What We’re Reading Now….

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

This first book in the Wayward Children series for adult readers explores what happens to those who come back after magical adventures in another world. Eleanor West runs a home for wayward children, but in truth it is a rehabilitation center for those who cannot let go of their personal Narnia. When a girl is found murdered, new student Nancy and her friends must find the killer before it’s too late. For all those who wanted to find a wardrobe into Narnia or a doorway into Wonderland, and for anyone who’s ever felt like they didn’t quite fit in. Shannon

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves

In this series debut, Detective Matthew Venn must investigate a murder that hits close to home- literally. A man with an albatross tattoo around his neck is found stabbed on the beach only yards from the house Matthew shares with his partner, Jonathan. The case brings back memories and faces from Matthew’s strict, some would say cultish, upbringing. Memories and faces he has tried for years to escape. This book introduces a complex and intriguing new protagonist who will be solving cases for years to come, I am sure. Sara

Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley by Charlotte Gordon

This dual biography is a fascinating exploration of both women’s lives. It is well researched. The people and places that the women knew brings their late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century societies to life. They were well connected to many Romantic era writers and, of course, were writers themselves. Both were radically concerned with the education, health, and rights of women. The author of Romantic Outlaws shows that even though Wollstonecraft was not alive for much of her daughter’s life her philosophy of life was influential to her daughter through her many writings. Byron

The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade

A debut novel about a New Mexican’s family’s extraordinary year of love and sacrifice.  The story begins with Angel, a 33-year-old man, living in Las Penas, New Mexico with his mother.  It is Holy Week and Angel has been given the part of Jesus in the Good Friday Procession.  At the same time, Angel’s 15-year-old daughter shows up pregnant on his doorstep.  While I am only halfway through this novel so far, it has captured me from the start.  The characters are well written and endearing, and the story moves at a pleasant pace with both funny and tender moments. I feel connected to the Padilla family, and am hoping for the best.  Mary

Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly

Three different time frames comprise this book with the historic garden at Highbury House in rural Warwickshire as the backdrop. In 1907 Venetia Smith is hired to design an elaborate new garden for the wealthy residents. During World War II the estate is requisitioned as a hospital for wounded soldiers. Raising her young son alone, widow Diana Symonds is owner of the property. During this time, many garden acres were taken over for planting to help feed the hungry. Land girls, including Beth Pedley who was also an artist, were involved. (Land girls were women who worked farms that needed help, the farmers being their employers. They picked crops and did all the jobs that the men had done.) Diana allowed Beth into the various garden rooms to draw. In current time, contemporary designer Emma Lovell is hired to recreate the gardens according to Venetia Smith’s original plans. This is a busy book with lots of characters to keep track of but still an enjoyable read. Emma

American cosmic : UFOs, Religions, Technology by Diane Walsh Pasulka

Pasulka, a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, writes about her research into the belief of UFOs and how it is shaped and developed through media and technology. Pasulka likens this to the creation of a new religion and belief structure. One of the main points that she brings up is that instances of this phenomenon are too numerous to not be studied, while also withholding a conclusion on what is occurring. The author presents her research in a narrative style, introducing us to researchers and academics who speak only anonymously due to the stigma of studying UFOs. An engaging book that peaks reader’s curiosity and allows them to draw their own conclusions. Greg

His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie

This is the story of Afi Tekple, a young seamstress raised in a poor rural village in Ghana.  Afi is thrust into an arranged marriage to a wealthy businessman, Elikem Ganyo.  After moving into one of Elikem’s many residences with very infrequent visits from her new husband, Afi starts to dream up how she can make the most of her new-found lifestyle.   Beth

 Hades, Argentina: a Novel by Daniel Loedel

Loedel weaves history and humanity, writing a novel full of ghosts who inhabit a dystopian world, but that, unfortunately, was very real. Tomas returns to Argentina after years of life abroad, revisiting his relationship with Isabel, the love of his life, and examining his role in the Dirty War of Argentina. Tomas moves between the living and the dead, between fact and fiction, exploring the impact of decisions and the complexity of moral complicity. It’s a haunting, beautifully written novel. Dori

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