New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

We have some new releases picked out for you to dive in for the following week. There is more romance, humor, thrillers and suspense for you to enjoy!

Fool Me Twice by Jeff Lindsay – A sequel to Just Watch Me finds thief and disguise artist Riley Wolfe continuing his Robin Hood-inspired crusade against the wealthy elite by orchestrating the theft of a highly prized Faberge egg. By the best-selling author of the Dexter series.

The Arctic Fury by Greer Macallister – Secretly hired by an eccentric Lady Franklin to lead a team of women explorers into the Arctic to recover Captain Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition, Virginia Reeve survives a harrowing quest only to find herself on trial for murder.

Eddie’s Boy by Thomas Perry – Surviving an attempt on his life, retired mob hit man Michael Shaeffer reflects on his apprenticeship under an elite killer while pursuing his would-be assassins from Australia to the United States to identify who is trying to eliminate him.

The Lies You Told by Harriet Tyce – From the acclaimed author of Blood Orange, a dark new psychological thriller about the perfect mother, the perfect wife, the perfect family—and the perfect murder. 

Badass Habits: Cultivate the Awareness, Boundaries, and Daily Upgrades You Need to Make Them Stick
by Jen Sincero – The motivational coach and best-selling author of You Are a Badass shares illustrative case studies to outline a step-by-step, 21-day guide for overcoming self-sabotaging behaviors while cultivating habits that support healthy priorities and personal goals.

Perestroika in Paris by Jane Smiley – Coexisting in the lush hidden spaces of Paris until cold weather arrives, an escaped racehorse and her companion, a German shorthaired pointer, forge a bond with a boy living in seclusion with his nonagenarian grandmother in an ivy-covered house.

Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good by Tina Turner – The iconic performing artist provides spiritual tools and advice for self-empowerment and fulfillment while examining the role of her enduring Buddhist faith in helping her overcome poverty, loss and other personal and professional obstacles.

Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America by Ijeoma Oluo – A history of American white male identity by the best-selling author of So You Want to Talk About Race imagines a merit-based, non-discriminating model while exposing the actual costs of successes defined by racial and sexual dominance.

The Blade Between by Sam J. Miller – Reluctantly visiting his upstate New York hometown when his father falls ill, a restless gay photographer reconnects with two high-school friends who become his allies in a plan to expose the corrupt motives of invasive corporate gentrifies.

My Name Is Anton by Catherine Ryan Hyde – Realizing that a neighbor is trapped in an abusive marriage, a smitten 18-year-old youth, haunted by his brother’s accidental death, offers the woman shelter and a means to escape. By the award-winning author of Pay It Forward. 

~Semanur~

RRPL Gift Guide Kickoff

It’s the last day of November and the Black Friday sales are behind us, but there is still plenty of time to shop for holiday gifts. At Rocky River Public Library, we’re in the business of recommending books and movies, music and audiobooks, so we thought we’d spend the next couple of weeks sharing with you some titles we’d like to give, or get, for the 2020 Holiday season.

Below I’ll mainly talk about 2020 books and link them to our catalog so you can read a longer description. If you’re interested in buying the book, go to bookshop.org and they’ll find you a local, independent bookstore to order from. We want to support our independent bookstores!

First, for anyone on your list who likes to DIY or who has spent their pandemic time learning new skills, check out Storey’s Curious Compendium of Practical and Obscure Skills: 214 Things You can Actually Learn How to Do, an oversized book with images and step-by-step instructions. Winter Cocktails: Mulled Ciders, Hot Toddies, Punches, Pitchers, and Cocktail Party Snacks by Maria Del Mar Sacasa would make any cocktail afficionando light up. Me, I hope to get Jacques Pepin’s new cookbook Quick & Simple, which is how I like to cook right now.

For lovers of historical fiction, Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell is a fascinating look at the family of William Shakespeare, particularly his wife, Agnes, an expert in nature and cures. It’s perfect for a winter lie-in (the audiobook is also very well done). I’m going to give my daughter an oldie, but one of my favorites, The Known World by Edward P. Jones, the story of a former slave who becomes a slaveholder; it’s become a classic.

For scifi/fantasy fans, I’ve recently read The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab and this story of a woman who makes a deal with the Devil will mesmerize you. Again, the audiobook is stellar, so hop to it! Becky Chambers, author of the Wayfarer Series, has a new addition to the series coming out next year, so now’s the time to buy your space-loving, fantasy adoring giftee the 3 previous volumes – it’s fun, character-rich, and so so good!

If your recepient is interested in the state of the world, politics or, searing experiences, please give them Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar. I also really love the writing of Paul Yoon, who’s Run Me to Earth follows a group of 3 friends in Laos during and after the Vietnam War. If non-fiction is their bag, try Caste by Isabel Wilkerson, described as, an “Instant American Classic”.

I love a good crime novel or thriller. The Searcher by Tana French brings a Chicago police detective to Ireland, where all is not fairies and rainbows. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman is altogether different, a funny murder mystery starring retirees. Both would make great gifts for your mystery loving pals.

I’ll finish up with some more books that I’d like for Christmas, as well as a few I’m going to buy for family and friends.

I love the great outdoors and would be so happy to get a copy of Robert McFarlane’s Lost Spells, with poetry and art to inspire. Other nature books that I’d like to receive are World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments by Aimee Nezhukumatathil and Vesper Flights by Helen MacDonald (she of H is for Hawk).

I gave my daughter Say Nothing by Patrick Keefe last year, and she then took a deep dive into “The Troubles” and Irish politics. I thought I’d add Big Girl, Small Town by Michelle Gallen to her gifts this year; it’s lighter, , about an autistic young woman who lives in a town in Northern Ireland still affected by “The Troubles” For my son, who has been reading Anna Karenina, but also loves Murakami and history, I will buy the 2020 National Book Award Winner for Translated Fiction, Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Marie. Or maybe the non-fiction award winner, The Dead are Arising, a Life of Malcom X. Wait, I think he’d really like Vassily Grossman’s, republished classic, Life and Fate. Oh what to buy?!?

And to close, you couldn’t do better than to give The Penguin Book of Christmas Stories: From Hans Christian Anderson to Angela Carter, “…a collection of the most magical, moving, chilling and surprising Christmas stories from around the world, taking us from frozen Nordic woods to glittering Paris, a New York speakeasy to an English country house, bustling Lagos to midnight mass in Rio, and even outer space.”

Have a beautiful, peaceful, and loving holiday season.

~ Dori

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

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

The Awakening  by Nora Roberts – An anxious young woman mired in student debt and working a hated job uses hidden funds to visit Ireland, where she uncovers truths about vivid dreams compelling her to embrace her destiny in a fantastical alternate world.

Dark Tides by Philippa Gregory – A sequel to Tidelands finds 17th-century London warehouse owner Alinor reuniting with a man from her past while reaching out to her brother in war-torn New England for proof of her son’s survival.

Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce – A teacher and her unlikely assistant leave post-World War II London to search for a rare insect that may not exist, discovering the transformative power of friendship along the way. By the author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline – A 1980s cultural assessment of the fantastical future of online behavior continues the story that began in the internationally best-selling futuristic novel, Ready Player One, that inspired a blockbuster Steven Spielberg film. Movie tie-in.

War Lord by Bernard Cornwell – A latest entry in the best-selling series behind Netflix’s The Last Kingdom continues the history-based epic story of fan-favorite character Uhtred of Bebbanburg and his adventures in the turbulent early years of England.

Deadly Cross by James Patterson – Investigating the assassination of the vice president’s wife, Detective Alex Cross and FBI Special Agent Ned Mahoney travel to Alabama to uncover clues from the victim’s early life. By the best-selling author of Criss Cross.

The Diplomat’s Wife by Pam Jenoff – Surviving a Nazi concentration camp before her child’s father dies in a plane crash, Marta marries a kind diplomat only to have her fleeting happiness sabotaged by the activities of a communist mole in British intelligence.

How to Raise an Elephant by Alexander McCall Smith – Precious Ramotswe and the rest of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency must come together to raise a small elephant, in this two-ton case that employs Precious’s maternal instincts.

Murder in Season by Jessica Fletcher – Supervising community holiday activities in Cabot Cove, Jessica Fletcher discovers two sets of bones, one recent and one ancient, before a tabloid reporter’s theories lead to a third death and revelations about a long-unsolved community mystery.

Slanted: How the News Media Taught Us to Love Censorship and Hate Journalism  by Sharyl Attkisson – The five-time Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter and best-selling author of Stonewalled draws on insider accounts to detail how partisan bias, corporate interests and popular narratives are compromising journalistic integrity in today’s newsrooms.

Stuff You Should Know: An Incomplete Compendium of Mostly Interesting Things  by Josh Clark/ Chuck Bryant – From the duo behind the massively successful and award-winning podcast Stuff You Should Know comes an unexpected look at things you thought you knew.

Saving Freedom: Truman, the Cold War, and the Fight for Western Civilization  by Joe Scarborough – The host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe examines the 33rd President’s diplomatic and military strategies to support democracy, chronicling the passage of the “Truman Doctrine” policy of containment and its ongoing role in international affairs.

~Semanur~

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

In this week’s special picks there are new exciting adventure, mystery, suspense, and many more genres for you to choose from! Enjoy!

Hot to Trot by M. C. Beaton & R. W. Greene – Jealously investigating an ex’s intended, Agatha Raisin crashes the wedding only to become implicated in the bride’s murder, a situation that immerses Agatha in the cutthroat equestrian world. 

The Short, the Long and the Tall: Short Stories by Jeffrey Archer – Illustrated renderings of 20 top-selected short stories by the award-winning author of the Clifton Chronicles are complemented by a short parable about how war pointlessly puts good people in the crossfire of their leaders’ ambitions.

No Time Like the Future by Michael J. Fox – The award-winning actor shares personal stories and observations about illness and health, aging, the strength of family and friends, and how our perceptions about time affect the way we approach mortality.

The Orchard by David Hopen – Reinventing himself upon moving to a glitzy Miami suburb, a student at an Orthodox Jewish academy is welcomed into a circle of popular students whose faith is unconventionally tested by their charismatic rabbi.

Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson – Technological discoveries and an edict-violating arms race enmesh Dalinar Kholin and his knights in a conflict that reveals secrets about the original source of Radiant strength. By the Hugo Award-winning author of Oathbringer.

All That Glitters by Danielle Steel – When her life of privilege is upended by a terrorist attack that ends her parents’ lives, a college senior struggles to rebuild on her own terms, learning uplifting and heartbreaking life lessons throughout a series of relationships and opportunities.

Daylight by David Baldacci – When her search for her sister clashes with one of John Puller’s high-stakes investigations, FBI agent Atlee Pine confronts traumatizing forces in the world of organized crime. By the best-selling author of A Minute to Midnight.

Murder of Innocence by James Patterson – A latest series entry published in partnership with Discovery ID includes “Murder of Innocence,” in which a global effort captures a serial predator; and “A Murderous Affair,” in which a rookie FBI agent is set up by his informant. 

Piece of My Heart by Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke – A high-suspense follow-up to the best-selling You Don’t Own Me finds the nuptials of television producer Laurie Moran and investigative host Alex Buckley nightmarishly upended by the sudden disappearance of Alex’s 7-year-old nephew. 

Tom Clancy Shadow of the Dragon by Marc Cameron – When a high-level mole infiltrates American Intelligence, President Jack Ryan dispatches John Clark and the Campus team to track down a missing scientist who holds critical aerospace and naval technology. By the award-winning author of the Jericho Quinn series.

The Burning God by R. F. Kuang – A trilogy conclusion finds an abandoned Rin returning to her home village, where with the Southern Army and millions of dedicated supporters she prepares for an ultimate battle against the Dragon Republic and other anti-shamanic enemies.

The Killer’s Shadow by John E. Douglas / Mark Olshaker – A legendary FBI criminal profiler and international best-selling author of Mindhunter returns with a book that goes to the heart of extremism and domestic terrorism, examining in-depth his chilling pursuit of, and eventual prison confrontation with Joseph Paul Franklin, a White Nationalist serial killer.

~Semanur

What we’re reading now-

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The Guest List is a psychological mystery/thriller.  The main characters are the bride, the groom, the bridesmaid, the best man, the plus-one and the wedding planner.  The novel takes place on an island off the coast of Ireland.  The story begins on the eve of the wedding, and someone ends up dead.  Many twists and turns throughout the story, and for me, a surprise ending.  The mystery/thriller genre is not my wheelhouse, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Foley did a great job of describing a breath-taking setting, peppered with a full Irish cast of characters.   The story moved at a quick pace, and I simply could not put the book down. Mary

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

I just started reading this book on the enthusiastic recommendation of a friend and am very much enjoying this weird and riveting story thus far. Written by one of Japan’s most highly regarded novelists, this book follows Toru Okada as he searches for his wife’s missing cat in a Tokyo suburb. He soon finds himself looking for his wife as well in a strange underworld that lies beneath the surface of Tokyo, full of odd and sometimes menacing people. I have no idea how this will end but look forward to getting there! Nicole

When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole

Sydney has lived in the same historically Black neighborhood since she was a little girl, knowing the same neighbors all her life, but gentrification is coming. Over the course of a week, neighbors mysteriously ‘move out,’ the greasy-spoon bodega changes hands to become a place that sells kombucha and wraps, and real estate agents knock on her door more and more aggressively to try to force her to sell her mother’s house. Sydney will discover that garden-variety gentrification isn’t the only thing in play, and that there are darker motives under the changes. This gentrification twist on the traditional thriller is a page-turning, suspenseful read as well as a biting social commentary. Shannon

 The Last Great Road Bum by Hector Tobar

This novel is a fascinating amalgam of fiction and non-fiction featuring a real person, Joe Sanderson. Sanderson, raised in the traditional Midwest of the 1950s and expected to go to college and marry, instead became a globe-trotter, searching out locations where wars raged, so that he could experience a life of adventure and the makings of a great novel. Author Tobar acquired Sanderson’s writings and added fictionalized touches to Sanderson’s life, envisioning his childhood and why he made the choices that he did. Though his novel was never published, maybe Sanderson would see in Tobar’s work the novel that he envisioned.  Dori

The Oracle Code by Marieke Nijkamp

I heard about this graphic novel when watching Comic-Con@Home 2020. A bunch of authors had a panel discussion about writing heroine characters in the Batman universe in the YouTube video Batgirls! Nijkamp is a writer who has lived in a wheelchair most of her life, so she brings real experience to the story of Barbara Gordon, Commissioner Gordon’s daughter. It is about teenage Barbara going to a rehabilitation center after being shot and adjusting to her new life in a wheelchair. In comics after The Killing Joke, Barbara, in her wheelchair, is often portrayed as becoming a librarian while secretly working as Oracle, providing intel to Batman. But here she is younger and trying to solve a mystery in her new temporary home where she feels so uncomfortable and has lost her sense of self. I’m enjoying artist Manuel Preitano’s style, including the childlike creepy ghost stories, and metaphors of jumbled puzzle pieces. Byron

Jane in Love by Robin Givney 

You don’t need to be a Janeite to enjoy the story of Jane Austen traveling through time based on making an accidental wish to find her one true love. When Jane finds herself still in Bath, England but modern day, she’s stuck in a world she doesn’t understand without money or people to rely on. How did she get here and will she be stuck forever? If you want to consider the challenges of being a woman in 1803 vs. right now, or make some new fictional friends, this might be the book for you! Stacey

Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman

I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on the latest by Alice Hoffman and was not disappointed. This novel is a prequel to Hoffman’s popular 1995 novel Practical Magic and is set in 17th-century in England, Salem, Massachusetts, and New York City. It follows the life of Maria Owens, a foundling child who is rescued by Hannah Owens, a kind witch who raises Maria to practice “green magic” and teaches her to only use these powers to help and heal those in need. Unfortunately, the hardships Maria faces in her life allow her lose sight of these rules of magic, and she brings a curse upon her future generations with one impulsive move. This is a book about magic, love, family, injustice, history and best of all, witches, and it makes for a riveting read. Hoffman’s writing has only improved in the last 25 years and for this reader, Magic Lessons was even better than its sequel. Prepare to be spellbound.   Carol

The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop by Fannie Flagg

I just checked out a copy of the new Fannie Flagg book, The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop. It’s the sequel to Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. The reviews are great and I’ve enjoyed reading other books by this author, and I look forward to reading this one. Emma

Chocolate Day Reads

Try some chocolate themed fiction. We have sweet chocolate stories, dark chocolate stories, and even some hot chocolate stories.

Maybe nonfiction is more to your taste. We’ve got you (chocolate) covered.

Happy Reading (and sweet snacking)!

~Megan

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

In this week’s special picks there are new exciting romance, mystery, adventure, and many more genres for you to choose from! Enjoy!

The Cold Millions by Jess Walter – Enduring the corruption of their union employment, two young day laborers are respectively drawn to a feminist activist and a vaudeville singer whose experiences reflect an unjust world on the brink of upheaval.

The Noel Letters by Richard Paul Evans – A latest entry in the best-selling series by the award-winning author of The Christmas Box explores themes of faith, love and redemption during an illuminating holiday season.

Inside Story by Martin Amis – An autobiographical novel by the author of Experience draws on his close friendship with the late philosopher Christopher Hitchens and follows their relationships and journalistic endeavors against a backdrop of 20th-century history.

Memorial by Bryan Washington – A Japanese-American chef and a Black daycare teacher begin reevaluating their stale relationship in the wake of a father’s death and the arrival of an acerbic mother-in-law who becomes an unconventional roommate. By the award-winning author of Lot.

Truly, Madly, Deeply by Karen Kingsbury – Dividing his family with his decision to become a police officer, 18-year-old Tommy Baxter falls in love with a girl fighting for her life at the same time he uncovers devastating truths about his late grandfather.

The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop by Fannie Flagg – Taking a final visit to the ghost town where his mother Ruth’s Whistle Stop Café made its famous fried green tomatoes, Bud Threadgoode discovers new friends and surprises about the community’s women while triggering unexpected changes in his daughters’ lives.

Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella – Discarding her dating app to enjoy a post-breakup anonymous writers’ retreat in coastal Italy, Ava shares an idyllic love affair with a fellow romantic before their return to London forces them to acknowledge their true identities.

House of Correction by Nicci French – Attempting to solve her own case from the confines of prison, a reclusive murder suspect from an English village uncovers evidence that calls her own sanity into question. By the best-selling authors of the Frieda Klein mysteries.

The Sentinel by Lee Child & Andrew Child – A latest entry in the best-selling series, co-written with the author’s brother, finds Jack Reacher following his lizard-brain instincts on a seemingly uneventful night in Nashville, where a recently fired man nurses an increasingly violent grudge.

Shakeup by Stuart Woods – Looking forward to relaxing with his girlfriend after returning from a dangerous coastal adventure, Stone Barrington finds his plans thwarted by the arrival of a grisly crime on his doorstep, along with some suspicious new clients eager for his help.

Three Women Disappear by James Patterson & Shan Serafin – When three female suspects in the murder of an accountant, who was a master manipulator, go missing, Detective Sean Walsh, who has a personal connection to the case, discovers why the women have to stay hidden from both the law and each other.

The Forgotten Daughter by Joanna Goodman – The triumphant story of two women divided by their past, but united by love. An assassin’s daughter fights for 1992 Quebec’s independence at the side of the man she loves, a separatist-opposing journalist whose Duplessis Orphan sister joins a reparations coalition. By the best-selling author of The Home for Unwanted Girls.

~Semanur