New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

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

The Kaiser’s Web by Steve Berry – Former Justice Department agent Cotton Malone investigates a World War II-era Soviet dossier that exposes crucial intelligence involving a German national election, billions in stolen Nazi wealth and the true fate of Adolf Hitler.

The Russian Cage by Charlaine Harris – A latest entry in a best-selling series finds Lizbeth reluctantly teaming up with her sister and navigating growing Grigori powers to rescue her estranged partner, Prince Eli, from an alternate-world Holy Russian Empire.

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan – An indebted young widow, a freedom-seeking kitchen maid, the wife of a wealthy but unkind man and a trained chef navigating sexism compete for a once-in-a-lifetime spot hosting a BBC cooking program during World War II.

Those Who Are Saved by Alexis Landau – Given hours to report to an internment camp when Nazis occupy France, a Jewish-Russian émigré places her young daughter in the care of a trusted governess before an unexpected opportunity to escape to America leads to a heartbreaking separation.

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder by Joanne Fluke – Racing through springtime orders at The Cookie Jar, Hannah investigates an unexpected number of suspects when her sister, Andrea, is implicated in the murder of Lake Eden’s bullying mayor. By the best-selling author of The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder.

Calder Brand by Janet Dailey – A first installment in a Calder series spin-off is set in the late 1800s and follows the experiences of a vengeful cowboy and an aspiring doctor whose respective ambitions are complicated by past demons and an illegitimate child.

Flowers of Darkness by Tatiana de Rosnay – Moving into an ultra-modern artist residency in scenic Paris, a novelist seeking tranquility in the aftermath of a divorce begins experiencing ominous trepidation about the apartment building and the true agenda of those behind its creation.

Smoke by Joe Ide – Going into hiding in a small California town, unlicensed detective Isaiah confronts a desperate man on the trail of a serial killer, while Dodson accepts a cutthroat advertising internship in his effort to go straight.

The Pegan Diet: 21 Practical Principles for Reclaiming Your Health in a Nutritionally Confusing World
by Mark Hyman – The UltraWellness Center director and best-selling author of The Blood Sugar Solution combines approaches from paleo and vegan lifestyles to outline a balanced, healthful diet that is both satisfying and environmentally responsible.

Intuitive Fasting – The Flexible Four-week Intermittent Fasting Plan to Recharge Your Metabolism and Renew Your Health by Will Cole. Foreword by Gwyneth Paltrow – A guide to intermittent fasting outlines a unique plan that merges the science behind fasting with a holistic approach to eating. By the best-selling author of Ketotarian and The Inflammation Spectrum.

~Semanur

Discover@RRPL – What I’m Eating While I’m Reading

I’m so excited when I get to read a brand-new, brand new book -that is, when I am the first person to check out and read a library copy of a book. Don’t get me wrong, I love to share, but right now I am really enjoying the “new car smell” of the experience. It helps that I’m also really enjoying what’s going on between the book’s fresh covers, as well.

Better Luck Next Time by Julia Clairborne Johnson is set in 1938, in Reno, Nevada at the Flying Leap dude ranch. There, women who are waiting for their divorces to come through can, for a fee, put up stakes for the six weeks it takes for them to declare state residency and file the paperwork legally. While nursing their (sometimes) broken hearts, these women are pampered and catered to by hunky ranch hands like Ward, the narrator of this story, who finds himself torn between the job and, you guessed it, one of the ranch’s visitors. So far, this look at marriage, divorce, friendship, love, and finding yourself, is proving to be engaging and original and is educating me about a slice of American history that I hadn’t known before. Also, it is providing me with plenty of opportunities to laugh out loud along the way. Reserve your copy here!

But, enough about the book. Let’s talk food! It’s been so cold here lately that this weekend I thought I’d conjure some warmth by recreating a cake I made over the summer, a lemon cake that is chock-full of blueberries and covered a cream cheese frosting. I dare you to bake one yourself and take a bite with your eyes closed. You can almost feel the sunshine pouring down on you. I found the recipe online at https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/lemon-blueberry-layer-cake/ but you can find cookbooks by the genius who created this recipe in our catalog! Hope you enjoy. ~Carol

Review of ‘Sorrowland’ by Rivers Solomon – Seminal Gothic Horror

Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon catalog link

Vern flees into the woods to escape the cult she grew up in, heavily pregnant. As she and her babies scrape out a living in the forest, they are pursued by a hellish fiend and the hauntings, visions that afflict her and everyone else belonging to the cult. Her body begins to change, becoming something more, something stronger and faster. When she and her children are forced from the safety of the trees, Vern must reckon with her upbringing and return to the place where it all began.

This excellent Gothic horror novel set in the present day United States features well-drawn characters and a mostly LGBTQ+ and BIPOC cast. Solomon deftly explores themes of identity, transformation of self, human intimacy, and grappling with generational trauma. A salient and incisive addition to the horror genre, this book is a deep meditation on the lasting effects of white supremacy and systemic racism.

For fans of Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, The Changeling by Victor Lavalle, Beloved by Toni Morrison, and Kindred by Octavia Butler.

Look for Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon on May 4, 2021. Click the book cover above to be taken to our catalog, where you can place an advance hold with your library card number and PIN.

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC (advance reader copy)!

Discover@RRPL.org

Our Darkest Night: A Novel of Italy and the Second World War

by Jennifer Robson

 

Antonina Mazin, a young woman living in Venice with her father plans to become a doctor like him. However, in 1942-1943, it is illegal for Jews to practice medicine. In order to keep safe, with the help of a local priest and family friend Antonina assumes a new identity, Nina. Posing as the wife of Nicco Gerardi, Nina moves into his family’s home on a rural farm. All of a sudden, the “city girl” is expected to help with chores, cooking, cleaning, etc. At first their “marriage” is a sham, but eventually Nicco and Nina fall in love. Nicco works for the Resistance, helping other Jews escape, and is eventually arrested. A local Nazi official is suspicious of Nina from the beginning and eventually digs deep enough to learn her true identity. She is arrested and sent to a concentration camp. 

A novel of acceptance, survival, sacrifice and kindness. I highly recommend this novel to fans of WWII historical fiction.

~Emma

 

 

Discover@rrpl.org

Glamour Girls: A Novel

by Marty Wingate

 

As a  teenager, farmer’s daughter Rosalie Wright wanted to become a pilot. She was encouraged by her father. During WWII, Rosalie got her wish. she became a second officer transporting aircraft cross-country for the British Air Transport Auxiliary. These pilots never saw action but suffered hardships and losses. Rosalie falls in love with an RAF pilot, Alan Chersey, but isn’t certain of their future together. Another pilot nicknamed Snug is also interested in her. After marriage women would be expected to quit flying, but that is definitely not Rosalie’s plan.  

The novel is inspired by real-life pilot Mary Wilkins Ellis and the other female WWII pilots (168 in total) who became known as Attagirls. This is a story of family, friendship, adventure and romance.

~Emma

 

Readalikes for The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

The Paris Library catalog link

This week in our readalikes corner, it’s libraries, libraries, libraries! It’s a little self-indulgent on our part, but to be fair, The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles is one of the most-requested books on our holds lists. Based on a true story, [the book] describes how a lonely, 1980s teenager befriends an elderly neighbor and uncovers her past as a librarian at the American Library in Paris who joined the Resistance when the Nazis arrived.

Sounds really interesting, right? Click the book cover up above to put a hold on it in our catalog.

But you might have to wait a while (it comes out on February 8, 2021), so we’ve curated a list of books that you might like to try in the meantime. 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. We’ve also included links to our e-media services Overdrive and Hoopla where available. 

Lions of Fifth Avenue catalog link

The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis

A New York Public LIbrary superintendent’s wife reevaluates her priorities upon joining a woman’s suffrage group in 1913, decades before her granddaughter’s efforts to save an exhibit expose tragic family secrets.

Lions of Fifth Avenue Overdrive link



The Archivist catalog link

The Archivist by Martha Cooley

A battle of wills between Matt, a careful, orderly archivist for a private university, and Roberta, a determined young poet, over a collection of T. S. Eliot’s letters, sealed by bequest until 2019, sparks an unusual friendship and reawakens painful memories of the past.

The Archivist Overdrive link

People of the Book catalog link

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

In 1996, Hanna Heath, a young Australian book conservator is called to analyze the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a priceless six-hundred-year-old Jewish prayer book that has been salvaged from a destroyed Bosnian library. When Hanna discovers a series of artifacts in the centuries’ old binding, she unwittingly exposes an international cover up.

People of the Book Overdrive link

Book Woman of Troublesome Creek catalog link

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

A last-of-her-kind outcast and member of the Pack Horse Library Project braves the hardships of Kentucky’s Great Depression and hostile community discrimination to bring the near-magical perspectives of books to her neighbors.

Book Woman Overdrive link

Book Woman Hoopla link

The Library Book catalog link

The Library Book by Susan Orlean 

The author reopens the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in American history, and delivers a dazzling love letter to a beloved institution: our libraries.

The Library Book Overdrive link




All plot summaries courtesy of Novelist.

Discover@RRPL

Dear Miss Kopp

by Amy Stewart

The sisters are separated during this time but each is doing their part for the war effort. They share their adventures with each other through letters. Fleurette performs with “May Ward and her 8 Dresden Dolls”, a real-life vaudeville act, for servicemen. Constance pursues German spies. Norma is part of the Army Signal Corps and serves as manager for the carrier pigeon project. The pigeons are trained to relay military messages to the front. Norma also helps her nurse roommate, Aggie, who has been wrongly accused of stealing medical supplies from the American Field hospital.

The 6th entry in the Kopp Sisters series is a quick fun read. I highly recommend reading the whole series in order.

Kopp Sisters series

  1. Girl Waits with Gun (2015)
  2. Lady Cop Makes Trouble (2016)
  3. Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions (2017)
  4. Miss Kopp Just Won’t Quit (2018)
  5. Kopp Sisters on the March (2019)
  6. Dear Miss Kopp (2021)
  7. Miss Kopp Investigates (2021)

~Emma

Discover@RRPL

Leonard and Hungry Paul: A Novel

by Ronan Hession

Best friends Leonard and Hungry Paul, bachelors in their 30’s, enjoy quiet walks, playing board games, and staying close to home. Leonard, who recently inherited his family’s home, writes articles for children’s encyclopedias. Hungry Paul is a substitute mailman who lives at home with his parents who are busy planning their daughter’s wedding. Leonard is interested in a young woman at work and hopes a romance can progress even though their initial encounters have been awkward. Hungry Paul enters a slogan contest for his local business community and wins. This opens up a new opportunity for Hungry Paul which will hopefully help him move forward with his life in new ways.

This is an enjoyable gentle story. It’s a tale of best friends who are genuinely happy for each other’s successes and challenges.

~Emma

What We’re Reading Now

The Children’s Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin

I am currently reading The Children’s Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin. It’s January 1888
on the Nebraska-Dakota border when an unseasonably warm day turns into a deadly blizzard just when school lets out for the day. Despite heroic efforts 235+ people died that day. Also, I am just starting Leonard and Hungry Paul by Ronan Hession. Leonard writes articles for children’s encyclopedias. Paul is a substitute postman. These good friends both in their 30’s live in the parents’ homes. They meet regularly to play board games. I know there’s more to come since this book was highly recommended by a co-worker. Emma

The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss

I’m listening to The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss. Not only is the French Revolutionary history itself fascinating, but the author reveals the travel and effort he put into the research. This book is about the novelist Alexandre Dumas’s father who was also named Alexandre Dumas. The senior Dumas was the son of a French aristocrat and a Caribbean African slave. He achieved the rank of General in the French military, for a time equal to the up and coming Napoleon. How did this happen? I was clueless about the Civil Rights Movement in Paris in the mid 1700s that allowed former slaves and children of slaves freedom, education, and position in society. This was specific to Paris, did not apply to the American colonies, and the progress would later be undone by a new wave of racist policies. Still, General Dumas was an adventurous swordsman and leader of the cavalry who would repeatedly inspire characters in his son’s novels including the betrayal faced by Edmond Dante in The Count of Monte Cristo. Byron

The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis

I started reading The Queen’s Gambit shortly after seeing that Netflix has released a new series based on the book. I had seen some very positive reviews of the book and learned that the author, Walter Tevis, also wrote the novels, and excellent Paul Newman films, The Color of Money and The Hustler. However, I was skeptical that competitive chess would be edge-of-your-seat thrilling material, but The Queen’s Gambit is as much a story of loneliness, addiction, and genius as it is of chess. Had The Queen’s Gambit been just a book about chess, then I would have still been wrong because the chess bits are thrilling. Trent

The Secret Chapter by Genevieve Cogman

Agent of the Library Irene is sent to obtain a certain book by any means necessary and is drawn into an art heist, complete with a rag tag team of misfits, carefully laid plans, and secret island lairs. This new chapter in the Invisible Library series is a fun romp through heist movie tropes, with a twist.
Shannon

The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington by Leonora Carrington

I have just finished The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington and loved every second of it. Written by the artist and author Leonora Carrington (1917-2011) this collection of stories spans throughout her career. The surreal stories within were best enjoyed when I allowed the narrative to unfold with their own internal dreamlike logic. A great introduction to Carrington’s work. Greg

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Linus Baker is a by-the-book case worker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. He’s tasked with determining whether six dangerous magical children are likely to bring about the end of the world. Arthur Parnassus is the master of the orphanage. He would do anything to keep the children safe, even if it means the world will burn. This book is about a group of magic-filled children, seen as utter misfits by the world, but you will immediately fall in love with each and every one of them. It is about two kind, smart, and brave men who stumble forward into a friendship and gentle love. As TJ Klune has said himself, “it’s important, now more than ever, to have accurate, positive queer representation in stories”. Finally, it is about the false promise of blind faith and the courage to challenge that promise. I simply love this book. I implore you to read it now, you will not regret it. Mary

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

I just started reading this book on the enthusiastic recommendation of a friend and am very much enjoying this weird and riveting story thus far. Written by one of Japan’s most highly regarded novelists, this book follows Toru Okada as he searches for his wife’s missing cat in a Tokyo suburb. He soon finds himself looking for his wife as well in a strange underworld that lies beneath the surface of Tokyo, full of odd and sometimes menacing people. I have no idea how this will end but look forward to getting there! Nicole

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

Once upon a time, all women had a little magic- a few words to make dishes sparkle, a rhyme to mend a seam. And some knew stronger things, such as a spell to break a fever, dry up a cough, or help a woman through a difficult labor. But that all changed with the Salem witch trials. Witches were burned at the stake with their children watching; witchcraft was deemed illegal, and women were treated worse than ever with no power to protect themselves. But witching was never completely gone. It was passed on by grandmothers and mothers in fairy tales and innocent sounding nursery rhymes that were actually spells. Spells that could work magic if a woman had the words, the way, and the will. Led by the three Eastwood sisters (magical things always come in threes), the downtrodden women of New Salem have enough will to make up for any lack of words or ways, and they are determined to bring real magic back into the world to set right some of the many, many wrongs they have suffered at the hands of men. Sara

Readalikes for The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

The Four Winds catalog link

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah doesn’t come out until February 1, but it’s already topping the library’s holds lists. That’s the power of Kristin Hannah, author of bestselling novels The Nightingale and The Great Alone, so it’s understandable that you’ll be chomping at the bit to read Hannah’s newest novel! Rather than World War II or the 1970s, the Four Winds is set during the Great Depression:

Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as the crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all. One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance.

In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life. The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American Dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.

Your friendly librarians have selected the following books as readalikes for The Four Winds, whether that is because of setting, tone, character, or other factors. You can find the Four Winds on Overdrive here. 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. We’ve also included links to our e-media services Overdrive and Hoopla where available. 

I Will Send Rain catalog link

I Will Send Rain by Rae Meadows

In 1934, as the earliest storms of the Dust Bowl descend on the Bell farm in Mulehead, Oklahoma, Annie Bell and her husband and children struggle against hardship as the wheat harvest dries out and people around them pack up to leave.




Promise catalog link

Promise by Gwin Minrose

Barely surviving an F5 tornado that rips through her 1936 Mississippi hometown, an African-American laundress and great-grandmother searches for her family among the catastrophe’s survivors while bonding with the traumatized teen daughter of a despised white judge.

Promise Overdrive link



Some Luck catalog link

Some Luck Jane Smiley

Follows the triumphs and tragedies of a farm family from post-World War I America through the early 1950s.

Some Luck Overdrive link




A Piece of the World catalog link

A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline

To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family’s remote farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Instead, for more than twenty years, she was host and inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth, and became the subject of one of the best known American paintings of the twentieth century.

A Piece of the World Overdrive link

A Piece of the World Hoopla link

By Starlight catalog link

By Starlight by Dorothy Garlock

In early 1930s Montana, in the small town of Colton, Maddy Aldridge struggles to make ends meet during the Great Depression. With her mother long dead, her stubborn younger sister fighting her at every turn, and her father’s arthritis deteriorating so badly that she has to run the family store alone, her desperation grows by the day. Enter Jeffers Grimm with a proposition too great for her to turn down: open an illegal speakeasy in the mercantile’s basement, defy Prohibition, and make enough money to make her worries disappear. 

By Starlight Overdrive link

All readalike plot summaries courtesy of Novelist, The Four Winds summary courtesy of author’s website.