May is National Mystery Month and there are a bunch of YA mysteries coming out this month that sound fantastic!
The Agathas by Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson
Who killed Brooke Donovan? It’s the biggest mystery of the summer, and everyone in Castle Cove thinks it’s the wrong guy. Fans of One of Us Is Lying and Riverdale can’t miss this page-turning who-done-it that’s sure to be the next must read Young Adult thriller!
Last summer, Alice Ogilvie’s basketball-star boyfriend Steve dumped her. Then she disappeared for five days. She’s not talking, so where she went and what happened to her is the biggest mystery in Castle Cove. Or it was, at least. But now, another one of Steve’s girlfriends has vanished: Brooke Donovan, Alice’s ex-best friend. And it doesn’t look like Brooke will be coming back. . .
Enter Iris Adams, Alice’s tutor. Iris has her own reasons for wanting to disappear, though unlike Alice, she doesn’t have the money or the means. That could be changed by the hefty reward Brooke’s grandmother is offering to anyone who can share information about her granddaughter’s whereabouts. The police are convinced Steve is the culprit, but Alice isn’t so sure, and with Iris on her side, she just might be able to prove her theory.
In order to get the reward and prove Steve’s innocence, they need to figure out who killed Brooke Donovan. And luckily Alice has exactly what they need–the complete works of Agatha Christie. If there’s anyone that can teach the girls how to solve a mystery it’s the master herself. But the town of Castle Cove holds many secrets, and Alice and Iris have no idea how much danger they’re about to walk into.
Two Truths and A Lie by April Henry
A group of teens are trapped in an old motel with a murderer in this chilling YA mystery by New York Times bestselling author April Henry.
Nell has always wanted to be an actor, but doubts her ability. As a member of her school’s theater program, she prefers working backstage. On the way to a contest, an unexpected blizzard strands her acting troupe in a creepy motel. Soon they meet a group of strangers from another high school–including the mysterious and handsome Knox, who insists they play the game Two Truths and a Lie. When it’s Nell’s turn, she draws a slip of paper inked in unfamiliar handwriting:
I like to watch people die.
I’ve lost count of how many people I’ve killed.
Suddenly a night of harmless fun turns into a matter of life and death. As guests go missing, it becomes clear that a murderer is hiding in their midst ready to strike again. In a room full of liars and performers, the truth is never quite what it seems. Nell is going to have to act like her life depends on it–because it does.
The Counselors by Jessica Goodman
From New York Times bestselling author Jessica Goodman comes a twisty new thriller about three best friends, one elite summer camp, and the dark secrets that lead to a body in the lake.
Camp Alpine Lake is the only place where Goldie Easton feels safe.
She’s always had a special connection to the place, even before she was old enough to attend. The camp is the lifeline of Roxwood, the small town she lives in. Alpine Lake provides jobs, money and prestige to the region. Few Roxwood locals, though, get to reap the rewards of living so close to the glam summer that camp, with its five-figure tuition and rich kids who have been dumped there for eight weeks by their powerful parents. Goldie’s one of them.
Even with her “townie” background, Goldie has never felt more at home at camp and now she’s back as a counselor, desperate for summer to start and her best friends, Ava and Imogen, to arrive. Because Goldie has a terrible dark secret she’s been keeping and she is more in need of the comfort than ever.
But Goldie’s not the only person at camp who has been lying. When a teen turns up dead in the lake late one night, she knows that the death couldn’t have been an accident. She also knows that Ava was at the lake that same night.
What did Ava see and what does she know? Why hasn’t she said anything to Goldie about the death? Worse–what did Ava do?
But asking questions offers no answers, only broken bonds of lifelong friendship, with hidden danger and betrayals deeper than Goldie ever imagined.
YA mystery lovers are in for a fantastic summer of reading!
Bicycling with Butterflies: My 10,201-Mile Journey Following the Monarch Migration
It’s summer, so hopefully there is more time to relax and read. The Rocky River Public Library invites adults and teens to read Bicycling with Butterflies by Sara Dykman as part of our “Tails and Tales” summer reading program.
In addition to reading the book, it’s a chance to do a little research on monarch butterflies using the library’s databases. They are available at https://rrpl.org/research-tools/ under “Newspapers & Magazines”. I heartily recommend the “National Geographic” index which offers full-text articles from 1888-1994. Another excellent source is EBSCOhost. (Some of National Geographic is also included in EBSCOhost.) In that source patrons have access to hundreds of full-text magazines. You can limit your search to articles with full color photographs. You can limit your search to “cover story” articles.
It’s my suggestion to check out the databases before beginning the adventure shared in Bicycling with Butterflies.
I’m planning to keep things on the light side this summer. That means for the most part, I’ll be sticking with humorous, romantic stories and suspenseful, psychological fiction. Here’s a list of some of the books I’m looking forward to spending my summer with:
The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz – I can’t wait to read this book about a writer who steals a plot from a student and writes a bestselling novel out of it -and then gets caught!
Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica – Page-turning thrills and chills are promised in this novel about a series of disappearances in a small town.
The Maidens by Alex Michaelides – I loved Michaelides’ The Silent Patient so reading this psychological mystery meets gothic thriller is a no-brainer.
The Summer Seekers by Sarah Morgan – Booklist is calling this book the “ultimate road-trippin’ beach read.” Yes, please.
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid – This coming of age novel set from the 1950s through the 1980s won’t be either a humorous romance or a thriller, but I just cannot resist the buzz surrounding this new release.
An Unlikely Spy by Rebecca Starford – This twisting, sophisticated World War II novel following a spy who goes undercover as a part of MI5 sounds right up my alley.
The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman – Again, I loved this author’s last book (Mr. Nobody) and am counting on this to be another winning thriller.
The Break Up Book Club by Wendy Wax – What’s not to love about a book about book clubs, books, and relationships between readers of books?
I sure hope you find something stellar to read this summer, too! -Carol
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.
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.
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.
The official Rocky River Public Library summer reading season has come to an end, but, of course, summer reading continues! Many of you participated this year, though our format required some flexibility on your part – and we really appreciate it! Winners will be announced soon – stay tuned!
In the meantime, what have you been reading? Do you feel like it’s hard to focus on reading in the pandemic or just the opposite? I started this pandemic out poorly – I just couldn’t concentrate – but then slowly, a few books caught my attention and hit the sweet spot of what I needed to read.
First up, Optic Nerve by Maria Gainza. I am always drawn to books by Latin American authors, and I’m so happy I picked up this debut after reading about it on The Morning News Tournament of Books. Optic Nerve was in the final challenge, but lost to Normal People by Sally Rooney (which is another good book btw). Sign up to get notifications about this tournament and you’ll be on top of some of the best books of the year.
Back to Optic Nerve. First off, this book is not a plot driven story; it’s a series of reflective vignettes that center around a piece of art, a painting, a drawing, etc. The author is an art critic, and so is the narrator, so I’m sure there are biographical influences – each chapter she talks about a piece of art that moves her – and the artist’s life – and weaves it through something happening in her life. Some of the artists are well-known, but the works of art are not, because they’re generally in museums in Buenos Aires. I loved her writing, her reflections; someone describes it as ‘deeply felt’ – yes – it’s just one of those books.
I also just finished reading Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry – I read it in one day, it’s that engaging. The story of two middle-aged Irish gangsters, waiting in a Spanish port for the next boat from Tangier – doesn’t sound too thrilling, I know. But their conversations in their Cork accent, their flashbacks, their relationship – comic, but deeply sad as well.
What’s next? – well, I just started listening to Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell – it’s about the death of Shakespeare’s 11 year old son during the plague – sounds timely. And I’m hoping to read some galleys of books coming out this Fall – I’ve got Jess Walter’s The Cold Millions on my iPad. I loved his book The Beautiful Ruins, and I’m hearing great things about this one as well.
It’s not too late in the season to take advantage of one of our newest library resources, the Seed Bank Library! With fewer social obligations on the calendar and more time at home, I’ve taken this as an opportunity to get my hands dirty in the garden. Thanks to the seed library, I’ve been able to continually grow fresh produce in my garden and in containers on my back deck.
Not sure where to start? Try the quick growing and easy to care for Organic Pink Beauty Radish.
That’s right, it took just over a month for these radishes to grow from seed to harvest. I watered them daily since it was so hot, but otherwise, they were maintenance free. The seed packet includes seeds and simple planting instructions.
Welcome back to our RiverCon interview series! RiverCon, our first annual mini-con at the library, was moved to at home activities to keep everyone safe this summer. We have also adapted our summer reading inspired RiverCon panel discussion to blog format so you can enjoy “meeting” amazing local comic artists and authors from home!
This week we hear from Clare Kolat, a talented Cleveland native who is a spectacular comic creator, artist, and designer. Clare’s comics have been featured in Vagabond Comics, The Ohio City Tremont Observer, and Cleveland Scene Magazine. You can learn more about Clare and her work by visiting her website- just click here!
What inspired you to pursue a career in comics?
Clare: Making my own stories and art always came naturally to me. I’ve found mountains of books and comics I made as a kid in my parents’ attic. Somewhere along the way, I realized that it was something I could keep doing as an adult, so I never stopped!
Was there a favorite comic book you read in your youth?
Clare: While growing up in Mentor, my parents always got the News Herald, and for a time, they would include reprinted copies of old Spider-Man comics on Sundays. I would always grab the newspaper and shake out my comic to read first thing in the morning! I was also really into manga because of Cardcaptor Sakura and Sailor Moon.
Why do you think storytelling, specifically in the comic or graphic novel format, is important?
Clare: Stories teach us valuable lessons and let us escape to worlds outside our understanding. They let us explore, grow, and share experiences with others we would never have otherwise. I absolutely think graphic storytelling is important as well. It’s a highly accessible medium. Anyone can read comics. Even if you don’t necessarily understand the words, the art is there to guide you through the story. It is really unique in that way. Comics are for everyone.
How have folk tales, fairy tales, or mythology influenced your work?
Clare: I’ve always loved fantastical stories and magical worlds. Fairytales and mythology always gave me an exciting place to escape. They offer you a different perspective and an opportunity to find magic in the mundane.
Do you have a favorite folk tale, fairy tale, or myth?
Clare: It’s so hard to pick one. I’ve really been getting into American folklore lately, especially stories about Appalachian cryptids and ghosts. I love the story of the Tailypo and did my own version for Vagabond Comics issue 9.
What is a favorite comic book or graphic novel that you have read in the past year?
Clare: Again, it’s hard to pick just one favorite, but to name a few Paper Girls, My Favorite Thing is Monsters, and Pilu of the Woods are all excellent.
Be sure to join me next Thursday morning for our final Imagine Your Story RiverCon interview! Stay safe and happy reading.