New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

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

Cover image for Aftershocks : a memoir

Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu – An award-winning essayist combines literary memoir and cultural history to examine her personal struggles with her mixed-heritage identity and the emotional trauma of her mother’s abandonment and father’s dark secrets.

Cover image for The captive : a novel

The Captive by Fiona King Foster – A woman with elite skills from her violent past travels with her family and an escaped criminal through a harsh winter landscape to claim a bounty and safeguard her loved ones from murderous rivals.

Cover image for Detransition, Baby

Baby Detransition by Torrey Peters – A trans woman, her detransitioned ex and his cisgender lover build an unconventional family together in the wake of heartbreak and an unplanned pregnancy, in a debut by the author of the novella, Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones.

Cover image for The children's blizzard : a novel

The Children’s Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin – The best-selling author of The Aviator’s Wife draws on oral histories of the Great Plains blizzard of 1888 to depict the experiences of two teachers, a servant and a reporter who risk everything to protect the children of immigrant homesteaders.

Cover image for The Lost Boys: A Decker/Lazarus Novel

The Lost Boys by Faye Kellerman – Detectives Peter Decker and Tyler McAdams link two suspicious disappearances from an assisted living facility to the case of three missing campers, before the reappearance of a foster son’s biological mother upends Decker’s home life.

Cover image for Sleep well, my lady

Sleep Well, My Lady by Kwei Quartey – PI Emma Djan investigates the death of a Ghanaian fashion icon and social media celebrity, Lady Araba, who was found murdered days after breaking up with her boyfriend, a womanizing talk-show host.

Cover image for Saving justice : truth, transparency, and trust

Saving Justice: Truth, Transparency, and Trust by James Comey – The former FBI Director and best-selling author of A Higher Loyalty, uses his long career in federal law enforcement to explore issues of justice and fairness in the U.S. justice system.

Cover image for The Forever Girl

The Forever Girl by Jill Shalvis – Returning to her hometown to attend an estranged friend’s wedding, Maze navigates unexpected secrets with her childhood circle of friends while discovering that she still has feelings for a long-ago crush.

Cover image for The scorpion's tail : a Nora Kelly novel

The Scorpion’s Tail by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child – A sequel to Old Bones finds FBI agent Corrie Swanson and Santa Fe archaeologist Nora Kelly investigating the mummified corpse of a long-dead victim who died in agony while holding a mysterious 16th-century gold cross.

Cover image for Spin

Spin by Patricia Daniels Cornwell – Captain Calli Chase races against time to thwart a plot that leaves the fate of humanity hanging in the balance.

~Semanur

Discover a New Book Club @RRPL

Some amazing news for 2021 – Roxane Gay is starting The Audacious Book Club and inviting all interested parties to join! Roxane is an award winning fiction and non-fiction author, Twitter goddess and New York Times op-ed contributor. Her books include Bad Feminist, Hunger, Difficult Women, An Untamed State and Black Panther graphic novels. Roxane is brainy, funny, and pointedly insightful.

She’s already announced the list of books but there’s not a lot of details. I’ll keep you posted when I find out more so we can read and explore the titles together with Roxane on future Mondays. First, though, get a copy of January’s title, Black Futures.

JanuaryBlack Futures, edited by Jenna Wortham and Kimberly Drew (Week of 1/25)
FebruaryDetransition, Baby by Torrey Peters (Week of 2/22)
MarchThe Removed by Brandon Hobson (Week of 3/22)
AprilMilk Blood Heat by Dantiel W. Moniz (Week of 4/26)
MayLibertie by Kaitlyn Greenridge (Week of 5/24)
JuneOf Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia (Week of 6/21)
JulyThe Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade (Week of 7/26)
AugustSomebody’s Daughterby Ashley C. Ford (Week of 8/23)
SeptemberThe Renunciations by Donika Kelly (Week of 9/20)
OctoberThe Heart Principle by Helen Hoang (Week of 10/25)
NovemberSometimes I Trip on How Happy We Could Be by Nichole Perkins (Week of 11/22)
DecemberAfterparties by Anthony Veasna So (Week of 12/13)

~ Dori

Discover Your 2021 Reading Goals

Like many other librarians and avid readers, I have set a reading goal for myself each January for at least the past decade. The book number tends to steadily increase, though I’ve stuck to 50 books for the last couple years. 50 books seemed daunting when I first set that goal, but after realizing I should count everything I read (not just novels) it was definitely an attainable goal. Between the single issue comics I regularly pick up and the plethora of cookbooks I seem to always have checked out, I’m able to get to my goal without too much trouble. This year I’m planning to revisit some old favorites for second or third readings (looking at your American Gods) in addition to a good variety of newly published titled and new to me titles.

If you are someone who hasn’t set a reading goal before, or perhaps you’ve struggled with not completing your goal, I’m here to encourage you to give it another try! Most importantly to remind you- if you are setting this reading goal for fun, because you enjoy reading, then make sure you have FUN! I have plenty of friends who seem to beat themselves up for not reading more, but your reading habits aren’t for any awards or competition. Read what you like, as often as you like. If that means 5 books a year, then that is fabulous!

I often hear people putting pressure on themselves to read “important” books. Just the other day my husband semi-jokingly said “2021 will be the year I read Crime and Punishment!” as he grabbed the Dostoevsky classic off our home bookshelf. Is he actually going to read this book? Probably not. Is it a book that he might feel he is supposed to read because #literature? Yes. But who really cares about all that? If all you want to read in 2021 is romantic comedies, cozy mysteries, or heartwarming dog stories, then you do you.

This year, as I ease back into my routine after some relaxing time sequestering myself away during the holidays, I’m looking at what I am most excited to read in the coming months. Below you will find some of the soon-to-be published titles I cannot wait to read in 2021!

The Removed by Brandon Hobson

A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Peaces by Helen Oyeyemi

Getaway by Zoje Stage (no cover art available)

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

Star Eater by Kerstin Hall

Poison Flowers and Pandemonium by Richard Sala

If you are a horror fan like me I highly recommend checking out this awesome post from Emily Hughes on the Tor Nightfire blog- you can see all the horror books being published in 2021 in a handy dandy month by month list! *heart-eyes emoji*

2020 was obviously a difficult year, and even though there is a light at the end of the tunnel for 2021, we aren’t out of the woods yet so be kind to yourself and read what brings you joy and happiness. What are you most excited to read this year? Share in the comments below!

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!

Better Luck Next Time by Julia Claiborne Johnson – A follow-up to the best-selling Be Frank with Me follows the experiences of a former Yale student whose life at a 1930s Reno divorce ranch is upended by a shy woman and a thrice-divorced pilot.

Martha Stewart’s Very Good Things: Simple Tips and Genius Ideas for an Easier and More Beautiful Life
by Martha Stewart – The premier American lifestyle expert and television personality shares practical tips and clever solutions for making life easier and more delicious such as infusing vinegar with herb blossoms and using lip balm to free a stuck zipper.

The Prophets by Robert Jr. Jones – Two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation find refuge in each other while transforming a quiet shed into a haven for their fellow slaves, before an enslaved preacher declares their bond sinful.

All the Colors of Night by Jayne Anne Krentz – A sequel to The Vanishing finds a young man with rare crystal-energy abilities partnering with a disgraced paranormal artifacts finder to track down a mysterious relic that may be tied to a parent’s sudden coma.

Neighbors by Danielle Steel – Opening her home to neighbors in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake, a reclusive woman inadvertently triggers events that reveal secrets, divide relationships and forge new bonds among strangers. By the best-selling author of All That Glitters.

American Traitor by Brad Taylor – Assisting a witness’s flight from murderous foreign agents, Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill uncover a plot to trigger a war between China and Taiwan by destabilizing the latter’s government and digital defenses.

The Push by Ashley Audrain – A devoted mother with a painful past gradually realizes that something is very wrong with her daughter, a fear that is complicated by her husband’s dismissive views and the birth of a healthy son.

Twenty by James Grippando – A nightmarish shooting at their daughter’s school finds Jack Swyteck and his law-enforcement officer wife, Andie, investigating a chief suspect’s alleged ties to Al Qaeda amid growing anti-Muslim fervor.

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins – Supplementing her modest income by stealing small valuables from her gated-community clients, a broke dog-walker endeavors to win the heart of a wealthy bachelor before learning his late wife’s own rags-to-riches story.

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour – An unambitious college graduate accepts a job at Sumwun, the hottest NYC startup, and reimagines himself as “Buck” a ruthless salesman and begins to hatch a plan to help young people of color infiltrate America’s sales force.

Bone Canyon by Lee Goldberg – A sequel to Lost Hills finds Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide detective Eve Ronin investigating the cold-case disappearance and death of a woman whose remains are found in the aftermath of a Santa Monica Mountains fire.

~Semanur~

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

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

Hush-Hush by Stuart Woods – New York City cop turned Manhattan law firm rainmaker, Stone Barrington, lands in hot water in a highly anticipated latest installment in the best-selling series by the Edgar Award-winning author of Chiefs .

Wrong Alibi by Christina Dodd – Sentenced to life in prison for a murder she did not commit, 18-year-old Evelyn escapes and works under an alias at a wilderness camp, where her chance at revenge is complicated by a former employer’s mysterious connections.

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict – Claiming amnesia after going missing for more than a week in late 1926, up-and-coming mystery author Agatha Christie pens a chilling story that brashly implicates her war-hero husband. By the author of The Other Einstein.

Under the Alaskan Ice by Karen Harper – A sequel to Deep in the Alaskan Woods finds a young widow assisting a pilot in the wake of a bush plane crash, before an unknown adversary begins sabotaging the pilot’s investigation in the Alaskan wilderness.

The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher – An off-kilter narrator witnesses the slow unraveling of a couple’s strained marriage that erupts in unexpected ways, in a chilling tale of domestic suspense by the best-selling author of The Wives 

Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane – Darby Kane thrills with this twisty domestic suspense novel that asks one central question: shouldn’t a dead husband stay dead?

The Case for Keto: Rethinking Weight Control and the Science and Practice of Low-carb/High-Fat Eating by Gary Taubes – The best-selling author of Why We Get Fat and The Case Against Sugar reveals why the established rules about eating healthy might be the wrong approach to weight loss for millions of people, and how low-carbohydrate, high-fat/ketogenic diets can help so many of us achieve and maintain a healthy weight for life.

The Dark Archive by Genevieve Cogman – A professional spy for a mysterious Library which harvests fiction from different realities, Irene faces a series of assassination attempts that threaten to destroy her and everything she has worked for.

Watch Her by Edwin Hill – Investigating a suspicious burglary and the disappearances of Prescott University alumni, Harvard librarian Hester Thursby and Detective Angela White uncover financial transgressions, rumors of infidelity and a decades-old tragedy. By the author of Little Comfort.

Olive Bright, Pigeoneer by Stephanie Graves – Tending her veterinarian father’s Hertfordshire racing pigeons while waiting for her best friend to return from World War II, Olive is recruited into the Baker Street covert branch of British Intelligence before investigating the murder of a local busybody.

~Semanur~

Dori’s Top Ten of 2020

Yikes – what a year, right? I’ve been caught between not being able to focus on reading at all, with my concentration as slippery as an eel, and total and complete immersion in a book, with a desire to never leave!

What that means in terms of the quantity of books read is that I did not read a lot, but those that I did read I sunk into and they felt like the perfect book to read at the time. Lots of historical fiction, a graphic novel, essays about nature and climate change, and an endearing fable all provided me with an outlet, an escape, or an insightful way to get through this year. I hope you found similar ways to take your mind off 2020. Here’s to getting to 2021!

Hamnet: a Novel of the Plague by Maggie O’Farrell: a story about the family of William Shakespeare and the death of his young son, Hamnet, from the plague. The best of historical fiction, O’Farrell tells us the story from multiple perspectives, focusing on Shakespeare’s wife, Agnes.

The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel: sad, but expected, the fascinating trilogy about Thomas Cromwell had to end, but it was a riveting journey.

Weather by Jenny Offill: I read this early in pandemic shutdown time and it just was a perfect fit – a meditative look at a woman and her family and her future; funny and prescient.

Optic Nerve by Maria Gainza: this is the kind of book that I love – it’s narrated by an art historian in Argentina and each chapter she talks about a piece of art that she’s affected by and weaves the story of the artist and artwork into stories about her life and family in Argentina.

Perestroika in Paris by Jane Smiley: ok, this may seem like a silly book, a book with talking animals, but it’s not at all cheesy, or sickly sweet. It’s Smiley writing well, a lovely story about what all of us need, love, freedom, respect, and to dream.

Run Me to Earth by Paul Yoon: I love Yoon’s writing; his latest is set in Cambodia and we see the effects of the U.S. bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War through the eyes of the 3 friends.

Trieste by Dasa Drndic: I picked this up because it was on my list to discard from the collection, then I read about it and took it home and became immersed in the story. I have read many things about the Holocaust, but this one has a new perspective – it’s fiction, but uses historical facts to tell the story of the Holocaust in Northern Italy and children removed from their parents. Challenging but worth it.

Sapiens: A Graphic History, The Birth of Humankind (Vol. 1) by Yuval Noah Harari, Daniel Casanave,  and David Vandermeulen: This book is based on the author’s book Sapiens, which I never read (but should now) and is volume 1 of the story of the evolution of humanity – clever and eye-opening.

Writers & Lovers by Lily King: King’s Euphoria was a favorite of mine a few years back; this one is altogether different – set in the present, a woman writer finding her way.

Vesper Flights by Helen MacDonald: MacDonald’s H is for Hawk took the world by storm and this new book of collected essays continues with her focus on the natural world and climate change, with glorious writing to boot.

A joyful holiday season to all –

~ Dori

Top FifTEeN of 2020 (Heh! No one will notice the extra five, right?)

This has been an unusual year (such an understatement!) and (not shockingly) it’s translated to what I wound up reading this year… (so much insight!) But like every previous year, it was a struggle to decide which books and why. Hopefully you’ll find a new book to try or you’ll have a happy “oh! meeee too!” moment! (Bonus comments in parentheses because you can’t see me doing eyerolls at myself. Enjoy!)

Now let’s get on to the goods, in alphabetical order by author, The Books:

Adult Fiction

Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders by Tessa Arlen

It felt like reading an excellent BBC series: engaging characters, smart mystery, and a great WWII time/place setting. The second book in the series will be out before the end of the year: Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers! (Historical Mystery)

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Mr. Backman can write a likable,  curmudgeonly character like few can but this book is really more of an ensemble journey and each character has their own quirky personality. The beginning is a little dark but quickly becomes an uplifting story of how individuals can build their own supportive community. (General Fiction)

Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown

Just like when you hear about any picture of a perfect wife, husband, or marriage, it becomes clear there is no such thing as perfect. Quiet and thoughtful, suspenseful and satisfying, this book was everything I wanted it to be. (General Fiction)

Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline

I loved Ready Player One and was a little worried the sequel wouldn’t live up to the original, what a waste of a decent worry! All the pop culture references, interesting future-thinking ideas, and plenty of exciting plot twists, this is *chef’s kiss* a delight! Fun extra -the IRL setting is Columbus, Ohio!(General Fiction/Science Fiction)

Weather by Jenny Offill

Odd, quirky, sometimes uncomfortable, and completely engaging. If you’re looking for a book short on pages and long on impact, this might be the one for you! (Literary Fiction)

Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia

Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts was on my list last year and prompted me to read this older title by the same author. Yep, just as good! It’s a long-game mystery with shades of The Shining suspense. (Mystery)

The Daughters of Erietown by Connie Schultz

The family relationships, the wanting to be a part of something while also needing to be an individual, watching how society’s views on a variety of topics changed with the decades, all made each page of this book a pleasure. If you grew up in a small town, you’ll feel this story that much more deeply. (General Fiction)

Fortune Favors the Dead by Stephen Spotswood

Mix a little Thin Man, Nick and Nora, with a little Mickey Spillane, add a female Sherlock Holmes and Watson, put World War II espionage into the background, and you’ll get close to understanding why you want to read this next. It’s a debut and I’m typing this with my fingers crossed that the second book will be coming soon! (Historical Mystery)

Mr. Nobody by Catherine Steadman

This author consistently connects her characters and action in smart and surprising ways, with conclusions that are unexpected and satisfying. I’ve only listened to the audio versions of Ms. Steadman’s books, and I don’t plan to change that, it’s like hearing a radio drama with all the sound effects a listener could hope for! (Mystery)

Set My Heart to Five by Simon Stephenson

Charming and insightful, this is the story of a “bot” who has a degree of self-awareness that he needs to seek therapy before going on a journey to fulfill his dreams. It’s not a simple journey as he needs to hide his true nature as our society is prejudiced against AI and are as likely to attack him as help him. You might shed a tear or two along the way, but it’s worth it. (General Fiction)

Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots

If you like superhero/supervillain movies or you’ve watched The Boys on Amazon Prime, you will love every page of this book. Anna shows some small but special abilities with numbers but she’s tired of being a contract worker for whichever villain needs temporary help. Offered what seemed to be an easy and high paying gig changed everything, just not for the better. With engaging characters, interesting thoughts on how we think of good vs. evil, and some really clever surprises, this book checked all the boxes for me this year. (General or Science Fiction)

Adult Nonfiction

Barnstorming Ohio to Understand America  by David Giffels

The 2020 General Election may have cost Ohio our “bellwether state” title but if you want a better understanding of how one state can represent so much of the entire USA, this book is the one to read. The author uses his own travels to different locations and conversations with individuals to make each experience engaging for the reader. (Nonfiction)

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

I’m embarrassed to say this is the first book I’ve read by Mr. Gladwell but this book sent me off on a “what else” deep dive, and now I’m a die-hard fan. I learned so much but reading the book felt more like I was reading a series of short, connected, stories. If you pick this one up, we can talk about how crazy it is that our brain defaults to what we want to believe even when the facts show a different reality. Just, so good!

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman

Individually, they are funny and the laughs only increase as they tell how they became a couple. I listened to the audio version and highly recommend this option as Megan and Nick are the readers -it starts to feel like you’re in a candid conversation with new friends.

Teen Fiction

The Darkness Duology: Courting Darkness and Igniting Darkness by Robin LaFevers

The characters and setting are part of the His Fair Assassin series, and it feels like catching up with old friends (who can kick some serious hiney). Sybella must protect her younger sisters from being used as political pawns while also trying to keep the new Queen safe from enemies within the Royal House. The author always provides such strong women as main characters but remembers to give them flaws and quirks so they remain relatable. Ms. LaFevers never disappoints! (Historical Mystery)

Of course, I also think pretty highly of the books I suggested for the RRPL Gift Guide -ya know- and I might be counting those books as part of a bigger list for the year? Anyway… Happy Holidays, with books and snackies, for all!!

-Stacey

Shannon’s Top Ten of 2020

It’s been a hell of a year, and I don’t blame any of you for not reading as much as you wanted to – we’re all just trying to survive 2020 at this point! One of my pandemic activities has been to read lots of books, so it was a little difficult to pick my Top Ten, but I think I got a pretty good list. It has a lot of science fiction and fantasy (which I’m sure no one is surprised by) but also a thriller, a graphic novel, historical fiction, and horror.

Click any of the book covers below to be taken to our catalog, where you can request a copy of the book with your library card number and PIN.

Ninth House catalog link

10. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Survivor Song catalog link

9. Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay

The City We Became catalog link

8. The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin


The Bone Ships catalog link

7. The Bone Ships by R. J. Barker

Mexican Gothic catalog link

6. Mexican Gothic by Silva Moreno-Garcia

Fangs catalog link

5. Fangs by Sarah Andersen


When No One is Watching catalog link

4. When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

3. The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

The Starless Sea catalog link

2. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern


And last but certainly not least, my number one book of 2020 is… drumroll please….

Gideon the Ninth catalog link

1. Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Hands down, Gideon the Ninth is the best book I read this year (even though technically it’s from 2019) – if you love science fiction, you’ve got to read this book!

Stay on the lookout this week for Top Ten posts from other staff members!

Mary’s Top 10 of 2020

While I fell short of my personal reading challenge this year, I can say my top ten books of this year I thoroughly enjoyed. The Ferrante quartet I simply fell in love with, the historical fiction choices captured the details of the time period with eloquence, the thrillers kept me engaged and the nonfiction moved me beyond words. I took my time with each book and found moments of pause and new meaning in a world that can be overwhelming, and admiration and gratitude for sharing their story, albeit fiction or truth. Happy holidays and my best for a peaceful and bright 2021.

Review: 'The Story of the Lost Child' by Elena Ferrante - Chicago Tribune