plot came together in a way I didn’t expect. Readers familiar with feminist novelists such as Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Marilyn French may catch hints of them, but this book is enjoyable all on its own. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      Fortune Favors the Dead by Stephen Spottswood
      This noir-ish detective story starts in the early 1940s in New York City. Private detective Lillian Pentecost can't get around like she used to because of multiple sclerosis, which she tries hard to mask. Willowjean "Will" Parker, who has picked up an evening gig as a night watchman, saves Lillian's life with knife throwing skills she's learned in her years with a circus troupe. Lillian hires Will to be her investigator and the story picks up three years later when they are solving a classic locked-room mystery involving the wealthy. I hope this isn't the last we'll read of Will Parker and Lillian Pentecost.  —Laurie, Information & Reader Services

      Remain Silent by Susie Steiner
      Susie Steiner continues the story of British detective Manon Bradshaw that was begun in two earlier novels. Now in her mid-forties, Manon has a full personal life: a teenaged adopted son, a toddler, and a partner of four years. A few years back, she volunteered to work cold cases in the hope it would offer some work/life balance. Since her young son was born, she's scaled back to part time--until, walking in the local park with her son, she happens to discover a body, and she's suddenly called upon to lead the investigation. This police procedural is full of appealing characters; the dialogue stands out both for its British flavor and its humor. —Karen, Information & Reader Services

      A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes, book 4)
      Beautiful characters and bewitching story full of magical, ethical, romantic, and familial trials. Listen to it on audiobook!
      —Heidi, Administration

      The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton
      It's 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world's greatest detective, is being transported to Amsterdam to be executed for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Travelling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent. But no sooner are they out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A twice-dead leper stalks the decks. Strange symbols appear on the sails. Livestock is slaughtered. And then three passengers are marked for death, including Samuel. Could a demon be responsible for their misfortunes?
      Once again Turton writes a crafty, twisty whodunit that keep you turning the pages. Just when you think you know who (or what) did it, something is thrown your way to knock you off your track. It kept me guessing until the very end, and even then, it surprised me. —Michelle, Information & Reader Services

      Barn 8 by Deb Olin Unferth
      I loved this book about chickens, and I don’t even like chickens. After some twists and turns, two women come together to pull off the massive heist of a million chickens from a farm. The writing is excellent, and in my opinion, this book didn’t get as much attention as it deserved. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots
      Fighting powerful "good" guys (and the terrors of the gig economy) through data, friendship, and the crushing freedom of the truth. —Katie, Information & Reader Services

      To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters
      A Regency romantic comedy – Lady Violet Grey and Lord James Audley have been married for five years, but after a horrible misunderstanding, they have been estranged for the last four years. Wanting to teach her husband a lesson, Violet decides to pretend to be ill. James knows that she’s pretending but decides to play along... and sparks fly. —Sara, Information & Reader Services

      Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu
      Tackling Asian-American stereotypes head-on, Interior Chinatown is told in the form of a screenplay. Actor Willis Wu dreams of working his way up from “Background Oriental Male” to “Kung Fu Guy,” but as we begin to glimpse behind the scenes, real life looks like just another set. Unusual and thought-provoking. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

    • Ex Libris by Michiko Kakutani
      A rich and diverse selection overflowing with vibrant summaries of note-worthy books. I love the illustrations by Dana Tanamachi.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good by Tina Turner
      This uplifting and inspiring book is full of love, wisdom, and laughter.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything by B. J. Fogg
      Behavior Scientist and Stanford Professor B. J. Fogg's "Tiny Habits" is not only a self-help and self-actualization guide; the tome explains the human behavior behind our habits. Dr. Fogg takes the simple, distilled message that Tiny is mighty and outlines three steps: trigger/cue, routine and reward. Then, each step is explained and detailed. Sometimes the book descends into "how I changed this person's life." However, his simply articulated message and indices of basic techniques to address problems and solutions make this a key book well worth the read. —Nancy, Archivist

      It's Great to Suck at Something by Karen Rinaldi
      Rinaldi makes a good case for doing something you love, even if you suck at it. Her examples about surfing were perfect, when it came to exploring her dogged determination, to keep at it. The realities of such a dangerous, but euphoric activity, made the lessons she learned along the way, vivid, and unforgettable. —Lisa, Membership Services

      Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
      A compelling theory of American injustice and the roles we all play in perpetuating it. —Chad, Administration

      Dispatches from the Race War by Tim Wise
      This book was so captivating and brilliant, I read it in a few days, then bought my own copy so I could re-read it more slowly. I especially love the essay about the significance of historical statues.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      Long Time Coming by Michael Eric Dyson
      This beautiful book is full of heart, and the painful realities about race. It captures the issues that appeared so blatantly during the pandemic and unveils the long history that precedes them.
      —Lisa, Membership Services

      Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy by David Zucchino
      This book is a history of the only violent coup in the United States, which occurred in Wilmington, North Carolina. In the late 19th century, the city was prosperous, supported a black middle class, and had elected several black leaders to office. Then white supremacists, supported by the Democratic Party of the time, took over the government. I learned about a chapter of history that is unpleasant but important. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      Agent Sonya by Ben Macintyre
      Berlin-born "Sonya" (Ursula Kuczynski) joined the Communist Party in Germany in her teens and was recruited as a spy by the Soviets in her early twenties. As a woman with a baby (she eventually had three children), she blended easily into the landscape of the various places she was sent. She had a few close calls but evaded detection for twenty years. This book is nonfiction, but it often reads like a good suspense novel. —Karen, Information & Reader Services

      This fast-paced historical account of the life of Ursula Kucynski, a committed Communist born in 1907 Berlin and spy for the Soviets, reads like a novel, with surprising twists and turns, and will thrill readers until the very last page. —Laurie, Information & Reader Services

      The Little Book of Investing Like the Pros: 5 Steps for Picking Stocks by Joshua Pearl
      Using real-world examples and actual Wall Street models, two investment specialists offer an accessible, step-by-step guide to help would-be investors select stocks, invest appropriately and manage and protect their portfolio with risk-management best practices.
      —Deborah, Information & Reader Services

      Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener
      This memoir is a 280-page explication of why being told to "think like a startup" feels so terrible. And yet, looking into that world through Anna Wiener's eyes makes for an enjoyable read. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      18 Tiny Deaths: The Untold Story of Frances Glassner Lee and the Invention of Modern Forensics by Bruce Goldfarb
      This was a riveting book about a remarkable woman, Lee, and Dr. George Burgess Magrath, who worked so hard at trying to establish a reliable way to investigate suspicious deaths. It was frustrating to see how difficult that was, and it still isn't as well established as it should be. Considering Lee's resources and determination, it's amazing how quickly her efforts were forgotten. I'd heard about the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, but didn't know much about them, though I've been curious to know more. This book has fulfilled that need to know perfectly. —Lisa, Membership Services

      Wise About Waste: 150+ Ways to Help the Planet by Helen Moffett
      One person cannot change the world. One person can reach out to another, build a community to bring about change where they have control about personal accountability. Personal accountability is what we all need to aim for. —Deborah, Information & Reader Services

      My Wild Garden: Notes from a Writer's Eden by Meir Shalev
      Shalev writes about his garden in Jezreel Valley, celebrating his wild and not-quite haphazard gardening style. The book includes beautiful illustrations by Refa'elah Shir. —Laurie, Information & Reader Services

      Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life by Ozan O. Varol
      This book will teach you the one word you will learn to boost your creativity and empower you to change the world. —Deborah, Information & Reader Services

      Leadership Is Language: The Hidden Power of What You Say -and What You Don't by L. David Marquet
      Great advice on how to lead more effectively by choosing your words more wisely. —Deborah, Information & Reader Services

      Why We Swim by Bonnie Tsui
      Swimming is the second-most popular recreational activity in the U.S.--first is walking—but you don’t have to be a swimmer to enjoy this book. It’s packed with interesting people who have survived disaster by swimming long distances, recovered from severe injuries in part by swimming, competed in samurai martial arts swimming, and more. The part about the samurai swimming was my favorite—imagine being able to tread water with your upper body so still that you can fight with a sword! An informative and entertaining book all about what draws us to the water. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      A Little History of Poetry by John Carey
      I love how Carey engages the reader, as he explores poetry through the centuries, with historical highlights, details of a wide range of poets, and numerous examples of poems, that reveal their significant importance to each generation. Every chapter offers a new doorway, for further exploration. —Lisa, Membership Services

      The Toni Morrison Book Club by Juda Bennett, Winnifred Brown-Glaude, Cassandra Jackson, and Piper Kendrix Williams
      These four exceptional professors from the College of New Jersey, explore the important themes found in the books by Morrison. They delve into Beloved, The Bluest Eye, The Song of Solomon, and A Mercy. They discuss the current political climate, personal experiences of racism, and other significant issues. —Lisa, Membership Services

      Something that May Shock and Discredit You by Daniel M. Lavery
      In this collection of funny and deeply moving essays, Lavery interweaves his experiences as a trans man with stories from myth and pop culture. He explores everything from Byron to Mean Girls with humor, intelligence, and vulnerability. —Bea, Membership Services

      Square Haunting: Five Writers in London Between the Wars by Francesca Wade
      H.D.(Hilda Doolittle), Dorothy L. Sayers, Jane Ellen Harrison, Eileen Power, and Virginia Woolf are the memorable individuals, who lived in Mecklenburgh Square at different times. Wade captures their lives, works, and important contributions that they made, so women could choose independent, and fulfilling options in life. I was amazed and uplifted as I read about their struggles, and their achievements, knowing that they did make a difference, even though they felt hindered, and rebuffed, during the process. —Lisa, Membership Services

      Un Si Long Silence by Sarah Abitbol
      With her partner Stéphane Bernadis, Olympian and world champion medalist Sarah Abitbol won the French national pairs figure skater championship tenfold. She was also raped repeatedly by her coach beginning at the age of 15. In crisp prose, Abitbol and her co-writer Emmanuelle Anizon detail the enduring trauma of abuse. This book documents the life of young sportswoman on her road to international acclaim (before and after changing coaches) and her move forward to address and investigate sexual abuse and the culture of silence; in general, and precisely within the Fédération française des sports de glace (French skating federation). As the title, "Such a long Silence," indicates, Abitbol confronts the barriers that keeps abuses hidden. In French, this book is accessible to those at with a basic knowledge of the French language. —Nancy, Archivist

      The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler's Ghettos by Judith Batalion
      The Polish resistance underground included young women who had been chanichim in a variety of movement such as the Zionist Hashomer Hatzair and the Yugnt-Bund Tsukunft. As the Nazi Germany created more than 1400 Jewish ghettos in occupied territories, these young women. Inspired by an out-of-print Yiddish monograph at the British Library, the author, a granddaughter of Polish Holocaust survivors, explored chiefly unpublished personal narratives. These narratives included letters, diaries, and oral histories deposited in archives around the globe.
      Batallion traces the resistance of seventeen young Jewish women. Beginning with what is known of their formative years, she traces coordinated and individual actions surrounded by death and destruction, frequently their own. These stories are both heartbreaking and inspiring, an act of remembrance. The author describes her work as "a book of memoirs."
      —Nancy, Archivist

      Into the Forest: A Holocaust Story of Survival, Triumph, and Love by Rebecca Frankel
      Into the Forest is a love story. The Rabi­nowitz family: Miriam who owned her own pharmacy as a young woman, her husband Morris, and their daughters Tania (Toby) and Rochel. They lived and grew up in an area that is currently part of Belarus. Between the first World War and the end of the second, the area fell within the maps of Germany, Poland, Russia, and the Soviet Union. In the 15th century, when Jewish families first settled there, the area was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
      During World War II, the Rabinowitz family survived multiple moves, selections, ghettos, and liquidations before fleeing to the dense, marshy Bialowieza Forest where they survived among partisans and guerilla warfare for two years. If you read one Holocaust story, make it this one.
      —Nancy, Archivist

      A House in The Mountains: The Women Who Liberated Italy from Fascism by Caroline Moorehead
      This is the final volume in the author's "Resistance Quartet." Mussolini, "Il Duce," began enforcing a strict policy of gender roles in the public and private sphere when he came to power in 1922 . It was this strict separation that permitted the successful resistance of the women and girls in Northern Italy, according to the author's research form personal narratives including diaries, letters, and other archival materials.
      In a fragmented country amid both World War II and Civil War, 1943-1945, the protagonists in this history and on the partisan front supported anti-fascist underground and fought a guerrilla war. This book is both lively and in-depth; and invaluable to understanding the Italian Republic formed in 1947.
      —Nancy, Archivist

      Information Hunters: When Librarians, Soldiers, and Spies Banded Together in World War II Europe by Kathy Lee Peiss
      This descriptive compendium of World War II efforts by the United States to access and preserve informational resources before, during and postwar is an invaluable resource about intelligence, counter-intelligence and American research library collections. As the Second World War progressed, materials were collected for informational, evidential and preservation purposes. Large-scale microfilming and bibliographic descriptive practices hold deep roots in these efforts.  As the book title suggests, two groups: librarians and intelligence agents worked with intertwined purposes. At the war's end, this same group worked to return or find repositories scattered and plundered collections; efforts that became increasingly poignant as it became clear that many owners: individuals, families, and organizations no longer existed. Within these efforts are also revealed new beginnings of reformatting materials and other efforts to preserve and make accessible knowledge. —Nancy, Archivist

      Stalin: Passage to Revolution by Ronald Grigor Suny
      Professor Suny has completed an encyclopedia of Stalin, born Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, from birth through his path to leader of the Soviet Union. Suny's research included provincial, religious, and national Georgian archives. The result provides both a biography and a history of Georgia and its Caucasian neighbors in the years preceding the Russian Revolution and the creation of the Soviet Union. He describes and analyzes Stalin's intellect and philosophy. The book is an invaluable resource on 20th century history.
      —Nancy, Archivist

      Children of Ash and Elm: A History of the Vikings by Neil Price
      This compelling and thoroughly enjoyable history of the Vikings is not for the squeamish. Price paints a vivid picture of Viking mythology, material culture, and historical significance, making this a must-read for history lovers. —Bea, Membership Services

      Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L. Trump
      This book reveals Donald Trump's family relationships and the truth behind the businessman who took over his father's company creating an image that is far from the reality. I recommend this book as it gives some insight into how Donald Trump became the ruthless man he is today. —Laura, Media Services

      There and Here: Small Illinois Towns with Big Names by Laurent Pernot
      If you ever wondered how many small Illinois towns got their grand names, Highland Park's own Laurent Pernot has the answer. He visited over 100 small (or currently nonexistent) towns, former state capitols, and landmarks in Illinois, took lovely pictures, and has a nice writing style for the accompanying text.
      —Laurie, Information & Reader Services

      Natalie Wood by Suzanne Finstad
      This book gives a look into the entire life of Natalie Wood from her Russian Parents coming to America through her career in movies starting as a child star and becoming one of America's most popular award winning actresses. The book probes further into her numerous romantic relationships including her two marriages to Robert Wagner while shedding light on his involvement in her untimely death. If you are a Natalie Wood fan, you will like this book as it delves into her personal life and answers questions about who was responsible for her death. —Laura, Media Services

    • Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
      Toby Fleishman is getting divorced and it’s not going well—and that’s before his wife leaves the kids with him and disappears. Funny, insightful, and much more than the ho-hum domestic novel you might expect—this book generated a lot of press over the summer and fall, and now a TV series is in the works. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      Those People by Louise Candlish
      Author Louise Candlish is popular in her native England for her brand of "suburban noir" and this is her second novel to be published in the US. Candlish deftly weaves together the perspectives of the residents of Lowland Way, a quiet neighborhood, after a new family moves in a tragic death occurs. —Sara, Information & Reader Services

      Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh
      Intricately plotted court room drama. The murderer is on the jury and it’s up to attorney and ex-con Eddie Flynn to figure everything out.—David, Membership Services

      Exhalation: Stories by Ted Chiang
      Ted Chiang is not a very prolific author, which is too bad because he is an excellent one. His readable stories extrapolate from science in ways that keep me thinking long after finishing the book. In Chiang’s hands, time travel, artificial intelligence, and alternate universes all expand our range of possibilities and our understanding of our own humanity.—Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      Recursion by Blake Crouch

      What if you could rewrite your life?

      Neuroscientist Dr. Helena Smith’s mother has Alzheimer’s. Driven to help her, she makes it her life goal to find a cure. Much to her amazement, she creates a device to help people with their memories but what she truly ended up creating was something much more – the ability to rewrite their lives. People all around the world start having “false memory syndrome” and when New York Detective Barry Sutton starts investigating the cause of it, his life and Helena’s life are changed forever. If this creation gets into the wrong hands, it can have extremely disastrous consequences! It’s up to Barry and Helena to make sure that does not happen!

      This fantastic read and is geared toward Sci-Fi buffs and anyone who loves a good thriller. An exceptional Sci-Fi thriller that ranks as one of my favorites!—Gus, Information & Reader Services

      Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

      I cannot tell you, dear reader, how many times I have consumed Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in its original print form, never mind how often I have watched the various movie or mini-series adaptations. In terms of written retellings of this classic text, however, I am incredibly picky; I will not, for example, dedicate time to a rewrite of Pride and Prejudice if I am not enjoying it after ten pages.

      This to say - I have read Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors three times since it was published in May 2019 and have already pre-ordered a personal copy of Sonali Dev’s next title (Recipe for Persuasion, May 2020). This was fun from start to finish and was such a new, interesting take on the original novel that I am just so pleased to have discovered it! —Sarah Marie, Information & Reader Services

      We Are Here Forever by Michelle Gish
      Sometime in the future, all the humans are gone (or are skeletons) and the world has been populated by small squarish critters with bulbs for tails. They don’t know where they came from or how many things work, but their progress in problem solving and civilization building is hilarious and adorable. This book features new stories from Gish’s We Are Here Forever webcomic, where you can go to devour more. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      Feast Your Eyes by Myla Goldberg
      Does an artist and a mother have to be a mother first and an artist second, or can she be wholly both? Fictional 1950s street photographer Lillian Preston is arrested for obscenity after exhibiting a provocative photo of herself and her daughter. Here the story of their lives is told by Lillian’s daughter, and there was just so much to think about. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      The River by Peter Heller

      Two college friends embark on a several weeks long journey canoeing down the Maskwa River in northern Canada. What starts off as a relaxing trip turns into a race for survival as a wildfire rips through the distant forest, heading their way. When they hear a man and woman arguing on the fog-shrouded riverbank and decide to warn them about the fire, their search for the pair turns up nothing and no one. But: The next day a man appears on the river, paddling alone. Is this the man they heard? And, if he is, where is the woman?

      Peter Heller once again awes me with his beautiful nature writing, thrilling adventure, and wonderful characters. He is not an author to miss! —Michelle, Information & Reader Services

      Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
      This debut novel by podcaster Linda Holmes tells the story of Evvie Drake, a young widow — everyone in her small Maine town thinks she's still grieving her doctor husband a year later, when in fact she's dealing with the guilt over the fact that she was planning to leave him on the day he died. When a friend suggests renting her garage apartment to a former major league pitcher dealing with his own issues, they start a tenuous friendship that may turn into something more. —Sara, Information & Reader Services

      Rabbits for Food by Binnie Kirshenbaum
      Books about depression can be a tough sell, but this one is a pleasure to read without shying away from its subject. Bunny, a writer, is acerbic and unable to tolerate boring snobs politely. But she also has trouble getting out of bed, practicing basic hygiene, or avoiding self-harm. Once institutionalized, she makes very funny reports on her life there but also begins writing, all the while gradually approaching some very difficult decisions about her treatment and her chances for any kind of recovery. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger
      Beautifully written tale of four young people’s escape and travels from a restrictive orphanage. They travel down the river, like Huck Finn, with many adventures along the way. —David, Membership Services

      Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
      When Olive's twin sister and her entire wedding party get food poisoning at the wedding reception, Olive and best-man Ethan (the only two who didn't eat the tainted seafood) end up going on the all-expenses paid honeymoon to Maui. The two have a mutual dislike for each other, but when pretending to be honeymooners, sparks begin to fly! —Sara, Information & Reader Services

      The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy
      I love this kind of book: the ones where it takes me a long time to figure out exactly what is going on with the structure, but in the meantime, I’m just entertained by the writing. In 1988, academic Saul Adler is hit by a car while having his picture taken in the crosswalk on Abbey Road. He recovers enough to make his planned trip to East Berlin, where we gradually get to know him and he (maybe) gets to know himself better. Saul isn’t always likeable, but the book is. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken
      In 19th century New England, Bertha is found unconscious in a cemetery. No one in town knows who she is or where she comes from, and Bertha isn’t saying. She doesn’t get much more conventional, as she proceeds to begin an interracial marriage with her doctor and open the town’s first bowling alley. This is a cracked and loveable family saga for those who don’t like them sugary. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

      No matter what angle you approach this title, it is an empirically delightful read. The book is about 300 pages and chock full of romance genre tropes (enemies-to-friends-to-lovers, stuck in a small space together, make a scene at a party, social media as a plot tool – it is all there); I never wanted this book to end, but the ending is so, so good all the same.

      McQuiston hit every emotional beat possible and I loved them all. I’ve already re-read this book twice and cannot recommend it strongly enough. —Sarah Marie, Information & Reader Services

      Gideon the Ninth by Tamsin Muir
      This is one for those who like dark fantasy with a sprinkle of science fiction, smart-ass protagonists and more than a bit of the ultra-violence. The premise is fairly straightforward: an indentured soldier in service to a necromantic cult is given the opportunity to earn her freedom by acting as a bodyguard for the teen leader of said cult (who spent her formative years torturing her) as she takes on a very deadly exam in an effort to gain the favor (and power) of their dark god. Muir does an excellent job of immediately grabbing your attention with the fantastical world-building while balancing excellent characterization that keeps you engaged until the very last page. —Will, Membership Services

      Soon by Lois Murphy
      In rural Australia, a hamlet is haunted by an unexplained mist that appears after dark and rips apart anyone who’s not inside with all the doors and windows locked. Many residents have fled, but those who have nowhere else to go abide the nightly horror. While the premise may sound silly at first, the slowly building atmospheric dread is terrifying, and the dead-on descriptions of resourceless residents ignored by their government bring to mind real-life places “haunted” by environmental dangers. After I finished this book, I wanted to hide in bed for as long as I could. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary
      I loved this book. It's a fun read about two strangers who share a flat and their relationship that develops. It's a good story, with two great characters. There are some funny moments, but serious ones, too. A perfect vacation book, or book to read while curled up on the sofa this winter! —Beth, Marketing

      Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
      One of my favorite books of the year. It's the story of a fictional rock band told by each of the members as they look back and recall their years in the band. It's a fun look at the world of rock musicians, but the characters' stories make it more than just that. It definitely reminded me of a certain band (no spoilers)! —Beth, Marketing

      Orange World and Other Stories by Karen Russell
      Karen Russell started strong with her first short story collection a dozen years ago and keeps getting better. She has become one of my favorite authors. In the stories in Orange World, a boy falls in love with an ancient corpse pulled from a bog, a tornado farmer tries to scratch out a living in a dying industry, a woman breastfeeds a devil to protect her baby, another woman becomes psychically linked to a tree, and more! What’s not to love? —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      Cinderella Liberator by Rebecca Solnit
      A retelling of the classic fairytale in which nobody gets married, nobody becomes a princess, and the prince needs liberation too. What else needs to be said? Also features illustrations by Arthur Rackham (1867–1939). —Chad, Administration

      The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal
      Sisters, generations, women, friendship, family; wealth in all senses; IPAs, beer-making, beer industry are woven together to make this enjoyable read, and satisfy curiosity about those pretty amber colored liquids whether you are a beer lover or beer-illiterate like me. Not sure it made me a beer lover afterwards. I certainly love the book. —Bin, Tech Services

      Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk and translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones
      A murder mystery outside the usual. Our narrator is an old woman—much less usual in fiction than in real life—who relies on astrology and has given everyone in her life nicknames that she believes suit them better than their real ones. She’s a retired engineer who teaches at the local school and helps a friend with his William Blake translations. When a neighbor is found dead, Tokarczuk doesn’t let the mystery wrest control of the story from the narrator. Maybe you don’t need my recommendation on this one: Tokarczuk won the 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature (awarded in 2019). —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      Maggy Garrisson by Lewis Trondheim and Stéphane Oiry and translated by Emma Wilson
      Londoner Maggy Garrisson, looking for any job that will pay anything, finds a secretarial gig with private investigator Anthony Wight. When she arrives, Wight’s passed out drunk at his desk and doesn’t accomplish much else before getting beaten up by mysterious enemies and landing in the hospital. But Maggy’s resourceful and pretty hardboiled herself, and she quickly sets herself up as a freelance investigator, while the plot that began with Wight’s beating slowly tightens around her. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      Rusty Brown by Chris Ware
      Chris Ware has been writing the Rusty Brown comic strip since 2001, and this book is the first collected volume, telling stories mostly centered around students and teachers at the local small-town school. Ware has a characteristic style that I can only describe as a tenderness that lets his characters’ sadness shine through, and this book is only more evidence of why he’s considered a standard setter in the graphic medium. This is a big book with unfortunately small lettering, but I still couldn’t stop reading it. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      Several achingly-beautiful stories by Chris Ware. —Chad, Administration

      The Border by Don Winslow
      The concluding novel of Winslow’s trilogy about Mexican drug cartels. It would be helpful to read the previous two books Power of the Dog and The Cartel to get the full benefit, but it does stand up as a standalone novel. —David, Membership Services

    • Biased by Jennifer L. Eberhardt
      A good conversation starter. You may not agree with everything she says, but it makes you think. —Susan, Media Services

      Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham
      This book is truly an amazing account of what occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in April 1986. Higginbotham not only did extensive research, but the book presents the happenings – both leading up to, during, and after – in an incredibly accessible manner. Craig Mazin, director of the HBO mini-series Chernobyl, was even quoted wishing that he had Higginbotham’s work as a reference before the show was produced. If you are at all interested in a good historical non-fiction, I encourage you to read this book. —Sarah Marie, Information & Reader Services

      Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe
      Keefe's engrossing history of The Troubles in Northern Ireland begins with a murder. Mother of ten Jean McConville is abducted from her home, never to be seen again. What follows is an account of the paramilitary groups that tore Northern Ireland apart, interspersed with the McConville children's effort to uncover their mother's fate. —Hannah, Youth Services

      Norco 80 by Peter Houlahan
      True story about a bank robbery in southern California gone wrong. Although it’s nonfiction it reads like a novel. —David, Membership Services

      Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale by Adam Minter
      Have you ever wondered what happens to the stuff you donate to Goodwill and other charitable organizations? In this absorbing and sobering look at what we discard, Adam Minter tracks our donations all over the world and interviews some of the people who reuse and/or recycle them. In the process, he makes a strong case for owning less—but better quality—stuff. —Karen, Information & Reader Services

      How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems by Randall Munroe
      Munroe has a knack for explaining scientific phenomenon using absurd but correct examples and engaging cartoons. You'll laugh as you learn! —Laurie, Information & Reader Services

      Munroe, an engineer who has worked at NASA and author of the popular webcomic xkcd, shows you how to work out the physics to solve all kinds of problems and make them fun! So, the next time you need to heat your house, you can try lava, and the next time you need to fill your swimming pool, you can try making a channel from Lake Michigan. Or you can just enjoy reading about it, which is safer. If I were Randall Munroe, I’d provide a chart here showing just how much safer, because that’s the kind of delightful guy he is. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      Volume Control: Hearing in a Deafening World by David Owen
      The author, a New Yorker staff writer who suffers from hearing difficulties himself, gives an entertaining and readable survey of how our ears work (or don't), how we (knowingly or unknowingly) endanger our hearing, and how to preserve the hearing we still have. —Karen, Information & Reader Services

      The Way Home: Tales from a Life Without Technology by Mark Boyle
      The story of a year-long (winter solstice to winter solstice) experiment in living without technology in modern Ireland. Boyle wrote this book in pencil in a tiny cabin he built himself, having given up his phone, his laptop, and electricity. As he watches modern life encroach on his smallholding, he chronicles and mourns an Irish way of life that is quickly becoming a thing of the past. —Karen, Information & Reader Services

      Cribsheet by Emily Oster
      The bestselling author of Expecting Better moves her focus from pregnancy to early parenting in her new title. Oster, an economist, breaks down the research data on various topics of interest to new parents including feeding, sleeping, and other parenting decisions. —Sara, Information & Reader Services

      Generation Friends by Saul Austerlitz
      I have... a lot of feelings about the TV show FRIENDS. I watched the show episode-by-episode during its original syndication and, later, on DVD as my sister and I patiently waited for each season to go on sale. Now that FRIENDS is so easily accessible through Netflix (and on HBO Max beginning in 2020), I have re-watched the series a truly awful amount of times, to the extent where I can note differences from the original, televised run to the DVDs to what has been put out for streaming. All that to say – I know a bit about FRIENDS. Of all the content – podcasts, other books, college lectures, studio tours, cast interviews, etc. - present dissecting or explaining FRIENDS, I really enjoyed Austerlitz’s essays and insights shared through Generation Friends. If you read this title and have a lot of feelings about FRIENDS, please come share them with me! —Sarah Marie, Information & Reader Services

      Tough Luck by R. D. Rosen
      True story about the father of famed Chicago Bears quarterback Sid Luckman. An unknown story about the gangster father of one of the all-time great football players. Also, Sid was a Highland Park resident as was the author. —David, Membership Services

      Horizon by Barry Lopez
      In this book covering many areas of the globe, Barry Lopez looks back on his long career writing on nature and ecology (his Arctic Dreams is one of my favorite books). Like the novel The Overstory by Richard Powers, Lopez describes humanity within our ecology, and in this book, I particularly enjoyed his insights on the “elders” model of leadership, humility, listening, and the attempt to understand or at least recognize different ways of knowing. “The human effort to listen to each other is, for me, one of the most remarkable of all human capacities, though...hardly a word is ever said about the human capacity to listen to another person. I bring this up because if the creation and maintenance of effective social networks, a particularly striking human attribute, is necessary to protect individuals against threats to this species’ health, then the ability to listen carefully to one another becomes critical.” —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      Hitler's Last Hostages by Mary M Lane
      The book was so informative of how art was such a driving force behind Hitler's plans for the "Aryan race" and his dream for the Fuhrer museum in Linz Austria. The book explains in detail what he considered "degenerative art" and how he went about destroying the lives and careers of these artists. It also delves into the lives of the Jews who owned valuable art and how their masterpieces were looted by the Nazi's when they were sent off to concentration camps. You learn how much of Europe's looted art was hidden by the Nazi's and their collaborators especially Gurlitt and his son. The book unveils how in 2010 Cornelius Gurlitt was caught with over 1200 famous works of art and how some of the heirs of the deceased relatives who rightfully owned these have recovered some of their looted pieces through legal struggles with restitution. —Laura, Media Services

      The Unwanted: America, Auschwitz, and a Village Caught In Between by Michael Dobbs
      In 1940, getting a piece of paper with the correct stamp on it was literally the difference between life and death for many Jews. The Jewish community of Kippenheim, Germany left an extensive record of their efforts to get away from the Nazis. Dobbs uses their letters, diaries, and interviews with survivors to tell a gripping story. —Laurie, Information & Reader Services

      Local history on a global stage.

      "The Unwanted" interweaves the stories of Jewish families in Kippenheim, a small village in Baden, Germany, and the Shoah.  The book's narrative details families' emigrations and expulsions; escapes and demises. The juxtaposed description and analysis of American response(s) in Washington D.C. and its consulates reveal further the evolution of events. Examinations of relief and assistance efforts provide additional insights to the human response as the Shoah unfolded. The narrative recounts rich descriptions of French camps and Marseille as a port of exit and quagmire of bureaucracy. The work also provokes thought on contemporary refugee crises.

      Dobb's research in global, institutional, national, local, and family archives and interviews with survivors reveals the minute details of the families' responses and efforts to survive. This sublime research is crafted into a gripping narrative.

      Detailed family trees at the end of the book surmise the families and individuals' lives and fates. The stories grip the reader intimately. —Nancy, Archivist

      How to Hide an Empire: a History of the Greater United States by Daniel Immerwahr
      A provocative and absorbing history of the United States — “not as it appears in its fantasies, but as it actually is.” Wry, readable and often astonishing. —Chad, Administration

      The British Are Coming: The War for American, Lexington to Princeton 1775 - 1777 by Rick Atkinson
      Atkinson brings the early Revolutionary War to life with his ability to research and recreate what happened through the stories of major and minor participants. It's really a fascinating book, please don't be put off by the length. —Laurie, Information & Reader Services

      How to Be a Family by Dan Kois
      A journalist and his wife decide to take their pre-teen daughters to live in four different locations around the world to learn "how to be a family". Dividing their year between New Zealand, Holland, Costa Rica, and finally Kansas, the Smith-Kois family gets to know locals and learn about the ways that life is the same and different for families around the world. A mix of research and wry humor about family life. —Sara, Information & Reader Services

      The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
      What do you do when you lose your home (a farm in Wales) and livelihood and--within days--learn that your husband has a degenerative terminal illness? This 50-something British couple decided to walk the 630-mile South West Coast Path. Out of shape, nearly broke, and accompanied only by what they could carry on their backs, they start walking. The book was shortlisted for several book awards; judges called it "a brilliant story . . . about the human capacity to endure." —Karen, Information & Reader Services

      Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II by Robert Matzen
      While most know that Audrey Hepburn lived through WWII, this book really delves into her early life as the child of parents who were initially Nazi sympathizers to her day to day struggles living through the war in Holland. I recommend this book as it explains how Audrey became a young European ballerina who evolved into an iconic American film star while giving detailed accounts of how the war and the suffering transpired in Holland. —Laura, Media Services

    • Abbott by Saladin Ahmed and illustrated by Sami Kivela (GRAPHIC AHMED, S.) 
      In gritty 1970s Detroit, Elena Abbott is a hardboiled investigative journalist not afraid to chafe the power structure. She likes her routine and doesn’t have many close friends, but she’s won the respect of a close circle—even if her newspaper’s owners are just trying to shut her up. When Abbott’s beat has her following a trail of animal and human mutilations, she has bigger problems: the signs point to a supernatural evil that took her beloved first husband. A fun graphic novel, and Elena Abbott is easy to root for. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services 

      Transcription by Kate Atkinson (F ATKINSON, K.) 
      One more perspective into MI5's intelligence work during World War II. Fans of spy stories would not want to miss it. —Bin, Technical Services 

      The Only Story by Julian Barnes (F BARNES, J.) 
      An introspective novel about the gradual loss of a person to alcoholism.  Loved ones watch in helplessness as isolation and irrationality eventually consume the person. It's also a mediation on the nature of love as played out between a young man and a woman many years his senior. —Cynthia, Youth Services 

      The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland (F BUTLAND, S.) 
      I was captivated with the prickly heroine. It reminded me of similar books, such as How to Find Love in a Bookshop, The House at the End of Hope Street, The Bookshop on the Corner, and others. I like the rotating chapters covering the present, three years before, and the past when Loveday was a child. —Lisa, Membership Services

      Beneath the Mountain by Luca D'Andrea (MYS D'ANDREA, L.) 
      An American TV documentary maker, his wife, and their young daughter move to the wife’s German-speaking hometown in the Italian Alps. The beauty of the Dolomite mountains attracts tourists, but the terrain is dangerous to both inexperienced hikers and experienced locals. Soon our protagonist finds a new documentary subject: the Dolomite Mountain Rescue crew. However, after a harrowing accident, he finds himself digging into the area's history. He finds not just danger, but evidence of an insidious evil--other accidents, disappearances, and even murders. A small-town suspense story in a dramatic landscape. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services 

      French Exit by Patrick deWitt (F DEWITT, P.) 
      Patrick deWitt does zany really, excellently well. THE FRENCH EXIT is irreverent and quirky but holds enough moments of properly drawn out introspection and character development to balance the novel. If you are looking for a purely serious book, this is not it; if you are looking for a meaningful read with plenty of hijinks along the way, put this title on your list. For those who would like a similar but more serious title, I would recommend Sarah Waters’ The Paying Guests. —Sarah Marie, Information & Reader Services 

      Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal (GRAPHIC NOVEL DHALIWAL, A.) 
      This graphic novel takes place in a future in which birth defects cause the male population to die off and women have become the only humans left. An older woman has to explain what men were to her granddaughter. Her granddaughter becomes obsessed with one of the last relics of the old world: a DVD of Paul Blart: Mall Cop.  This novel is charming and hilarious. —Larissa, Membership Services 

      Sabrina by Nick Drnaso (GRAPHIC NOVEL DRNASO, N.) 
      This graphic novel follows the murder of Sabrina and the lives that were affected by her disappearance. When her death spawns conspiracy theories, the truth isn't good enough. This novel has a simple art style that doesn't take away from this complicated story. —Larissa, Membership Services 

      Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi (F EMEZI, A.)  
      Looking for something a little wild? Here is a story for you: A god/gods is incarnated in a baby human girl. The girl grows up, leaves Nigeria to attend college in the U.S., suffers from mental illness, and is abused. The god, for their part, rails against being unable to return from this body. Are the gods metaphorical? Maybe, but they carry most of the story, and this is a book that invites multiple interpretations. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services 

      Peculiar Ground by Lucy Hughes-Hallett (F HUGHES-HALLETT, L.)  
      This book got rave reviews from critics but little attention otherwise. But out of all the books I read this year, this is the one I loved reading the most. Centered on the same grand English estate in the 17th and 20th centuries, the characters are linked more by the "peculiar ground" of the estate's garden than by a single overarching plot. This book was simply a pleasure to read. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services 

      The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai (F MAKKAI, R.) 
      Perhaps my favorite book of the year!  Rebecca Makkai's novel has received much praise.  The book tells the stories of the AIDS crisis in Chicago in the 1980s, and a mother searching for her daughter in Paris in the present time. The stories captured my attention, one of the passages was so stunning and beautiful that it's become one of my favorites, and because part of the book takes place in Chicago, it was fun to read about the neighborhoods and stomping grounds of the characters. 

      Through the characters of The Great Believers, we are an eyewitness to the early days of the AIDS crisis in Chicago, such a sorrowful time and unknown future. —Beth, Marketing 

      The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (F MORRIS, H.) 
      It tells the story of a Jewish man in Auschwitz who accepts the job of tattooing the incoming prisoners to help himself survive the camp.  While it is a story of the brutality and inhumanity inflicted on the Jews as well as Gypsies sent to the camp, it is also a story of how this man found love among the horror.  Although it was difficult to read about the suffering experienced by the prisoners at Auschwitz, it was interesting to learn how this man dealt with the small privileges that accompanied his job and the guilt he lived with by accepting this position in order to survive. —Laura, Film & Music 

      Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik  (SF NOVIK, N.) 
      This is a thoroughly enjoyable adaptation of the Rumplestiltskin tale with a dash of fantasy, science fiction, anti-Semitism and feminism. —Laurie, Information & Reader Services 

      Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce (F PEARCE, A.) 
      This book tells the story of a young woman, Emmy, making her way in wartime London in the 1940s.  Although there are some serious plot turns, the book was written in such a charming style that it's a fun read.  I loved the plot and the main character and was sorry to see the book come to an end! —Beth, Marketing 

      The Overstory by Richard Powers (F POWERS, R.)  
      Based on current research into how trees communicate and migrate, this future-looking novel treats humans and trees as equal parts of the ecosystem. Shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize, it will change the way you think about trees and about the interconnectedness of humanity. Like Peculiar Ground, this is a great choice for readers who love long books. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services 

      Fox 8 by George Saunders (F SAUNDERS, G.) 
      This book - short story, really - is one of those titles originally published in 2013 as an eBook. I picked it up again now that it is in print, and, reader, it is still so good. George Saunders has such an enchantingly heartbreaking way with words in this story, and little Fox 8 quickly became one of my most favorite of characters. This book delves into the heart of imagination as well as the power of words, and I hope you find it as beautiful as I did. A good watch-alike for this is the animated remake of Richard Adams’ Watership Down by the combined efforts of BBC and Netflix. —Sarah Marie, Information & Reader Services

    • Creative Struggle by Gavin Aung Than (GRAPHIC NOVEL 153.35 T367) 
      I enjoyed the fresh approach to inspire readers in their passionate quest to create, without letting those nasty doubts that plague us all, stop them. I love the artwork and the way each story is presented. The observations after each one was helpful, and interesting. The pep talks were also uplifting, especially one by the author/cartoonist. —Lisa, Membership Services 

      12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson (170.44 P485) 
      This book might aptly have been sub-titled "an antidote to victimhood" as it cajoles readers into the higher ground of healing, personal responsibility and whatever competency can be managed. More story-like than prescriptive, the book engagingly relates Peterson's experience as a clinical psychologist with connections the author makes to history, literature, religion, Marvel comics, dogs, cats, lobsters - etcetera. "Orient yourself properly" to reality we are told, that we may live in a grateful, meaningful, even heroic fashion. "Aim continually at Heaven, while you work diligently on Earth." For those who would rather read (Peterson's University of Toronto lectures are immensely popular on YouTube), 12 Rules for Life is a wise and encouraging tome. —Amy, Membership Services 

      How to Break Up with Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life by Catherine Price (302.231 P945) 
      Ms. Price points out that she doesn’t mean you should give up your phone completely, just try to cut down on the amount of time spend on it. She points out all of the good, and bad factors, associated with any digital device that we can’t break away from, and lays out an excellent plan to readjust our relationship with them. —Lisa, Membership Services 

      There Are No Grown-ups: A Midlife Coming-of-Age Story by Pamela Druckerman (305.244 D794) 
      I really enjoyed her book on French parenting (Bringing up Bébé) and this one did not disappoint either.   I found it humorous and engaging.  —Pam, Youth Services 

      What Would Virginia Woolf Do?: And Other Questions I Ask Myself as I Attempt to Age Without Apology by Nina Lorez Collins (305.2442 C712) 
      Some readers might take offense with the title, but I found it to be a wonderful source of useful information, and an entertaining experience as well. —Lisa, Membership Service

      Heartland by Sarah Smarsh (305.569 Sm63) 
      Sarah Smarsh grew up in "Fly Over Country," to poor working-class folks who struggle in various ways, but she consistently addresses an unborn child she never allowed herself to have. (Thus, breaking the teenage pregnancy cycle in her family...) she eventually rises above the economic status of her ancestors, only to study and tell stories of these oft-neglected poor, white American working-class people... —Sara, Membership Services 

      Things That Make White People Uncomfortable by Michael Bennett (305.896 B472) 
      Michael Bennett is a Super Bowl Champion, a three-time Pro Bowl defensive end, a fearless activist, a feminist, a grassroots philanthropist, an organizer, and a change maker. He's also one of the most scathingly humorous athletes on the planet, and he wants to make you uncomfortable. —Chad, Information & Reader Services 

      Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” by Zora Neale Hurston (306.362 L673h) 
      In 1927, folklorist and novelist Zora Neale Hurston interviewed Oluale Kossola/Cudjo Lewis, one of the last known survivors of the transatlantic slave trade. Kossola’s story is told here in his own words, and it is amazing. In about 1860, he was a teenager training to be a soldier and preparing for marriage when his Isha Yoruba village was raided by female Dahomey fighters who slaughtered his family and most of the villagers. Kossola was among those captured and sold to U.S. smugglers profiting from the already-illegal importation of enslaved people. After emancipation, he and others from Africa bought land from the plantation owner who had been enslaving them and founded their own community: Africatown. Zora Neale Hurston died in 1960, but it took until this year for this narrative to be published in full. It’s short but brings little-known history alive. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services 

      Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer by Barbara Ehrenreich (306.9 Eh33) 
      An insightful book, that ruminates on the obsessive habits of humanity, in its quest to take control of the natural progression of aging, and other physical events we try to curtail through medicine, exercise, etc., in the never-ending desire to stay fit and live longer. She offers plenty of facts and theories to mull over. —Lisa, Membership Services 

      Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou (338.768 T343c) 
      I was excited for the blood testing innovations promised by Theranos and followed developments about the company and its founder in the news.  This book shed light on the inner workings of a Silicon Valley startup that seemed to be a bright, shiny star.—Pam, Youth Services 

      Beastie Boys Book by Mike D. (781.649 B368d) 
      Hefty is a perfect word for this book. More Chicago style pizza than NY. Buy, steal, beg for, or borrow this book. —Chad, Information & Reader Services 

      I'll Be There for You by Kelsey Miller (791.4572 F911m) 
      I cannot tell you how many times I have re-watched the 90s sitcom FRIENDS, but having a novelized collection of essays about all of the blessings and pitfalls (Ross Gellar) of the show is amazing. This book put a new perspective on things the show did or did not do that I had not confronted before and sparked so many conversations with my own friends, either about the show itself, other 90s TV, or social commentary in television overall. A similar read for this would be Kayleen Schaefer’s Text Me When You Get Home. —Sarah Marie, Information & Reader Services 

      Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion by Michelle Dean (810.992 D282) 
      The only person I was familiar with already in this book, was Dorothy Parker, so I was looking forward to learning something about the other memorable women Dean talks about. There was just enough about each woman to be interesting, but not overwhelming. She provided a good jumping off point to read lengthier books about them, as well as their own works to be discovered or revisited. —Lisa, Membership Services 

      Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God: Poems by Tony Hoagland (811 H678p) 
      Not a lot of people read contemporary poetry, but this is a poetry collection that most people can find relatable. The poems are short and the imagery and subtle humor make them top-notch. For example, the second poem, “A Walk around the Property,” begins, “There are too many people in this book I’m reading. / I can’t keep track of them all. / How can I care who marries who, or what they wear? / Nevertheless, each time one disappears, I feel a brief, sharp grief, / knowing they will not return.” For poetry lovers and poetry curious alike. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services 

      Calypso by David Sedaris (814 Se44c) 
      I have read all of David Sedaris' works and this one is my favorite. The levity that defines a Sedaris work is a little more grounded and tempered with age in this work; that said, there is a running story thread about feeding a benign tumor to a turtle, so the frivolity is not wholly gone. The book was more somber than Sedaris' other works, but so, so good. Read-alikes for Sedaris would, in my mind, include Augusten Burroughs. —Sarah Marie, Information & Reader Services 

      In Praise of Difficult Women: Life Lessons from 29 Heroines Who Dared to Break the Rules by Karen Karbo (920.72 K18) 
      I loved Karbo’s previous books, and this one is an excellent addition. I enjoyed reading about so many exceptional women, such as J. K. Rowling, Elizabeth Taylor, Josephine Baker, Jane Goodall, Margaret Cho, and many others. I like how she divided the bibliography, covering each person separately, with a clearly designated list of other works about them. —Lisa, Membership Services 

      The Little Book of Feminist Saints by Julia Pierpont (920.72 P621) 
      What an uplifting, energizing, glorious book. I loved it, and I loved the moniker of “Matron Saint”. Starting with Artemisia Gentileschi, and on to the other 98 remarkable women in between, I was educated and delighted, and the portrait of each one is perfect (Thapp really brings out the vitality of each of them.) —Lisa, Membership Services 

      The Last Palace: Europe's Turbulent Century in Five Lives and One Legendary House by Norman Eisen (943.712 Ei36)
      If walls could talk, the current Prague residence of the U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic would tell the story of twentieth century Czechoslovakia and the fate of its Jewish community. Instead Eisen tells the story through the lives Otto Petschek, who designed and built the mansion; Rudolf Toussaint, the German general who occupied it during World War II; Laurence Steinhardt, the first United States ambassador to postwar Czechoslovakia, who kept the palace out of Communist hands, and Shirley Temple Black, who was there during the Prague Spring and again as ambassador when Communism fell. The fifth life, that of Eisen’s mother, a Holocaust survivor from Czechoslovakia, is a poignant counterpoint to the others. —Laurie, Information & Reader Services 

      On Desperate Ground: The Marines at the Reservoir, the Korean War's Greatest Battle by Hampton Sides (951.9042 Si56) 
      Hampton Sides’ ability to write well-researched history that reads like fiction makes him one of my favorite authors. In this book he outdoes himself in portraying the heroism, bravery, hubris, and futility of this Korean War campaign. —Laurie, Information & Reader Services 

      The Soul of America: The Battle for our Better Angels by Jon Meacham (973 M479) 
      Historian Meacham gives reason to hope in these divisive times by exploring past times when things seemed as bleak: the Civil War Era, the 1900s, the 1930s, and the 1960s. If you like audio books, this was a good listen as well as a good read. —Laurie, Information & Reader Services 

      Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents by Pete Souza (973.932 So72) 
      I've been following the author's Instagram account to get some visual insight on the stark differences between the Obama and Trump presidencies.  We say so much with images every day and this book helps show how and why they really matter sometimes. —Pam, Youth Services 

      Passing for Human: A Graphic Memoir by Liana Finck (GRAPHIC NOVEL B F493) 
      Liana Finck is a New Yorker cartoonist with a very interesting visual and written take on living, and she created a beautifully illustrated story that I think would be widely enjoyable. —Sara, Membership Services 

      Born to be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey by Mark Dery (B G666d) 
      An enlightening discussion about the semi-mysterious person known as Edward (Ted) Gorey, who created a disturbing montage of enticing images, and unsettling books, that have captured the attention of numerous admirers. The explanatory excavation of various works, such as ‘The Unstrung Harp’, ‘The Doubtful Guest’, ‘The Gashlycrum Tinies’, and all the others, including the truly horrendous ‘Loathsome Couple’, as well as the background events of his life, helped me grasp a better understanding of the world he inhabited. —Lisa, Membership Services 

      The Arab of the Future 3: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1985-1987 by Riad Sattouf (GRAPHIC NOVEL B Sa253)
      I am beyond in love with Riad's story. I devoured all 3 installments and can't wait for #4 to be translated into English. I love all three equally but this last one has certainly made me laugh out loud the most, while also creating that sinking feeling inside my gut. Can't wait for more. Would recommend this to everyone and anyone. —Chad, Information & Reader Services

    • The Power by Naomi Alderman (F ALDERMAN, N.)
      Winner of the coveted Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction, this novel imagines a world much like our own except for one major difference, teenage girls have awakened an immense physical power within themselves. The repercussions are stunning. The reader follows several characters as the world is re-shaped to reflect this new reality. A very provocative (and funny!) commentary on gender politics. —Rachel, Information & Reader Services

      The Seventh Function of Language by Laurent Binet (F BINET, L.)
      An intellectually intriguing work resembling a classic foreign film, containing the subtle strains of absurdity, vivid snippets of passion, and numerous examples of the grotesque, violent, and philosophical. The political upheavals of the past keep emerging in the various regions visited by an impressive roster of the academic elite, and after I finished the last satisfying pages, I turned to my reference sources to find out more about them. —Lisa, Membership Services

      The Wildling Sisters by Eve Chase (F CHASE, E.)
      This satisfying gothic story, concerns the mysterious disappearance of Audrey, which hovers over the summer of 1959, when the Wilde sisters become tangled in the growing up process, and the present day, where Jessie feels overshadowed by her husband's first wife. It's a deliciously unsettling book. —Lisa, Membership Services

      The Graybar Hotel: Stories by Curtis Dawkins (F DAWKINS, C.)
      A series of vignettes detailing life in prison. Curtis Dawkins reveals the idiosyncrasies, tedium and desperation of long-term incarceration. The stories are funny and sad and filled with unforgettable detail. I loved it! —Robin, Membership Services

      Clownfish Blues by Tim Dorsey (MYS DORSEY, T.)
      Madness and mayhem in the Sunshine State! Serge Storms can find ways to explore Florida that will make you see it in a different light. In Clownfish Blues, he locates all the places where scenes from the TV show Route 66 were shot in his own version of Easy Rider. With his sidekick Coleman, Serge uses ingenuity to mete out vigilante justice in ways that make you cheer for the underdog. Hilarious! Wild! —Robin, Membership Services

      I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi (F FABIASCHI, A.)
      Each chapter contains the viewpoints of Madeline (wife and mother, now deceased), Brady (her husband), and Eve (their teenage daughter). As Eve and Brady try to figure out why Madeline would commit suicide, they uncover the imperfections of their relationship with her and each other. As they awkwardly try to salvage the pieces left behind, they learn how to adjust to life without her. —Lisa, Membership Services

      My Favorite Thing Is Monsters. Book One by Emil Ferris (GRAPHIC NOVEL FERRIS, E.)
      1960's Uptown is a rough neighborhood, and Karen Reyes is a kid with problems. Her block and her building are populated with junkies, prostituted women, gangsters, musicians, ventriloquists, and artists like Karen and her big brother Diego (known as Deeze). Obsessed with monster stories, Karen desperately hopes to get "the bite," which will transform her into a monster capable of protecting Deeze and their mother. But when her upstairs neighbor, a Holocaust survivor, dies in a suspicious suicide, Karen becomes a detective. The artwork in this graphic novel tells the story in a crosshatched style on a background of notepaper, and yes, monsters are everywhere in the pages. We'll have to wait for the next book in the series to see how the story continues, but you won't want to miss this first volume. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      Cruel Is the Night by Karo Hämäläinen (F HAMALAINEN, K.)
      Four Finnish friends and lovers meet in a luxurious London apartment for a reunion dinner. By the end of the night, three of the four will be dead. The fun of this novel, which alternates from the perspectives of all four characters, lies in slowly untangling the relationships and backstories between all the characters. There are infidelities, murder plots, crimes and cover ups, and it all comes to a head in one darkly entertaining evening. Additionally, Hämäläinen waits until the end to reveal who is actually dead, lending the book a sense of propulsive dread. —Michelle, Technical Services

      Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan (F HOGAN, R.)
      Anthony Peardew is a writer who collects the lost objects he comes across and stores them safely until they can, hopefully, be reunited with their owners one day. Laura, who was discarded by her husband, finds solace and purpose working for Anthony. The interaction between them, and the other characters they encounter, create a story that embraces the tender possibilities of being human. —Lisa, Membership Services

      Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (F HONEYMAN, G.)
      Eleanor is a damaged character, who doesn't fit well in life. The occasional glimpses of her frightening past alternate with her observations on various subjects that are surprisingly funny. As she navigated through the dead ends and hopeful beginnings of her existence, I became more acclimated to her unique personality, and learned something about my own imperfections as well. —Lisa, Membership Services

      Random Road: Introducing Geneva Chase by Thomas Kies (MYS KIES, T.)
      A veteran crime reporter, stuck working for her small-town paper after a series of alcoholism-related firings from higher profile jobs, investigates the deaths of six people who were found naked and hacked to death in a mansion on Connecticut's Gold Coast. What makes this novel work so well is Kies's refusal to rely on formula and cliché. The main character is appealingly flawed (her struggles with alcohol and the negative choices that result from it are completely believable), both the murder victims and the murderers are three-dimensional people, and the end may result in tears, which is not too common in a mystery novel. Very much recommended. —Michelle, Technical Services

      A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carré (F LE CARRE, J.)
      The 86-year-old Le Carré is still producing masterpieces. Legacy finds retired spy Peter Guillam confronting a lawsuit that forces him to revisit the tragic outcome of The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (Le Carré’s 1963 bestseller). The complex plot introduces new details to the earlier story in Le Carré’s signature style – dark, brutal, and morally ambiguous. It’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad. —Julia, Information & Reader Services

      Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (F MAKUMBI, J.)
      The story of Uganda as seen through the generations of the Kintu family. The novel begins in 1750, with the patriarch Kintu Kidda, who accidentally unleashes a brutal curse upon his bloodline. It then jumps forward in time to his descendants in the twentieth century, who must deal with modern issues such as abandonment, sexual abuse, AIDS, Christianity, local traditions, poverty, and their own past. The characters are fully fleshed out and fabulous and the writing just keeps the reader turning pages. This book was riveting. —Michelle, Technical Services

      All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai (F MASTAI, E.)
      Tom Barren comes from an alternative world that's somewhat similar to ours. It's the world that might have developed if the technological dreams of the 1950's had panned out. Through an unfortunate set of circumstances, he ends up in the world we know. As he realizes the pros and cons of each world, he discovers the complicated side effects if our actions, no matter the "good" or "bad" reasons behind them. —Lisa, Membership Services

      A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee (MYS MUKHERJEE, A.)
      Captain Sam Wyndham is a war veteran at a loose end. He leaves Scotland Yard and moves to Calcutta (1919), where the influence of the British Raj is starting the dwindle. As he familiarizes himself with the climate and culture (vividly described), he tries to get his bearings regarding the recent murder of a government official, which turns out to be one of several mysteries he must solve. —Lisa, Membership Services

      A Book of American Martyrs by Joyce Carol Oates (F OATES, J.)
      Martyrs is a graceful and excruciating story of two families who do not live very far apart, but exist in different realities. Luther Dunphy is a zealous evangelical who envisions himself as acting out God's will when he assassinates an abortion provider in his small Ohio town, while Augustus Voorhees, the idealistic but self-regarding doctor who is killed, leaves behind a wife and children scarred and embittered by grief. —Robin, Membership Services

      Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta (F PERROTTA, T.)
      Eve is a divorcée who has just become an empty-nester after her son, Brendan, leaves for college. After receiving a racy (but flattering) anonymous text one night, she secretly begins watching pornography. While this new pursuit opens her mind to romantic possibilities, it also upends the quiet suburban life she previously led. At the same time, Brendan is facing the harsh realities of dating and sex in college, leading him to question his own chauvinistic ideas of women. This was a thought-provoking book on how different generations view sexuality. Perrotta, as always, is a master at pulling away the curtain of suburbia and exposing the dark underbelly. —Rachel, Information & Reader Services

      Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips (F PHILLIPS, G.)
      Joan and her 4-year-old son have just finished a wonderful afternoon at the zoo. As they head towards the entrance at closing time, Joan hears gunshots, sees bodies, and instinctively grabs her son and runs back into the zoo. For the next few hours, the reader is on the edge of their seat as Joan uses all her knowledge of the zoo and its exhibits to conceal herself and her son from the gunman. How far will she go to protect them? Not your run-of-the-mill thriller. —Rachel, Information & Reader Services

      Idaho by Emily Ruskovich (F RUSKOVICH, E.)
      In Idaho, the author uses the tragic murder of a child to explore the psychological complexities of ordinary lives. Ann and Wade, who marry in the aftermath of his daughter's murder, have a close relationship that is nonetheless filled with challenges. The author is an astute observer who understands the depth of subtle communication between spouses. —Cynthia, Youth Services

      Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (F SAUNDERS, G.)
      Amid a chorus of ghosts, a grief-stricken Lincoln visits his recently deceased son Willie in a Georgetown Cemetery. Saunders’ strange and often strangely amusing tale of grief and the ‘not-quite’ afterlife will haunt you. —Julia, Information & Reader Services

      “Trap. Horrible trap. At one’s birth it is sprung. Some last day must arrive...All pleasures should be tainted by that knowledge. But hopeful dear us, we forget...” —Chad, New Media

      See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt (F SCHMIDT, S.)
      What happened on August 4, 1892 in Fall River, Massachusetts? Narrated by Lizzie, her sister Emma, the Borden’s maid Bridget, and Benjamin, a mysterious stranger hired by Uncle John, this fictional account describes what may have happened on that hot day. —Jacki, Information & Reader Services

      Sourdough by Robin Sloan (F SLOAN, R.)
      Sloan, who wrote Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, once again weaves together high tech and low tech in this fun story about the tech and foodie culture in San Francisco. —Laurie, Information & Readers Service

      The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland (SF STEPHENSON, N.)
      It wasn't until several weeks after I'd read this entertaining and mammoth book that I was able to appreciate it (like a time delayed reaction, resembling one of the many issues that characters deal with as they try to make time travel work so they can bring magic back. Trust me, the authors make both of those ideas seem possible). There are some amusing examples of the administrative aspects of working in a government agency that's funding such a scheme, and what the main characters go through trying to justify that investment. They encounter friends, foes and several unforgettable historical individuals. —Lisa, Membership Services

      Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout (F STROUT, E.)
      A lovely collection of short stories from Elizabeth Strout, exploring the rewards of human connection and the pain of disconnection, in infidelity, name-calling, and other hurts. In the last story, "Gift," a man's wife hears that in childhood he hunted through dumpsters for food and reacts, "Weren't you ashamed?" He thinks: Well, then, you've never been hungry. Strout's characters are exposed and emotional but never maudlin, as though her hunger is for knowing them. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan (F SULLIVAN, J.)
      I loved J. Courtney Sullivan's Saints for All Occasions! It's a great family saga, and perfect to dive into when looking for your next book. It's one of the books I've recommended most often this year to family and friends. —Beth, Marketing

      The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (F THOMAS, A.)
      Starr Carter moves between two worlds, the poor neighborhood where she lives, and the fancy suburban prep school that she attends. Everything changes the night her childhood friend, Khalil is gunned down by a police officer while driving her home from a party. The shooting becomes national news with everyone wanting to know what really happened that night, and the only one who knows is Starr. A wonderfully written and heartbreaking debut that will stay with you even after you finish the last page. Highly Recommended. —Michelle, Information & Reader Services

      Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (F WARD, J.)
      Thirteen-year-old Jojo wants to learn what it takes to be a man and to take care of his three-year-old sister Kayla. They are cared for by their grandparents, pop and mam, while their black mama, Leonie, a drug addict, flits in and out of their lives and their white father, Michael, is in and out of prison. With Michael's recent prison sentence coming to an end, Leonie loads the children and a friend in her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. A beautifully written and heartbreaking family drama about race, love and ghosts. Highly Recommended. —Michelle, Information & Reader Services

    • The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant: The Complete Annotated Edition by Ulysses S. Grant and John F. Marszalek (Editor) (973.82 G763a)
      The best book on Grant is still the one he wrote himself. Often described as taciturn, Grant was an excellent storyteller among his friends and acquaintances. The original edition of his memoirs was sold door-to-door by former Union soldiers in the 1880s and has never been out of print. This annotated edition provides essential perspective and context for the story of a remarkable man and his role in history. —Julia, Information & Reader Services

      Solitude: In Pursuit of a Singular Life in a Crowded World by Michael Harris (155.92 H315)
      This brilliant book explores the benefits of occasionally breaking away from the ever-growing atmosphere of always being connected to each other (whether it's YouTube, Facebook, Twitter), or relying so completely on the selected choices offered by various agencies. —Lisa, Membership Services

      Autumn of the Black Snake: The Creation of the U.S. Army and the Invasion That Opened the West by William Hogeland (973.4 H715)
      Interesting portraits of Miami and Shawnee war leaders, Little Turtle and Blue Jacket. —Chad, New Media

      Gone: A Girl, a Violin, a Life Unstrung by Min Kym (B K99)
      The author recounts her life as a violin prodigy and the psychological undoing she suffered as an adult when her prized violin was stolen under her nose in a busy cafe. She writes movingly about her connection to her teachers and works of music. She also makes clear that artistic achievement does not come without a cost. —Cynthia, Youth Services

      The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir by Ariel Levy (B L6681)
      This memoir, based on the author's New Yorker article "Thanksgiving in Mongolia", details the author's horror of delivering her 5-month-old live fetus alone in a Mongolian hotel room. The memoir also recounts her work life, bisexuality, and lesbian marriage and divorce. Levy is a compelling writer who does not seem at all concerned with her likeability (which makes her very likeable!). —Cynthia, Youth Services

      Quicksand: What It Means to Be a Human Being by Henning Mankell (B M278)
      In January 2014, Henning Mankell was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. This book was his response. Published after his death in October 2015, this book contains a series of reflections (some autobiographical, some not) on what it means to live and to die. Ruminating on everything from pivotal moments in his childhood to what human beings will leave behind after they're gone to the paralyzing terror of death, Mankell's essays are extraordinarily moving and brave. They manage to be both comforting and unsettling and are well worth a read. —Michelle, Technical Services

      The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore (363.179 M822)
      Don't be fooled by the modest size of this book. It's a riveting revelation, full of fleshed out individuals with distinctive characteristics and stories. It's full of adversity and hope. The Radium Girls have left a significant legacy behind them, which will continue to benefit the world ad infinitum. —Lisa, Membership Services

      Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York by Roz Chast (GRAPHIC NOVEL 917.471 C489)
      What began as a guide for her daughter leaving for college in Manhattan cartoonist Roz Chast has expanded it into a quirky, funny homage to New York City. David, Membership Services We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates (973.932 C652) Coates follows up his ground-breaking Between the World and Me with this thought-provoking collection of essays. He has become a leading voice on the African American experience. Essential reading. —Julia, Information & Reader Services

      It's All Absolutely Fine: Life Is Complicated So I’ve Drawn It Instead by Ruby Elliot (GRAPHIC NOVEL 362.2 EL46)
      Elliot shares insights into her life and the terrible and strange and hilarious things life can do to a person struggling with mental illness. Combining short introspective essays with simple drawings of not-so-simple issues, she captures the humor and melancholy of everyday life. From mood disorders, anxiety, and issues with body image through to existential conversations, her thoughts are inspirational, empowering, and entertaining. —Robin, Membership Services

      The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America's Enemies by Jason Fagone (B F9113f)
      Elizabeth Friedman, along with her husband, defined modern codebreaking. From the First World War through the 1950s, she cracked codes of rum runners, criminals, and wartime enemies as encryption methods got increasingly complex. Fagone gives her a well-deserved and fascinating turn in the spotlight. —Laurie, Information & Reader Services

      The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel (B K694f)
      The story of a man who lived in the woods of Maine totally off the grid for 27 years. Regarded as both a hero and a thief by neighbors whose homes he raided for supplies, he managed to escape detection. Some felt he was a myth, but he survived without human contact the entire time. —David, Membership Services

      The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia by Masha Gessen (947.086 G392)
      This chilling account chronicles Russia's brief flirtation with democracy as well as its descent into a fearsome autocracy. Gessen expertly details the forces behind Putin's rise to power. She also includes testimonies from four young people who grew up in post-Soviet Russia and personally witnessed the dreams of democracy crumble. You don't have to be a historian or political scientist to appreciate this detailed, fascinating monograph. —Hannah, Youth Services

      Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann (970.3 Os81g)
      An examination of a little-known period in American history. Osage Indians made wealthy by the discovery of oil on their land are exploited and systematically murdered by greedy outsiders. Eventually investigated by men who became the modern FBI, but not until numerous murders had been committed. —David, Membership Services

      At the beginning of the 20th century, Principal Chief James Bigheart of the Osage Nation deftly negotiated with the United States government for the mineral rights to the poor-quality land allotted to the Osage. Within twenty years, leasing out the oil-mining rights had made the Osage the richest nation per capita in the world. But despite the advantages money usually brings, they were dying at a much higher rate than their white neighbors. David Grann investigates the conspirators who swindled and murdered the Osage, perhaps over decades, in this new work of American history. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      The Decibel Diaries: A Journey Through Rock in 50 Concerts by Carter Alan (781.66078 AL31)
      I read this book in chunks at a time, like a vicarious spectator at a huge music festival, comprised of artists like Neil Young, B.B. King, Yes, Ramones, Eric Clapton, Talking Heads, Tom Petty, Black Crowes, Nirvana, Bush and many other well-regarded musicians. His observations about the performances were enlightening gems of experience. —Lisa, Membership Services

      Washington’s Farewell: The Founding Father’s Warning to Future Generations by John P. Avlon (973.41 AV95)
      Timeless advice from the Father of our country warns us about the dangers of political party dissension and despotism. For people who believe in small “d” democracy and the responsibilities of citizenship. Julia, Information & Reader Services Well researched and readable book that, by focusing on his farewell address, gives significant insight into the man who was our first president, how his words influenced the presidents who came after him, and how it resonates with what is going on today. —Chad, New Media

      Ranger Games: A Story of Soldiers, Family and an Inexplicable Crime by Ben Blum (364.1552 B658)
      Alex Blum’s dream was to become an U.S. Army Ranger and he did. The day before he was to leave for Iraq, he and three other men robbed a bank. Was it a training exercise as Alex claimed? Or was he under the influence of his commanding officer who planned the heist as the author claims? —Jacki, Information & Reader Services

      Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam by Mark Bowden (959.704342 B784)
      Bowden tells the story of this pivotal battle from the points of view of participants from all sides - North Vietnamese, Viet Cong, South Vietnamese, United States soldiers, journalists, and noncombatants. His descriptions of the building-to-building combat are riveting and exhausting. His descriptions of the out of touch Army command will make you want to scream. —Laurie, Information & Reader Services

      Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat (641.5 N897)
      This "uncookbook" is less about how to cook specific recipes and more about how the four elements named in the title—salt, fat, acid, heat—function in the creation of good food. Unlike some chefs whose advice focuses on a single "right" outcome, Nosrat provides a broad and practical approach to understanding and improving what you're doing in the kitchen, including some simple experiments and ideas for fixing mistakes. The second half of the book does provide a supply of recipes to practice working with salt, fat, acid, and heat, which you'll be well ready to try after reading about so much deliciousness. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong by Paul A. Offit (500 Of32)
      The author presents several instances throughout history, when the foundations for certain "scientific breakthroughs" (morphine, eugenics, butter substitutes, megavitamins, chemical warfare) eventually crumbled under the scrutiny of those dealing with the dangerous side effects. He offers some helpful guidelines when evaluating the validity of the latest "scientific" claims (which we could use more than ever these days). —Lisa, Membership Services

      A Grace Paley Reader: Stories, Essays, and Poetry by Grace Paley (818 P158g)
      This compact selection of Grace Paley’s short stories, essays, and poems is great both for long-time fans and for readers new to her. Doris Lessing--like Paley, a great writer of women--wrote that the sixties are "seen, sometimes wrongly, as the starting point for all kinds of behavior that in fact began in the fifties—or before." Grace Paley informs us that also in the forties (or before) there was sex, married women seeking abortions, and single women raising children. Her stories feature ordinary people doing ordinary things, with wryness and humor. Her essays and poems mostly address writing and activism, as done by ordinary women and mothers, of which she was an extraordinary example. With an introduction by George Saunders. —Catherine, Information & Reader Services

      Mrs. Sherlock Holmes: The True Story of New York City's Greatest Female Detective and the 1917 Missing Girl Case That Captivated a Nation by Brad Ricca (363.25 H924r)
      Grace Humiston is a very smart woman of means. She proves that “women’s intuition” is really just a thorough examination of the facts, a deep knowledge of the law, asking the right questions, and persistence. New York in the early 1900s was the place to be if you were a forward-thinking career woman dedicated to improving the lives of immigrants. Fascinating! —Robin, Membership Services

      Will It Skillet?: 53 Irresistible and Unexpected Recipes to Make in a Cast-Iron Skillet by Daniel Shumski (641.77 Sh56)
      Of course, it will! The cinnamon roll was amazing! A cookbook for people who enjoy approaching a meal with enthusiasm for how it is made as well as how it tastes. Fun recipes. —Robin, Membership Services

      On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder (321.9 Sn67)
      Snyder has written extensively about the history of dictatorship in Europe and the Soviet Union in the twentieth century. In this slim book, sized to fit in your pocket for easy reference, he distills down his insights into how fascism and dictatorship get a foothold and grow, how to be aware of what is happening, and how to resist. —Laurie, Information & Reader Services

    • Backman, Fredrik. Britt-Marie Was Here
      Britt-Marie was no longer happy, so she left her 40-year marriage to start her life anew. But it was not easy, for Britt-Marie was used to her neat and orderly life, and the crumbling town of Borg, and the children of the soccer team she will be coaching are neither neat nor orderly. With every passing day her bond with the children and the town grows deeper, but will she finally find the place she belongs? Funny and heartwarming, this is a great read for anyone looking for a feel-good book - Michelle, Information & Reader Services

      Bennett, Brit. The Mothers
      This debut novel has received lots of buzz! Nadia is a motherless teen, about to depart for college who enters into a relationship with Luke, the pastor's son, and befriends Aubrey, also motherless.  The story pulled me in and I was rooting for Nadia and her dad to find happiness. – Beth, Marketing Specialist

      Bjørk, Samuel. I'm Traveling Alone
      A six-year-old girl is found in the Norwegian countryside, hanging lifeless from a tree and dressed in strange doll's clothes. Around her neck is a sign that says "I'm traveling alone." A special homicide unit in Oslo re-opens with veteran police investigator Holger Munch at the helm. He is joined by the brilliant but haunted investigator Mia Krüger, who has been living on an isolated island, overcome by memories of her past. When Mia views a photograph of the crime scene and spots the number "1" carved into the dead girl's fingernail, she knows this is only the beginning. This may seem like a standard serial killer novel, but what sets this book apart is its strong characters and the fact that it manages to be truly terrifying without resorting to graphic violence and genre clichés. - Michelle, Technical Services

      Chevalier, Tracy. At the Edge of the Orchard
      This historical novel, by the author of "The Girl with the Pearl Earring" takes the reader across 19th century America, traveling New England to the "Black Swamps" of Ohio and visits by Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman); to the Pacific Coast's Sequoia Groves where William Lobb collects botanical specimens.  Family dysfunction, alcoholism, violence, and ingenuity intersperse with well-researched descriptions and insights on apple farming and Californian flora and fauna.  The writing is excellent.  The story line seems to lend itself to sequels. – Nancy, Information & Reader Services

      Donoghue, Emma. The Wonder
      When an English nurse is called to investigate a supposed "miracle" in a small Irish village, she discovers a girl who appears to be surviving without food. However, as time goes on, the dark truth of the situation reveals itself to be anything but holy. Another compelling blend of history and psychological fiction that Donoghue is known for. This novel is sure to stick with you long after you finish reading it.  - Rachel, Information & Reader Services.

      Haigh, Jennifer. Heat and Light
      Jennifer Haigh's novel takes us back to Bakerton, PA, the setting of her 2005 family saga Baker Towers. It is some decades later, and Bakerton is a coal mining town in its last throes. That is, until we learn it sits atop an enormous deposit of natural gas. Let the fracking begin. Heat and Light, with its eclectic cast of characters, pits small town against big (greedy) business, and everyone has a stake in the game. -Barbara, Information & Reader Services

      Hashimi, Nadia. A House Without Windows
      In A House Without Windows an Afghanistan woman, from a small village, is put in jail while she awaits trial for murdering her husband. This novel illuminates the plight of women living in societies where customs, laws, and organizations are so different then our western values. – Cindy, Membership Services

      Hawley, Noah. Before the Fall
      After a small plane crashes into the ocean carrying a group of influential people, including a media mogul, a wall street titan and their families, everyone is desperate to find out why. What or who is responsible? The only two survivors, a down and out painter and a 4-year-old boy form a delicate bond based on their shared experience and together deal with the aftermath. 'Before the Fall' tells the stories of those who perished before reaching the dramatic conclusion of what really happened. Highly recommended. - Michelle, Information & Reader Services

      Holt, Anne. No Echo
      When a popular celebrity chef is found murdered on the steps of the Oslo police headquarters, police investigator Billy T. and long-absent Hanne Wilhelmsen team up for an investigation that reveals that few people really knew the victim or his mysterious activities. The third of four Hanne Wilhelmsen novels released in 2016, No Echo stands out for its well-drawn characters. From the victim, who was so loathed that he was murdered twice to Hanne herself, who is still reeling from a devastating personal loss, No Echo is one of those books that lingers long after you've finished turning the pages. – Michelle, Technical Services

      Johnson, Julia Claiborne. Be Frank With Me
      Alice, an assistant for a New York publisher, is sent to Los Angeles to watch over an author working on her long-awaited second novel.  She becomes part of the family, trying to help at the same time she's trying to figure out the author and her quirky 9 year old son.  Funny and thought provoking, this is an entertaining read – Laurie, Information & Reader Services

      Semple, Maria. Today Will Be Different
      Eleanor wakes up determined to have a good day, but then life happens. After she picks up her "sick" son from school, they embark on a strange sort of odyssey around Seattle, unearthing dark secrets from Eleanor's past and revealing uncomfortable truths about her marriage. Although tackling some pretty serious themes, this novel is laugh out loud funny and a true gem for anyone who enjoys humor, good writing and women's fiction. - Rachel, Information & Reader Services

      Svensson, Anton. The Father
      A novel inspired by the true story of three brothers, all under the age of 24, who held Sweden to ransom, committing ten bank robberies over a period of just two years. None had committed a crime before. Written under a pseudonym by the fourth brother, Stefan Thunberg, who did not participate in the robberies, and journalist Anders Roslund, this book is a riveting story of brotherhood, loyalty, and what happens when the relationship between a parent and child goes very wrong. The authors are currently writing a sequel. – Michelle, Technical Services

      Towles, Amor. A Gentleman in Moscow
      The story opens in June 1922 as 32 year old Russian aristocrat, Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced by a Bolshevik tribunal to life imprisonment in the luxurious Metropol Hotel in Moscow. Accepting his incarceration with grace and bemused nonchalance, Rostov finds his life filled with surprising adventure and purpose. Amor Towles’ writing, like his main character, is elegant, sophisticated, witty and charming. –Julia, Director of Adult Services

      Vaughan, Brian K. Paper Girls
      A graphic novel set the day after Halloween in 1988. Four 12 year old girls start the day out on their regular paper route but the day quickly turns into a surreal adventure running from monsters and trying to figure out why everyone in their town is disappearing. Anyone who liked watching Stranger Things should love this. – Shannon, Film & Music

      Whitehead, Colson. The Underground Railroad
      The metaphorical Underground Railroad is real in Whitehead’s tour de force adventure tale; a story of one woman’s desperate struggle to escape the horrors of slavery and a powerful meditation on the continuing journey to real freedom. A ground-breaking and essential read. –Julia, Director of Adult Services

      Willis, Connie. Crosstalk
      In a near-future America, a simple outpatient procedure to increase empathy between romantic partners is all the rage. The main character of the novel, Briddey Flannigan, undergoes this procedure with her boyfriend, Trent, and to say it doesn't work out as she planned is an understatement. Alternately funny and terrifying, Crosstalk portrays the dangers of constant connection and communication without being preachy, obvious, or boring. I couldn't put it down. – Michelle, Technical Services

    • Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler's Atomic Bomb by Neal Bascomb
      Bascomb is a master of making history read like a thriller.  In his sixth book he tells the amazing story of a group of Norwegian resistance fighters who repeatedly sabotaged the heavy water plant that was the only supply for Hitler's atomic bomb program.  – Laurie, Information & Reader Services

      Real Artists Have Day Jobs (And Other Awesome Things They Don't Teach You in School) by Sara Benincasa
      A sassy, savvy and entertaining book of 52 essays, that make the sun brighter and the clouds less gray. – Lisa, Membership Services

      Sing for Your Life: a Story of Race, Music, and Family by Daniel Bergner
      This is the inspiring story of 30-year-old African American opera singer Ryan Speedo Green, who as a child spent time in a juvenile detention center, often under solitary confinement.  Through determination and hope he was able to overcome his rage and violent temper and eventually find a place where he could flourish.  Green is now singing at the Metropolitan and the Vienna State Operas, two of the greatest operatic theaters in the world. – Sylvana, Film & Music

      Your Song Changed My Life: From Jimmy Page to St. Vincent, Smokey Robinson to Hozier, Thirty-Five Beloved Artists on Their Journey and the Music That Inspired It by  Bob Boilen
      A collection of interviews that celebrate and explore the passionate influence of music on an extra-ordinary group of performers. – Lisa, Membership Services

      Idiot Brain: What Your Head is Really Up To by Dean Burnett
      Stand-up comedian and neuroscientist, Dean Burnett writes an amusing and enlightening book on the weird and peculiar processes of the brain. Why do you enter a room and forget what you were going to do? Why do you remember faces but not names? Burnett admits that the brain is “undeniably impressive, but it’s far from perfect, and these imperfections influence everything humans, say, do and experience.” An entertaining and thoughtful explanation of our why our brains cause us to do such whacky things.  –Julia, Information & Reader Services

      Carr, Nicholas. Utopia is Creepy: And Other Provocations
      This collects several insightful posts from the author's blog "Rough Type", that point out the blind spots of the digital age. – Lisa, Membership Services

      Dove, Rita. Collected Poems: 1974-2004
      This is an excellent collection of outstanding work by one of our exceptional poet laureates. It's the kind of book I'll buy, just so I can dip into it, and enjoy the poems without rushing. I love the ones in "Museum", "Thomas and Beulah", "Mother Love", you get the idea. – Lisa, Membership Services

      Edwards, Gavin. The Tao of Bill Murray: Real-Life Stories of Joy, Enlightenment, and Party
      The profound and the humorous come together in this engaging book about a unique individual (and he loves poetry too. Be still my heart). – Lisa, Membership Services

      Gaiman, Neil. The View from the Cheap Seats
      I confess, I love this author, and I love this book. I've ordered a copy, because it's perfect for  dipping into. It contains all of my favorite subjects, such as books and bookworms, libraries and librarians, Ray Bradbury, Douglas Adams, Doctor Who, James Thurber, science fiction, fantasy, and many other topics. – Lisa, Membership Services

      Gleick, James. Time Travel: A History
      “The universe is like a river. It flows. (Or it doesn’t, if you’re Plato.)” Gleick's quirky sense of humor is super entertaining and his bonus suggested reading list is priceless!  A marvelous mind bender! –Chad, New Media
      An exploration of the conundrum known as "time". Citing examples from H.G.Wells, Proust, Einstein, Feynman, Asimov, and many other commentators on a subject that inspires theories, assumptions, and several nifty books and films as well. -Lisa, Membership Services

      Hamilton, Mary. Trials of the Earth
      A long lost manuscript written in 1933 by Mary Mann Hamilton finally sees print in Trials of the Earth, an autobiography that recounts the life of one of the first women to settle in the Mississippi Delta during the last quarter of the 19th Century.  Life was incredibly harsh at that time and place. Many of Mary's children died in infancy. Strangers often became quick friends, or allies, in order to share knowledge, pool resources and survive. Through her many difficult and harrowing adventures, Mary keeps her humor intact. Over the years, we witness how she comes to deeply love a man with a mysterious past whom she only very reluctantly married as a deathbed promise. This book informs and inspires while helping the reader feel gratitude for all we have and the possibilities our own lives hold. -Amy, Membership Services

      Harrison, Jim. Dead Man's Float
      He shares his gritty outlook, while creating unforgettable connections between it and the essence of beauty contained within them. I loved "Reverse Prayer", "Seventy-Four", "Spirit", "Books", "Life", and basically, everything else. – Lisa, Membership Services

      Hochschild, Adam. Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939.
      The author employs individual narratives of Americans who (clandestinely) joined the fight against Francisco Franco to defend the young Spanish Republic.  Impeccable research, historiography and analysis weave personal narratives and ideology with unfolding events. – Nancy, Information & Reader Services

      Homolka, Michael. Antiquity
      The past and present become fluid in these poems. The atrocities, as in the "Goshen" and "Emanation" ones, could be from earlier decades, or just yesterday. My favorite, non-violent ones are "Listen Up Medusa", "Riposte to Ode", and "Phenomenon". – Lisa, Membership Services

      Hurley, Kameron. The Geek Feminist Revolution
      A powerful writer, who doesn't mince words when discussing feminism, ethics, bullying, censorship, gender/lifestyle bashing, and the barriers writers come up against in their quest to follow their aspirations. – Lisa, Membership Services

      Kalanithi, Paul. When Breath Becomes Air
      Well written and emotional. I thought it was awesome. – Gus, Information & Reader Services
      A heartbreaking and powerful memoir written by a young neurosurgeon after he is diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. Yes, it is a story about dying, but also an exploration of how to live with purpose and die gracefully on your own terms. - Rachel, Information & Reader Services

      Kelly, Kevin. The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future
      “The internet is the world’s largest copy machine.” Kelly is a relentless optimist when it comes to technology but is also intelligent enough to avoid utopian trappings. He throws a ton of "what ifs" at you and one or two of them just might leave you thunderstruck, in the best possible way of course! –Chad, New Media

      Knisley, Lucy. Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride
      Lucy Knisley provides funny and heartwarming stories from her personal life, while also showing interesting facts about the wedding industry. If you enjoyed her other graphic memoir about food, Relish, you will be happy to find recipes as well as instructions for DIY projects. It's also full of wedding planning tips and fascinating wedding myths and traditions from different cultures. – Karina, Youth Services

      Phillips, Patrick. Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America
      A very difficult, but important book about Forsyth County, Georgia where from 1912 to the 1990s it was America's only "whites-only" county. In 1912 a group of black men was accused of raping and killing a white woman. After a one day trial the men were hung, starting a series of arsons and threats by "night riders" that lead to all 1,098 black people to leave the county, never to return until late in the twentieth century. Well researched and heartbreaking, this is a must-read book for anyone who wants to know more about the deep roots of racial violence in America. - Michelle, Information & Reader Services

      Rosenthal, Amy Krouse. Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
      It is the first time a book uses the ability to actually text the author while reading the book hence the title "Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal".  It’s clever, humorous and touching.  It is a sequel to her first autobiography, "Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. Volume one" but very different.  It's quick and enjoyable reading. Our library owns most of Amy's books.  She is a Chicago author and the author of many children's books as well as several for adults. - Laura, Film & Music

      Smith, Lee. Dimestore: A Writer's Life
      I didn't think I'd find anything in common with fiction author Lee Smith's memoir of growing up in Appalachia.  This book explores universal themes of place, love and loss, and will appeal to everyone. – Laurie, Information & Reader Services

      Thompson, Heather Ann. Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy
      Excellent research and writing - for those of us that lived through that time this is such a revealing account of the way NY handled it.   – Mary, Information & Reader Services

      Vanderbilt, Tom. You May Also Like: Taste in an Age of Endless Choice
      This is the book I keep talking to people about. The author discusses what it means to "like" something, (food, music, books, etc.). He covers the agencies that collect that data, and the results they get from it (it turns out that what we don't choose, says just as much about us, as our preferences do). – Lisa, Membership Services

    • Atkinson, Kate. A God in Ruins.
      A companion novel to 2013's Life After Life, A God in Ruins follows the life of Teddy Todd as he navigates the personal and global events of the 20th century. Beautifully written and stylistically profound, this novel will stay with you long after you have finished. The extraordinary life of one ordinary man.

      Bolton, Sharon.  Little Black Lies.
      In the early "90s, children started going missing in a small community in the Falkland Islands. This directly affects three specific Islanders- Catrin, a woman who lost her sons in a terrible accident, Callum, a troubled veteran of the Falkland War, and Rachel, Catrin's former best friend. I loved this book for being more interested in examining how loss and violence and grief change people and relationships than in being a simple whodunnit about missing children.

      Brandt, Harry and Price, Richard. The Whites.
      Follow the life of Billy Graves who is the night shift commander of a New York police department. Witness as they endure the stresses of the job and the daily grind of their everyday life. I enjoyed this book because of the character development. This book is authentic; it felt like I was watching the TV show "The Wire" but in a book. Gritty and thought provoking.

      Cantor, Jillian. The Hours Count.
      A fascinating fictional account of Ethyl and Julius Rosenberg told from the point of view of a neighbor who gets involved with more that she can handle as she wonders whether her own husband is a spy. It's a window into the cold war and life in post-World War II New York City.

      Flournoy, Angela. The Turner House.
      The thirteen Turner children all grew up in the house on Yarrow Street on Detroit's East Side. Now, as their ailing Mother is forced to leave home and move in with her eldest son, the family discovers the house is worth next to nothing. The Turner children must come together in order to decide the fate of their childhood home while also confronting the ghosts of their pasts.

      Freeman, Anna. The Fair Fight.
      Two unlikely women in Regency England cross paths and change each others destinies. Ruth, a tough prize-fighter raised in a Bristol brothel, and Charlotte, manor-born and suffocated by class expectations, meet after Ruth suffers a disastrous defeat in the ring. Fast-paced and overflowing with historical detail, The Fair Fight is a spirited story of courage and power.

      Gornick, Lisa. Louisa Meets Bear.
      A quietly powerful collection of linked short stories surrounding two ill-fated lovers, Louisa and Bear. With each new story, the reader must decipher the relationship the character has to Louisa and Bear; where they crossed paths during their lifetimes. These interwoven tales of love and family are engrossing and deeply human.

      Har'even, Gayil. Lies, First Person.
      A middle-aged Israeli woman in a comfortable marriage with well-adjusted children finds her life spinning out of control when her estranged uncle, author of the novel "Hitler, First Person," and molester of her sister, announces he's coming for a visit. This novel was brilliant, from the writing style (especially the unreliable, circular narration), all the way to how it gets the reader (me, in this case) to think about how we really talk about, deal with, and confront evil.

      Miller, Frank. Batman: The Dark Knight Saga.
      The thrilling conclusion to the Dark Knight saga is now here. Batman returns to face his greatest challenge... the dawn of a master race. Written by Frank Miller, author of The Dark Knight Returns, arguably one of the greatest graphic novels ever.

      Morton, Kate. The Lake House.
      A young boy disappears during a lavish party at his family's estate in Cornwall. The case remains i=unsolved for 60 years until a young detective stumbles upon the abandoned estate and seeks to unlock its many secrets including what happened on the night the child went missing. History, family, mystery, and a split yet deftly interlocking time frame make Kate Morton's latest novel a wonderful page turner.

      Moshfegh, Ottessa. Eileen.
      The title character leads a dreary, narrow existence both at home with her abusive, alcoholic father and at her office job as a boys' juvenile detention center. Eileen is hopeful that the weight of her innate strangeness and isolation will finally be alleviated by a beautiful, young psychologist who joins the staff at work. But the looming sense of dread and unease that is present from the novel's beginning is frighteningly justified at the novel's end.

      Russell, Mary Doria. Epitaph: a novel of the O.K. Corral.
      We all think we know the story of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. In this historical novel, Mary Doria Russell makes life and death in Tombstone, Arizona, come alive with historical details about the U.S. Marshalls, justice in the old west, and how Earp's wife, Josephine, made sure that the Wyatt Earp legend would live on.

      Snyder, Scott. Wytches: Volume 1.
      Scott Snyder's new series is soon to be a horror comic classic. Throughout the years, many people died or were persecuted because of witchcraft. None of these people were witches, but the true witches that so exist are even scarier and more frightening then you could possibly imagine. These witches are mysterious, rare, secretive, but quite deadly.

      Tremayne, S. K. The Ice Twins.
      Is it Kirstie or Lydia? After one of their identical twin daughters dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcraft move to a tiny Scottish island hoping to rebuild their lives. As their surviving daughter grows increasingly disturbed, new revelations come to light as to what happened on that fateful day. The suspenseful and creepy atmosphere heighten the isolation and fear within the characters and haunt the reader until the very end.

      Tyler, Anne. A Spool of Blue Thread. 
      Anchored by their Baltimore home, four generations of the Whitshank family are revealed through the emotion complexities that all families have. Humorous, dazzling and impeccably written, this novel was short listed for the Man Booker Prize.

      Ware, Ruth. In a Dark, Dark Wood.
      For a first novel, Ware writes an excellent thriller with much suspense, a bit of humor in the right places and a number of characters with flaws. Many old friends are reacquainted, at Clare's hen party. For Nora, it has been 10 years since she has seen her once best friend. What secrets will be revealed? Should Nora trust her gut or is it just Nora's guarded personality? Forget about making dinner, this book is a thrilling story which will keep you guessing until the end.

    • Bell, Gertrude and Howell, Georgina. A Woman in Arabia: the writings of the Queen of the Desert.
      Writings of the brilliant and multifaceted Gertrude Bell, an English woman who devoted her life to traveling and understanding the Arab world. Her exceptional grasp of the difficult Arabic language made her a valuable agent for the British dealing with early 20th century Arabs. Sometimes referred to as "the female Lawrence of Arabia".

      Cavolo, Ricardo. 101 Artists to Listen to Before You Die.
      I have an uneven relationship with graphic novels, but this one is not only visually stimulating, it's fun and informative too (and I picked up several new artists to try out as well).

      Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the World and Me.
      In this heartfelt memoir/letter to his teenage son, Coates reflects on racial identity, its impact on his life and on his son's future. A stirring message for all people that black lives matter.

      Cornwell, Bernard. Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies, and Three Battles.
      Cornwell, normally a historical fiction writer, authors a compelling work of nonfiction in Waterloo. The book takes the reader through the grueling four days of the Battle of Waterloo from the perspective of Napoleon and Wellington. It is fascinating to learn these two leaders, known as the best military minds of their time, took small missteps on each of their parts that could have led to a different outcome. A great book for history buffs.

      Day, Felicia. You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost).
      A delightful, smart, and funny book about the one of a kind Ms. Day, who had a quirky upbringing, which probably helped her navigate an even more unusual career.

      Edin, Kathryn J. $2.00 a Day: living on almost nothing in America.
      An examination about extreme poverty in America; why has poverty increased over the past 20 years, how do these families survive on little or no income, and how can the country address the issue of income inequality.

      Goldberg, Daniel and Larsson, Linus. The State of Play: creators and critics on video game culture.
      As a non-gamer, I was enthralled by the 14 essays in this book that explored and discussed issues of gaming entertainment, such as race, gender, violence, death, sex, and fantasy. It raised points that I'll be thinking about for quite awhile.

      Goodman, Simon. The Orpheus Clock: The Search for My Family's Art Treasures Stolen by the Nazis.
      When Simon Goodman's father passed away, he left behind boxes of files revealing he was not the quintessential British gentleman they thought he was. Born Bernard Guttman, primary heir of a prominent German banking family, Bernard had been trying to recover the family's extensive art collection plundered during World War II. Simon and his brother take up the search and learn their heartbreaking family history in the process.

      Green, Kristen. Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County: A Family, a Virginia Town, a Civil Rights Battle.
      After the Brown v the Board of Education decision, Prince Edward County, VA., closed its public schools and opened private, all-white schools. The author examines the effect of the closure on the community and her family's role in the decision.

      Larson, Eric. Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania.
      Larson does it again! The suspenseful dual narrative of Dead Wake captures the looming disaster as experienced by those who lived it, the sad reckoning of lives lost, and the inevitable "if only" we could reach across time to send a warning.

      Lyndsey, Anna. Girl in the Dark: A Memoir.
      Imagine being allergic to light. That is Anna's reality. Once an ambitious young woman, she is now confined to live most of her days in a completely blacked-out room. Fascinatingly, she continues on with her life, fighting against the unbearable loneliness and instead finding the beauty in her new existence. A resonating and brave story.

      Marsh, Henry. Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery.
      Marsh, one of Britain's foremost neurosurgeons, shares stories from the surgery in this riveting memoir, an examination of the exhilaration of successful operations and the despair of failure. Candid and compassionate.

      McCullough, David. The Wright Brothers.
      McCullough is a master storyteller at his best in relating the amazing story of two "ordinary" men whose genius, courage, innovation, and perseverance achieved human flight.

      Rauchway, Eric. The Money Makers: How Roosevelt and Keynes Ended the Depression, Defeated Fascism, and Secured a Prosperous Peace.
      Who was John Maynard Keynes and why does it still matter? An innovative economist and a bold president introduced a monetary policy with far-reaching effects that continues to influence the global economy. Worth more that the paper it's printed on.

      Turkle, Sherry. Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of a Talk in a Digital Age.
      Wonderful book. Amazing as it touches on so many aspects of our lives that are interlinked with technology. If you keep your smart phone on the table during dinner... read this.

      Wulf, Andrea. The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World.
      An attractive and engaging biography of Alexander von Humboldt, a somewhat forgotten 19th century giant in the field of natural sciences. A native of Germany, he spent time as a young man on scientific expeditions in Latin America, where began his vision of the natural world as holistic and interdependent, a foundation of the modern concept of environmentalism.

    • Beah, Ishmael. Radiance of Tomorrow
      Best known for his memoir A Long Way Gone, Beah here fictionalizes some of the same territory in a novel of Sierra Leone recovering in the wake of civil war. Appealing characters and an engaging writing style which lyrically recalls the oral traditions of the villagers rebuilding their town and trying to heal their wounds in the process, Radiance of Tomorrow is both a beautiful and an important read.

      Faber, Michel. The Book of Strange New Things
      A missionary leaves Earth and his wife behind to spread Christianity to a race of beings eager for stories of redemption and the Afterlife. On a planet with rain that falls in spirals, the preacher befriends the aliens and becomes more estranged from his wife and all things Earth as he learns of the increasing number of disasters that occur back home and cause his wife to doubt her faith in God. Eventually he must choose between two very different worlds. 

      Mandel, Emily St. John. Station Eleven
      Twenty years after a super flu devastated civilization as we know it, a band of musicians and actors travel along the great lakes, attempting to keep the culture they love alive while also dealing with the dangerous realities of the new American landscape. A linked narrative tells the story of a group of passengers stranded in a small airport when the epidemic breaks-out, who must learn how to survive in isolation and navigate the new social politics of their situation. The two stories weave themselves together, exploring the importance of retaining humanity and culture in a strange new world. 

      Oyeyemi, Helen. Boy, Snow, Bird
      Oyeyemi’s novel ingeniously builds upon the framework of the Snow White fairy tale to tell a story of love, fear, identity, and prejudice set in 1950s Massachusetts. Alternately narrated by Boy, her daughter Bird, and her stepdaughter Snow, the fully-realized characters build a complex and unforgettable story. 

      Paull, Laline. The Bees
      Set in the fascinating world of a regimented bee hive, Flora 717 is born into the lowest rung on the social ladder, as a sanitation worker. However, her uncharacteristic curiosity, courage and dangerous ability to breed set her on a course into the inner sanctum of the Hive, where she uncovers disturbing truths about the beloved Queen bee and the supposedly sacred laws that she and her fellow bees accept without question. This is a suspenseful, thrilling and brilliantly imagined dystopian tale. ? 

      Quindlen, Anna. Still Life with Bread Crumbs
      In this elegant tale about what it means to grow older, Rebecca Winter, an aging “one hit wonder” photographer, flees to a small town to recoup her finances and reconnect with herself. While there, she meets Jim Bates, a roofer, and starts taking photos of the eerie shrines she finds in the woods behind her cottage. Neither are what they seem. This multi-leveled story is moving, deceptively deep and a pure pleasure to read. 

      Rojstaczer, Stuart. The Mathematician’s Shiva
      When a famous mathematician dies, her eccentric colleagues and rivals descend on Madison, Wisconsin for her funeral.  Her son wants to grieve in peace but the mathematicians insist on sitting shiva with him.  Rojstaczer beautifully portrays a woman who triumphed through many seminal events of the twentieth century, dealt with sexism and academic chicanery, and the effect she had on her loved ones and her field. 

      Smiley, Jane. Some Luck
      The first of a planned trilogy that follows?the Langdons, an?Iowa farm family for 100 years. Through the 1920s, the depression and drought, World War II and mechanization, the pace of change for this family is ever accelerating as the?next?generation moves into the future.?The bad news is that you have to wait for the next installment to find out the rest of the story. 

      Waters, Sarah. The Paying Guests
      In post WWI London, Frances, a young “spinster”, and her widowed mother are forced to take on lodgers in order to avoid poverty. After a modern young couple, Lillian and Leonard Barber, move in upstairs, Frances’s life is disrupted in ways that she never thought possible. Waters presents both a moving love story and a tense crime drama in this engrossing historical novel.  

      Weir, Andy. The Martian
      An astronaut is left behind on Mars during a mission gone wrong. Now Mark Watney must figure out how to survive with limited supplies and no communication with NASA or his team. This book is equal parts hilarious and thrilling as Mark uses his humor, inventive skill and imagination to get through each day on the lonely red planet. 

      Williams, Niall. History of the Rain
      From her attic room in the family's County Clare home, disabled Ruth Swain uses her father's books to decode the secrets of his troubled life, hoping to record his story before she dies. A fierce protagonist, mystical setting and a family's sad history make this an exquisite and moving book. Short-listed for the Man Booker Prize.  

    • Boyd, Danah. It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens
      The author explores misconceptions behind teens and how they use social media.  Her findings are revealing and a must read for parents, teachers, those who work with teens and/or anyone fascinated by the effect that new technologies have on our society and culture.  

      Chast, Roz. Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant
      In her inimitable way, Roz Chast, cartoonist for the New Yorker, chronicles her family life as an only child and her experience dealing with the declining health and death of her parents.  

      Gawande, Atul. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
      Gawande explores how, as a result of modern technologies, the medical establishment has been focused on preserving life instead of ways to better approach death.   Using engaging stories and research, he offers musings on how Americans can do better in coping with decline and death. 

      Jacobsen, Annie. Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America
      As World War II morphed into the Cold War, “inconvenient” Nazi backgrounds were overlooked to allow hundreds of scientists, and too many self-promoting bureaucrats, to immigrate to the United States.  At times Jacobsen can barely contain her indignation at the injustice that allowed ghastly misdeeds to be ignored – or rewarded. 

      Lepore, Jill. The Secret History of Wonder Woman
      Behind the superhero Wonder Woman is the fascinating story of her creators, and the history of feminism. 

      Mullin, Jill. Drawing Autism
      A beautiful and?encouraging book displaying the?artwork of various individuals who have autism. 

      Pitts, Michael. Digging for Richard III: The Search for the Lost King
      The compelling account of the historic archeological dig led by a team from England’s Leicester University to uncover the remains of the infamous Richard III. The newly discovered information drawn from forensics gives us new perspective on the life of the legendary monarch. A gripping science adventure! 

      Pressman, Steven. 50 Children: One Ordinary American Couple's Extraordinary Rescue Mission Into the Heart of Nazi Germany
      The little known story of an ordinary American couple who went to Germany just before the war to save Jewish children. Despite the dangers of isolationism and anti-Semitism, Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus studied the law and used loopholes in the visa system to save over four dozen children. Their heroism is documented in this fascinating tale.  

      Ross, John F. Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed
      In a rather hagiographic biography,?Ross tells the inspiring and thrilling story of Eddie Rickenbacker's death-defying exploits?in the earliest days of auto racing, as America's greatest World War I flying ace, and in subsequent brushes with death. ?An amazing tale of?daredevilry,?willpower and survival. 

      Sides, Hampton. In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette 
      A riveting account of the attempt of the USS Jeannette to get to the North Pole in the late 1800’s.  Sides brings the era to life – the maps and technologies available, as well as the people obsessed with exploration. 

      Wall, Carol. Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening: How I Learned the Unexpected Joy of a Green Thumb and an Open Heart
      Carol Wall, a teacher in Roanoke, Viriginia, hires Giles Owita, a Kenyan émigré of abundant good will and surprising knowledge, to help her renovate her yard.  This memoir is upbeat and surprising, even when relating difficult life and health issues. 

    • Fagan, Jenni. Panopticon.
      Like everyone else in the Panopticon, 15-year-old Anais Hendricks has been in and out of foster care practically since birth. "[B]orn in a nuthouse to nobody that was ever seen again," she had her only successful foster placement with a prostitute later stabbed to death (Anais found the body).

      Hill, Joe. NOS4A2
      Victoria McQueen has a knack for finding things. Riding her bicycle through an old covered bridge, she always emerges where she needs to be.

      Hosseini, Khaled. And the Mountains Echoed
      A novel about how people love, how they take care of each other,and how choices made today can resonate through future generations. 

      Jason. Lost Cat
      Both a playful take on the classic detective story, and a story about how difficult it is to find a sister spirit, someone you feel a real connection to-- and what do you do if you lose that person?

      Kent, Hannah. Burial Rites
      Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

      Messud, Claire. The Woman Upstairs
      Relegated to the status of schoolteacher after abandoning her dreams of becoming an artist, Nora advocates on behalf of a Lebanese student and is drawn into the child's family until his mother's ambition leads to betrayal.

      Meyer, Philipp. The Son
      A novel set amid Oslo's hierarchy of corruption, from which one very unusual young man is about to propel himself into a mission of brutal revenge.

      Ozeki, Ruth. A Tale for the Time Being
      In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there's only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates' bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who's lived more than a century.

      Penny, Louise. How the Light Gets In
      In Three Pines, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache investigates the disappearance of a woman who was once one of the most famous people in the world and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone except the mad, brilliant poet Ruth Zardo.

      Rindell, Suzanne. The Other Typist
      It is 1923. Rose Baker is a typist for the New York City Police Department. 

      Rowell, Rainbow. Eleanor and Park
      Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits--smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

      Saunders, George. Tenth of December
      A collection of stories that includes "Home," a wryly whimsical account of a soldier's return from war; "Victory Lap," a tale about an inventive abduction attempt; and the title story, in which a suicidal cancer patient saves the life of a young misfit.

      Semple, Maria. Where’d You Go, Bernadette
      Bernadette is a frightfully intelligent wife and mother whose intense allergy to Seattle specifically, and to people in general, has driven her to hire a virtual assistant in India to execute even her most basic tasks.

      Wecker, Helene. The Golem and the Jinni
      Chava, a golem brought to life by a disgraced rabbi,and Ahmad, a jinni made of fire, form an unlikely friendship on the streets of New York until a fateful choice changes everything.

    • Rushkoff, Douglas. Present Shock.

      Zuckerman, Ethan. Rewire.

      Fink, Sheri. Five Days at Memorial.

      Lapsley, Philip. Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws Who Hacked Ma Bell.

      Switek, Brian.  My Beloved Brontosaurus: On the Road with Old Bones, New Science, and Our Favorite Dinosaurs.

      Federman, Mark Russ. Russ and Daughters: Reflections and Recipes from the House that Herring Built.

      Brown, Daniel.  The Boys in the Boat.

      Twain, Mark. Autobiography of Mark Twain.

      Muller, Melissa.  Anne Frank: The Biography.

      Guelzo, Allen.  Gettysburg: The Last Invasion.

      Goodwin, Doris Kearns. Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism.

      Lepore, Jill. Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin.

    • The Diviners. Bray, Libba
      When aspiring flapper Evie, gets into trouble in her small Ohio town, she is sent to live with her uncle who runs the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult in New York. But Evie has a gift: she is able to see your secrets just from holding an object belonging to you. Soon, she’s called upon to defeat a frightening supernatural enemy. Teens and adults alike will enjoy this fast-paced period genre-bender.

      This Is How You Lose Her. Diaz, Junot
      Stories of love, betrayal, and the other constants of adult romantic relationships feature heavily in Pulitzer winner Diaz’s second story collection. Yunior, the loud-mouthed authorial stand-in protagonist Diaz continues to return to, is the narrator for most of these stories, and the landscape will be familiar to anyone well-versed in Diaz’s earlier work.

      Astray. Donoghue, Emma
      In a departure from her thriller, Room,Donoghue here returns to historical storytelling. Drawing inspiration from historical newspaper articles and stories, she creates a collection of short narratives that are remarkably engrossing. Using lushly detailed backdrops, she explores the themes of loss, struggle, love, grace and determination through richly drawn characters who are adrift in time and place, detached from their roots; gone astray.

      Half-Blood Blues. Edugyan, Esi
      This Booker Prize shortlisted novel evokes Berlin and Paris during World War II through the eyes of a rag-tag bunch of jazz musicians struggling to stay alive in a Berlin that has turned against jazz and turned against Jews, but also against half-breeds and black people of all nationalities. Cutting between 1940 and 1992, Half-Blood Blues is a story of race, friendship, secrets, and betrayal that showcases a side of World War II not often written about—that is, the story of the other, non-Jewish ethnic groups persecuted by the Reich.

      Gone Girl. Flynn, Gillian
      When Amy Dunne goes missing on her 5th wedding anniversary, her husband Nick is plunged into a nightmare of controversy and media attention that threatens to rip open his life and expose dark secrets about his life, his marriage, and his possible involvement in Amy’s disappearance—or death. Flynn’s break-out hit is a fast-paced, compelling thriller.

      The Fault in Our Stars. Green, John
      Hazel has resigned herself to being sick for a long time and then dying; That's just what happens when you have terminal cancer. But when she meets Augustus, a survivor in remission, at her usually uneventful cancer support group, both their lives change radically. This bittersweet novel from Green is a masterpiece. Hazel and Augustus are two characters so unique and wise beyond their years that you will not forget this story for a long while.

      Arcadia. Groff, Lauren
      In the 1970s, a group of idealistic hippies come together with a vision of utopia, following their charismatic leader, Handy, on a cross-country trek which ends in western New York state at a decaying mansion known as Arcadia House. Bit (the littlest bit of a hippie) is the first child born to the new Arcadians and he grows up in the commune among the optimistic, romantic, and ultimately all-too-human adult founders. Bit is a thoughtful, sensitive, and entirely sympathetic narrator and it is a pleasure to grow up alongside him, watching as his perceptions and understandings change with time.

      Angelmaker. Harkaway, Nick
      All his life, Joe Spork has been caught between the legacy of his grandfather Daniel, a brilliant and honest clockmaker, and his father Mathew, a vivacious and larger-than-life criminal mastermind who ruled London's underground. When an old friend of Joe’s brings him a client with a mysterious piece of antique clockwork needing repair, Joe’s quiet life is disrupted and now he must embrace parts of himself he’d thought long in his past if he’s going to not only survive, but save the world in the bargain. Impossible to categorize, the only thing one can call this novel for sure is great fun.

      Libriomancer. Hines, Jim
      Isaac Vainio is a libriomancer, a special kind of magician who can make objects in books manifest in reality. He’s working as a librarian in small-town Michigan and doing database duty on the side for his other employers, Die Zwelf Portenaere—the Porters, an order of libriomancers. However, the Porters are under attack, and their immortal founder, Johannes Gutenberg, is missing. Isaac and his friends are the Porters’ only hope. Fast-paced, intelligent, and funny; booklovers of all stripes will be trying to master libriomancy themselves after a visit to Hines’ world.

      Defending Jacob. Landay, William
      When a teenage boy is murdered, DA Andy Barber believes a local pedophile is guilty. But when Barber’s own teenage son, Jacob, is accused of the crime and arrested, Barber becomes more determined than ever to prove his son’s innocence. A taut and haunting legal thriller in the tradition of Grisham and Turow.

      Sacre Bleu. Moore, Christopher
      Aspiring artist Lucien Lessard finds that his painting takes fire when Juliette, his mysterious lover, brings him a special tube of ultramarine blue paint from a strange paint dealer known only as the Colorman. Lucien joins forces with his friend “the little gentleman,” the painter Toulouse-Lautrec, to discover the secret of the Colorman and the secret of the sacred blue before they end up dead like so many other painters who have used the Colorman’s paint. Humorous as Moore’s books always are, Sacre Bleu, like Lamb and Fool, also contains rich historical detail that is clearly the product of meticulous research and a deep passion for the material.

      The Rook. O'Malley, Daniel
      "The body you are wearing used to be mine." So begins the letter that Myfanwy Thomas finds after opening her eyes in the middle of a public park surrounded by dead bodies and with no memory of who she is. Now she has two choices: To begin a brand-new life under an assumed identity; or to take up the life and persona of Myfanwy Thomas and figure out who betrayed her and caused the amnesia. She chooses the latter, and soon discovers that she is a Rook, a high-ranking executive in a secret agency keeping Britain safe from supernatural threats. But whoever caused Myfanwy’s amnesia won’t stop there. The safety and security of all of Britain is under threat and only the new Myfanwy can stop it. Thrilling and inventive.

      The Yellow Birds. Powers, Kevin
      This deeply affecting novel, written by an Iraq war veteran (and recent M.F.A. graduate in poetry), is the heart-wrenching story of two young soldiers trying to stay alive, and one of the soldiers returning home only to find that the war continues on in his head. A 2012 National Book Awards finalist, this novel is an important read.

      Calling Invisible Women. Ray, Jeanne
      Clover, a fifty-something women, has felt invisible for years. So when she wakes up one morning to discover herself truly invisible, her worst fears have been realized. But soon she discovers that her busy pediatrician husband and teen children don’t even notice her condition. She finds a support group with other women who have vanished as she has, and begins to exploit her condition, even thwarting a bank robbery. But will her husband ever notice? A gently witty satire; many women will empathize with Clover’s plight.

      Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. Sloan, Robin
      Clay Jannon, an out of work web/graphic designer, takes a job as the night clerk at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. He soon discovers that, in addition to the shelves of relatively normal stock up front, there are also shelves full of strange encrypted books in the back and a small group of peculiar people who come in at all hours requesting books from the back shelves. Clay builds a 3D computer-generated model of the store and begins to find strange patterns in the borrowing habits of these odd customers and finds himself caught up in a mystery dating back to the earliest days of printing. Unique, whimsical, and clever, combining new technology with old in a story sure to appeal to geeks of all stripes.

      The Light Between Oceans. Stedman, M. L.
      Tom Sherbourne, a lighthouse keeper on the western shores of Australia, and his wife Isabel enjoy their isolated life on Janus Rock. But Isabel becomes depressed when she is unable to have children. So when a boat washes ashore carrying a dead man and a healthy baby girl, the couple make a decision that will haunt their lives, and that of a grieving young mother, forever. A truly beautiful novel; not to be missed.

      Beautiful Ruins. Walter, Jess
      Set in Italy in the ’60s and present-day Hollywood, this is a wonderful old-fashioned love story with a contemporary satirical edge. Intertwining through relationships and time are an American starlet who comes to a remote Italian village to die, a movie producer who made his comeback with a reality TV show, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, an army veteran turned alcoholic writer, and a dissatisfied movie assistant. Deep but not depressing, this novel is literary but also a page turner. And it has a happy ending!

    • Instant: The Story of Polaroid. Bonanos, Christopher
      Before there were Steve Jobs and Apple, there were Edwin Land and Polaroid. Land was a charismatic, inventive leader, holding over 500 patents. He took a garage start-up and turned it into a multi-national company which had a wide-ranging effect on American culture and business. A fascinating story of a fascinating man.

      Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. Boo, Katherine
      Pulitzer-winning journalist Boo here depicts the lives of the inhabitants of Annawadi, a poverty-stricken slum across the street from Mumbai’s Sahar International Airport and surrounding luxury hotels. The product of three years of in-depth reporting, this is an eye-opening look at the ever-widening gap between the haves and have-nots in contemporary India.

      Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows. Cahan, Richard and Michael Williams.
      Shortly after her death in 2009, an archive of thousands of Vivian Maier’s photographs and negatives was discovered. This previously unknown photographer took the world by storm with her compelling, beautiful, black and white street photography. This is the first comprehensive collection of her images in print, and serves as a portrait of the photographer and also of the woman.

      Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. Cain, Susan
      Though they often fade into the background, introverts can be creative, dynamic people and in fact are responsible for many important contributions to culture and society, including but not limited to the personal computer. Cain’s carefully researched portrait of the type demonstrates how outspoken contemporary culture dismisses the introverted to its own detriment.

      Last Lion: The Rise and Fall of Ted Kennedy. Canellos, Peter S. (ed)
      This respectful but balanced biography of Ted Kennedy portrays his maturation from troubled, slightly wild youth to a respected, serious politician once described by John McCain as “the last lion of the Senate.” With discussions of both Kennedy’s personal trials and also his political battles, this is the very readable biography of a flawed but remarkable man.

      Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis. Egan, Timothy
      Though not well-known today, photographer Edward Curtis (1868-1952) is best remembered for his controversial efforts to document the culture of every Native American tribe in North American before their ways of life vanished. This life’s work culminated in a 20-volume set, The North American Indian. Though he is often accused of overly romanticizing his subjects, it is nevertheless true that Curtis spent 30 years fighting to preserve Native American culture in an effort which left him divorced and destitute. Egan’s portrait of this polarizing figure is compelling.

      Distrust that Particular Flavor. Gibson, William
      Gibson’s first collection of non-fiction draws from the last several decades of his writing career and features all the usual Gibsonian subjects—the rise of the Internet; the technology and culture of Japan; Gibson’s own past in small-town Virginia and early discovery of science fiction; and all the ways that human culture has already been irrevocably altered by technologies as commonplace as radio and as pervasive as cyberspace. A sly wit and a lively intelligence shine through the writing, and every article, regardless of whether its predictions have been borne out by reality, is fascinating.

      End This Depression Now! Krugman, Paul R.
      Nobel-winning economist Krugman’s at times humorous, educational look at the current Great Recession in America, tracing out not just how the country got to this point, but also a clear path out of the depression and back to a strong, vibrant economy. Never dry, this should appeal to anyone with an interest in economics and politics.

      Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir. Lawson, Jenny
      Jenny Lawson, best known for her side-splittingly funny blog at, delivers more of the same here, in her (mostly true) memoir. Jenny grew up poor in rural Texas, the daughter of a taxidermist father whose idea of a good joke was making puppets out of roadkill. An outsider who later struggled with eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and more recently rheumatoid arthritis, she recounts the trials and tribulations of her life in a no-holds-barred, double-barreled, profanity-laden manner. T hose who share Jenny’s twisted sense of humor and irreverent outlook on life will find themselves laughing out loud and garnering strange looks from those around them.

      Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies. MacIntyre, Ben
      The success of the D-Day landing at Normandy was achieved due to a complicated web of spies, many of whom were double agents who were given carefully crafted misinformation to mislead the Germans. MacIntyre here spins out the stories of the five main double agents, all quirky and fascinating figures in their own right, and how their activities intersected with wartime events. An absorbing story that reads like an espionage thriller novel but has the advantage of being completely true.

      Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won’t Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care. Makary, Marty
      Surgeon Makary provides a searing indictment of the culture of secrecy in contemporary American hospitals, arguing that greater transparency related to hospitals’ success and failure rates would lead to greater accountability and thus, reduction of dangerous hospital error. Thought-provoking and eye-opening.

      Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power. Meacham, Jon
      Pulitzer-prize winning biographer Meacham here lauds the political acumen of Thomas Jefferson. While conversant with criticisms of Jefferson’s character, including his stance on slavery, Meacham presents an overwhelmingly positive view of the third American president, focusing on those aspects of Jefferson’s leadership that balanced cooperation and compromise with an often ruthless drive to advance his own authority and steer the fledgling nation in the direction of his own ideals.

      Book was There: Reading in Electronic Times. Piper, Andrew
      A lover of both books and computers, Piper here both reflects upon the history of reading and bookishness and also ruminates upon the future of reading in the digital age. Showing that rumors about the death of the book have been greatly exaggerated and that reading itself is integral in our lives in ways we may not fully understand, Piper has penned not an elegy for a lost pleasure but a celebration of an evolving one.

      The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail—But Some Don’t. Silver, Nate
      Statistician Silver built a innovative system for predicting baseball results and has now predicted two presidential elections to within a hair’s breadth of the actual results. Here he discusses the science of probability, dissecting how to pull a meaningful “signal” out of all the “noise” of raw data and just what causes so many predictions to fail. He speaks to other statisticians and prediction-makers, utilizing a series of case studies involving everything from hurricane tracking to counterterrorism to poker. Thought-provoking and interesting even for the mathematics-shy.

      Darwin’s Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution. Stott, Rebecca
      After the publication of his seminal The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin was chastised by his fellows for not discussing the many thinkers and scientists who had entertained similar evolutionary ideas and hypotheses before him. Stott here remedies that lack, providing brief but information-rich biographies of some of the great thinkers who preceded Darwin’s theory of natural selection, from Aristotle to Charles Darwin’s own grandfather Erasmus Darwin. Fascinating, well-researched, and never dry, Darwin’s Ghosts is a treasure-trove for both those already interested in the topic and those coming to this history for the first time.

    • The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine. Bronsky, Alina
      In this black comedy, Rosa Achmetowna is the strong-willed and acid-tongued matriarch of a transplanted Tartar family. When her selfless daughter Sulfia gives birth to a daughter named Aminat, Rosa embarks on a long and inventive campaign to steal her granddaughter’s affections away from Sulfia. Outrageous and wildly entertaining.

      A Discovery of Witches. Harkness, Deborah
      Diana Bishop is a witch who has rejected her magical heritage and is studying the history of alchemy in Oxford. She discovers a strange manuscript that has been lost for centuries and finds herself the focus of every supernatural being in England. Only her new relationship with vampire Matthew Clairmont may save her. But such cross-species affairs are strictly forbidden—and the penalty is death. Readers are sure to be hooked by both the centuries-old mystery of the lost manuscript and the forbidden love affair between the protagonists.

      Madame Tussaud. Moran, Michelle
      Marie Tussaud, née Grosholtz, lived a long and colorful life. A talented wax sculptress, she gained entrée into the glittering world of Versailles when hired by King Louis XVI’s sister as a tutor. Meanwhile, her uncle’s home served as a meeting-place for revolutionaries plotting the monarchy’s downfall. Moran’s novel depicts this oft-fictionalized time and place with depth and elegance.

      The Tiger's Wife. Obreht, Tea
      Natalia Stefanovi, a young doctor in a contemporary Balkan country, is preparing for a goodwill mission across the border when she receives the news that her beloved grandfather has died. Natalia is distracted from her work by memories of her grandfather, always coming back to two stories her grandfather often told her when she was a child: the story of Gavran Gaile, the deathless man who collected the souls of the dying; and the deaf-mute woman known as the tiger’s wife. The seeming fairy tales of the deathless man and the tiger’s wife hold surprising kernels of truth and reality. Vibrant, lyrical, and compelling.

      The Buddha in the Attic. Otsuka, Julie
      Narrated in the first-person-plural voice, a collective “we,” Otsuka’s slim novel tells the haunting stories of Japanese mail-order brides who came to America in the early 1900s seeking a better life but often found only prejudice, endless labor, and abusive husbands.

      The Map of Time. Palma, Felix J.
      In this elaborate time-travel genre-bender, Andrew Harrington becomes obsessed with turning back time to save his beloved from becoming Jack the Ripper’s final victim. H.G. Wells’ “The Time Machine” has captured the Victorian imagination, and the author himself may know more about real time travel than suspected. Intricately plotted with multiple twisty storylines, Palma’s thriller is engaging and great fun.

      The Tragedy of Arthur. Phillips, Arthur
      This complex meta-fictional romp is a faux-memoir framed as the introduction to a long-lost Shakespeare play entitled “The Tragedy of Arthur.” Ostensibly written by Arthur, the son of the play’s discoverer—who happens to be a noted forger serving time in prison for his crimes. As the authentication process wears on, Arthur becomes convinced the play is his father’s greatest scam.

      The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes. Sakey, Marcus
      A man awakens naked on a deserted beach with no idea who he is or how he got there. Stumbling to a nearby car, he finds clothing in his size, a recently fired gun, money, and a car registration in the name of Daniel Hayes. Soon enough, he discovers that he is Daniel Hayes; that his wife, a famous actress, has been killed; and that he is the chief suspect. But he still remembers nothing. Gripping and riveting.

      Please Look After Mom. Shin, Kyong-Suk
      After Korean wife and mother Park So-nyo's disappearance in a crowded Seoul train station, her life is reconstructed by her eldest son, eldest daughter, and husband as they reflect upon her dedication and sacrifice. A moving and poignant portrait of a woman and a family.

      The Madonnas of Echo Park. Skyhorse, Brando
      Skyhorse’s affecting novel-in-stories offers unsentimental, clear-eyed tribute to the working class LA neighborhood of Echo Park and the Mexican Americans who live, work, and die there. Lurking at the center of all of the stories is a tragedy: a young girl, shot and killed in a drive-by on the streets of Echo Park. Her death is the stone in the pond, and the stories presented here are the ripples. Haunting and vibrant, The Madonnas of Echo Park is recommended those with a taste for thoughtful, character-driven stories.

      The Informationist. Stevens, Taylor
      Vanessa Monroe, or Michael as she is known by her clients, left her missionary parents at the age of fourteen and lived by her wits among gun runners in Africa, developing the skills to make a comfortable, if sometimes dangerous living for herself. When she takes on the unusual but lucrative assignment of tracing an oil executive’s daughter who disappeared in Africa four years earlier, she must work frantically to find the missing girl while keeping herself safe from enemies old and new. Highly recommended for suspense fiction fans looking for something a little different.

      We the Animals. Torres, Justin
      This novel-in-stories delves deeply into the lives of a family balanced on the edge. The seven year-old narrator and his two older brothers enjoy a freedom uncommon to children their age, roaming the streets day and night while their mother works the graveyard shift and their father disappears for days at a time. What the boys fail to see is that their freedom is really neglect, their mother’s deep love for her children is also desperation, and their parent’s relationship is volatile and dangerous. This slim novel packs an emotional punch that will stay with you long after you have finished it.

      Rules of Civility. Towles, Amor
      It’s New York City circa 1938 and friends Eve and Katey meet the mysterious and wealthy Tinker Grey, changing their lives completely. Catapulted into the social jungle of the elite upper-class, the two compete for Tinker’s affections. When a horrible car crash leaves Eve disabled and Tinker becomes Eve's caretaker, Katey is left to fend for herself in her new and unfamiliar social circle. While she climbs the New York social ladder, she is unable to forget Tinker and Eve. This is a smart novel with plenty of drama.

      Deathless. Valente, Catherynne
      Young Marya Morevna is surprised when Koschei the Deathless, the mythical Tsar of Life, shows up at her door to take her as his bride but soon finds herself at home as his wife. But Marya inadvertently ignites war between Koschei and his brother the Tsar of Death and spends years leading Koschei’s troops. When finally she returns home, she finds that the city of her birth is in the grip of famine and terror—the Siege of Leningrad. And when Koschei comes for her again, the power balance between the two shifts as Marya asserts her own control over her immortal husband. Author Valente seamlessly blends 20th century Russian history with Russian folklore in this unique novel.

      Among Others. Walton, Jo
      Fifteen-year-old Morwenna and her twin sister fought a magical battle of wills against their evil mother, preventing her from threatening the order of the world. The girls won, but Morwenna, or Mori, is permanently crippled and her sister was killed. Mori seeks shelter with her father, who sends her off to a British boarding school where she is a social outcast due to her disability, her Welsh accent, and her love of sci-fi and fantasy novels. She finds a haven in books and a few like-minded friends, but knows another conflict with her mother is brewing and that this time she’s on her own. This novel is a love letter to genre fiction and to every sci-fi and fantasy fan who’s ever felt like a refugee from reality.

      Before I Go to Sleep. Watson, S.J.
      Chrissie awakens in a strange bed, with a strange man sleeping beside her. A look in the bathroom mirror reveals a woman some 20 years older than she last remembers. Having only a few fragmented, disconnected memories, Chrissie soon discovers that she has a rare form of amnesia resulting from head trauma suffered years earlier and that she has been keeping a detailed journal of events for the past few weeks. It is this journal that we read, following along as Chrissie makes unsettling discoveries about her past and present.

      Out of the Mountains. Willis, Meredith Sue
      All of the stories in this slender collection are set in the same part of West Virginia, high in the Appalachian mountains. Willis’s decidedly modern, contemporary voice lacks the over-sentimentality so common to stories set in this region, being instead focused on the very real problems faced by convincingly textured and flawed characters. Many of the stories feature the same characters at different points in their lives, showing how things have changed—or not—and interweaving the lives of these diverse, three-dimensional people in intricate ways that reward careful reading.

      The Family Fang. Wilson, Kevin
      Siblings Annie and Buster Fang have been a part of their performance artist parents’ works since early childhood. As art world darlings, the elder Fangs (Caleb and Camille) instigated and recorded public chaos in the name of art. Now they have disappeared, apparently the victims of a serial killer. But Annie, now an actress, and Buster, now a failed novelist, don’t buy it. They’re convinced it’s just another performance of the Family Fang. A mix of black humor and tragedy, this is the madcap chronicle of a most dysfunctional family.

    • Blue Nights. Didion, Joan
      Didion, known for her touching memoir The Year of Magical Thinking, meditates on tragedy again in this meditation on the life and untimely death of her adopted daughter, Quintana. Didion’s thoughts on parenting and aging become an examination of her own mortality. (814 D556b)

      Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything. Foer, Joshua
      Journalist Foer examines the nature of human memory and the history of memorization as he prepares to compete in the U.S. Memory Championship alongside other “mental athletes” who are dedicated to preserving the ancient skill of memorization in a culture which has greatly externalized knowledge accumulation through the development of first printing, then computerization. (153.14 F654)

      The Swerve: How the World Became Modern. Greenblat, Stephen
      Shakespeare scholar Greenblat traces the roots of the Renaissance to one nearly-forgotten classical Latin text, De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things) by Lucretius. Considered a dangerous book for its strangely progressive ideas about atomic structure; natural selection; and a philosophy free of religion and superstition the book only exists today because 15th century bibliophile Poggio Bracciolini found the last extant copy and had it reproduced. Greenblat’s theory credits this chance event with sparking the Renaissance—causing a “swerve” toward our modern world. (940.21 G798)

      Steve Jobs. Isaacson, Walter
      When Steve Jobs died in 2011, the ensuing outpouring of emotion from those touched by his inventions pretty much assured this biography would be in demand. Luckily, Isaacson is up to the task. His insightful biography gives Jobs’ adoring public the inside scoop on this temperamental, complex, and at times very unlikeable genius who changed the face of technology and American culture. (338.761004 J62i)

      Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks. Jennings, Ken
      Record-making Jeopardy! winner Jennings is a self-professed “maphead;” that is, he loves and collects maps and atlases of all kinds. And he is not alone. Cartophiles are a colorful and diverse community with wide-ranging interests and associated hobbies, including world travel and geocaching. Along with introducing his fellow mapheads, Jennings takes the reader through the history of cartography and the larger role of the map in human civilization. (912 J54)

      Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy, Interviews with Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. 1964. Onassis, Jacqueline Kennedy
      In these interviews, conducted shortly after the Kennedy assassination in 1964 and presented here in both transcript and on audio CD, Jacqueline Kennedy speaks candidly about the details of her life with John F. Kennedy, revealing the often ugly truth behind the glitter and glamour of “Camelot.” This intimate perspective is an invaluable and fascinating part of the historic record. (973.922 On58)

      In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin. Larson, Erik
      Larson examines Berlin circa 1933-1934 from the unlikely perspective of two Americans—William Dodd, an academic historian and liberal serving as Roosevelt’s ambassador to Germany; and Dodd’s free-spirited daughter Martha, who initially found Nazism’s zeal invigorating. As the family moved through the glamorous social strata of the Nazi ruling elite, however, they soon began to see the ugly brutality beneath the glitter and passion. Vivid and nuanced, offering an important perspective on the period. (943.086 D639L)

      The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris. McCullough, David
      Pulitzer winner McCullough chronicles the experiences of a dozen young Americans who traveled to Paris in the 19th century, demonstrating the many ways in which Parisian education and culture proved transformative to an entire generation of American minds. McCullough’s popular history of this time and place is a rich fabric woven together from the diaries and memoirs of his subjects. (944.361 M133)

      Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman. Massie, Robert
      She started life as minor German princess Sophia of Anhalt-Zerbst but ended up becoming Empress Catherine, called the Great, sole ruler and benevolent despot of Russia. Massie ably depicts the life of this fascinating and powerful woman from her comparatively unremarkable beginnings through dethroning her husband Peter and becoming an able and powerful Russian ruler who imported European culture and philosophy and attempted to reform her country according to Enlightenment ideals. (947.06 C361m)

      Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President. Millard, Candice
      Often forgotten today, 20th US President James A. Garfield held office for only 200 days—the second shortest term of any president. Elected as a dark-horse candidate, Garfield was a teacher, Union army general, and congressman and would likely have been an effective and influential President. The bullet of a crazed assassin put an end to that, however. Not killing the President outright, the bullet became lodged in Garfield’s body and he lingered for months before inadequate or inept medical care led to infection and death. Millard ably and unpacks the politics and medical science of the era, while also providing a vivid portrait of not only President Garfield but his assassin as well. (973.84 M645)

      MetaMaus. Spiegelman, Art
      Spiegelman’s groundbreaking 1986 book-length comic Maus was wildly influential, establishing the critical respectability and literary merit of what we now call “graphic novels.” It remains the only graphic narrative to have won a Pulitzer Prize, in fact. For the 25th anniversary of Maus’s publishing, Spiegelman has compiled this fascinating companion volume containing concept art, family photos and history, and background on the whys and hows of putting together an unsentimental but moving Holocaust tale starring mice. In addition, an accompanying DVD provides exhaustive multi-media material. (741.5 Sp75m)

      Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President. Suskind, Ron
      Pulitzer-winning journalist Suskind spent hundreds of hours interviewing US administration members, including POTUS, to put together this assessment of President Obama’s handling of the financial crisis. Ultimately, Suskind believes Obama was out of his depth and did not know to whom he should turn for advice, instead finding himself pulled between advisors calling for sweeping reform and advisors who wished to maintain the status quo. (330.973 Su96)

      Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record, and Our Place in Nature. Switek, Brian
      Switek ably presents what might be called “the evolution of evolution” in this popular-science work. Each chapter traces a path from scientists’ early understanding of a particular species and its place in nature through to current views, explaining the importance of transitional fossils while not losing sight of areas in which science’s understanding is still limited. Written for the layperson, the book nevertheless does not “dumb down” its topic, instead laying out the facts clearly and allowing careful readers to make their own connections. Fascinating portraits of early naturalists and evolutionary theorists fill out this able survey of the history of evolutionary science. (599.938 Sw97)

      Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin: 40 Years of Funny Stuff. Trillin, Calvin
      Humor writer Calvin Trillin here collects the best “funny stuff” from his forty-year career and arranges it roughly into categories like finance, criminal justice, the literary life, and New York City life. In this definitive collection, Trillin is insightful, cutting, wise, and always hilarious. (818 T829q)

      Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II. Zuckoff, Mitchell
      In 1945, an American transport plane carrying 24 servicemen and women on a sight-seeing tour of a remote valley in New Guinea crashed into the jungle, leaving only three survivors. As they waited for rescue, they faced possible death from untreated injuries or at the hands of possibly-hostile local tribespeople who had never seen a white person before. It is these cultural interactions and misunderstandings which will hold a reader’s interest, though the entire situation is drama defined. That the story is true makes it only the more gripping. (940.544973 Z94)

    • The Big Bang Symphony: A Novel of Antarctica. Bledsoe, Lucy Jane
      This is the story of three women working in Antarctica whose lives quickly become entangled. Alice is working as a cook, Mikala is an artist, and Alice is embarking on graduate work. This is a compelling tale of their challenging and emotional time in the epic setting of the bleak Antarctic.

      My Name is Memory. Brashares, Ann
      Daniel has lived many lives over many centuries and unlike most other people, he recalls all of his lives and is haunted by his one love, Sophia. Sophia has also had many lives but doesn’t recall them so Daniel must try to find her in each incarnation and convince her that she is truly his soul mate. It’s a wonderfully entertaining romantic story with an intriguing premise.

      Remarkable Creatures. Chevalier, Tracy
      Elizabeth Philpot and her sisters are unmarriageable but well-educated and take up the unlikely hobby of fossil hunting. When a local woman they have sought to educate makes an extraordinary find, the women find they are excluded from recognition by the scientific community. Based on a true story, Remarkable Creatures shines a light on the lives of strong, intelligent women. We find it both fascinating and satisfying. 

      The Passage. Cronin, Justin
      In the near future, a secret government experiment goes awry when the subjects escaped, taking their super-human and vampire-like powers with them. A hundred years later, an enclave of humans hides out, awaiting their extinction when a child enters the fortress, bringing with her some powers that just may save them all. Think Stephen King and Michael Crichton when considering this unputdownable post apocalyptic tale

      Room. Donoghue, Emma
      A finalist for the Man Booker Award, Donoghue gives us the perspective of a five year old boy who, with his mother, is held captive. Since the boy was born there and knows no other life, he doesn’t understand that their tiny prison is unusual. When his mother comes up with an idea for escape, she must balance the question of their safety with the knowledge that her son must experience the larger world.

      Eye of the Red Tsar. Eastland, Sam
      Once a close aide to Tsar Nicholas II, Pekkala is held prisoner in the decade after the assassination of the Romanov family. Now Pekkala is offered his freedom if he can find the Romanovs’ killers, find the royal child reputed to have escaped, and help Stalin change history. This is a riveting historical thriller, and even better, it’s a debut novel.

      Fall of Giants. Follett, Ken
      Best known for his thrillers, Follett entranced us with a story with containing significant historical detail in Pillars of the Earth and its sequel. Now he brings us an entirely new historical saga dealing with five families as they struggle through events of the early 20th century. This hefty novel is the first in a trilogy, and the critics loved it!

      Juliet. Fortier, Anne
      Julie’s beloved adoptive mother, Aunt Rose, died without leaving Julie a penny. Instead, Julie’s twin inherited Rose’s estate while Julie received only a key to a safe deposit box in Siena, Italy that had belonged to Julie’s mother. What Julie finds in Italy involves a quest to solve a historical puzzle, as well as an unexpected romance. Fortier marvelously weaves together the contemporary and historical stories.

      Freedom. Franzen, Jonathan
      This is the book of the year. The critics all raved about it. Touted as the great American novel, Franzen’s latest is the story of a once-perfect family that is now coming unglued. Patty and Walter were envied. They did all the right things, made the right choices, fed their child granola, and did their part to save the earth, so what went wrong? Franzen twists this family in a darkly humorous fashion as he explores the meaning of freedom and the choices we make.

      The Lady Matador’s Hotel. Garcia, Cristina
      Six people’s lives intersect in surprising and sometimes explosive ways over the course of a week in the Hotel Miraflor, located in the capitol city of an unnamed Central American country. The internal and external battles of these characters take place against the turbulent political backdrop of the country. Vibrant, rich, and detailed, the characters are well-developed and the atmosphere is sultry and immersive.

      The Cookbook Collector. Goodman, Allegra
      A collector of rare books in the Silicon Valley finds herself at odds with her tech-savvy highly motivated and successful sister. Goodman’s latest is part character study and part exploration of the choices we make and the resultant trade-offs. It’s got humor, romance, a multi-layered plot, and deals with larger issues. It’s a notable and appealing story.

      Ape House. Gruen, Sara
      Sara Gruen wowed us with Water for Elephants, a wildly entertaining story. She’s done it again with her latest, the story of a woman in charge of an ape research center and her relationship with the apes. Human-animal communication is a fascinating subject, and Gruen’s bonobos are all-too-human and are better people than many humans who populate the novel. With thriller elements, this one is a page turner.

      Horns. Hill, Joe
      Son of author Stephen King, Joe Hill doesn’t trade on his father’s success and he truly doesn’t need to. In his latest, a murder suspect who was never convicted wakes up one morning after cursing God to discover that a pair of horns has sprouted on his forehead. Everyone meets is subsequently compelled to confess all of their darkest thoughts and desires to him. Using his new abilities, he tries to track down the real murderer and take his own special revenge. Hill has a hit with this exploration of good and evil.

      Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War. Marlantes, Karl
      This is the story of a marine lieutenant and his fellow soldiers who are dropped into a mountainous area of Vietnam. They quickly find that not only are they fighting the enemy, but also nature in the form of terrain, weather, insects, and tigers. This is a gritty look at young men coming of age under terrifying circumstances and is a memorable novel of war.

      The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet. Mitchell, David
      Mitchell presents a vividly detailed historical romance that takes place in 18th century Japan. Jacob, a clerk, has come to Japan to earn his fortune so he can return to Europe to win the hand of his beloved. When he falls instead for a Japanese woman, everything changes. This novel rotates perspective between several characters, giving us a fuller view of this fascinating historical era.

      The Invisible Bridge. Orringer, Julie
      There were many excellent debut novels out this year, and this one is notable for its unique view of the Holocaust. Orringer shows us how Hungary treated its Jewish citizens In a gripping story of Hungarian brothers who go their separate ways just as war approaches. Many area book groups have covered his title over the past year and it is that type of book that you’ll want to read and discuss. It’s unforgettable.

      The Scent of Rain and Lightning. Pickard, Nancy
      Here’s a change of pace. Call it a modern western, if you will; it’s the story of a young woman whose father was murdered years earlier at the same time her mother disappeared. Living at her grandparent’s cattle ranch, she is shocked to discover the convicted killer has been released pending a new trial and is on his way back to the small town in which both families reside. Pickard tells an entrancing story of secrets that haunt a small town

      Portobello. Rendell, Ruth
      Can we just say we all love Ruth Rendell and leave it at that? Rendell’s artful crime fiction is not to be missed by readers of mystery or suspense. This latest story takes place in London and reveals a host of unusual characters brought together by bizarre situations that result in unintended consequences for them all. This is an excellent example of Rendell’s brand of psychological suspense.

      Private Life. Smiley, Jane
      Pulitzer winning Smiley has shown us time and again the range of her talent. In Private Life, it takes us on the journey of an old maid who marries at age 27. Her husband is a successful and admired naval officer and scientist who has his enemies who also harbors a dark side. The historical elements of the novel, post-Civil War to World War II, provide a balance to this study of a woman’s life as the wife of a difficult man in challenging times.

      Once a Spy. Thomson, Keith
      A former spy and now an Alzheimer’s patient, Drummond, has wandered away from home. When his gambler son tries to return him, they discover the house has been blown up. Drummond remembers enough to know how to hotwire a car and begin a very long chase in which they must dodge spies from various countries while trying to figure out who is after them and why. This debut delivers.

    • At Home: A Short History Of Private Life. Bryson, Bill
      This is serendipity at its best. Bryson takes us on a tour of his old house and along the way gives us historical and sociological lessons as they come to him from his observations of the rooms and the items they contain. It’s not as much a story as a collection of thoughts as only Bryson can think them.

      Let’s Take the Long Way Home. Caldwell, Gail
      Gail writes of her friendship with Caroline Knapp. Both single writers, they came to know each other through their love of their dogs and they quickly became best friends. Gail captures the meaning of their friendship as well as her grief as her friend struggles with and dies from lung cancer. Caldwell’s writing evokes strong emotions as she explores the beauty of their friendship.

      I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections. Ephron, Nora
      In essays, Ephron shares her outlook on contemporary life and her experiences with career, with men, and with being of a certain age. She’s funny, forthright, and her stories strike a chord with all women.

      The Good Soldiers. Finkel, David
      Washington Post staff writer Finkel captures the daily life of soldiers in Iraq as he follows an American infantry battalion for one year. His detail in capturing not only the daily routines of combat soldiers but also the multitude of dangers they face is what makes this book especially memorable.

      War. Junger, Sebastian
      In another journalist goes to war tale, Junger follows a platoon through 15 months in the most dangerous outpost in Afghanistan. What makes this one stand out is the excellent companion documentary and Junger’s engaging style. This author of The Perfect Storm, shows us again just how compelling nonfiction can be.

      The Big Short: Inside The Doomsday Machine. Lewis, Michael
      Here’s an examination of the financial crisis in clear language. Lewis takes the time to explain what happened in enough detail that it’s very understandable, yet not so much that it becomes a textbook. This author of The Blind Side has another winner on his hands with this latest. 

      Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard. Murray, Liz
      With drug-addicted parents, Liz had to fend for herself by age 15, often riding the subway all night in an effort to stay warm. This inspiring story takes us from Liz’s early unsettling days through her decision to make a better life for herself and culminates in her graduation from Harvard. Readers who enjoyed The Glass Castle will appreciate this similarly inspiring tale.

      Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void. Roach, Mary
      Roach has a way of taking unusual scientific subject matter and turning it into a humorous exploration of topics we may never have considered. In her latest, Roach takes us on a journey to Mars, exploring the ways that the human body is impacted by such a voyage. You’ll find some amusement along with some truly indelicate descriptions. Roach makes science fun.

      Making Toast. Rosenblatt, Roger
      The Rosenblatts were empty nesters living in their dream home when their accomplished physician daughter died leaving young children behind. The Rosenblatts never hesitated in offering their assistance to their grieving son-in-law including moving into his home and helping care for his children. This book is about love and loss and grief and hope. It’s a wonderfully written and touching story.

      Cleopatra: A Life. Schiff, Stacy
      This critically acclaimed biography captures the life and times of the last queen of Egypt. Although her life was short by modern standards, there’s plenty to cover and Schiff looks to classical sources to discover the truth.

      Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other: In Praise of Adoption. Simon, Scott
      NPR host Scott Simon and his wife thought their life was complete, until they adopted two tiny infants from China and realized what they had been missing. Simon addresses the challenges and joys of adoption with humor and candor.

      The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Skloot, Rebecca
      Henrietta Lacks was a poor farmer who died more than sixty years ago. She lives on, though, through her cells which have been grown and used for scientific research ever since. Her family didn’t know of the use of her cells until decades after her death and were never informed that they, themselves were used in testing. Although fortunes were made off of Henrietta’s cells, her uncompensated family continues to struggle. Skloot presents a gripping story of bioethics.

      Just Kids. Smith, Patti
      Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe were truly just kids in the New York art scene of the late 1960’s. Amidst the craziness surrounding them, they formed a deep bond. More than just a portrait of a relationship, Smith takes us back in time and gives us the insider’s tour.

      The Autobiography of Mark Twain Vol. 1. Twain, Mark.
      Don’t let the heft of this volume or the fact that it’s just part 1 scare you off. This is more than one brilliant man’s story, it’s also the story of how this autobiography came to be. The autobiography itself is a few hundred pages. The rest of the 700 plus pages consists of a long introduction and appendices that tell a lot more about the editors of this volume than about Twain. Any fan of Twain will be fascinated with his final thoughts 100 years after the fact.

      The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration. Wilkerson, Isabel
      Wilkerson researched this topic for many years before putting her pen to paper. It’s the story of post-World War I migration of six million African Americans from the deep south to other large northern or western cities where they didn’t have to live in fear. Wilkerson follows the trend as well as several individuals who made this journey into the uncertain and it’s a look at a part of our history long overdue.

    • Archer, Jeffrey. Paths of Glory
      A fictionalized account of the life of teacher George Mallory follows his brilliant education, service in World War I, and his fatal attempt to summit Mount Everest in 1924.

      Baker, Tiffany. The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
      Truly Plaice was born with acromegaly, a pituitary gland disorder causing her to grow without stopping. Compared to her delicate sister Serena Jane, the heavy-bodied Truly is a monster…a little giant. Isolated from her peers, Truly must learn to make peace with her own body and with those who have alternately loved and shunned her from childhood.

      Bazell, Josh. Beat the Reaper
      The carefully orchestrated life of Manhattan emergency room doctor and witness-protection program participant Peter Brown unravels in the course of a day that begins with a mugging and a new patient who knows him from his previous existence.

      De Robertis, Carolina. The Invisible Mountain
      The story of three generation of women of the Firielli family as they search for love and identity during the tumultuous political events of twentieth-century Uruguay.

      Dolan, Harry. Bad Things Happen
      The man who calls himself David Loogan is leading a quiet, anonymous life in the college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan. He's hoping to escape a violent past he would rather forget. But his solitude is broken when he finds himself drawn into a friendship with Tom Kristoll, publisher of the mystery magazine Gray Streets--and into an affair with Laura, Tom's sleek blond wife. When Tom offers him a job as an editor, Loogan sees no harm in accepting. What he doesn't realize is that the stories in Gray Streets tend to follow a simple formula: Plans go wrong. Bad things happen. People die.

      Ferry, Peter. Travel Writing
      After witnessing a fatal car accident one night on his way home from work, teacher and part-time writer Pete Ferry is deeply haunted by the events as his strange obsession for the beautiful victim begins to take over his mind, heart, and soul.

      Finder, Joseph. Vanished
      Lauren Heller and her husband Roger, a brilliant executive at a major corporation, are attacked in a Georgetown parking lot after an evening out. Knocked unconscious by the assailants, Lauren lies in a coma in the hospital while her husband has vanished without a trace. With nowhere else to turn, Lauren's teenage son Gabe reaches out to his uncle, Nick Heller, a high-powered investigator with a corporate intelligence firm in Washington, D.C.

      Goolrick, Robert. A Reliable Wife
      Ralph Truitt, a wealthy businessman with a troubled past who lives in a remote nineteenth-century Wisconsin town, has advertised for a reliable wife. His ad is answered by Catherine Land, a woman who makes every effort to hide her own dark secrets and her true motivations for answering the ad.

      Grisham, John. The Associate
      Three months after leaving Yale, Kyle McAvoy becomes an associate at the largest law firm in the world, where, in addition to practicing law, he is expected to lie, steal, and take part in a scheme that could send him to prison, if not get him killed.

      Henriquez, Cristina. The World in Half
      Miraflores has never known her father, and until now, she's never thought that he wanted to know her. She's long been aware that her mother had an affair with him while she was stationed with her then husband in Panama, and she's always assumed that her pregnant mother came back to the United States alone with his consent. But when Miraflores returns to the Chicago suburb where she grew up, to care for her mother at a time of illness, she discovers that her mother and father had a greater love than she ever thought possible, and that her father had wanted her more than she could have ever imagined.

      Horn, Dara. All Other Nights
      Jacob Rappaport, a Jewish soldier in the Union army, struggles with difficult moral questions when he is ordered to murder his own uncle, who has been plotting an assassination attempt against President Lincoln.

      Huston, Charlie. The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death
      Working on a crime-scene clean-up crew, disaffected slacker Web Goodhue is hired by the daughter of a Malibu suicide victim who enlists his help in getting her brother out of trouble, making him the target of some gun-toting L.A. cowboys who are out for blood.

      Kadrey, Richard. Sandman Slim
      Working as a sideshow gladiator and demonic assassin in Hell after being snatched by demons at the age of nineteen, hard-boiled magician James Stark escapes and returns to Los Angeles, where he plots to destroy the circle of other magicians who stole his life.

      Levin, Daniel. The Last Ember
      Jonathan Marcus, a young American lawyer and a former doctoral student in classics, has become a sought-after commodity among antiquities dealers, but when he is summoned to Rome to examine a client's fragment of an ancient stone map, he stumbles across a startling secret: a hidden message carved inside the stone itself. The discovery propels him on a perilous journey from the labyrinth beneath the Coliseum to the biblical-era tunnels of Jerusalem in search of a hidden 2,000-year-old artifact sought by empires throughout the ages.

      Mieville, China. The City and The City
      Twin southern European cities Beszel and Ul Qoma coexist in the same physical location, separated by their citizens' determination to see only one city at a time. Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad roams through the intertwined but separate cultures as he investigates the murder of foreigner Mahalia Geary, who believed that a third city, Orciny, hides in the blind spots between Beszel and Ul Qoma. As Mahalia's friends disappear and revolution brews, Tyador is forced to consider the idea that someone in unseen Orciny is manipulating the other cities.

      Moore, Lorrie. A Gate at the Stairs
      In the Midwest just after the September 11 attacks, twenty-year-old Tassie Keltjin comes of age amid such challenges as racism, the War on Terror, and cruelty in the name of love, as she leaves her family's farm to attend college and takes a part-time job as a nanny.

      Ogawa, Yoko. The Housekeeper and the Professor
      A relationship blossoms between a brilliant math professor suffering from short-term memory problems following a traumatic head injury and the young housekeeper, the mother of a ten-year-old son, hired to care for him.

      Phillips, Jayne Anne. Lark and Termite
      Set against the backdrop of the Korean War in the 1950s, a novel about family, the repercussions of war, and the bonds that sustain personal relationships focuses on a single family--Lark, her brother Termite, their mother Lola, and Termite's soldier father, Robert Leavitt.

      Valente, Catherynne. Palimpsest
      Between life and death, dreaming and waking, at the train stop beyond the end of the world is the city of Palimpsest. Those fated to make the passage are marked forever by a map of that wondrous city tattooed on their flesh after a single night. To this fantastic kingdom come Oleg, a New York locksmith; a beekeper, November; Ludovico, a binder of rare books; and a Japanese woman named Sei, each of whom has lost something important in their lives.

      Wilson, Robert Charles. Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd Century America
      Julian Comstock, the disgraced nephew of the tyrannical American president, grows up in a small town in what was formerly northern Canada. Adam Hazzard, Julian's working-class friend, and Sam Godwin, a bluff old retainer and secret Jew, struggle to keep Julian alive despite his uncle's hatred and Julian's proclivity for annoying the repressive Dominion Church. When Julian is drafted to fight the invading Dutch in Labrador, exaggerated tales of his heroism, written by would-be novelist Adam, catapult the young aristocrat to unwanted fame.

    • Bartlett, Allison Hoover. The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession B G474b
      In telling the true story of book thief John Charles Gilkey and the man who was driven to capture him, journalist Allison Hoover Bartlett explores the larger history of book passion, collection, and theft through the ages.

      Beavan, Colin. No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process 333.72 B386
      Describes the author's one-year experiment with minimizing his impact on the Earth, an effort for which he eschewed technology, processed foods, and other negative-impact products while evaluating the plausibility and actual value of sustainable living.

      Brinkley, Douglas. Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America 973.911 R781b
      "The movement for the conversation of wild life and the larger movement for the conservation of all our natural resources are essentially democratic in spirit, purpose, and method." So wrote Theodore Roosevelt, known as the "naturalist President" for his efforts in protecting wildlife and wilderness, merging preservation and patriotism into a quintessential American ideal. The Wilderness Warrior, Douglas Brinkley's massively readable new biography, intrepidly explores the wilderness of influences, personal relationships, and frontier adventures that shaped Roosevelt's proto-green views.

      Egan, Timothy. The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America 973.911 Eg28
      When Theodore Roosevelt vacated the Oval Office, he left a vast legacy of public lands under the stewardship of the newly created Forest Service. Immediately, political enemies of the nascent conservation movement chipped away at the foundations of the untested agency, lobbying for a return of the land to private interests and development. Then, in 1910, several small wildfires in the Pacific Northwest merge into one massive, swift, and unstoppable blaze, and the Forest Service is pressed into a futile effort to douse the flames. Over 100 firefighters died heroically, galvanizing public opinion in favor of the forests--with unexpected ramifications exposed in today's proliferation of destructive fires.

      Eggers, Dave. Zeitoun B Z48e
      Through the story of one man’s experience after Hurricane Katrina, Eggers draws an indelible picture of Bush-era crisis management. Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a successful Syrian-born painting contractor, decides to stay in New Orleans and protect his property while his family flees. After the levees break, he uses a small canoe to rescue people, before being arrested by an armed squad and swept powerlessly into a vortex of bureaucratic brutality. When a guard accuses him of being a member of Al Qaeda, he sees that race and culture may explain his predicament. Eggers, compiling his account from interviews, sensibly resists rhetorical grandstanding, letting injustices speak for themselves.

      Grann, David. The Lost City of Z 918.11 G759
      Interweaves the story of British explorer Percy Fawcett, who vanished during a 1925 expedition into the Amazon, with the author's own quest to uncover the mysteries surrounding Fawcett's final journey and the secrets of what lies deep in the Amazon jungle.

      Holmes, Richard. The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science 500 H752
      The winner of the Somerset Maugham Award presents the earliest ideas of the explorers of “dynamic science,” including William Herschel and his sister, Caroline, who changed the public’s ideas about stars, and Humphry Davy, who invented the miners’ lamp.

      Horner, Jack. How to Build a Dinosaur: Extinction Doesn’t Have to be Forever 567.9 H816h
      A pioneering paleontologist and T. rex expert evaluates the potential for artificially growing a real dinosaur without ancient DNA, discussing the principles of the new science of evolutionary development; the relationships between dinosaurs and birds; and how it may be possible to stimulate latent Tyrannosaurus rex genes in a chicken to create a “chickenosaurus.”

      Jacobs, A. J. The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment 814 J17
      The author of The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically gives us a look at all crazy experiments he does in order to write amusing articles for Esquire. In one episode, Jacobs decides to outsource his life by hiring two firms out of India. In another, Jacobs decides he will be absolutely honest for an entire month, but not just by speaking the truth, but also by telling people his thoughts no matter how offensive.

      Kamkwamba, William. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope B K156
      A true story of tenacity and imagination describes how an African teenager built a windmill from scraps to create electricity for his home and his village, improving life for himself and his neighbors.

      Kidder, Tracy. Strength in What Remains: A Journey of Remembrance and Forgiveness. B N736k
      Presents the story of Burundi civil war survivor Deo, who endures homelessness before pursuing an education at Columbia and eventually returning to his native land to help people in both countries.

      Krakauer, Jon. Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman B T577k
      Traces the controversial story of NFL player and soldier Pat Tillman, describing the military's efforts to hide the truth about his death by friendly fire, in an account that draws on Tillman's journals and letters as well as interviews with family members and fellow soldiers.

      Scotti, R.A. Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa 759.5 L58sc
      Part love story, part mystery, Vanished Smile reopens the case of the most audacious and perplexing art theft ever committed--the theft of Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" from the Paris Louvre on August 21, 1911.

      Small, David. Stitches: A Memoir Graphic Novel B Sm63s
      The author recounts in graphic novel format his troubled childhood with a radiologist father who subjected him to repeated x-rays and a withholding and tormented mother, an environment he fled at the age of sixteen in the hopes of becoming an artist.

      Stanton, Doug. Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of U.S. Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan. 958.1047 St79
      Describes the secret mission of a small band of U.S. soldiers who battled against Taliban forces on horseback and captured the Afghan city of Maz’ar-i Shar’if, a critical location for further campaigns.

      Teachout, Terry. Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong 781.57 Ar73t
      Draws on previously unavailable sources, including hundreds of private recordings made throughout the second half of the jazz master's life, to assess his artistic achievements and personal life.

      Wolffe, Richard. Renegade: The Making of a President 973.932 W858
      Presents an insider's view of Barack Obama's run for the presidency, describing his many personal and professional triumphs and obstacles he encountered on the campaign trail and his eventual election as the nation's forty-fourth president.

      Wood, Gordon S. Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815 973.4 W875
      One of America's most esteemed historians, Gordon S. Wood, offers a brilliant account of the early American Republic, ranging from 1789 and the beginning of the national government to the end of the War of 1812. As Wood reveals, the period was marked by tumultuous change in all aspects of American life--in politics, society, economy, and culture.

      Wrangham, Richard W. Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human 394.12 W941
      Harvard biological anthropologist Wrangham dates the breakthrough in human evolution to a moment 1.8 million years ago, when, he conjectures, our forebears tamed fire and began cooking. Starting with Homo erectus, these innovations drove anatomical and physiological changes that make us adapted to eating cooked food the way cows are adapted to eating grass. Wrangham's accessible treatise ranges across nutritional science, paleontology and studies of ape behavior and hunter-gatherer societies; the result is a profound analysis of cooking's role in daily life and evolution.

    • Barry, Brunonia. The Lace Reader
      Enthralling debut novel featuring a woman descended from a long line of fortune tellers who must use her gift to discover the cause of death of her aunt, an apparent drowning victim. Fascinating characters enrich Barry’s unusual plot.

      Barry, Sebastian. The Secret Scripture
      In Roseanne’s 100th year, she revisits her life by writing her autobiography. When the facility in which Roseanne lives is scheduled to close, she is evaluated by a doctor to determine her future living situation and he soon uncovers a totally different story than the one Roseanne recalls. Beautifully written with themes of love and tragedy.

      Bear, Elizabeth. All the Windwracked Stars (Science Fiction)
      It is Ragnarok—the Last Day of the Last Battle, the end of the world—and Muire, who thinks of herself as the least of the Valkyries, has survived. However she soon finds that it takes a very long time for her world to die out entirely. Lyrical, complex, and compelling this novel will draw you in with a finely honed combination of ancient themes and far-future tech.

      Benioff, David. City of Thieves
      A writer listens to his grandfather’s story of the siege of Leningrad where his grandfather, too young at the time for the army, along with a soldier were sent off on the improbable mission of gathering a dozen eggs for a wedding cake. Coming of age tale in which two young men are faced with an impossible task in a city devastated by war.

      Davidson, Andrew. The Gargoyle
      An unpleasant character is driving home late one night when a sudden hallucination causes him to lose control of his vehicle. He plunges off the road and is horribly burned over most of his body. What follows is a slow recovery during which he meets a mysterious woman who insists they know each other from a past life. Not for the faint-hearted, however well-crafted characters and beautifully sculpted imagery combine to sweep you away.

      Enger, Leif. So Brave, Young, and Handsome
      An elderly train robber is traveling to Mexico to find his ex-wife when he meets up with a man about to give up on his writing career. The train robber convinces the writer to accompany him on his travels and voyage of self-discovery. Fans of westerns or those who just love a good story won’t want to miss Enger’s latest.

      Erickson, Carolly. The Tsarina’s Daughter
      This entertaining historical novel has it all: suspense, romance, glamour, and appealing characters. The Tsarina’s daughter is the story of the last few years of the Romanov family’s reign and their subsequent exile told from the perspective of second daughter Tatiana.

      Jordan, Hillary. Mudbound
      In 1946, a Memphis school teacher becomes a farmer’s wife when her husband buys land on the delta. She struggles with primitive conditions and a racist father-in-law who comes to live on the farm. When two young men return from WWII to help work the land, their unlikely friendship foments issues of racism in the post-war south.

      Kushner, Rachel. Telex from Cuba
      Ex-pat children growing up in pre-Castro Cuba live in a paradise seeing only glimpses of society outside of their privileged existence. In a parallel story, an exotic dancer in Havana and one of her patrons become involved in the political underground leading up to the revolution. Kushner’s debut novel is rich with history in a brilliant setting.

      Lahiri, Jhumpa. Unaccustomed Earth
      Pulitzer Prize winner Lahiri presents another entrancing short-story collection dealing with themes of immigration and assimilation. Beautiful language and enthralling stories compel you to read on.

      Larsson, Stieg. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Mystery)
      Murder mystery featuring a man hired to find out what happened to a woman missing for 40 years. Family secrets and skeletons come tumbling out of the closets as the investigator takes on an assistant, a much pierced and tattooed computer hacker. Full of surprises, mystery fans will find the pair an intriguing duo.

      Miles, Jonathan. Dear American Airlines
      Bennie is on his way to his daughter’s wedding. Unfortunately, he’s also stranded at O’Hare and busy writing a letter of complaint to the airline. Miles hits our hearts and our funny bones in this debut novel.

      Shaffer, Mary Anne and Annie Barrows. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
      During the German occupation of the Channel Islands, a group of residents make up a book club as an excuse for the late night feast they’re caught enjoying. Years later, a London reporter receives a letter from one of the book club members which begins a long correspondence in which the writer learns about the islands and their eccentric inhabitants and the books they read.

      Wroblewski, David. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
      Edgar, born mute, speaks only in sign language. He grows up in Northern Wisconsin with his family that breeds a type of dog known for loyal companionship. When Edgar’s uncle comes to live with them, and Edgar’s father dies suddenly, Edgar must find a way to survive on his own while trying to prove his uncle had something to do with his father’s death. Vivid setting and characterizations make this debut novel a winner.

    • Carr, David. The Night of the Gun B C311
      A reporter, Carr was inspired to write this memoir when he discovered that he and his friends and family had extremely different recollections of traumatic events triggered by Carr’s drug addiction. Carr takes a reporter’s skeptical look at his own memories of events and fact checks them against medical and legal records, and interviews with those close to him. Fascinating look at what we choose to recall.

      Donovan, Jim. A Terrible Glory: Custer and the Little Big Horn—The Last Great Battle of the American West 973.82 D687
      Donovan reveals new details about Custer and what led him to the Little Big Horn. Along the way, we also meet Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse and learn their backgrounds and motivations. Donovan gives us a clear view of what went wrong for Custer and why.

      Friedman, Thomas. Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution and How it Can Renew America 363.7 F911
      Friedman has another hit dealing with the issues of climate destabilization and energy consumption. Friedman’s straightforward language and numerous case studies clearly outline and support his arguments that we need breakthroughs in clean and energy technologies to keep America competitive and prosperous.

      Horwitz, Tony. A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World 970.01 H824
      With his hallmark humor and curiosity, Horwitz takes us on a journey of discovery as he travels in search of the history of early exploration of North America. On the way, he sorts out fact from fiction and reminds us of things we have learned but long forgotten.

      Pollan, Michael. In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto 613 P771
      Pollan argues, convincingly and with well-documented research to back him up, that eating in America has not only become a far too complex affair in which nutritional claims and nutrients have taken the place of simple healthy food, but that Americans—and anyone who eats a Westernized diet—are suffering for it. Fascinating look at what we eat vs. what we should eat.

      Preston, Douglas. Monster of Florence 364.1523 Sp75p
      Thriller novelist Preston moved his family to Florence Italy to pursue a simpler way of life in an old farmhouse. When he discovers that his own olive grove was the scene of a notorious and unsolved double homicide, Preston teamed up with an Italian reporter to try and solve the case. Monster of Florence chronicles their investigation.

      Shubin, Neil. Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5 Billion-Year History of the Human Body 611 Sh56
      Provost of The Field Museum and professor of anatomy at the University of Chicago, Shubin traces the evolution of the human body back to early sea creatures. Explained with humor and straightforward language, Shubin takes a fascinating look at our origins

      Taylor, Jill Bolte. My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey 362.19681 T243
      Neuroanatomist Taylor suffered a major stroke at age 37. Because of her scientific training, she was able to understand what was happening and was eventually able to help herself recover through her understanding of anatomy. In her memoir, she shares the journey with vivid detail.

      Torres, Alissa. American Widow Graphic Novel B T693
      On September 11, Alissa became a widow when Eddie, trapped on the 85th floor, leaped to his death before the tower fell. In this poignant and affecting graphic novel memoir, Alissa chronicles her first year as one of the 9/11 widows, including the birth of their child two months after his death.

      Vanderbilt, Tom. Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What it Says About Us) 629.283 V228
      Vanderbilt explains the hows and whys of traffic including how roads are designed, how we fool ourselves into thinking we’re better drivers than we are, how we misperceive speed and misjudge distance and why traffic jams happen. This is the book that teaches us what we should have learned in drivers’ education.

      Walters, Barbara. Audition: A Memoir B W235
      Celebrity-filled memoir in which Walters chronicles her life and struggles to be successful in a competitive profession. Bound to be full of surprise even for those who think they know much about Walters and her career.

      Winchester, Simon. The Man Who Loved China 509.2 N374w
      Winchester is a master of historical detail who never fails to make connections between cause and effect. This is the story of Joseph Needham, a British scientist who traveled to China to study history and science and who wrote the multi-volume Science and Civilisation in China. This is an extraordinary look at both Needham and China.

      Wright, Robin. Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East 320.956 W953
      Wright, a writer for the Washington Post tackles the subject of the people in the Middle East who are seeking change, whether by small shows of civil disobedience, or by public protest. Wright wants to believe change is coming, but finds that despite the efforts of many, significant change is not right around the corner. Fascinating tour of the Middle East.

      Zakaria, Fareed. The Post-American World 303.4973 Z21
      Newsweek editor Zakaria shows us where we’re headed in the 21st century. This hugely discussable book talks not about America’s decline, but about the rise of other nations and the adjustments the U.S. will have to make to successfully coexist with newly powerful nations