Cozy up with a new book

Things Past Telling
by Sheila Williams

Maryam Priscilla Grace was born in West Africa around 1758. She was abducted by slave traders at age 10. Maryam had a gift for learning languages which served her well over time. While crossing the Atlantic a pirate, named Caesar, captured the ship Maryam was traveling on. He freed all the slaves but her. She became his translator. Maryam learned healing and midwifery which eventually made her more valuable than a field worker when she was eventually sold to a Virginia plantation owner. Maryam married James and had two sons who are sold to pay off a debt. Maryam is sold again to a widowed Scottish farmer who treated his slaves, his property, fairly. During this time, she became the mother to a baby boy whose mother died in childbirth. It was also during this time she helped runaways and became pregnant with her owner’s child. He gave Maryam, her son and their unborn child freedom and eventually settled in Ohio.

This historical epic is loosely based on the life of a 112-year-old woman the author discovered in the 1870 U.S. Census for Ohio. It is the story of one woman’s hard harsh journey.

~Emma

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

These are the books we are adding to our collection this week. Click on the ORANGE text to go to our catalog and place a hold today!

DREAM TOWN by David Baldacci – World War II veteran and private investigator Aloysius Archer becomes enmeshed in a lethal, extended web of murder and deceit in 1953 Los Angeles, in the third novel of the series following A Gambling Man.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF EQUALITY by Thomas Piketty – The world’s leading authority on economic inequality presents a concise history of the historical progress towards equality in the face of crises, violence and social struggle and charts a path forward towards greater economic justice.

BEAUTIFUL by Danielle Steel – A famous, young model has her appearance forever altered and loses the people she loves most in a terrorist attack and changes the course and purpose of her life after reading a revealing letter that accompanied her mother’s will.

KINGDOM OF BONES by James Rollins – When an insidious phenomenon spreads from a cursed sight in the African jungle called the Kingdom of Bones, scientific warriors Commander Gray Pierce and Sigma Force must head off a global catastrophe and uncover the shattering secret at the heart of the African continent.

DEATH OF THE BLACK WIDOW by James Patterson & J.D. Barker – A case from his very first night on the job, where a woman bludgeoned her kidnapper and then vanished, still haunts a Detroit detective years later and he discovers he is not alone in his search.

THE MEMORY LIBRARIAN: AND OTHER STORIES OF DIRTY COMPUTER by Janelle MonaeIn a totalitarian world where thoughts—as a means of self-conception—are controlled or erased by a select few, and your life is dictated by those who feel they have the right to decide your fate, Jane 57821 remembers and breaks free.

BLOOD SUGAR by Sascha Rothchild – Although she did kill three people, an animal-loving Miami therapist with a successful practice is accused of murdering her husband, who she actually did not kill, in a new novel from an Emmy-nominated screenwriter of GLOW and The Bold Type.

JILL: A BIOGRAPHY OF THE FIRST LADY by Julie Pace & Darlene Superville – The Washington Bureau Chief for The Associated Press examines the life of first lady Dr. Jill Biden in her roles as wife, mother and educator over 40 years in the public spotlight.

FEVERED STAR by Rebecca Roanhorse – Welcome back to the fantasy series of the decade in Fevered Star—book two of Between Earth and Sky. Living avatars, Serapio and Naranpa, fight to stay human in the face of changes that will transform the great city of Tova as tense alliances form and far-away enemies gather, in the second novel of the series.

PAY DIRT ROAD by Samantha Jayne Allen – Lured into the family business—a private investigation firm—by her supposed-to-be-retired grandfather, Annie McIntyre, while looking into the disappearance of waitress, finds herself identifying with the victim in increasingly, unsettling ways and must confront her own past to survive this case.

~Semanur

What we’re reading now, spring edition…

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Two soldiers on opposing sides of a war throughout time begin to fall in love via the letters they exchange. While it’s a short read, the book is dense with meaning and subtext, and readers will enjoy the romance and intrigue of this intergalactic Romeo and Juliet story. Shannon

Black Cloud Rising by David Wright Faladé

Tells the story of the African Brigade, a unit of former slaves tasked with rooting out pockets of Confederate guerilla fighters in the Tidewater region of Virginia and in North Carolina’s Outer Banks through the eyes of formerly enslaved Sergeant Richard Etheridge of the African Brigade. Dori

The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn

It’s 1937 when Mila Pavlichenko a young history student, mother, and sharpshooter joins the Russian army. Her rifle skills are soon apparent and she becomes a sniper. She rises through the ranks and is put in charge of a platoon. Her job is to train others and to kill Nazis. Mila is very successful at her job. Americans are very curious about this lady sniper when she comes to Washington D.C.  as a guest of the White House. Is she for real? Emma

A Night at the Sweet Gum Head by Marty Padgett

A deep look at 1970’s gay Atlanta through the lens of the Drag scene, political activists, and the bars that brought them all together. Deeply researched and well written, this non-fiction gives detailed insight into how a community of people who just wanted to live their lives had to become leaders and inspiration in order to exist. Christine

Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark

Set in 1920’s Georgia, this vivid horror story asks the question: What if the Klu Klux Klan was led by actual demons? Stray dog eating, multi-eyed, otherworldly demons. Three Black female demon hunters, led by Maryse, who gets her guidance from ethereal Gullah Aunties, must destroy the Klu Kluxes to stop the spread of White Supremacy. A beautiful and gory blend of historic events with a horror twist. Christine

Goodnight, Beautiful by Aimee Molloy

A thriller that does not hide the inspiration it takes from King’s Misery. As a newlywed couple tries to put down roots in a small town, tragedy strikes when the husband comes up missing and his wife has to beg the authorities to care all while it becomes more and more apparent that he has been lying to her this whole time. As he fights for his life through the only way he knows how, his wife has to reconcile the man she loves with the man she has uncovered. Christine

The Sentence by Louise Erdrich

A touchingly funny book about a small bookstore in Minnesota run by a group of Native American women during the pandemic, and the community of unusual, crazy, genuine people whose lives are touched by this place and by each other.  It’s one of those books where you truly fall in love with the characters and more than anything, want them to find peace and happiness in their lives.  Sara

Cozy up with a new book

It’s February 1907 on Ellis Island when Molly and her neighbors are distributing warm clothing to immigrant arrivals. A man is stabbed to death there and a young Irish woman, Rose McSweeney, who looks like Molly’s twin is the main suspect. Molly is certain the woman is innocent. Police captain Daniel Sullivan, Molly’s husband, wants his wife to distance herself from any investigation of the murder. Molly does not listen to Daniel’s advice and becomes entangled with more than she anticipated.

The familiar characters are all present. Both little Liam and Bridie, Molly’s ward, are growing up too fast. Sid and Gus, the generous eccentric neighbors, offer to take over the education of Bridie. They believe Bridie’s potential is being wasted at the local public school and they can provide so much more. Molly’s mother-in-law is also present which makes life more difficult in the crowded Sullivan home.

I thoroughly enjoy the Molly Mysteries series and recommend reading the novels in order. (This entry was written with the assistance of the author’s daughter.)

1. Murphy’s Law (2001)
2. Death Of Riley (2002)
3. For the Love of Mike (2003)
4. In Like Flynn (2005)
5. Oh Danny Boy (2006)
6. In Dublin’s Fair City (2007)
7. Tell Me, Pretty Maiden (2008)
8. In a Gilded Cage (2009)
9. The Last Illusion (2010)
10. Bless the Bride (2011)
11. Hush Now, Don’t You Cry (2012)
11.5 The Face in the Mirror (2013)
12. The Family Way (2013)
12.5 Through the Window (2014)
13. City of Darkness and Light (2014)
14. The Edge of Dreams (2015)
15. Away in a Manger (2015)
16. Time of Fog and Fire (2016)
17. The Ghost of Christmas Past (2017)
18. Wild Irish Rose (2022)

~Emma

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

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

The Investigator by John Sandford – Working with Homeland Security in Texas to investigate the thefts of crude oil, Letty Davenport, the brilliant and tenacious daughter of Lucas Davenport, is pitted against a militia group as the case quickly turns deadly.

Three Debts Paid by Anne Perry – While defending his former university professor charged with assault, young barrister Daniel Pitt works with pathologist Miriam Croft investigating a serial killer who only seems to kill on rainy days—a case that makes him question everything.

The Sacred Bridge by Anne Hillerman – Sergeant Jim Chee, after visiting the sacred Rainbow bridge, investigates the death of a Navajo artist, putting his own life at risk, while Officer Bernadette Manuelito searches for the killer of a hitchhiker connected to a Navajo Nation cannabis enterprise.

Summer at the Cape by RaeAnne Thayne – When her sister Lily drowns while saving a child, Cami Porter returns to Cape Sanctuary where Lily’s business Coastal Pines Glamping is threatened by the man from whom she leased the land, and must keep Lily’s dream alive while dealing with grief and the complexities of relationships.

Shadow Fallen by Sherrilyn Kenyon – A knight of William the Conqueror and son of one of the deadliest powers in existence, Valteri is the necessary key to holding back evil if only he can work with the woman who stands for everything in the universe he hates.

Brighter by the Day: Waking Up to New Hopes and Dreams by Robin Roberts – The beloved co-host of Good Morning America and best-selling author presents a guide to finding a sense of hope, positivity and encouragement during even the darkest days of our lives.

Hello, Molly!: A Memoir by Molly Shannon – The actress looks back on losing her mother, sister and cousin in a car accident with her father at the wheel as well as her days as a beloved Saturday Night Live cast member.

Insomnia by Sarah Pinborough – With her 40th birthday approaching—the same time her mother went insane—Emma Averell is unable to sleep, and loses time during the day, symptoms her mother showed, leading her to wonder if the madness is in her blood or is she slowly beginning to lose her mind.

Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins Valdez – In 1973 Montgomery, Alabama, Civil Townsend, a young black nurse working for the Montgomery Family Planning Clinic, grapples with her role when she takes two young girls into her heart and the unthinkable happens, and nothing will ever be the same for any of them.

Last Dance on the Starlight Pier by Sarah Bird –  In 1932 Galveston, Evie Grace Devlin, escaping a dark past in vaudeville and becoming a good person, is swept up into the alien world of dance marathons, which thrusts her into the spotlight where the promise of a family, a purpose and even love wait in the wings.

~Semanur

Historical Fiction for your consideration

This novel is based on the life of Lyudmila “Mila” Pavilchenko, nicknamed “Lady Death”. When the Germans invaded Russia, Mila enlisted. She was a librarian, young mother and history student working on her dissertation. Mila rose through the ranks and oversaw a platoon. Her job was to train others and kill Nazis. Mila became a successful female sniper with 309 kills.

In 1942, Mila was part of a delegation to Washington D.C. to help persuade America to open a second front during World War II. Americans were curious about the lady sharpshooter and Mila became a popular speaker. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Mila became fast friends their friendship continuing well after FDR’s passing.

In a male-dominated army during WWII, Mila was a rare person who deserves her place in history.

~Emma

Cozy up with a new book

The Last Mona Lisa by Jonathan Santlofer

On August 21, 1911, Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre by museum worker Vincent Peruggia. The theft was not discovered immediately. In truth, many thought the painting was taken to the roof where others were being photographed due to better lighting. After two days, an international hunt was on to recover the stolen work. Peruggia’s scheme was to have forgeries made of the painting and have them sold as the original. Along with the forger and go-between, Perrugia would become rich. (There were nine forgeries.) In 1913, Perrugia returned the Mona Lisa to the Louvre. Was it the real thing or a forgery?

Vincent Peruggia is the great-grandfather of art professor Luke Perrone. Luke is obsessed with the story behind the theft. He travels to Florence, Italy. His great-grandfather’s journal is available at the Laurentian library in Florence. Others seem interested in the truth behind the theft including an INTERPOL agent and a young American woman.

A terrifying and thrilling multi-layered novel.

~Emma

Cozy up with a new book

Sisters of Night and Fog by Erika Robuck

This book is based on the lives of Virginia d’Albert-Lake and Violette Szabo. Both Virginia and Violette had important roles during WWII. Both were captured by the Germans and eventually sent to Ravensbruck where they endured horrific conditions.

Violette’s husband was killed in North Africa. She refused to leave France despite having a young daughter at home. She was a sharpshooter fluent in multiple languages. Her talents were quickly realized, and she became part of the SOE (Special Operations Executive). Formed in 1940, the Special Operations Executive was an underground army that waged a secret war in enemy-occupied Europe and Asia.

Virginia and her husband Philippe became part of the Comet Line, a Resistance organization in occupied Belgium and France during the Second World War. Their job was to help Allied soldiers and pilots shot down over occupied Belgium evade capture by Germans and eventually return to Great Britain.

Their stories connected at Ravensbruck. When it was finally discovered that Virginia was an American, she was released. Violette did not survive. At just twenty-three, she was executed with other women who were part of the SOE.

From what I can gather, the book closely follows the lives and experiences of these two women. The author’s thorough research is evident throughout.

~Emma

(There is a 1958 movie based on the life of Violette Szabo called “Carve Her Name with Pride”.)

Cozy up with a good book

The Next Ship Home: A Novel of Ellis Island

by Heather Webb

At the turn of the 20th century, Francesca and Maria are anxious to begin a new life in America after running away from an abusive father in Sicily. Maria is sickly and when the sisters arrive at Ellis Island, they are detained. Sadly, Maria does not recover and dies in the hospital on Ellis Island. Francesca is determined to do whatever it takes to be allowed entry.

Alma Brauer is forced to take a job at Ellis Island. Her stepfather demands that she turn over her paycheck to him. Alma has a gift for learning languages which comes in handy at Ellis Island. She encounters Francesca and Maria that first day and is drawn into their circumstances. Alma wants to help the sisters even is it is against policy.

Alma’s stepfather is anxious for her to marry and leave his home. He makes those arrangements without consulting her. The man Alma is to marry is John Lambert, an inspector at Ellis Island with an awful reputation. Unfortunately, Francesca encountered inspector John Lambert and was willing to do anything to enter New York.

This is a powerful story of friendship and strength. I hope the stories of Alma and Francesca continue in a sequel.

~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!

The Match by Harlan Coben – From the creator of the #1 hit Netflix series Stay Close comes a gripping new thriller in which Wilde follows a tip that may finally reveal the truth behind his abandonment—only to end up in the sights of a ruthless killer.

The Summer Getaway by Susan Mallery – One woman takes the vacation of a lifetime in this poignant and heartwarming story about the threads that hold a family together from #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery.

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James – A true crime blogger gets more than she bargained for while interviewing the woman acquitted of two cold case slayings in this chilling new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Sun Down Motel.

Nine Lives by Peter Swanson – If you’re on the list, someone wants you dead. From the New York Times bestselling author of Eight Perfect Murders comes the heart-pounding story of nine strangers who receive a cryptic list with their names on it—and then begin to die in highly unusual circumstances.

Citizen K-9 by David Rosenfelt – In Citizen K-9, bestselling author David Rosenfelt masterfully blends mystery with dogs and humor to create an investigative team that readers will be rooting for book after book.

Give Unto Others by Donna Leon – As a favor Brunetti investigates the accountant son-in-law of his mother’s friend after he alarmed the family by suggesting they might be in danger because of his line of work in the latest novel of the series following Transient Desires.

Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi – When an old acquaintance desperately needs her help, Jamie Gray is transported to an alternate dimension where she must save large creatures called Kaiju from others who have found their way to the world—and who threaten humankind back on Earth with their carelessness.

Under the Golden Sun by Jenny Ashcroft – During World War I, Rose Hamilton escorts a young orphaned boy to Australia, where his cattle station home isn’t anything like either of them were told to expect, and is unable to part with this boy she has come to love—or his wounded fighter pilot uncle.

~Semanur