New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

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

Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder by William Shatner & Joshua Brandon – The beloved star of Star Trek and recent space traveler reflects on the interconnectivity of all things, our fragile bond with nature and the joy that comes from exploration.

Daughter of Darkness by Terry Brooks – After accepting her Fae heritage and escaping the sinister Goblin prison, Auris tries to live happily with her lover, Harlow, until the Goblin attacks begin again and she must uncover her still-shrouded past for answers and solutions.

The Hero of This Book by Elizabeth McCracken – After her mother’s death, the narrator, a writer, recalls all that made her complicated mother extraordinary and even though she wants to respect her mother’s nearly pathological sense of privacy, must decide whether chronicling this remarkable life is an act of love or betrayal.

Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult & Jennifer Finney Boylan – Her life upended when her husband revealed a darker side, Olivia MacAfee and her teenage son Asher move back to her New Hampshire hometown for a new beginning until Asher is implicated in the death of his girlfriend and she realizes he’s hidden more than he’s shared with her.

Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng – In a society consumed by fear, 12-year-old Bird Gardner, after receiving a mysterious letter, sets out on a quest to find his mother – a Chinese American poet who left when he was nine years old, leading him to NYC where a new act of defiance may be the beginning of much-needed change.

The Twelve Long, Hard, Topsy-turvy, Very Messy Days of Christmas by James Patterson & Tad Safran – During the holiday season, a family of three, missing someone very dear to them, find their house filling up with unexpected guests, making Christmas memories to last a lifetime.

Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America by Maggie Haberman – The Pulitzer-Prize-winning New York Times reporter chronicles the rise of our 45th president, from his days as a New York City real estate developer to vanguard of a new norm-shattering era in American political history.

Home Sweet Christmas by Susan Mallery – Excited to regain her independence after sending her sisters off to college, Camryn Neff is not thrilled when a client tries to set her up with her son in the second novel of the series following The Christmas Wedding Guest.

Endless Summer by Elin Hilderbrand – Nine stories set in the universe of the best-selling author’s previous romance novels includes a visit with friends of Mallory Blessing three years after her death and Margot Carmichael encouraging her husband to reunite with his ex.

Righteous Prey by John Sandford – When a mysterious vigilante group known only as “The Five” starts targeting the very worst of society, using their unlimited resources to offset the damage done by those they’ve killed, Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers are called in to investigate – and destroy – this virtually untraceable group.

~semanur

New Books Tuesday @RRPL

Take a look at some of the exciting new releases coming to our shelves in this week…

The Sleep Fix: Practical, Proven, and Surprising Solutions for Insomnia, Snoring, Shift Work, and More
by Diane Macedo – A renowned ABC News anchor/correspondent and former insomniac presents cutting-edge research, expert advice, intimate stories and easy-to-implement solutions to help millions of people get the sleep they need.

Silent Parade by Keigo Higashino, Keigo – When the suspected killer of two young girls—20 years apart—dies during the annual street festival, Detective Chief Inspector Kusanagi turns to his friend Detective Galileo to help solve the string of impossible to prove murders.

Jane Austen’s Lost Letters by Jane K. Cleland – When she comes into the possession of two previously unknown letters by Jane Austen, antiques appraiser Josie Prescott, as she sets out to authenticate these letters, learns that someone is willing to kill to keep her from finding out the truth.

Agent Sniper: The Cold War Super Agent and the Ruthless Head of the CIA by Tim Tate – This look at one of most important Cold War spies details how he was able to smuggle out a huge amount of Soviet bloc intelligence and military documents.

Everyday Trauma: Remapping the Brain’s Response to Stress, Anxiety, and Painful Memories for a Better Life by Tracey Shors – A neuroscientist explores how trauma impacts the brain, especially for women—and how we can learn to heal ourselves.

Tailored Brain, The: From Ketamine, to Keto, to Companionship, a User’s Guide to Feeling Better and Thinking Smarter by Emily Willingham – Helping us understand cognitive enhancement, a journalist and science writer explores the promises and limitations of well-known and emerging methods of brain customization, including new research on the power of your “social brain.”

Fixed: How to Perfect the Fine Art of Problem Solving by Amy E. Herman – An art historian and attorney uses works of art to present a new paradigm for problem-solving that focuses on critical thinking skills to help recognize and overcome biases that prevent us from seeing problems clearly.

Creative Types: And Other Stories by Tom Bissell – Writers, video-game developers, actors and other creative types who see the world a little differently and are each on the verge of artistic and personal crises populate a new collection of stories from the best-selling co-author of The Disaster Artist.

~Semanur

Cookbooks for Thanksgiving Inspiration

Thanksgiving is not my favorite holiday (Halloween will always hold that title) but I do rather love an excuse to consume copious amounts of food, try out new recipes, and acceptably nap on the couch in the middle of a family gathering.

If you are in need of some Thanksgiving kitchen inspiration, take a look below at some of my recommended titles for creating and sharing a delicious feast with your friends and family. Whether you are hosting a large group, people with special diets, or perhaps you are attending an intimate gathering, there is something for everyone in this curated collection.

Request one of these fabulous cookbooks today or stop in and see us at the library. What are some of your favorite cookbooks to break out for the holidays? Share in the comments!

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

There are many exciting new book releases coming and you don’t want to miss it…

Will by Will Smith with Mark Manson – A product of a profound journey of self-knowledge, and a reckoning with all that your will can get you and all that it can leave behind, in this memoir, one of the most dynamic and globally recognized entertainment forces of our time opens up fully about his life.

The Sentence by Louise Erdrich – The Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author presents this unusual novel in which a small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted from November 2019 to November 2020 by the store’s most annoying customer.

A Christmas Legacy by Anne Perry – After her friend gets unceremoniously fired with no references right before the holidays, Gracie takes the recently-vacated job herself to try and figure out what happened in the latest novel of the series following A Christmas Resolution.

The Dark Hours  by Michael Connelly – LAPD Detective Reneé Ballard, investigating a New Year’s Eve murder along with an unsolved murder, teams up Detective Harry Bosch once again when their two cases—one old and one new—intersect, while an undetected killer watches their every move.

Dark Tarot by Christine Feehan – An ancient Carpathian, Sandu Berdardi, finally finds his life-mate when Adalasia explodes into his mind seamlessly and guides him on a dangerous quest while consulting her deck of cards in the latest addition to the series following Dark Song.

Heard It in a Love Song  by Tracey Garvis Graves – Newly divorced and lonely, Layla Hilding cautiously gets to know a newly-separated dad whose daughter attends the elementary school where she teaches music in the new novel from the best-selling author of The Girl He Used to Know.

Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King – A collection of short stories from the best-selling author of Writers & Lovers explores desire, heartache, loss and love in tales about a neglected teenage boy befriended by housesitting college students and a booksellers unspoken love for his employee.

Never by Ken Follett – Navigating terrorist attacks, illegal arms trading and smear campaigns, Pauline Green, the country’s first women president, is caught in a complex web of alliances with the most powerful counties that are being orchestrated by the enemy, and only those the most elite skills can stop the inevitable.

Our First Civil War: Patriots and Loyalists in the American Revolution by H. W. Brands – A best-selling historian presents a dramatic narrative of the American Revolution that reminds us that before America could win its revolution against Britain, the Patriots had to win a bitter civil war against family, neighbors and friends.

My Body by Emily Ratajkowski – In this personal exploration of feminism, sexuality and power, of men’s treatment of women and women’s rationalizations for accepting that treatment, the acclaimed model and actress presents essays that chronicle moments of her life while investigation culture’s fetishization of girls and female beauty.

~Semanur

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

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

Better Off Dead by Andrew Child & Lee Child – Jack Reacher doesn’t back down and doesn’t hesitate to teach someone a lesson when a shadowy crew picks a fight with the former US Army military police major in the latest novel of the series following The Sentinel.

Down the Hatch by M.C. Beaton & R. W. Green – Private detective Agatha Raisin, having recently taken up power-walking, is striding along a path in Mircester Park during her lunch break when she hears a cry for help. Rushing over, she finds an elderly couple, Mr. and Mrs. Swinburn, in the middle of the green with the body of an old man lying at their feet.

Forgiving Paris by Karen Kingsbury – The #1 New York Times bestselling author of life-changing fiction brings her signature emotional, heart-tugging (Woman’s World) prose to this wise and worldly novel of forgiveness and hope in the City of Lights.

The Nameless Ones by John Connolly – From the international and instant New York Times bestselling author of The Dirty South, the white-knuckled Charlie Parker series returns with this heart-pounding race to hunt down the deadliest of war criminals. In Amsterdam, four bodies, violently butchered, are discovered in a canal house, the remains of friends and confidantes of the assassin known only as Louis.

Going There by Katie Couric – Heartbreaking, hilarious, and brutally honest, Going There is the deeply personal life story of a girl next door turned household name. The iconic media star discusses her professional and personal life, including losing her husband at a young age, her historic turn as anchor of the CBS Evening News, and experiences dealing with gender inequality.

As the Wicked Watch by Tamron Hall – The first in a thrilling new series from Emmy Award-winning TV Host and Journalist Tamron Hall, As The Wicked Watch follows a reporter as she unravels the disturbing mystery around the deaths of two Black girls the work of a serial killer terrorizing Chicago.

The Unheard by Nicci French – In this new heart-pounding standalone from the internationally bestselling author that People calls “razor sharp,” a single mother suspects her young daughter has witnessed a horrible crime when she draws a disturbing picture but the deadly path to unravel the truth could cost her everything.

Renegades: Born in the USA by Barack Obama& Bruce Springsteen – Two longtime friends share an intimate and urgent conversation about life, music, and their enduring love of America, with all its challenges and contradictions, in this stunningly produced expansion of their groundbreaking Higher Ground podcast, featuring more than 350 photographs, exclusive bonus content, and never-before-seen archival material.

The Wicked Widow by Beatriz Williams – While digging up dirt on a Presidential candidate at the behest of her 90-something society queen aunt, pregnant Ella Dommerich, with the help of her mysterious connection to a certain redheaded flapper, stands between a ruthless family and the prize it’s sought for generations.

The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan – Perfect for the holidays! A brand-new heartwarming Christmas novel from the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Bookshop on the Corner and Christmas at the Island Hotel. 

Gated Prey by Lee Goldberg – A simple sting operation takes a violent and unexpected turn for Detective Eve Ronin in a gripping thriller by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Goldberg.

The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven by Nathaniel Ian Miller – The captivating and powerful story of one man who banishes himself to a solitary life in the Arctic Circle, and is saved by good friends, a loyal dog, and a surprise visit that changes everything, in a novel that is both ceaselessly brilliant and pure delight.

~Semanur

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

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

Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography by Laurie Woolever – An unprecedented behind-the-scenes view into the life of Anthony Bourdain from the people who knew him best.

The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik – A budding dark sorceress determined not to use her formidable powers uncovers yet more secrets about the workings of her world in the sequel to A Deadly Education.

Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth by Wole Soyinka, Wole – Duyole Pitan-Payne realizes that someone is trying to stop him from assuming a prestigious job in the United Nations after discovering that a wily entrepreneur is stealing body parts from a Nigerian hospital for use in rituals.

Once in a Lifetime by Mary Monroe – When she accidentally receives another woman’s passport during the holiday season, Judith Guthrie, whose brother is on the waiting list for a live-giving transplant, decides to deliver it in person and finds her small gesture resulting in a series of big choices and big miracles.

The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews – After purchasing an old farmhouse, newly divorced Ivy Perkins discovers an old Santa suit with a note in the pocket, which sets her off on a mission that brings her into a welcoming community where she finds more than she ever thought possible.

Feeding the Soul by Tabitha Brown – The popular actress and vegan food star shares inspirational life lessons based on her own struggles, with advice on how to choose joy, learn to walk in kindness and find hope and clarity in our lives.

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr – Follows four young dreamers and outcasts through time and space, from 1453 Constantinople to the future, as they discover resourcefulness and hope amidst peril in the new novel by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of All the Light We Cannot See.

The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman – When an old friend, who has been accused of stealing millions of dollars’ worth of diamonds, desperately needs her help leaving a dead body in his wake, Elizabeth and her friends go up against a ruthless murderer who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians.

The Christmas Wedding Guest by Susan Mallery – Guilted into being bridesmaids at their parents’ vow renewal ceremony, sisters Reggie and Dena Sommerville, each working through tough personal issues, find love in the most unexpected of places – their hometown.

Santa Cruise by Fern Michaels – Reuniting for a state-of-the art cruise during the holidays– one with hundreds of eligible men, four best friends cheer each other on through speed-dating events and shore excursions, but soon discover things not going as planned as they set sail on surprising new adventures.

The Unknown by Heather Graham – The newest member of the Krewe of Hunters elite paranormal team, FBI agent Ryder Stapleton must enlist the help of a beautiful museum curator with an otherworldly ability to track down a serial arsonist setting first to the streets of New Orleans.

The Wish by Nicholas Sparks – A successful travel photographer, Maggie Dawes, struggling to come to terms with a sobering medical diagnosis, is unexpectedly grounded over Christmas with her young assistant and begins to tell him the story of the love that set her on a course she never could have imagined.

We Know You Remember by Tove Alsterdal – The past comes flooding ack for police detective Eira Sjödin when Olof Hagström, who served time for raping a murdering a local girl, returns home to find his father dead under suspicious circumstances.

~Semanur

Books and Movies to Share on Galentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is this Sunday, February 14, and whether you love or hate this holiday, it’s hard to deny that it does make for a great excuse to eat copious amounts of chocolate covered strawberries without shame (or is that just me?). I am personally a fan of the holiday, but one of my most favorite holidays is actually the day preceding Valentine’s Day- Galentine’s Day!

Image from NBC’s “Parks and Recreation”

If you are unfamiliar with Galentine’s Day, it was born out of the amazing television show Parks and Recreation. The holiday was the creation of the beloved fictional deputy director of Parks and Recreation in Pawnee, Indiana, Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler). The show’s writers centered the 16th episode of the second season around Leslie’s favorite February tradition, Galentine’s Day. Over a brunch of waffles and excessive gift-giving, Leslie celebrates the joy of female friendship with close friends and co-workers. This has now become a legit holiday with companies creating cards for the occasion and businesses offering Galentine’s Day specials.

Leslie explains, “Every February 13, my ladyfriends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.” Unfortunately, this is not the time for brunch gatherings and long evenings at the wine bar, so how can you celebrate? Share some amazing books with your best gal pals or watch a film together online (ideas for how to watch together here)!

Below you’ll find some of my top picks for books (fiction and nonfiction) and films that are perfect for Galentine’s Day celebrating and sharing!

Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman

Bridesmaids directed by Paul Feig

Booksmart directed by Olivia Wilde

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

Let’s Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship by Gail Caldwell

Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Girls Trip directed by Malcom D. Lee

Mean Girls directed by Mark Waters

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

Girl Talk: What Science Can Tell Us About Female Friendship by Jacqueline Mroz

Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship by Kayleen Schaefer

The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells

Conjure Women by Afia Atakora

Wishing you all a safe and happy Galentine’s Day! Happy reading!

Time to Prepare?

There’s still time! You can still bake, and craft, and read, all the holiday treats your 2020 heart desires! (I qualify this to your “2020 heart” as this year is not like the others. Maybe you’re skipping, or maybe you’re all in, it doesn’t feel like there’s one, right answer. Aannyyyywho…)

If you want to make something Buddy the Elf would approve of: Cookies and other Sweet Treats might have a digital book that can help you out!

Rather than hitting all the stores, maybe you want to check out a digital book from Why Buy it When You Can Make it? collection!

Or perhaps you’d like to unwind, read or listen to Holiday Stories for the Young and the Young at Heart -which also tend to be shorter, and great for my minimal attention span?

Maybe you want to sample something from all three options -and then- take a nap! This is a judgement free zone -enjoy what works (plus a piece of candy)!

Stacey

Books to give for Christmas (of course, we also recommend checking them out from the library ;-)

This year, Christmas feels a little strange and isolated. But it also feel a little cozy. The first snowfall was absolutely beautiful and really got me into the Christmas spirit. As I try to avoid malls and busy stores, I have of course turned to online shopping like many of us. But somehow that just seems impersonal this year. After weeks of quarantining, ordering carry out, groceries from Instacart, and pretty much everything else in the world from Amazon, I’m ready to get back to basics for this year’s holiday. My daughter and I tried our hand at making candles (we definitely need to read up on this a little bit, as I watch one of ours smoke itself out), we have plans for many more cookie varieties than ever, and are drawn towards handmade gifts from Etsy and local stores.

In keeping with this, I am buying books as gifts for the first time in years! My teen/young adult kids don’t read as vociferously as they used to, and most of my family reads on a Kindle. But this year, it just feels right to go back to basics, hold a real book in my hands while I sip coffee by my Christmas tree and lights. My kids have watched pretty much everything Netflix, Hulu and Amazon have to offer, so I think I’m going to try and entice them to take an electronic break, relax on the couch with me to read a good book by the tree.

Here are a few titles coming out in December. Some of them haven’t been published yet, but what is more fun then preordering a book and knowing you will be one of the first to read it? Remember that our local retailers need you this year more than ever. So head to bookshop.org to get some of these new titles that promise to be keepers! They also offer gift cards if you just can’t choose ;-).

Simply thrilling

There’s no such thing as a perfect family. And it’s usually not wise to point that out.

Thriller, romance and fantasy, all rolled into one.

A debut thriller that asks one simple question, shouldn’t a dead husband stay dead?

On the lighter side

Quinn and Minnie share their day of birth, but their lives couldn’t be more different.

A dare and a crash course in flirting turn a frumpy college professor’s life upside down.

An anxiety-ridden introvert finds herself in the spotlight and decides to fake it til she makes it.

Different times and places

Stunning debut explores Afghanistan on the eve of a violent revolution.

A story of survival, loss and love, and the sisters who changed fashion forever.

A poor girl with dreams grows up in the shadow of Biltmore House, the palatial Vanderbilt mansion.

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