Cozy up with a new book

The family had been hiding in the backwoods of the Kentucky mountains all of Honey Lovett’s life. Now it is 1953 when 16-year-old Honey’s parents are in jail for intermarrying between blue and non-blue folk. (The blue condition is called methemoglobinemia. It is a blood disorder in which an abnormal amount of methemoglobin is produced. This causes the skin to show blue tones.) Honey needs to marry or find a guardian. If not, Honey will be taken to the Kentucky House of Reform until she turns twenty-one.

Sadly, Honey’s guardian passes away and she is alone again. A very independent Honey takes on her mother’s old packhorse librarian route delivering books to isolated people in the county. She even rides her mother’s ornery but protective mule, Junia. Most people are happy to have the book delivery service again, but a couple of individuals make her life miserable. To avoid trouble with the state and social service officials, lawyer Bob Morgan offers to represent her in a bid for legal emancipation. Despite lies told in court, friends come to Honey’s aid to testify to her character and to her ability to be independent.

This is a terrific book for readers of historical fiction. You will want to start with the first title in the series – The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek published in 2019.

~Emma

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

There are tons of new releases that come to our shelves every week. With all the books being unique in their own ways, it is hard to choose between the ones that are suitable for your taste. Here are some books we picked out for you!

His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice by Robert Samuels & Tolusa Olorunnipa – Two prizewinning Washington Post reporters examine how systemic racism impacted both the life and death of the 46-year old Black man who was murdered in broad daylight outside a Minneapolis convenience store by white officer Derek Chauvin.

This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub – When Alice wakes up on her 40th birthday somehow back in 1996 as her 16-year-old self, she finds the biggest surprise is the 49-year-old version of her father with whom she is reunited, and, armed with a new perspective on life, wonders what she would change given the chance.

Razzmatazz by Christopher Moore – In 1947 San Francisco, bartender Sammy “Two Toes” Tiffin is tasked by club owner Jimmy Vasco to find out who is killing the city’s drag kings, while Eddie “Moo Shoes” Shu seeks to save his uncle’s opium den from Squid Kid Tang.

Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner – Presents a story of post-war London, a century-old bookstore and three women determined to find their way in a fast-changing world.

Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance by Alison Espach – Opening in the early 90s and charting almost two decades of shared history and missed connections, a new novel is both a breathtaking love story about two broken people and a coming-of-age tale.

River of the Gods: Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile by Candice Millard – Set against the backdrop of the race to exploit Africa by the colonial powers, this unrivaled story of courage and adventure brings to life the rivalry between two enemies—a decorated soldier and a young aristocrat/Army officer—as they set out to find the mysterious headwaters of the Nile River.

Thrill of the Hunt by Rita Mae Brown – When several members of the hunt club are blackmailed by doctored videos showing career-ending deeds, Sister and her friends set out to find the culprit while contending with other mysteries plaguing their beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain town, including two suicides and a secret stash of gold.

Something Wilder by Christina Lauren – When the man who broke her heart is in her tourist group, Lily Wilder, the daughter of a notorious treasure hunter, after the trip goes horribly and hilariously wrong, must decide whether she’ll risk her life and heart on the adventure of a lifetime.

You Have a Friend in 10a by Maggie Shipstead – A New York Times best-selling and Booker Prize shortlisted author, in her hypnotic first collection of short stories, mines the complexities of love, sex, and life in ways that are both harsh and hilarious, perceptive and compassionate.

Countdown to Midnight by Dale Brown, Dale – Working for a shadowy intelligence outfit with Cold War roots, a former U.S. Air Force officer must uncover a mystery collaboration between Iran and Russia in the follow-up to the New York Times best-selling Arctic Storm Rising.

In the Blood by Jack Carr – A former Navy SEAL relies on allies around the world to track down who is responsible when a Mossad operative dies in a plane explosion in the fifth novel of the series following The Devil’s Hand.

The Island by Adrian McKinty – In a new thriller, a family that just wanted a nice vacation finds themselves running for their lives.

~Semanur

A Gothic That Keeps You Guessing

Mrs. England
by Stacey Halls

A recent graduate from the renowned Norland Nurse program, Ruby May might be new to the role of governess, but she knows when a family dynamic is normal or not, mostly due to her own unusual upbringing. When she is hired by the wealthy England family to care for their four children, she is unsurprised that their manor home in a remote Yorkshire town feels so isolated compared to her last appointment in London. The differences from her previous happy workplace to her new position, unfortunately, don’t stop there. The longer Nurse May stays at the England’s Hardcastle House, it becomes clear there’s something not quite right going on in its halls. Not only does Mrs. Lillian England keep strange hours, she seems to ignore her children and mostly stays hidden in her room for hours at a time. Unusually, it is her husband, mill owner Charles who appears to run the household and who warns the new governess not to leave Lillian alone with the children. Is Lillian truly to be feared, and why? What’s really going on in Mrs. England’s house and what is Nurse May willing to put up with to keep her own secrets hidden?

Simmering with slow-burning suspense, Mrs. England by Stacey Halls is a gothic mystery set in 1904, against the atmospheric landscape of West Yorkshire. This compelling and descriptive slow-burn of a novel transports its readers to a different time and place, where danger lurks around every corner, and it is the perfect read for fans of Jane Eyre, Rebecca and Downton Abbey.

-Carol

Cozy up with a new book

After her mother dies, Hanna Rombauer is sent to live with wealthy Aunt Charlotte and Uncle Otto in Berlin. Their goal is to find her a high-ranking SS officer to marry, and Hanna soon learns that she has no choice in the matter. Klara Schmidt, Hanna’s friend, is also expected to marry an SS officer.

Gifted seamstresses Mathilde Altman (Tilde) and her Jewish mother run a fabric shop. Tilde who looks Aryan waits on customers while her mother hides upstairs. Tilde’s Aryan father left his family when it became dangerous for Jews in Germany. Eventually Tilde’s mother immigrates to the United States.

Hanna and Tilde are barely aware of each other, but their lives soon become entangled. Hanna is sent to a “Nazi Bride School” to learn to become the proper Nazi wife. Tilde is pregnant, her Jewish husband has disappeared, and she needs a safe place to give birth. Klara, one of Tilde’s customers, is also attending the school and is aware of Tilde’s predicament. Klara discovers an abandoned cabin near the school where Tilde can be relatively safe. Both Hanna and Klara take extraordinary risks when Tilde and her newborn are discovered.

For fans of historical fiction, this is a tale of love, loss, and survival.

~Emma

Ain’t Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin

I love Jason Reynolds. His books are always powerful, beautiful, heartbreaking and hopeful, and his newest offering, produced with his best friend, does not disappoint. In fact, it is so stunning that after enjoying a library copy I immediately purchased a copy for my personal collection.

Find a copy here

Reynolds penned three long sentences. Griffin filled 300 pocket-sized moleskin pages of art. Together they capture the feelings of fear and uncertainty most of us felt during 2020. Around the world and in our own communities people were isolate, separated. By Covid. By politics. But also, people took to the streets to protest. All the while, we sat glued to the news. Mostly bad news. It was a long, dark year. But not entirely without hope.

This book is almost 400 pages long and weighs almost 2 pounds, but you can read it in 15 minutes. Or linger over each drawing. Or revisit favorite pages. It’s a treasure.

Dedication page

These are a few pages that stuck out to me and I think they are excellent examples of the wide range of feelings expressed throughout the book. The next time someone says they don’t like poetry, hand them this and see if you win them over!

~Megan

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

Here some of the new exciting releases for you to take a look at this week!

HIDDEN PICTURES by Jason Rekulak – A woman working as a nanny for a young boy who has strange and disturbing secrets.

OVERBOARD by Sara Paretsky – In a city emerging from its pandemic lockdown, detective V.I. Warshawski must elude Chicago powerbrokers and mobsters as she tries to find a missing girl who is the key witness to a nefarious conspiracy, which makes Warshawski a target as well.

BY THE BOOK by Jasmine Guillory – A young, black woman working in publishing makes a surprise connection with an author who has failed to deliver his highly-anticipated manuscript in the second novel of the series following If the Shoe Fits.

THE LIONESS by Chris Bohjalian – In 1964, Hollywood royalty Katie Barstow and her new husband, along her glittering entourage, arrive for their luxury African safari, but are instead taken hostage by Russians mercenaries, in this blistering story of fame, race, love death set in a world on the cusp of great change.

BACK TO THE PRAIRIE by Melissa Gilbert – The New York Times best-selling author and star of Little House on the Prairie recounts her return to rustic life with her new husband in a cottage in the Catskill Mountains during the COVID-19 pandemic.

LONG TRAIN RUNNIN: Our Story of the Doobie Brothers by Pat Simmons & Tom Johnston, with Chris Epting – Written by the founding members of the iconic American rock band, this incredible true story brings to life the longevity, success and drama of The Doobie Brothers—born out of the late 1960’s NorCal and stood alongside The Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers and many others.

THE MOVEMENT MADE US: A Father, a Son, and the Legacy of a Freedom Ride by David Dennis Jr. – A work of oral history and memoir chronicles the extraordinary story of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and its living legacy embodied in Black Lives Matter.

FRIEND OF THE DEVIL by Stephen Lloyd – A substance-abusing war veteran working as an insurance investigator visits an elite New England boarding school to find an invaluable, stolen manuscript and soon discovers students are vanishing from campus and investigates with a reporter for the school paper.

MISRULE by Heather Walter – When the woman she loves falls under a curse that not even her vast power can break, Alyce, a dark sorceress, vows to do everything she can to save Princess Aurora, even if it means turning into the monster everyone in Briar believes her to be.

SIREN QUEEN by Nghi Vo – A new novel offers an exploration of an outsider achieving stardom on her own terms, in a fantastical Hollywood where the monsters are real and the magic of the silver screen illuminates every page.

STAR WARS: BROTHERHOOD by Mike Chen – Anakin and Obi-Wan must learn a new way to work together to save Cato Neimoidia when the planet’s fragile neutrality is threatened, dangerously shifting the balance that pushes this world to the brink of war.

BITTER ORANGE TREE by Jokha Alharthi – A young Omani woman attempting to assimilate in Britain reflects on the relationships that have been central to her life in the new novel from the Man Booker International Prize-winning author of Celestial Bodies.

~Semanur

Cozy up with a new book

In New York City in 1955, 29-year-old Rachel Perlman (born Rashka Morgenstern) continues to suffer from survivor guilt. She survived the Holocaust, but her mother, a successful artist, did not. Rachel endured the war by being a “U-boat”, a Jew hiding in plain sight to avoid capture. She became involved with identifying other “U-boats” who were eventually sent to concentration camps.

Rachel has been married for 7 years to her Jewish/American husband Aaron who wants to start a family, but Rachel is reluctant to bring a child into an evil world. She is haunted by visions of her mother and nightmares of what she witnessed. Her husband, in-laws and even her psychiatrist cannot comprehend what she experienced.

Incredibly one of Rachel’s mother’s paintings was discovered by Uncle Fritz in a pawnshop, and he’s certain it’s worth a fortune. Fritz wants to purchase the painting but does not have the $50 the pawnbroker wants for it. When Rachel goes to purchase the painting, it’s gone. Who bought it and why?

This is a heartbreaking book at times, but there is hope.

~Emma

May is Mystery Month

May is National Mystery Month and there are a bunch of YA mysteries coming out this month that sound fantastic!

The Agathas by Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson

Who killed Brooke Donovan? It’s the biggest mystery of the summer, and everyone in Castle Cove thinks it’s the wrong guy. Fans of One of Us Is Lying and Riverdale can’t miss this page-turning who-done-it that’s sure to be the next must read Young Adult thriller!

Last summer, Alice Ogilvie’s basketball-star boyfriend Steve dumped her. Then she disappeared for five days. She’s not talking, so where she went and what happened to her is the biggest mystery in Castle Cove. Or it was, at least. But now, another one of Steve’s girlfriends has vanished: Brooke Donovan, Alice’s ex-best friend. And it doesn’t look like Brooke will be coming back. . .
Enter Iris Adams, Alice’s tutor. Iris has her own reasons for wanting to disappear, though unlike Alice, she doesn’t have the money or the means. That could be changed by the hefty reward Brooke’s grandmother is offering to anyone who can share information about her granddaughter’s whereabouts. The police are convinced Steve is the culprit, but Alice isn’t so sure, and with Iris on her side, she just might be able to prove her theory.
In order to get the reward and prove Steve’s innocence, they need to figure out who killed Brooke Donovan. And luckily Alice has exactly what they need–the complete works of Agatha Christie. If there’s anyone that can teach the girls how to solve a mystery it’s the master herself. But the town of Castle Cove holds many secrets, and Alice and Iris have no idea how much danger they’re about to walk into. 

Two Truths and A Lie by April Henry

A group of teens are trapped in an old motel with a murderer in this chilling YA mystery by New York Times  bestselling author April Henry.

Nell has always wanted to be an actor, but doubts her ability. As a member of her school’s theater program, she prefers working backstage. On the way to a contest, an unexpected blizzard strands her acting troupe in a creepy motel. Soon they meet a group of strangers from another high school–including the mysterious and handsome Knox, who insists they play the game Two Truths and a Lie. When it’s Nell’s turn, she draws a slip of paper inked in unfamiliar handwriting:
I like to watch people die.
I’ve lost count of how many people I’ve killed.

Suddenly a night of harmless fun turns into a matter of life and death. As guests go missing, it becomes clear that a murderer is hiding in their midst ready to strike again. In a room full of liars and performers, the truth is never quite what it seems. Nell is going to have to act like her life depends on it–because it does.

The Counselors by Jessica Goodman

From New York Times bestselling author Jessica Goodman comes a twisty new thriller about three best friends, one elite summer camp, and the dark secrets that lead to a body in the lake.

Camp Alpine Lake is the only place where Goldie Easton feels safe.
She’s always had a special connection to the place, even before she was old enough to attend. The camp is the lifeline of Roxwood, the small town she lives in. Alpine Lake provides jobs, money and prestige to the region. Few Roxwood locals, though, get to reap the rewards of living so close to the glam summer that camp, with its five-figure tuition and rich kids who have been dumped there for eight weeks by their powerful parents. Goldie’s one of them.
Even with her “townie” background, Goldie has never felt more at home at camp and now she’s back as a counselor, desperate for summer to start and her best friends, Ava and Imogen, to arrive. Because Goldie has a terrible dark secret she’s been keeping and she is more in need of the comfort than ever.
But Goldie’s not the only person at camp who has been lying. When a teen turns up dead in the lake late one night, she knows that the death couldn’t have been an accident. She also knows that Ava was at the lake that same night.
What did Ava see and what does she know? Why hasn’t she said anything to Goldie about the death? Worse–what did Ava do?
But asking questions offers no answers, only broken bonds of lifelong friendship, with hidden danger and betrayals deeper than Goldie ever imagined.

YA mystery lovers are in for a fantastic summer of reading!

Check Out a New Mystery Debut

Pay Dirt Road
by
Samantha Jayne Allen

After graduating college, Annie McIntyre returns to her small hometown of Garnett, Texas –a place, she thinks, where nothing much ever happens. She begins working as a waitress while trying to figure out her next step when two murders happen on the same day. Sadly, one of the victims is her coworker Victoria, a newly single mother, who Annie had cancelled plans with just hours before her death. Annie is racked with guilt and the feeling that she could have prevented this tragedy. She gets a chance to redeem herself when Leroy, her grandfather and former town sheriff asks her to assist at his private investigation firm. Before she knows it, Annie dives head-first into the world of crime solving, even as her lack of experience gets her into hot water with locals who would prefer she look the other way.

Pay Dirt Road by Samantha Jayne Allen won the 2019 Tony Hillerman Prize, which is awarded to a previously unpublished author for a first mystery novel set in the Southwest. This slow-burning mystery is a solid debut with a surprise ending and refreshing and relatable characters, especially Annie, who bungles her way into dangerous situations as she learns the ropes of investigative work. Crime fiction fans in need of something new have just hit pay dirt, and this reader is hoping it will be the first in a new series.

-Carol