Take a Break, Read a Book!

So you say you want to take a break but you still want to keep up with those timely topics of: Democracy and Spooookkkyyy Season? Guess what! You can tune out from some of the daily excitement, on both topics, with a …book! Read a little -have a little conversation, feel done with the conversation (I mean really, obviously chocolate is a better treat than a lollipop,right?!) and excuse yourself back to that page turner you’ve got going on!!

If you want to read something to keep up with your friends talking about Democracy, social issues, and past or current politics, check out the Five Days for Democracy collection. Feeling extra inspired? You can check out some of the resources on the 5DaysforDemocracy website, take a challenge or watch a video!

Or maybe you want to look over your shoulder a lot, think way too much about that strange noise, or stress eat some crunchy foods? Well then you might want to read a Spooky Book for Adults! (And keep checking back as new books are being added all the time!)

Me? Maybe I’ll give out chocolate *and* lollipops this year!

Whatever you pick, I hope it’s all treats and no tricks! -Stacey

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

This week we have a collection of autobiography, romance, mystery, historical fiction, and much more for you to choose from. You can also find topics such as music, family life, and animals… Enjoy!

Silent Bite by David Rosenfelt – Finally getting into the Christmas spirit, lawyer Andy Carpenter, while running a dog rescue organization, which is his true passion, agrees to help his partner prove the innocence of a man wrongly accused of murder.

Jingle All the Way by Debbie Macomber – Urged by her mother to take a cruise for the holidays, workaholic Everly tours the Amazon under the guidance of a charming naturalist who helps her discover that her relationships are more important than her career.

Return to Virgin River by Robyn Carr – A latest entry in the best-selling, faith-oriented series interweaves modern themes into traditional storylines in an original romance set in the fan-favorite rural community of Virgin River.

Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Molloy – Eavesdropping on the therapy sessions her husband conducts for clients in a downstairs office, a lonely young bride finds her life and marriage turned upside down when her husband goes missing after welcoming a sophisticated new patient.

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell – Suspended from work amid allegations of sexual misconduct, a virgin geography teacher is targeted by a sinister predator upon joining an online support group for the involuntarily celibate, before a therapist neighbor’s distraught patient goes missing.

A Time for Mercy by John Grisham – Court-appointed lawyer Jake Brigance puts his career and the safety of his family on the line to defend a 16-year-old murder suspect who is facing the death penalty. By the best-selling author of A Time to Kill.

A Song for the Dark Times: Inspector Rebus by Ian Rankin – A thrilling new Rebus novel, from a master of mystery, is about crime, punishment and redemption.

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse – A trilogy debut by the Nebula Award-winning author of Star Wars: Resistance Reborn is inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and follows the unbalancing of the holy city of Tova amid a fateful solstice eclipse.

She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs by Sarah Smarsh – The National Book Award-finalist author of Heartland explores how the music of Dolly Parton and other prominent women country artists has both reflected and validated the harsh realities of rural working-class American women.

Attack Surface by Cory Doctorow – Working for a transnational cybersecurity firm while secretly helping high-paying troublemakers evade detection, a counterterrorism hacker is forced to acknowledge the consequences of her actions when one of her hacks puts loved ones in danger.

~Semanur

Reconnect @RRPL

by Tracey Enerson Wood

I love this story of a strong independent real-life woman, namely Emily Warren Roebling. Emily was the person responsible for completing the Brooklyn Bridge. Emily’s father-in-law, John A. Roebling, was the original engineer but died of tetanus before the project began. Emily’s husband, Washington A. Roebling took over the project. Unfortunately, he became deathly ill with decompression sickness (caisson disease) and was confined to bed for several months never quite recovering. In the novel showman P.T. Barnum befriends Emily helping her overcome her fear of public speaking since Emily was required to make fundraising speeches. (The story spans 1864-1884 and women just did not do that, at least not very often.)

If you are interested in wonderful nonfiction book on the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, I suggest reading The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge by David McCullough.

~Emma

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

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

A Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom by John Boyne – From the award-winning, best-selling author of The Heart’s Invisible Furies comes an epic tale of humanity, a novel that aims to tell the story of all of us. Imaginative, unique, heartbreaking, this is John Boyne at his most creative and compelling.

No Offense by Meg Cabot – A sequel to No Judgments finds a broken-hearted Molly relocating to a library in the Florida Keys before the discovery of an abandoned newborn leads to an unexpected partnership with an arrogant town sheriff.

Choppy Water by Stuart Woods – When his Maine vacation is interrupted by extreme weather that a menacing adversary uses as cover to target a close friend, Stone Barrington uncovers a massive scheme with corrupt ties spanning New York City through Key West.

Lone Jack Trail by Owen Laukkanen – A veteran Marine and an ex-convict find themselves on opposite sides of the law, in a new thriller from the best-selling author of Deception Cove.

We Are All the Same in the Dark by Julia Heaberlin – The discovery of an unknown girl found by the side of the road a decade after an unsolved disappearance compels a young police officer’s investigation into dangerous local and personal secrets. By the best-selling author of Black-Eyed Susans.

The Midwife Murders by James Patterson & Richard DiLallo – When two kidnappings and a stabbing occur on her watch in a Manhattan university hospital, a fearless senior midwife teams up with a skeptical NYPD detective to investigate rumors that shift from the Russian Mafia to an underground adoption network.

Microbes: The Life-changing Story of Germs by Phillip K. Peterson & Michael T. Osterholm – With straight-forward and engaging writing, infectious diseases physician Phillip Peterson surveys how our understanding of viruses has changed throughout history, from early plagues and pandemics to more recent outbreaks like HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Zika, and Coronavirus.

Then She Vanished by T. Jefferson Parker – Helping a rising politician whose wife has gone missing amid an inexplicable series of bombings, private investigator Roland Ford investigates the activities of a mysterious group before uncovering sinister ties to a kidnapping that threatens an entire city.

Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family by Omid Scobie & Carolyn Durand – With unique access and written with the participation of those closest to the couple, the insider authors offer an honest, up-close and disarming portrait of a confident, influential and forward-thinking couple who are unafraid to break with tradition, determined to create a new path away from the spotlight, and dedicated to building a humanitarian legacy that will make a profound difference in the world.

Olive the Lionheart: Lost Love, Imperial Spies, and One Woman’s Journey into the Heart of Africa by Brad Ricca – Draws on personal writings in an account of Olive MacLeod’s search for her missing fiancé, naturalist Boyd Alexander, in 1910 Africa, a quest shaped by dangerous natural elements, a murderous leopard cult and two adorable lion cubs.

Last Call on Decatur Street by Iris Martin Cohen – Working as a Crescent City burlesque dancer after college pressures and a drinking problem lead to her expulsion, Rosemary interweaves her pain into seductive performances before resolving to go sober on a transformative night.

Via Negativa by Daniel Hornsby – Dismissed by his conservative diocese for his eccentric insubordination, a homeless Father Dan transforms his car into a mobile monk cell and embarks on a spiritual road trip marked by an injured coyote and other offbeat travelers.

Making Sense: Conversations on Consciousness, Morality, and the Future of Humanity by Sam Harris – The best-selling neuroscientist and author of The End of Faith shares transcripts of 12 top-selected conversations from his controversial podcast to explore such topics as the nature of consciousness, free will, political extremism and ethical living.

Little Scratch by Rebecca Watson – A debut novel written in the style of a woman’s thoughts on a deceptively ordinary day traces her growing perturbation of mind as she moves through a routine marked by self-doubt, impatience, philosophical development and personal neuroses.

Houseplants for All: How to Fill Any Home With Happy Plants by Danae Horst – A beautiful guide to selecting and growing the right plants for your home, with a plant profile quiz.

Help Yourself: A Guide to Gut Health for People Who Love Delicious Food by Lindsay Maitland Hunt & Linda Pugliese – More than 125 gut-friendly recipes plus science-backed advice for wellness in body and mind. This game-changing cookbook will make you rethink how you eat.

Operation Vengeance: The Astonishing Aerial Ambush That Changed World War II by Dan Hampton – The best-selling author of Viper Pilot presents a narrative account of America’s secret World War II mission to assassinate Isoroku Yamamoto, the Japanese commander who masterminded the Pearl Harbor attacks.

Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America: A Recent History by Kurt Andersen – The best-selling author of Fantasyland presents a deeply researched history of America’s 20th-century transition toward government-sanctioned, normalized inequalities that favor big business and resist progressive change while rendering everyday workers increasingly powerless.

~Semanur

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

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

The Black Swan of Paris by Karen Robards – A celebrated singer in World War II occupied France joins the Resistance to save her estranged family from being killed in a German prison. By the award-winning author of The Fifth Doctrine. A world at war. A beautiful young star. A mission no one expected.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager – Twenty-five years after her father published a wildly popular non-fiction book based on her family’s rushed exit from a haunted Victorian estate, naysayer Maggie inherits the house and begins renovations only to make a number of disturbing discoveries. Is the place really haunted by evil forces, as her father claimed? Or are there more earthbound and dangerous secrets hidden within its walls?

Her Last Flight by Beatriz Williams – The beloved author returns with a remarkable novel of both raw suspense and lyric beauty – Investigating the fate of a forgotten aviation pioneer, a 1947 war correspondent tracks down the pilot’s former student before learning the remarkable story of their complicated and passionate relationship. By the best-selling author of The Golden Hour.

All the Broken People by Leah Konen – Moving to rustic Woodstock to escape an unhappy past, Lucy bonds with an alluring couple, Vera and John, who embroil her in a plot to fake John’s death, before Lucy finds herself framed for the man’s actual murder. She bargained for in this twisty and addictive domestic thriller for fans of The Couple Next Door.

The Dilemma by B. A. Paris – Organizing a lavish birthday party after decades of hardship, a woman hiding a secret about a daughter who cannot attend is forced to confront a devastating truth when her husband arranges a surprise. NYT and USA Today bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors, The Breakdown, and Bring Me Back.

Daring and the Duke by Sarah MacLean – New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean returns with the much-anticipated final book in her Bareknuckle Bastards series, featuring a scoundrel duke and the powerful woman who brings him to his knees.

Holding Out for Christmas by Janet Dailey – A demure kindergarten teacher with dreams of Nashville stardom makes a difficult choice when she reunites with a smitten and wildly attractive rancher during an annual western-themed Christmas ball that launches a holiday season of romance and promise.

Word to the Wise by Jenn McKinlay – It’s no-holds-barred murder. Lindsey Norris is finally getting married to the man of her dreams but it’s not all roses for Briar Creek’s beloved library director, as town newcomer Aaron Grady gives the term “book lover” a whole new meaning. Inappropriate looks and unwelcome late-night visits to Lindsey’s house have everyone from the crafternooners to Lindsey’s fiancé, Sully, on edge.

The Empire of Gold by S. A. Chakraborty – In this final installment in the critically acclaimed trilogy, Nahri and Ali are determined to save both their city and their loved ones, but when Ali seeks support in his mother’s homeland, he makes a discovery that threatens not only his relationship with Nahri, but his very faith.

The Chicken Sisters by K. J. Dell’Antonia – Three generations. Two chicken shacks. One recipe for disaster. The last thing Brooklyn-based organizational guru Mae Moore, Amanda’s sister, wants is to go home to Kansas. But when her career implodes, helping the fading Mimi’s look good on Food Wars becomes Mae’s best chance to reclaim the limelight. When family secrets become public knowledge, the sisters must choose: Will they fight with each other, or for their heritage?

One Last Lie by Paul Doiron – When his beloved mentor disappears amid the discovery of an antique badge,Mike Bowditch investigates the presumed death of an undercover warden before the cold case is upended by dangerous secrets and a daughter’s return.

Firestick by William W. Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone – In this exciting new series, bestselling authors pay homage to America’s trail – hardened backwoodsmen who, like a fine grain whisky, only get better with age. Firestick is the town marshal. Beartooth and Moosejaw are his deputies. And when a hired gunman shows up with bullets blazing, these three hard-cases are ready to prove they aren’t getting older.

Nacho Average Murder by Maddie Day – While looking forward to her high school reunion back in California, Robbie’s anticipation is complicated by memories of her mother’s untimely death. But then she gets wind of rumors that her mother, an environmental activist, may not have died of natural causes. With the help of friends, Robbie starts clearing the smoke surrounding the mystery; but what she finds could make it hard to get back to Indiana alive . . .

Selfcare by Leigh Stein – Have you ever scrolled through Instagram and seen countless influencers who seem like experts at caring for themselves from their yoga crop tops to their well-lit clean meals to their serumed skin and erudite-but-color-coded reading stack? Self Care delves into the lives and psyches of people working in the wellness industry and exposes the world behind the filter.

~Semanur

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

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

28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand – The best-selling author of Summer of ’69 presents a tale inspired by the film, Same Time Next Year, that follows a man’s discovery of his mother’s long-term relationship with the husband of a Presidential frontrunner.

Stranger Planet by Nathan W. Pyle – The sequel to the #1 New York Times bestselling phenomenon Strange Planet, featuring more hilarious and poignant adventures from the fascinating inhabitants of Nathan W. Pyle’s colorful world. In this eagerly awaited sequel, Nathan takes us back to his charming and instantly recognizable planet colored in bright pinks, blues, greens, and purples, providing more escapades, jokes, and p h r a s e s.

American Demon by Kim Harrison – When the magical acts her friends and she committed to save the world inadvertently unleash a zombie epidemic, witch-demon Rachel Mariana Morgan considers a wrenching sacrifice in the wake of baffling murders and the arrival of a new demon. A thrilling return to the #1 New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series, continuing Rachel Morgan’s story.

Hunted Again by Heather Graham – Feel the thrills and chills of this heart-pounding romantic suspense from New York Times bestselling author Heather Graham. A love rekindle or a deadly reunion? Even after a decade, Sarah Hampton is haunted by the night that nearly ended in a bloody massacre and destroyed her high school romance with handsome Tyler Grant. Now the horror has returned. It’s a reckoning from the events of that terrifying night and a love they never let go. Only this time Tyler must protect Sarah from the killer hiding in the darkness or lose her forever.

The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton – In 1935 three women are forever changed when one of the most powerful hurricanes in history barrels toward the Florida Keys. For the tourists traveling on Henry Flagler’s legendary Overseas Railroad, Labor Day weekend is an opportunity to forget the economic depression gripping the nation. But one person’s paradise can be another’s prison, and Key West-native Helen Berner yearns to escape.

Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks – A modern retelling of the Bigfoot legend is presented as a gripping journal by a woman from a high-tech Pacific Northwest community who becomes cut off from civilization by a volcanic eruption before witnessing the flight of starving humanoid beings. The #1 bestselling author of World War Z returns with a horror tale that blurs the lines between human and beast, and asks, What are we capable of when we’re cut off from society?

The Half Sister by Sandie Jones – Approached by a secret half-sister they never knew, two close sisters turn against the stranger before uncovering difficult truths about their beloved late father. From Sandie Jones, the New York Times bestselling author of the Hello Sunshine Book Club pick The Other Woman, comes The Half Sister; a compelling new domestic suspense novel about a family who is forever changed when a stranger arrives at their door.

Stephen King’s the Dark Tower the Drawing of the Three 4: Bitter Medicine by Stephen King/ Robin Furth/ Peter David/ Jonathan Marks/ Lee Loughridge – Enter once more the world of Roland Deschain and the world of the Dark Tower presented in this stunning fourth graphic novel of The Drawing of the Three story arc that will unlock the doorways to terrifying secrets and bold storytelling as part of the dark fantasy masterwork and magnum opus from #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King. 

New world sourdough : artisan techniques for creative homemade fermented breads; with recipes for pan de coco, bagels, beignets and more by Bryan Ford – New World Sourdough is your go-to guide to baking delicious, inventive sourdough breads at home. Learn how to make a sourdough starter, basic breads, as well as other innovative baked goods from start to finish with Instagram star Bryan Ford’s (@artisanbryan) inviting, nontraditional approach to home baking.

Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Comprehensive Guide to Delay , Don’t Deny Intermittent Fasting: Including the 28-Day Fast Start by Gin Stephens – Diets don’t work. You know you know that, and yet you continue to try them, because what else can you do? You can Fast. Feast. Repeat. After losing over eighty pounds and keeping every one of them off, Gin Stephens started a vibrant, successful online community with hundreds of thousands of members from around the world who have learned the magic of a Delay, Don’t Deny® intermittent fasting lifestyle. Change when you eat and change your body, your health, and your life!

 

~Semanur

 

New Fiction Coming in May 2020

 

Take a look at some of the exciting new fiction coming to our shelves in May. Whether you are looking for a literary fiction read, a historical page-turner, or a woman’s fiction, we have something for you!

 

 

5/04: All Adults Here by Emma Straub – A matriarch confronts the legacy of her parenting mistakes while her adult children navigate respective challenges in high standards and immaturity, before a teen granddaughter makes a courageous decision to tell the truth. By the best-selling author of Modern Lovers.

In All Adults Here, Emma Straub’s unique alchemy of wisdom, humor, and insight come together in a deeply satisfying story about adult siblings, aging parents, high school boyfriends, middle school mean girls, the lifelong effects of birth order, and all the other things that follow us into adulthood, whether we like them to or not.

5/05: Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner – A woman confronts the dynamics of friendship and forgiveness while visiting Cape Cod to attend an old friend’s increasingly disastrous wedding. By the best-selling author of Good in Bed and Mrs. Everything.

A sparkling novel about the complexities of female relationships, the pitfalls of living out loud and online, and the resilience of the human heart, Big Summer is a witty, moving story about family, friendship, and figuring out what matters most.

5/05: Close Up, -No. 4 (Burning Cove, California)- by Amanda Quick – Welcome to Burning Cove, California where 1930s Hollywood glamour conceals a ruthless killer.
Protecting a crime-scene photographer who has identified elusive details connecting a string of murders, reclusive investigator Nick Sundridge uses his own uncanny talents to tie the killer to 1930s Hollywood society. By the best-selling author of the Arcane Society series.

 

 

5/05: Robert B. Parker’s Grudge Match, -No. 8 (Sunny Randall)- by Mike Lupica – Reluctantly taking the case of a long-time gangster associate who will forgive a betrayal in return, private investigator Sunny Randall tracks down the man’s missing girlfriend and business partner before the murder of a witness reveals unanticipated dangers. Robert B. Parker’s beloved PI Sunny Randall returns on a case that blurs the line between friend and foe…and if Sunny can’t tell the difference, the consequences may be deadly.

5/19: Furmidable Foes, –No. 29 (Mrs. Murphy)- by Rita Mae Brown – Mary Minor “Harry” Harristeen and her pet sleuths investigate hidden enemies in their effort to expose a scam involving an upmarket organic grocery store that is selling substandard produce. By the author of the “Sister” Jane series. 

Mary Minor “Harry” Harristeen is on the hunt for a killer with a deadly green thumb when a day in the garden turns fatal in this exciting new mystery from Rita Mae Brown and her feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown.

5/26: Girls of Summer by Nancy Thayer – Skeptical about their single mother’s Nantucket romance with a younger man, siblings Juliet and Theo navigate their own tangled relationships involving an idealistic environmentalist and a girl fighting the trauma of a school tragedy. By the best-selling author of Island Girls

 

~Semanur

 

What we’re reading now…..

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

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Whitehead’s harrowing story about a reform school in Florida during the Jim Crow-era is fictional, though based on real life accounts.  The story does not dramatize the violence and horrors of the reality, rather lets the circumstances speak for themselves.  It is a powerful story regarding the very real racial inequality of our country in the not so distant past.  Beth

Orange World and Other Stories by Karen Russell

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This is the second short story collection I have read by author Karen Russell. Just like her other anthology Vampires in the Lemon Grove : Stories, Orange World offers the reader a variety of stories where everything seems similar and yet uncanny. In a USA Today interview Russell has said that her work isn’t so much magical realism as it is “magical thinking” writing. Highly recommend for fans of Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman, and Victor Lavelle. Greg

Russell’s third collection gives readers eight amazing stories that span a variety of subjects and experiences, all beautifully written, insightful, and often wonderfully weird. Each work is wildly creative, whether you are transported to a future Florida ravaged by rising ocean water and climate change, joining two young women as they attempt to survive an evening trapped in a haunted ski-lodge, or following a widowed farmer as he recklessly returns to a life of raising tornadoes on the Nebraska prairie. Russell skillfully weaves tales that combine both the supernatural and mundane, crafting subtly creepy and emotionally resonant stories. A highly recommended volume for fans of her prior collections, as well as those who enjoy darkly humorous literary fiction. Nicole

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee

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I recently read the stage play The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail by writing partners Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. It was first published in 1970 during the Vietnam War era, a time when many young people were protesting the American involvement in that conflict. In the play Henry David Thoreau, as a young man, engages in Civil Disobedience by not paying his taxes to show his disapproval of the Mexican-American War. The parallel is clear. The play also shows Thoreau’s relationship with Ralph Waldo Emerson and allows the character to express several themes that he would write about in his middle age before he died at the age of 44. The script is often dream-like with multiple flashbacks from the jail cell used to highlight moments from Thoreau’s development as a thinker who would not just “go along” with the status quo. Byron

The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal

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This is the story of Edith and her sister Helen who have been estranged for decades when Helen convinces their father to leave the family farm to her. Helen uses the money to rebuild the Blotz beer brand with her husband Orval Blotz. When granddaughter Diana’s parents are killed, Edith raises her. Together they barely scrape by. Diana has a talent for making beer and eventually buys a small brewery. With Diana’s talent, perseverance, and the help of her grandmother and Edith’s elderly friends, the brewery is successful. This is a hopeful and heartwarming story of take-charge women when the going gets tough. Emma

 

The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin

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In the Spring of 1981, the four young Skinner siblings lose their father to a heart attack and soon to follow will lose their mother to severe depression, a time period that the siblings will refer to as The Pause.  Caught between the easy & comfortable life they once had and an uncertain future, the children navigate The Pause with fear and resentment, only to become fiercely loyal to each other.  Two decades later The Skinners find themselves again confronted with a family crisis that will test the strength of these bonds and force them to question the life choices they’ve made and what exactly they will do for love.  This book was much like Commonwealth by Ann Patchett.  If you like family drama, like I do, I recommend this book. Mary

The Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson 

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is convinced that her best friend’s death is not part of a suicide pact that has already claimed the lives of the school’s two most popular mean girls. When she finds a mysterious grimoire with a too good to be true solution to her problem, she sets out to resurrect Riley. Of course things don’t go as expected–instead of bringing back Riley to get answers to her murder, she resurrects her bestie AND their bullies, the newly dead mean girls June and Dayton. To make matters worse, none of them have any memory of their deaths. Mila has one week to figure it all out while keeping her zombies out of sight. Surprisingly deep and insightful, this body-positive witch tale is a fun exploration of bullying, friendships, and redemption. Megan

Follow Her Home by Steph Cha

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Juniper Song has no experience as a detective.  The closest qualification she has when asked by her best friend to investigate whether his father is having an affair is that she is a Raymond Chandler super fan.  However, this lack of practical training does not deter Juniper from taking the role of Phillip Marlowe and agreeing to do some light snooping.  Following the tradition Marlowe long ago set, Juniper is quickly knocked out soon after she begins looking into the matter.  Only, when Juniper wakes up, the stakes have risen when she also finds a dead body in the trunk of her car.  Great noir that, while paying homage to Chandler, looks to update and add to the genre. Trent

Watching You by Lisa Jewel

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I read this quick moving thriller in a few sessions. Told from the points of view of a few “watchers”: a young, restless newlywed living with her brother and his wife has her eye on the handsome older neighbor who is the new school principal; the awkward teenage principal’s son has his eye on most of the neighborhood; the crazy lady next door is sure EVERYONE is watching her, and her daughter has heard terrible rumors about her new principal and is befriending his son to find out if they are true. This voyeuristic neighborhood is thrown into turmoil when someone is brutally murdered. Everyone saw something, but can anyone put it all together? Sara

The Religion of Tomorrow: A Vision for the Future of the Great Traditions by Ken Wilber

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Wilber is a philosopher and transpersonal psychologist, and this is one of a few tomes he has written, all wonderful, about helpful ways of thinking about more out-there topics like mysticism, consciousness, and spirituality.  Wilber is also a Buddhist, but his critiques of religion are applicable to Western and Eastern approaches.  I have been reading him for some time now, and have always found him very insightful.  For anyone interested, a great place to start to understand his framework, which is called “AQAL” – standing for “all quadrant, all level” – is his Integral Psychology from 1994.  Andrew

Time to Talk Turkey About Thanksgiving Movies and Books

When you work in a library, you usually have at least one display up that corresponds to a current holiday. Thanksgiving is always the difficult holiday; there are just not many books or movies that revolve around Thanksgiving which is surprising, considering that it’s ripe with potential to explore family issues.

Here are a few titles that either take place during Thanksgiving or have a special or funny scene devoted to the holiday:

Movies:

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Books:

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Wishing you and yours a very peaceful and Happy Thanksgiving –

~ Dori

 

 

2016 Favorites – Top 12 Edition

2016 was a book lover’s dream – I was like a kid in a candy store. Between reading and listening, I managed to finish a lot of literary fiction, and a few science fiction and suspense titles, but I have some catching up to do into 2017. Here are the books that I relished in 2016, in no particular order:

laroseLaRose by Louise Erdrich
Erdrich is a writer that I never miss and this book sums up what I love so much about her writing: devotion to characters, insightful commentary on American culture, family love and exploration of the mystical.

 

undergroundThe Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Deserved winner of the National Book Award, this book is a wildly creative and harrowing look at slavery and its legacy. A must read.

 

 

beforeBefore the Fall by Noah Hawley
Hawley, a screenwriter, deftly takes us through a horrific plane crash, exploring the survivor’s guilt and the investigation into the cause.

 

 

mynameMy Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
This small book packs a punch – mother/daughter relationships, poverty, marriage – are all addressed powerfully and in Lucy’s voice – lovely and sad.

 

 

vegetarianThe Vegetarian by Han Kang
There’s no doubt that this is a weird book – it’s about a young woman whose choice to become a vegetarian impacts her whole family in tragic ways – but it’s also both mesmerizing and beautiful.

 

 

queenQueen of the Night by Alexander Chee
Chee’s historical epic about a 19th century American who becomes a famous Parisian courtesan and opera singer envelops and transports you.

 

 

commonCommonwealth by Ann Patchett
This is my first Patchett novel and I may have to read her earlier books based on this one – who doesn’t love a book about a dysfunctional family that sucks you in and doesn’t let go?

 

 

multipleMultiple Choice by Alejandro Zambra
Zambra is a Chilean author and his books often deal with memory and choice within the framework of Chile’s recent authoritarian history. This one’s in the form of a multiple choice test

 

 

goldenThe Golden Age by Joan London
Maybe my favorite of all, London’s look at how people deal with displacement in their lives takes place during the polio epidemic in Australia after World War II. It’s surprisingly sweet and tender and you’ll fall in love with the characters.

 

 

moonglowMoonglow by Michael Chabon
History, relationships, life, love, rockets! – all in Chabon’s signature style.

 

 

 

swingSwing Time by Zadie Smith
I haven’t quite finished Smith’s latest about two young brown girls growing up in London and the different paths they take based on family, race, class and culture, but I’m entranced so far.

 

 

darker

 

gathering

A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
I always like to dip into some great science fiction and I really enjoyed these first two in a series that take us to fantastic parallel worlds.  No. 3 is up next year!

 

BONUS CHRISTMAS BOOK:

fieldsThe Fields Where They Lay by Timonthy Hallinan
I chose this book for my Holiday read and I think I’ve found a new mystery series! It’s funny and clever and the mystery unfolded perfectly.

 

 

 

If` I could keep going, I’d throw these in as well: Debuts The Mothers by Brit Bennett and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, The Yid by Paul Goldberg, To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey, A Hundred Thousand Worlds by Bob Proehl, A Great Reckoning by  master of mystery Louise Penney, The Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood and The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney.