New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

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

Fierce Little Thing by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore – Five friends are blackmailed into returning to the cult where they were raised to face their shared monstrous secret.

Women’s March, The: A Novel of the 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession by Jennifer Chiaverini – Inspired by actual events, this novel offers a fascinating account of a crucial but little-remembered moment in American history that follows three courageous women who bravely risked their lives and liberty in the fight to win the vote.

Devil in Disguise by Lisa Kleypas – A young window, Lady Merritt Sterling, tries to avoid London society scandals while running her late husband’s shipping business, but her sensible plans disappear when she meets a rugged Scotch whisky distiller who is running from danger.

The Forbidden by Heather Graham – When a real murder occurs on set, actress Avalon Morgan is led to the darkest corners of the internet where killers confess their crimes—a discovery that puts her in the path of a killer and in the arms of an FBI agent working the case.

Godspeed by Nickolas Butler – The principals of True Triangle Construction seem willing to do anything to get their promised payday from a mysteriously wealthy homeowner for a project in Jackson, Wyoming in the new novel from the best-selling and award-winning author of Shotgun Lovesongs.

Just One Look by Lindsay Cameron – After taking a thankless job as a temp at a law firm, Cassie Woodson begins reading the personal emails between a partner and his enchanting wife and becomes so obsessed with the pair, she plots to take her place.

Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena – When their parents are brutally murdered the night after Easter dinner, three siblings, who stand to inherit millions, are devastated but also wonder if one of them is capable of murder or if a stranger was responsible for tearing this not-so-happy family apart.

Robert Ludlum’s the Bourne Treachery by Brian Freeman – A lone operative working in the shadows for Treadstone, Jason Bourne engages in a cat-and-mouse game with Lennon across the British countryside in an attempt to prevent another assassination—a mission that calls into question everything he thought he knew about the past.

A Good Day for Chardonnay by Darynda Jones – The sheriff of a small-town police force in the New Mexico mountains tackles a crazy bar fight and her teenager hunting a serial killer in the second novel of the series following A Bad Day for Sunshine.

Unthinkable by Brad Parks – Kidnapped by the head of a powerful secret society who believes he can stop millions of people from dying, Nate Lovejoy, a self-proclaimed nobody and stay-at-home dad, must do the unthinkable to save the world.

A Song Everlasting by Ha Jin – Yao Tan, a popular singer, is placed on a government blacklist and can never return to China after performing at a private gig sponsored by a supporter of Taiwan’s secession, in the new novel from the award-winning author of Waiting.

Three Words for Goodbye by Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb – Estranged sisters Clara and Madeleine Sommers reunite to honor their grandmother’s dying wish—to travel across Europe together and deliver three farewell letters, a journey during which they are constantly at odds with each other until a shocking family secret brings them closer than ever before.

~Semanur

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The Berlin Girl

by Mandy Robotham

It’s 1938 when London journalists Georgie Young and Max Spencer are assigned to Berlin. Their job is to report on events as Hitler’s Germany marches toward war. The freedoms and rights of the Jewish people are quickly disappearing. Georgie hires Rubin Amsel as her driver. Rubin and his wife Sara are Jewish. Sara’s brother Elias is handicapped, and the Nazis are anxious to house those they consider undesirable in prison camps like Sachsenhausen near Berlin. When Elias is taken away, Rubin and his wife Sara send their children away to England to keep them safe. Soon Georgie captures the attention of Kasper, a Nazi officer. They go out a few times and Georgie hopes to garner information to obtain freedom for Elias. When Max is taken into Nazi custody and as he is being transferred to Sachsenhausen, Georgie helps him escape.

Georgie and Max recognized the danger of the Nazi government and tried to warn what was to come in their articles sent back to London. Many turned a blind eye. This is a book for anyone interested in pre-war Germany.

~Emma

Review of She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan book cover and catalog link

In an exciting and fresh new historical fantasy debut, after an orphaned young girl is told that she is destined for nothingness by a fortune teller, she instead takes the fate of greatness that was meant for her deceased twin brother. Pretending to be a boy, the peasant girl Zhu becomes a monk, a soldier, and eventually a general in her quest to seize greatness and wrest control of ancient China from the Mongol Empire. 

Besides being a gripping feminist reimagining of Chinese history, the novel employs a refreshingly original magic system that is tied in with Chinese beliefs and historical facts. In an fascinating twist, the concept of the ‘mandate of heaven’ that defined who had the right to rule in historical ancient China becomes an actual flame that the chosen few can summon. The characters are complex and layered, especially Zhu, with robust queer representation and exploration of gender beyond the binary. Parker-Chan deftly explores what someone will do to survive, whether that is to compromise their values or even kill in cold blood, which is also tied in with the lure of power and womanhood in ancient China. The concept of immutable fate is central to the story – and in less-skilled hands could be boring – but Parker-Chan plays with the uncertainty of how Zhu’s fate will be achieved, and for how long she will keep the greatness she is promised. This is a top-notch historical fantasy novel (and the first installment of a duology) with a complicated, ruthless female lead – for anyone who enjoyed And I Darken by Kiersten White. 

Published on July 22, 2021.

ARC (advance reader copy) courtesy of NetGalley.

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The Sweet Taste of Muscadines

by Pamela Terry

Lila Breedlove, living in Maine, learns that her mother died. (Unfortunately, no one knew she was sick.) Geneva was found by daughter Abbey in the muscadine arbor in the backyard. Lila and brother Henry head to Wesleyan, Georgia for the funeral. Sadly, their mother left instructions stating that she did not want a funeral. Consequently, the three children decide to celebrate the life of their mother by holding a wake at the family home.

Days later Henry and Lila investigate the area where their mother’s body was found and discover a tin of old letters which Geneva must have been looking for. One of the letters was from their father which was dated after he was supposedly killed in Vietnam. In the letter he reveals his feelings for his family and others. He makes the decision to leave. Subsequently, Geneva plays the part of grieving widow for many years with the story she makes up of her husband’s death.

Henry and Lila head to Scotland to try and find their father. They hope to understand the truth behind all the family secrets and reestablish relationships.

This is a tale of family, lifelong secrets, forbidden love and too much time lost.

~Emma

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Miss Julia Happily Ever After
by Ann B. Ross

The final entry in the Miss Julia series is a delight. There are weddings galore happening in Abbotsville, North Carolina. Some are expected and others are a total surprise. Helen Stroud will probably marry a man who is really looking for a housekeeper/nurse. Etta Mae Wiggins will probably marry her longtime boyfriend. Christy Hargrove is dropping out of medical school to marry a surgeon. Miss Julia’s housekeeper Lillian is thinking of marrying a 98-year-old man for status and his big house which would become hers sooner rather than later. LuAnne Conover just wants to marry again and is searching for Mr. Right. In the midst of all the above drama, Abbotsville, has problems with a naked man terrorizing older women that are home alone. The sightings are frequent. The local sheriff isn’t terribly interested in capturing the man, so Julia Murdoch and the other women in town hatch their own plan.

Over the years, I have thoroughly enjoyed these books The characters flow from book to book, so I highly recommend reading them in order.

Miss Julia series –
1. Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind (1999)
2. Miss Julia Takes Over (2001)
3. Miss Julia Throws a Wedding (2002)
4. Miss Julia Hits the Road (2003)
5. Miss Julia Meets Her Match (2004)
6. Miss Julia’s School of Beauty (2005)
7. Miss Julia Stands Her Ground (2006)
8. Miss Julia Strikes Back (2007)
9. Miss Julia Paints the Town (2008)
10. Miss Julia Delivers the Goods (2009)
11. Miss Julia Renews Her Vows (2010)
12. Miss Julia Rocks the Cradle (2011)
13. Miss Julia to the Rescue (2012)
14. Miss Julia Stirs Up Trouble (2013)
15. Miss Julia’s Marvelous Makeover (2014)
16. Etta Mae’s Worst Bad-Luck Day (2014)
17. Miss Julia Lays Down the Law (2015)
18. Miss Julia Inherits a Mess (2016)
19. Miss Julia Weathers the Storm (2017)
20. Miss Julia Raises the Roof (2018)
21. Miss Julia Takes the Wheel (2019)
22. Miss Julia Knows a Thing or Two (2020)
23. Miss Julia Happily Ever After (2021)

~Emma

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Vacuum in Squares by Suzy Remer

Living in Lakewood, Ohio, life looked terrific for this family. They owned a beautiful home and mom was able to stay-at-home with her children. Unfortunately, dad worked from home. Dad was an unloving tyrant ruling his wife, twin daughters and stepchildren. He had rules that guided everything including: vacuuming, mowing, standing, sitting, eating, etc. As soon as possible, the stepchildren married and moved out tired of being treated worse than servants. Their father owned rental property in addition to the house in Lakewood, but he always pleaded poverty. He was good at manipulating the system in order to obtain anything free or at a much-reduced price. The author describes her mother as the sweetest person, but she did not cross her husband allowing his commands to continue.

After mom passed away, their dad remained just as mean and rotten. He never showed any love or thankfulness toward his family, (He did love his dogs.) The twins along with their older sister received the majority of the abuse later in his life. Even on his deathbed, he expressed no regrets.

The author realizes that her father was mentally ill who unfortunately did not seek out proper treatment. It’s amazing to hear this story and it is not an easy read.

~Emma

RRPL Summer Reads

My summer reading list is off to a great start!

Currently I’m reading The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade. This is a debut novel about a New Mexican family.   The story begins with Angel, a 33-year-old man, living in Las Penas, New Mexico with his mother.  It is Holy Week and Angel has been given the part of Jesus in the Good Friday Procession.  At the same time, Angel’s 15-year-old daughter shows up pregnant on his doorstep, and so begins the family’s year long journey of love and sacrifice.

The Five Wounds: A Novel by [Kirstin Valdez Quade]

I also hope to read –

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

This novel is a Read With Jenna Book Club Pick as featured on The Today Show. Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of summer, but over the course of twenty four hours, their lives will change forever.

The The Sunset Route: Freight Trains, Forgiveness and Freedom on the Rails in the American West by Carrot Quinn.

The unforgettable story of one woman who leaves behind her hardscrabble childhood in Alaska to travel the country via freight train—a beautiful memoir about forgiveness, self-discovery, and the redemptive power of nature.

The Sunset Route: Freight Trains, Forgiveness, and Freedom on the Rails in the American West by [Carrot Quinn]

Mary

RRPL Summer Reads: Sci Fi, Fantasy, and Fairy Tales

As I am the resident science fiction and fantasy nerd librarian, you probably figured that of course my TBR list for this summer would be heavy with the weirdest and most interesting books. And you’d be right! Below are the five books I am most excited to read this summer, in no particular order.

Click on any of the book covers below to be taken to our catalog, where you can put them on hold with your library card number and PIN.

Wendy, Darling by A. C. Wise book cover and catalog link

Wendy, Darling by A. C. Wise 

I love any retelling of classic fairy tale, but a feminist retelling? Gotta have it. In Wise’s version, Wendy has grown up and has had children of her own. When Peter Pan kidnaps her daughter, Wendy must follow him to Neverland to save her daughter from the clutches of the boy who wouldn’t grow up.

Published June 1, 2021.

The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo book cover and catalog link

The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo 

Like fellow librarian Nicole, I also want to read this fantasy reimagining of The Great Gatsby! There’s magic, mystery, and Jordan, a side character in the original novel, reimagined as a queer Vietnamese girl. Sign me up!

Published June 1, 2021. 

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan book cover and catalog link

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan 

When a book is described as Mulan meets Song of Achilles, how could this not be on my TBR list? In this fantastical retelling of Chinese history, a queer female monk will rise to greatness against the Mongol army.

Published July 20, 2021. 

A Master of Djinn by P. DJÈLÍ Clark book cover and catalog link

A Master of Djinn by P. DJÈLÍ Clark 

Another historical reimagining, this debut novel stars a female detective tasked with solving a mass murder set in an alternate history 1912 Cairo where both humans and supernatural creatures dwell.

Published May 11, 2021.

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri book cover and catalog link

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri

Last but not least, this novel features a princess and a priestess working together to save their homeland from the princess’ traitor brother.

Published June 8, 2021.

Fellow science fiction and fantasy readers: did I miss any books that you’re excited to read this summer? Let me know!

RRPL Summer Reads

Here’s a sampling of books I’m looking forward to reading this summer. Often drawn to historical fiction, I have included a cozy mystery by Carolyn Hart. I hope you enjoy my suggestions.

The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict

“The remarkable story of J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, the Black American woman who was forced to hide her true identity and pass as white to leave a lasting legacy that enriched our nation, from New York Times author Marie Benedict, and acclaimed author Victoria Christopher Murray.”

Women’s March by Jennifer Chiaverini

New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini returns with The Women’s March, an enthralling historical novel of the woman’s suffrage movement inspired by three courageous women who bravely risked their lives and liberty in the fight to win the vote.”

Ghost Blows a Kiss by Carolyn Hart

“In the tenth Bailey Ruth ghost novel from New York Times bestselling Grand Master of Mystery, Carolyn Hart, the “charmer of a detective” (Kirkus Reviews) takes on a puzzler of a mystery when she’s sent to Adelaide, Oklahoma to rescue a woman in trouble.”

The brief descriptions above are taken directly from fantasticficion.com.

~Emma