New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

Here we have some new exciting releases for you to take a look at this week!

It All Comes Down to This by Therese Anne Fowler – Three sisters—Beck, a freelance journalist; Claire, a pediatric cardiologist; and Sophie, an Instagram influencer—come together to sell the family’s summer cottage in Maine, which becomes complicated by an enigmatic ex-con with his own hidden past. By a New York Times best-selling author.

Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley – When a drunken altercation with a stranger turns into a job she desperately needs, Kiara, who supports her brother and an abandoned 9-year-old boy, starts nightcrawling until her name surfaces in an investigation exposing her as a key witness in a massive scandal within the Oakland Police Department.

Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commuting by Clare Pooley – An advice columnist breaks her rule for never talking to other commuters on the train when she witnesses a nurse save another man choking on a grape.

Cult Classic by Sloane Crosley – From a New York Times best-selling author and Thurber Prize finalist comes a twisted mystery on the metaphysics of modern love, memory and mind control.

James Patterson by James Patterson: The Stories of My Life by James Patterson – A #1 best-selling author shows how a boy from small-town New York made it to literary stardom.

These Impossible Things by Salma El-Wardany – Each navigating love, sex and the one night that changes it all, three Muslim best friends, Malak, Kees and Jenna, as their lives begin to take different paths, must find a way back to each other as they reconcile faith, family and tradition.

Aurora by David Koepp – When a solar storm knocks out the power across the globe, Aubrey Wheeler, in Aurora, Illinois, becomes the fierce protector of her suburban neighborhood, while across the country, her brother, a Silicon Valley CEO, hunkers own in his gilded desert bunker, leading to a long-overdue reckoning between siblings.

Counterfeit by Kristin Chen – Follows the story of two Asian American women who band together to grow a counterfeit handbag scheme into a global enterprise.

Ordinary Monsters by J.M. Miro – Introduces readers to the dark, labyrinthine world of The Talents.

Tracy Flick Can’t Win by Tom Perrotta – Tracy Flick, the iconic protagonist of Election, is back in full force as the hardworking assistant principal at a public high school in suburban New Jersey where she, energized by the prospect of a long-overdue promotion, sets out to prove her worth and get what she deserves.

~Semanur

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

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

HIDDEN PICTURES by Jason Rekulak – A woman working as a nanny for a young boy who has strange and disturbing secrets.

OVERBOARD by Sara Paretsky – In a city emerging from its pandemic lockdown, detective V.I. Warshawski must elude Chicago powerbrokers and mobsters as she tries to find a missing girl who is the key witness to a nefarious conspiracy, which makes Warshawski a target as well.

BY THE BOOK by Jasmine Guillory – A young, black woman working in publishing makes a surprise connection with an author who has failed to deliver his highly-anticipated manuscript in the second novel of the series following If the Shoe Fits.

THE LIONESS by Chris Bohjalian – In 1964, Hollywood royalty Katie Barstow and her new husband, along her glittering entourage, arrive for their luxury African safari, but are instead taken hostage by Russians mercenaries, in this blistering story of fame, race, love death set in a world on the cusp of great change.

BACK TO THE PRAIRIE by Melissa Gilbert – The New York Times best-selling author and star of Little House on the Prairie recounts her return to rustic life with her new husband in a cottage in the Catskill Mountains during the COVID-19 pandemic.

LONG TRAIN RUNNIN: Our Story of the Doobie Brothers by Pat Simmons & Tom Johnston, with Chris Epting – Written by the founding members of the iconic American rock band, this incredible true story brings to life the longevity, success and drama of The Doobie Brothers—born out of the late 1960’s NorCal and stood alongside The Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers and many others.

THE MOVEMENT MADE US: A Father, a Son, and the Legacy of a Freedom Ride by David Dennis Jr. – A work of oral history and memoir chronicles the extraordinary story of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and its living legacy embodied in Black Lives Matter.

FRIEND OF THE DEVIL by Stephen Lloyd – A substance-abusing war veteran working as an insurance investigator visits an elite New England boarding school to find an invaluable, stolen manuscript and soon discovers students are vanishing from campus and investigates with a reporter for the school paper.

MISRULE by Heather Walter – When the woman she loves falls under a curse that not even her vast power can break, Alyce, a dark sorceress, vows to do everything she can to save Princess Aurora, even if it means turning into the monster everyone in Briar believes her to be.

SIREN QUEEN by Nghi Vo – A new novel offers an exploration of an outsider achieving stardom on her own terms, in a fantastical Hollywood where the monsters are real and the magic of the silver screen illuminates every page.

STAR WARS: BROTHERHOOD by Mike Chen – Anakin and Obi-Wan must learn a new way to work together to save Cato Neimoidia when the planet’s fragile neutrality is threatened, dangerously shifting the balance that pushes this world to the brink of war.

BITTER ORANGE TREE by Jokha Alharthi – A young Omani woman attempting to assimilate in Britain reflects on the relationships that have been central to her life in the new novel from the Man Booker International Prize-winning author of Celestial Bodies.

~Semanur

New and Upcoming Graphic Novels

Spring is in the air, the sun is making it’s slow but triumphant return to Northeast Ohio, and there are great new graphic novels being published! We’ve got some stellar new fiction and non-fiction titles making their way to our graphic novels shelves. Below you’ll find five new graphic novels or soon to be published books that you should add to your to-be-read pile ASAP.

The Me You Love in the Dark by Scottie Young

Writer Skottie Young, author of the fantastic I Hate Fairyland series, and artist Jorge Corona, follow up their critically acclaimed series Middlewest with a haunting new tale. An artist named Ro retreats from the grind of the city to an old house in a small town, hoping to find solace and inspiration—only to realize that the muse she finds within may not be what she expected. Fans of Stephen King and Neil Gaiman will enjoy this beautiful, dark, and disturbing story of discovery, love, and terror.

Request the print book here or read it on hoopla here.

Fine by Rhea Ewing

For fans of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and Meg-John Barker’s Queer, Fine is an essential graphic memoir about the intricacies of gender identity and expression. As Rhea Ewing neared college graduation in 2012, they became consumed by the question: What is gender? This obsession sparked a quest in their quiet Midwest town, where they anxiously approached both friends and strangers for interviews to turn into comics. A decade later, their project has exploded into a fantastical and informative portrait of a surprisingly vast community spread across the country.

Fine won’t be out until April, but you can get on hold for the book now!

Karmen by Guillem March

Spanish writer and artist Guillem March, best known for his work on Batman, Catwoman, and Harley Quinn, takes up his pen for a cutting-edge story about a highly unconventional angel named Karmen and the young woman she takes under her wing when heartbreak strikes too hard. Packed with intriguing twists and metaphysical musings, this gorgeously drawn series brings tenderness, heart, and humor to the delicate and difficult matters of life and death that we all face.

Karmen is set to be published early in May, so keep your eyes peeled for this title.

Crushing by Sophie Burrows

This quiet, wordless book is artist and author Burrows’ graphic-novel debut. A young woman, pale and rosy-cheeked with a straight black bob, lives alone in London—except for her cat. One night she runs down to the local kebab and pizza shop in her pajamas and encounters a young man, pale and freckled with floppy red hair, also wearing pajamas. Unfortunately, they don’t notice each other surreptitiously noticing each other and head their separate ways. The story conveys life as a series of small indignities, slight misses, and minor connections but ends on a hopeful note. The backmatter includes mental health organizations and crisis lines and a note from Burrows referencing inspiration from missed connections columns and pandemic isolation. 

Request a copy of Crushing here.

Policing the City: An Ethno-graphic by Didier Fassin and Frederic Debomy; Translated by Rachel Gomme

Adapted from the landmark essay Enforcing Order, this striking graphic novel offers an accessible inside look at policing and how it leads to discrimination and violence. What we know about the forces of law and order often comes from tragic episodes that make the headlines, or from sensationalized versions for film and television. Around the time of the 2005 French riots, anthropologist and sociologist Didier Fassin spent fifteen months observing up close the daily life of an anticrime squad in one of the largest precincts in the Paris region. This ethno-graphic is chilling in the parallels that can be seen in the struggles of Black people in the United States, exemplified by the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Request a copy of Policing the City here.

Happy reading!

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

Here are some of the new books coming to our shelves this week for you to add to your book list!

Listening Still by Anne Griffin – When her parents announce they are retiring from the family business of passing the dead’s last messages to the living, Jeanie Masterson, gifted with the ability to see the dead, finds herself torn between duty, a comfortable marriage, a calling she both loves and hates and her last chance to break free.

The Love of My Life by Rosie Walsh – Emma loves her husband Leo and their young daughter Ruby: she’d do anything for them, but almost everything she’s told them about herself is a lie.

One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle – Still reeling from her mother’s death, Carol embarks on their mother-daughter trip to Positano, Italy, alone, where she encounters her mother in the flesh at 30 years old and must reconcile the mother who knew everything with this young woman who does not yet have a clue.

The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer Smith – After the death of her beloved mother, failed indie singer-songwriter Greta James joins her father on a week-long Alaskan cruise, which becomes a journey of discovery for them both as they work to heal old wounds, giving her confidence she needs to move forward.

Wild Irish Rose by Rhys Bowen – In 1907, after helping distribute clothing to those in need on Ellis Island, Molly discovers, through her policeman husband, that a murder occurred on the island that day and the suspect is the spitting image of her and feels strongly that fate wants her to clear this woman’s name.

Phantom Game by Christine Feehan – The #1 New York Times bestselling author presents this thrilling addition to the suspenseful GhostWalker series in which unbridled passion collides with an unearthly danger.

The Night Shift by Alex Finlay – When four teenage girls are attacked at an ice cream shop in Linden, New Jersey, and only one makes it out alive, which is similar to a case in 1999, an FBI agent must delve into the secrets of both crimes – stirring up memories of teen love and lies – to uncover the truth.

Sundial by Catriona Ward – Rob is forced to make one last trip out to Sundial, her parent’s property in the wild Mojave desert where dark secrets are buried, when a frightening accident in her home reveals a disturbing discovery in her oldest daughter’s bedroom.

The Tobacco Wives by Adele Myers – In 1947 North Carolina, seamstress Maddie Sykes, a dressmaker for Bright Leaf’s most influential women – the wives of powerful tobacco executives, uncovers dangerous truths about this lucrative industry in a place where everyone depends on Big Tobacco to survive.

Abundance: The Inner Path to Wealth by Deepak Chopra – The New York Times best-selling author returns with a guide on how to forge an inner path to abundance, tap into a deeper sense of awareness and become an agent of change in your life.

~semanur

5 New Books to Read in 2022

New year, new books! There are so many great books being published this year and below you’ll find five books that I’m particularly excited for! I can’t wait to read these titles and I hope you’ll get inspired by my picks as well.

In addition to stocking up on new releases in the coming months, this year I’m planning on revisiting some favorite classics as well. I’ll be spending some time with H.P. Lovecraft and Emily Bronte again, while making time to dive into some non-fiction titles and biographies (which is a bit out of my typical reading comfort zone).

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

The award-winning, best-selling author of Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel returns with a novel of art, time, love, and plague that takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon three hundred years later, unfurling a story of humanity across centuries and space. Expected publication: April 2022

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

From the New York Times bestselling author of Mexican Gothic and Velvet Was the Night comes a dreamy reimagining of The Island of Doctor Moreau set against the backdrop of nineteenth-century Mexico. Expected publication: July 2022

Book of Night by Holly Black

#1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black makes her stunning adult debut with Book of Night, a modern dark fantasy of shadowy thieves and secret societies in the vein of Ninth House and The Night Circus. Expected publication: May 2022

Such a Pretty Smile by Kristi DeMeester

A biting novel from an electrifying new voice, Such a Pretty Smile is a heart-stopping tour-de-force about powerful women, angry men, and all the ways in which girls fight against the forces that try to silence them. Expected publication: January 2022

Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty

Set in a Native community in Maine, Night of the Living Rez is a riveting debut collection about what it means to be Penobscot in the twenty-first century and what it means to live, to survive, and to persevere after tragedy. Expected publication: July 2022

What books are you looking forward to checking out this year?

Book Review: The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward

It’s been some time since I read a novel that truly surprised me and Catriona Ward’s The Last House on Needless Street not only surprised me, it astonished me. This strikingly original, difficult, and heartfelt novel disguises itself as a horrific story about a serial killer and a missing child, leading readers down disturbing paths and in all the wrong directions as it slowly but surely reveals itself to be much more.

Told through the perspective of multiple narrators, we follow the life of Ted, a strange and lonely man who lives at the end of the forebodingly named Needless Street. He has boarded up all the windows in his house, which sits at the edge of a deeply wooded park and regularly hosts visits with his estranged daughter. His only friend appears to be his cat Olivia- who is also a narrative voice and is quite charming.

The tale opens on the anniversary of the disappearance of a young girl, a disappearance that Ted was initially suspected of causing, and we also meet the vengeful sister of the missing girl who is still trying to track down her sister’s potential murderer years later. This deeply layered plot is revealed little by little with each chapter, and keen readers will note right off the bat that all is not as it seems with each narrator, and we are clearly not getting a complete picture.

The final few twists of this novel are stunning, and absolutely heartbreaking, making this a standout novel of psychological horror, but also an emotional story of trauma and finally, and most importantly, hope. A detailed author’s note at the end further explains Ward’s excellent work on this story and why this is a very realistic tale of trauma. Highly recommended for fans of deeply woven mysteries, unreliable narrators, and psychological horror.

Note: There are some very upsetting and intense scenes in this novel, particularly depicting animal abuse and child abuse, so please proceed with this trigger warning in mind.

Request a copy here or snag a digital copy here!

Nicole’s Top Ten of 2021

Beowulf: A New Translation by Maria Dahvana Headley– An iconic work of early English literature is updated in Headley’s feminist adaptation, bringing to light elements never before translated into English.

A Hawk in the Woods by Carrie Laben– A suspenseful, dark tale of family trauma, abuse of power, and the bonds of sisterhood that centers on supernaturally gifted twins Abby and Martha Waite and follows Abby’s choices after she discovers she has been diagnosed with late stage melanoma.

The Push by Ashley Audrain– A tense, page-turning psychological drama about the making and breaking of a family and one woman’s deeply affecting and difficult story of motherhood, womanhood, grief, and guilt.

Build Your House Around My Body by Violet Kupersmith– Haunting and inspired, this novel looks at the stories of three women in Vietnam, weaving together Vietnamese folklore and themes of national and racial identity, women’s bodies and their burden, and sweet revenge.

Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke by Eric LaRocca– A standout novella featuring an interesting combination of atypical structure, beautiful writing, and body horror about two women who meet in a queer chat room. This book, and the ending in particular, will keep you thinking long after you finish this short work.

Love and Fury: A Novel of Mary Wollstonecraft by Samantha Silva– An amazingly well-crafted and beautiful historical fiction novel of Mary Wollstonecraft – arguably the world’s first feminist and one of the world’s most influential thinkers. Inspiring and enlightening.

Betty by Tiffany McDaniel– Perhaps my most favorite book of the year, this heartbreaking and remarkable novel is inspired by the life of McDaniel’s own mother. Set in rural Ohio during the 50s, readers follow Betty Carpenter, as she endures terrible discrimination, violence, loss, and love in this luminous and often emotionally difficult book.

The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling– A beautifully written gothic romantic thriller with a dash of magic and horror. Drawing inspiration from such classics as Bluebeard and working the dangerous bridegroom trope, Starling delivers an engaging and tense tale.

The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo– A skillful and fantastical reimagining of The Great Gatsby that reimagines Jordan Baker as a queer Vietnamese immigrant, embellishing upon Fitzgerald’s original plot  with commentary on gender, race, and  sexuality, set in a magical Jazz Age New York.

Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness by Kristen Radtke– A timely and moving meditation on isolation and longing, both as individuals and as a society, delivered in a beautiful graphic novel.

Kanopy Fright Fest Favorites to Watch Now

My favorite time of year has arrived- Halloween season! We’ve got 10 days left until Halloween is here so you’ve got plenty of time to fit in some spooky movie nights with friends and family. Kanopy has shared their “Fright Fest” film selections and there are some really great options for you to stream at home. Don’t forget, Kanopy is an amazing media streaming service that gives you free access to top quality indie films, classics, and documentaries with your Rocky River Public Library card!

I’ve selected my top five terrifying recommendations for you to watch. Take a look below- if you dare.

Audition (1999)

Midsommar (2019)

It Comes At Night (2017)

A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

The Lodge (2020)

What are your favorite films to watch this season? Share in the comments!

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

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

My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham  Jones – Protected by horror movies – especially the ones where the masked killer seeks revenge on a world that wronged them, Jade Daniels, an angry, half-Indian outcast, pulls us into her dark mind when blood actually starts to spill into the waters of Indian lake.

19 Yellow Moon Road by Fern Michaels – Maggie Spritzer and the other members of the Sisterhood investigate The Haven, a commune run by the dubious sons of a disgraced, Ponzi-scheme-running Chicago businessman in the latest novel of the series following Bitter Pill.

The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson – June Jones emerges from her shell to fight for her beloved local library, and through the efforts and support of an eclectic group of library patrons, she discovers life-changing friendships along the way.

The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang – When she suddenly loses her ability to play the violin, Anna Sun must learn to listen to her heart and falls in love with a man her parents disapprove of, forcing her to choose between meeting expectations and finding happiness in who she really is.

Whiplash by Janet Dailey – Returning to the family ranch, Val Champion, whose dreams of a Hollywood acting career have become a nightmare, finds that she is no safer at home when she comes face-to-face with her first and only true love – rodeo man Casey Bozeman.

A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins – Three women unknown to each other are each questioned in connection with the gruesome murder of a young man found on a London houseboat in the new novel by the New York Times best-selling author of The Girl on the Train.

You Can Run by Karen Cleveland – To get her son back, CIA analyst Jill Bailey must do something she thought she’d never do with the help of a hard-hitting journalist, forcing them both to confront their loyalties to family and country.

What the Cat Dragged in by Miranda James – Librarian Charlie Harris and his faithful feline companion, Diesel, have inherited Charlie’s grandfather’s house, along with a deadly legacy: a decades-old crime scene, in an all-new mystery in the New York Times best-selling Cat in the Stacks series.

The Education of Nevada Duncan Carl Weber & C. N. Phillips – Heir to the Duncan and Zuniga crime family fortunes, Nevada Duncan must attend the world’s most elite school for the children of underworld figures where he learns the importance of friendship as an enemy lurks in the shadows who wants what Nevada has.

The Last Guests J. P. Pomare – A wife finds herself racing for answers when the decision to rent out her family vacation home takes a deadly turn.

Revelator by Daryl Gregory – Returning to the backwoods of Tennessee for her grandmother’s funeral, and to check on Sunny, a mysterious 10-year-old girl her grandmother adopted, professional bootlegger Stella soon discovers that Sunny is a direct link to her buried past and her family’s destructive faith.

The Devil You Know by Kit Rocha – Maya, genetically engineered for genius and trained for revolution, vows to stop an operation trading in genetically enhanced children with the help of Gray, who, unable to escape the time bomb in his head, has found his purpose in his final days – keeping Maya safe.

~Semanur