A terrifying exploration of how vulnerable we all are to stalking and manipulation, this is a razor-sharp tale for our hyper-connected digital age. It’s a compulsively readable page-turner that's being compared to Gone Girl, American Psycho, and Stephen King's Misery. All I can say is, if you like creepy love stories narrated by a stalker, then this is the book for you. It’s currently a show on Netflix.
While a police officer fights for his life in the hospital, his trusted partner takes over an investigation into the serial killer behind the attack, a case that is compromised by the partner's deadly secret. This is solid suspense and one of the boldest, most inventive serial killer thrillers I have ever read! The forensic detail is amazing. I’d highly recommend if you’re a fan of thriller or suspense novels.
Told from the alternating perspectives of nineteen-year-old Sadie who runs away from her isolated Colorado town to find her younger sister's killer, and a true crime podcast exploring Sadie's disappearance. A gripping teen mystery about one young woman’s devotion to her little sister. Raw and fierce and heartbreaking, it’s a book you can’t put down. – Katie
Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Both want to leave their respective responsibilities behind them, but under the brutal Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. I have read a lot of fantasy teen fiction, but this first book in a series blew me away. This is a cruel and savage world based on ancient Rome, and the story spares no one’s emotions. - Sarah L.
A fragile peace reigns in Wessex, Mercia and East Anglia. King Alfred’s son Edward and formidable daughter rule the kingdoms. But all around the restless Northmen are mounting raids. This is the ninth installment in Cornwell’s Saxon Stories, an epic saga of the making of England. It’s the basis for the hit BBC America program The Last Kingdom.
This zany humorous novel follows a failed poet who inadvertently gives his much-despised wife to the devil; only to realize he might actually love her. What follows is a Monty Python-like tale where the hero, his scandalous sister, a world-class explorer, and a futuristic inventor all try to get to Hell to bring her back. A hilarious and fast paced read! I couldn’t put it down. – Cat
An award-winning journalist and leading international social researcher make the provocative argument that the global population will soon begin to decline, dramatically reshaping the social, political, and economic landscape. A very readable book with startling conclusions on world population. An interesting look at different cultures. – Richard
A fresh and inspiring look at the subtle art of cozy that shows fans of The Little Book of Hygge that true comfort comes from within. Being truly cozy means learning to identify the innermost truth of yourself and carrying it with you. Starting with yourself and broadening to your home, community, and the world at large, Gillies shows how to bring the truth of who you are to any situation.
Beloved heroine Maisie Dobbs investigates the mysterious murder of an American war correspondent in London during the Blitz in a tale of love and war, terror and survival in the 15th book of the series. Entangled in an investigation linked to the power of wartime propaganda and American political intrigue in Britain, Maisie faces losing her dearest friend—and the possibility that she might be falling in love again. Fans of the series won’t be disappointed.
This teen book brought me out of my reading comfort zone, but I’m glad it did! When the eldest teen sister in the story dies, the younger one, while still grieving, is expected by her parents to live like her sister did as the perfect Mexican daughter. I liked that the story line shows, as Julia advances towards the end of High School, that she is able to go about her own life in the way she wants, albeit with some struggles along the way. – Luann
Coming of age in an old farmhouse, nineteen-year-old Ruthie begins a search for her agoraphobic mother and discovers the century-old diary of the farmhouse's long-ago resident, a grieving mother who died under mysterious circumstances. A simmering literary thriller about ghostly secrets, dark choices, and the unbreakable bond between mothers and daughters . . . sometimes too unbreakable.
This was a captivating read with a lush, melancholic atmosphere. The story mixes magical realism with the historical setting of the Pendle Witch Trials of 1612. I loved the character of Fleetwood, who begins the story trapped, sick, and with child but ends it as her own woman after she find ways to assert herself.
Struggling to maintain the Homicide group during the holiday season in the wake of interdepartmental estrangements, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache quietly investigates the disappearance of a once-famous woman while seeking a safe-haven for his loyal colleagues in an increasingly hostile town. Gamache digs beneath the idyllic surface of village life in Three Pines, finding long buried secrets--and facing a few of his own ghosts in this ninth book of the series. As in the previous books, literary detective fiction and philosophy are intertwined with humor, tragedy, love, betrayal, intrigue, friendship, and faith.
The popular actress shares funny, insightful, and profound stories. View a portrait of Drew's life as she looks at the heartfelt memories from her past and present, ranging from her emancipation in her mid-teens, to the unique farewell she shared with her father, and her experiences as a mother.
Picoult takes a hard look at racism and white privilege in this novel of a white infant who suddenly dies a day after his birth and the hard-working black nurse, who is blamed for the death. It is told from three points of view: the nurse, the white supremacist father who believes his baby was murdered, and the white public defender who is good-hearted, but is mostly oblivious to institutional prejudice in this country. Picoult’s writing ranges from poetic to expertly detailed as the situation requires. A very worthwhile read! – Kevin
From Vikings and African queens to cross-dressing military doctors and WWII Russian fighter pilots, these are the stories of women who fought because they wanted to, because they had to, or because they could. In this fascinating and lively world history, Toler not only introduces us to women who took up arms, she also shows why they did it and what happened when they stepped out of their traditional female roles to take on other identities.
First in a duology, this YA fantasy follows LaFevers's “His Fair Assassins” series. It continues the story of Sybella (daughter of Mortain, the god of Death) which alternates with the new assassin Genevieve. As with the original series, the audience is led on a lightning-paced chase through a story of adventure, romance, and ever-deepening medieval intrigue. Perfect for fans of Throne of Glass and Red Queen.
How kind of Sam Clair to attend the West End play in which her upstairs neighbors have small parts. And how shocking that when the second act opens, the director is found dangling from the rafters. The fourth in the Samantha Clair series gives readers a fascinating backstage look at the theater and insight into the amusing workings of the British publishing world. Anyone interested in mysteries and books and humor (and who isn't?) will enjoy Flanders' latest delightful novel.
For an updated version of Anne McCaffrey’s The Ship Who Sang try this YA science fiction series kick-off. The authors take the concept of sentient ships and make them alien beings who are space explorers that have humans living and working inside them. The Leviathan saved us from self-annihilation and now offer to selflessly give 100 humans a year a lottery that includes space travel. What could possibly go wrong?
In a departure from her acclaimed mystery series, Griffiths offers a gripping gothic standalone. Clare Cassidy, a high school English teacher specializing in Victorian writer R.M. Holland, is horrified to see her world collide with the storylines of her favorite literature. Has Holland’s most famous story, “The Stranger”, come to life? Perfect for fans of British mysteries and classic whodunits like the The Magpie Murders.
Worship leader and recording artist Laura Story's life took an unexpected turn when her husband, Martin, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Their lives would never be the same. This book is about how her faith has helped her deal with her husband’s illness, and all the struggles since.
What I liked about this book was that it’s not just about her own story, but also stories from a variety of people from all walks of life and how they found hope and were able to move forward to reclaim their lives. - Laura
As a huge fan of the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I really enjoyed this book. There are tons of throwbacks to the show, including quips and dialogue. Just like the original, Slayer is about more than vampires. It’s a coming-of-age story of how a teenage girl finds her worth and strength as the newest Chosen slayer. I had fun with the unique characters and the comedic value they added. I especially like that the main character and her twin sister were named for the goddesses Athena and Artemis.
Everyone in town knows that something's a little odd about the Radleys, but their neighbors would never guess that they are really abstaining vampires (and neither would their two children). This book is as much about family as it is about vampires, and I found the characters as endearing as the plot was exciting. - Carrie
An eye-opening memoir of working-class poverty in America that will deepen our understanding of the ways in which class shapes our country. Born a fifth generation Kansas wheat farmer on her paternal side and the product of generations of teen mothers on her maternal side, Smarsh gives us a beautifully written memoir that combines personal narrative with powerful analysis and cultural commentary. Heartland examines the myths about people thought to be less because they earn less.
Years after growing up in the care of a group of mysterious protectors who served in unspecified ways during World War II, a young man endeavors to piece together the truth about his parents and the unconventional education he received. A mesmerizing new novel by the author of The English Patient.
In a timely YA novel Starr, a 16-year-old black girl living in Garden Heights, is sent to a suburban school after the shooting of her best friend. Now in the minority, living in two different worlds, she creates two versions of herself: ghetto Starr and cool Starr. She meets an old friend at a party but when gunshots ring out, they leave. As Khalil drives her home, a police officer pulls them over and shoots Khalil. Starr has now seen the shootings of both of her best friends. What she says (or doesn’t) could change the course of events or even endanger her life. The audiobook narrator was excellent, especially with all the slang, dialect, and different character voices. – Katy
I haven’t read a collection of short stories in a very long time (Thank you DMPL 2019 Reading Challenge!), and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Sittenfeld does a good job of creating characters that are believable and to whom I connected in a short amount of time. I didn’t like all her characters, which was also a bonus as it made them more human, but they’ve lingered with me. As an aside, I listened to this in audio and it’s narrated by both female and male voices.
An intimate memoir by the former First Lady chronicles the experiences that have shaped her remarkable life, from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago through her setbacks and achievements in the White House. Warm, wise, and revelatory, this is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations - and whose story inspires us to do the same.
Marlee thought she scored the man of her dreams only to be scorched by a bad breakup. But there's a new player on the horizon, and he's in a league of his own... Fresh voices and strong multicultural characters from every rung of the social ladder make Martin's debut novel a must-read for fans of contemporary romance with a sporty twist.
A beautiful graphic novel about taking the night off. Each page has a different character pursuing their hobbies, interests, and dreams from the comfort of their own homes. This humorous book shows that being alone, not lonely, can be a rewarding and rejuvenating endeavor. - Sarah L.
While driving home one day, Joe sees his wife’s car enter a hotel parking lot, and he decides to follow her. Joe spends the rest of the story uncovering lies and wondering what the truth is. This is a suspenseful page-turner, full of twists, and I did not see the ending coming! - Steph
Lately, I've been reading Sarah Andersen's comics. Her work is incredibly funny because of its relatability and honesty about being so-called adults. Millennials and young people everywhere will especially find the humor in the undoing of the myth of "adulthood." This collection presents many fan favorites plus new ones exclusive to the book.
I really liked this book by the former director of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. From the title it sounds like it's about downsizing or simplifying, but it's more an inquiry into the history, beauty and utility of everyday objects. Knowing how things are made helps us connect to the world around us.
Does it seem like your computer knows too much about you? Like when you look at airfare to another city and the next website includes advertisements for hotels in that city? Artificial Intelligence may be the next threat to humanity. In this imaginative adventure, Rollins ties AI of the future to witchcraft of the past and makes a serious case for putting away those devices.
I liked this nonfiction book because the author gave a lot of insight into South Africa that I was not aware of, in addition to his personal story of growing up during the apartheid. The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting.
I love to drink hot tea, and this book really took me to a whole other level in learning about its history. From a tribe high in a remote village of China, who’ve been guardians of a very rare and favored tea for centuries to the present-day American adoption of an unwanted girl child this is a story in which tea has shaped a family's destiny for generations. A warm winter read. - Luann
I read this teen graphic novel over the weekend. It has Darth Vader making his new base on the planet Mustafar, where he lost his wife, Padme Amidala, and almost died in his battle with Obi-Wan Kenobi (shown in the movie Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith). This is where Darth Vader was born. Cool!
A comic book anthology salute to 50 magnificent women who take names, crack ceilings, and change the game in pop, politics, art, and science. Female trailblazers of yesterday and today are featured in 3-page short stories. Part mini biopics and part personal inspiration this project united over 100 comic book artists from around the globe.
When a would-be heiress uncovers a murdered body rather than her hidden inheritance in a Highland peat bog, cold case detective DCI Pirie unravels a case where nothing is what it seems. It's an engrossing, twisty thriller and a tight police procedural with a strong female lead. While this is the fifth in the series, newcomers are brought up to speed. Fans of Tana French and Ian Rankin will be delighted.
This darkly comic novel tells the story of a Nigerian woman who begins to realize her younger sister is, as the title suggests, a serial killer. Part femme-fatale thriller, part exploration of sibling bonds and rivalries, the book has enough sharp twists and payoffs that you won’t want to put it down and is fast-paced and short enough that you won’t have to. – Tim
This Pulitzer Prize winning novel blends historical fiction and magic realism to tell the story of an architect building the greatest hotel in the world. The hotel could never actually be, but you’ll desperately wish it could. Full of delicious details, this book is all about dreams and fantasies, recreated in architecture. – Cat
I was familiar with some of the author’s other fantasy series and decided to try her new one. The story includes lots of court politics and individual skirmishes both physical and verbal, and a potential romance. The main character seems younger than her years, but events conspire to make her grow up quickly. Lots of action and even some pie baking advice. Think Gladiator meets Game of Thrones with pastry as a bonus.
This visually stunning book is filled with hundreds of great book suggestions. I found so many new titles here to add to my ‘To Be Read’ list and the little passages are perfect bite size reading. Lovely and informative. – Cat
Ellery and her twin brother are sent to live with their grandmother in Echo Ridge, Vermont - a town known for keeping secrets. Their aunt disappeared at 17; five years later, the homecoming queen was murdered. This teen novel will have you guessing until the very end as Ellery tries to solve the mysteries of the past while trying to stay alive. Highly recommended!
A Navajo woman named Maggie hunts down monsters with her supernatural powers in this apocalyptic fantasy. Most of the world is underwater, the result of a massive flood, but Maggie’s Navajo home has survived. Unfortunately, she now shares the land with the legendary gods and heroes of her people…and some wicked monsters. Fast paced with a sequel in the works. - Stephanie
A brand-new book based on the best-selling graphic novel! The definitive story that chronicles the obsession, the burning desire, the manic laughter, and the birth of one of the most controversial and popular comic book supervillains ever created: Harley Quinn.
A delightful coming of age story set in 1974 in Chance, Trinidad. Bright 18-year-old Vimla’s prospects are high until she’s caught holding hands at night with the village pundit's son. In this town, everyone knows everybody's business, and the residents all react differently to the chain of events this indiscretion leads to. This novel surprised me at many points and was full of humor, wit, great characters, and a subtle wisdom. - Carrie
Lovers of Agatha Christie and Jacqueline Winspear will enjoy this elegant murder mystery set on a holiday at the English seaside. Love, jealousy, and revenge are tangled together in this smart and sophisticated British mystery reminiscent of the genre’s golden age. Book one of the Amory Ames series.
As a sentimental person, I so enjoyed this book of stories from all sorts of people on why we keep what we do. Like me, many tales related that we have these items in our homes because they reflect who we are and where we came from. Many times, what we keep brings solace to the soul. - Luann
This is the start of a new series that has the author writing a fictional version of himself as the Watson to a modern-day Holmes. He works directly with a brilliant, eccentric private investigator to write about a crime that is revealed as it happens. A new and different twist on the standard mystery.
Leia is a white, late-thirties graphic novelist who is pregnant from a tryst with a somewhat younger black fan after a comic-con appearance. But that’s just the set-up for an often funny and ultimately moving story about an extended Southern family whose members are all facing critical decisions in their lives. Dealing with everything from sisterhood to dementia and murder, Jackson confronts many truths.
This book reads like a spy novel, but every bit is backed up with research and fascinating footnotes. Odette Sansom, a mother of three who never believed she was special, managed to help run a network for the French Resistance, resisted torture and starvation when she was captured, and gained the respect of fellow resistance fighters, regular German soldiers and her prison guards. Perfect for fans of Unbroken, The Nightingale, and Code Girls.
How many of our imaginations have been captured by the timeless work of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis? But the tales of Narnia and Middle Earth were born on the battlefields of World War I, and in the post-war despair their stories sparked hope. I was inspired to a new appreciation for these two incredible writers by this exploration of their lives.
A story of reconnection, lost love, and the power of faith, Heart Land follows a struggling fashion designer back to her small Iowa hometown as she tries to follow her dreams of success and finding true love.
A stand-alone novel that has all the things readers love about the Dublin Murder Squad books--well developed characters, exquisite plotting, and deep explorations of human nature. Toby leads a charmed life with an idyllic childhood, a good family, a loving girlfriend, and promising prospects. But a vicious attack changes everything. Atmospheric, twisty, and perfect for readers who like Gillian Flynn or Kate Atkinson.
Set in 1870 Texas, an elderly former Confederate army captain is hired to return a ten-year-old German girl, who’d been kidnapped by a Kiowa tribe, to her nearest relatives several hundred miles south. Having been indoctrinated four years in native customs, the girl, who speaks Kiowa fluently, but very little German and no English, isn’t keen on rejoining white civilization. Jiles creates vivid depictions of frontier life through a wealth of fine details, yet spices the plot with episodes of intense action. - Kevin
The remarkable story of Claire and Jamie Fraser continues in the 4th book in the Outlander series, on which the current season of the TV series is based. The Frasers are faced with a bleak choice, return to an impoverished Scotland, or seize the chance of a new life in the American colonies despite Claire’s knowledge of the coming Revolution. They think their daughter, Brianna, is safe in the future but she travels to the past to find and save them.
Forget the old concept of retirement and deferred-life plans. There is no need to wait and every reason not to. In this expanded and updated edition, Ferriss has more than 100 pages of new content in his blueprint for how to live more and work less.
Introduces a new series with a lead character who seems to be a smarter version of Dudley Do-Right. Ranger McIntyre, of the recently created Rocky Mountain National Park, first discovers a body floating in the river wearing just underpants, then soon finds a second body, also only partially dressed. Quirky characters amble through this Prohibition era mystery as McIntyre puts the puzzle pieces together that lead to an ending that will leave readers eager for more.
A new Jeeves and Wooster novel, penned in homage to P.G. Wodehouse, in which literature's favorite gentleman and his gentleman's personal gentleman become spies in service to the Crown. Schott brings this odd couple back to life in a madcap adventure that is full of hijinks, entanglements, imbroglios, and Wodehousian wordplay. It will delight longtime fans and introduce a new audience to the comic joys of these beloved characters
From the American Museum of Natural History comes the story of bugs. While they could live without us, we certainly couldn’t live without them! This book is filled with fantastic and historical illustrations from their rare book collection. It’s a real treat! - Sue
This coming-of-age story about a young Montana woman was nominated for a National Book Award when it was published in 1944. I was quite surprised the first time I read it as a junior high student, that a country teacher who wished to keep her job couldn’t be married; now as an adult, I am thankful that times have changed! I so enjoyed this soothing story from the prairie, even though the characters struggle. - Luann
Clue meets Riverdale in this page-turning teen thriller that exposes the lies five teens tell about a deadly night one year ago. There was a party and someone died. Each of them played a part and none have told the truth, until now. They’ve been lured to an isolated mansion by someone bent on revenge. Five arrive but not all will leave – Will the truth set them free or will their lies destroy them all?
The first in the series about V.I. Warshawski, a female private eye in Chicago. One night a man shows up at her office and says he’s a well-known banker and his son’s girlfriend is missing. He hires her to find the girl. Turns out, he’s not who he says he is. When V.I. turns up the real banker’s dead son, she’s sucked into a whirlwind of mobsters, bankers and missing family members in this page-turning mystery. - Katy
The first in a series featuring Josephine Tey, one of the writers of the Golden Age of British mysteries, as a character. Set in the world of 1930s British theatre, this is both a tribute to a popular writer and an atmospheric detective novel on its own. Traveling to London in 1934 to celebrate her play's triumphant final week, Tey is caught up by the murder of a fellow train passenger, in a case that raises the suspicions of Detective Inspector Archie Penrose. Thoroughly enjoyable!
Short, hilarious and amazingly endearing, the self-named Murderbot (a bot who would rather binge watch TV than do its job) is an instant fave. This is extremely accessible and compelling science fiction. I can recommend the whole series. - Katie
Stephanie's uncle Gordon is a writer of horror fiction. But when he dies and leaves her his estate, she learns that while he may have written horror it certainly wasn't fiction. Pursued by evil forces, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source - the wisecracking skeleton of a dead sorcerer... She's twelve. He's dead. But together they're going to save the world. Hopefully. The iconic first book in the bestselling teen fantasy series, now available in the U.S. Check out the excellent narrator on the audio book version! Fans of the Artemis Fowl series should enjoy this.
Maya, a young speech therapist (formerly a patient) of a psychiatric facility tries to connect with a young, violent male patient named Lucas. Ten years earlier, Lucas and his father went missing while camping in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota, but now Lucas has been found. What happened to the father and son during those ten years? Why won’t Lucas speak about it, and where is his father now? This was a moving and suspenseful book that kept me up until late in the evening. - Stephanie
Earthy and otherworldly, antic and sexy, queer and caustic, comic and deadly serious, Her Body and Other Parties swings from horrific violence to the most exquisite sentiment. In their explosive originality, these stories enlarge the possibilities of contemporary fiction. Finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction.
A young middle-class man falls in love, goes to war, comes home, becomes a heroin addict, and starts robbing banks to pay for his fix. This is a work of fiction, but Walker wrote it while in prison after his life followed a similar path. This timely novel explores, in raw, often unsettling detail, the horrors of war and the horrors of drug addiction, and how the deep traumas of both can overlap in a modern America seemingly unprepared to deal with either.
I just finished listening to this on audiobook and it was amazing. It’s a powerful, revealing story of hope, love, justice, and the power of reading by a man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn't commit. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton tells his dramatic thirty-year journey and shows how you can take away a man's freedom, but you can't take away his imagination, humor, or joy.
I don't normally read contemporary romance, but when I do it is usually a Samantha Young novel. Her latest romance did not disappoint. Tempers fly as the protagonists meet in an airport after their flight has been cancelled. Antagonism turns to chemistry as a series of chance encounters after the plane lands leads to a new romance. – Sarah L.
I recently read the entire Riyria Revelations series which begins with this collected volume of the first two books. When a pair of talented and entertaining thieves are accused of murdering a king, they end up collecting a lively band of heroes to save the world of humans. Hair-raising escapes, flashy sword fights, and faithful friendship complete the formula for good old-fashioned escapist fun.
A retelling of the Greek tale of the banished witch daughter of the Titans. With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense,Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man's world.
Legend has it that if the ravens ever leave the Tower of London, the city will fall. So, the title of Ravenmaster is an important one. This is the first behind-the-scenes account of life with the legendary ravens from the man who cares for them. Skeife shares the folklore, history, and superstitions surrounding the birds while shining a light on their behavior and the tricks they play. The result is a compelling and irreverent narrative that will surprise and enchant.
This book, told over a period of thirty-five years, alternates between the viewpoints of Sarah, daughter of a Charleston plantation owner, and Hettie, the slave gifted to her as a personal servant. Sarah struggles with being the black sheep of the family. Hettie struggles with wanting to be free. This is a very moving book about the horrors of slavery and the unlikely friendship of two girls. - Katy
This is the first book in the series which is the basis for Longmire, the hit Netflix drama.
After twenty-four years as sheriff, Walt, along with Deputy Victoria Moretti and lifelong friend Henry Standing Bear, is embroiled in the most volatile and challenging case of his career. He might be the only thing standing between three boys and a Sharps .45-70 buffalo rifle. Wyoming resident Johnson fills the vast emptiness of the high plains with a cast both tragic and humorous and brings a unique landscape and its people to life with mesmerizing authenticity.
An eminent sociologist explains how the resilience of communities can be found not only in shared values but in such shared spaces as libraries, child-care centers, and gardens that enable life-transforming human connections. Offers an inspiring blueprint for rebuilding our fractured society – and safeguarding democracy.
In WWII era London, Juliet Armstrong is working as an espionage monitor for MI5. Ten years later she suddenly finds herself targeted by dangerous individuals from her past. For fans of smart, witty, suspenseful, historical or spy fiction and authors like Tana French, Laurie R. King, and John Le Carre.
A readable book telling the life of a penniless Irish immigrant who became one of the richest men in America, but kept a common touch. Great insights into the Gold Rush, telegraph and railroad development, as well as the boom-and-bust Comstock Lode. - Richard
An unlikely friendship between two pregnant women from different sides of the social spectrum asks the question “how far would you go to create the perfect family?”. The secrets they hold are shocking and life changing. This was a dark, twisted, heart wrenching thriller that I couldn’t put down. It lifted me out of my book slump and I’ll be reading more of Mr. Robotham! - Bekki
Forced to return home to unravel the mystery surrounding his mentor's execution, Li Du confronts painful memories while investigating a double murder, the secrets of several Beijing residents and threats against his safety. An enthralling mystery set in 18th century China, the third in the Li Du series.
This historical teen novel is beautifully written. (The audiobook also has a fantastic narrator.) It is engaging with fast-paced action and emotions that transport the reader right into the streets of Amsterdam as a ‘finder’ of needed goods becomes involved with the resistance as she looks for a missing girl. The story is very moving and does a great job of helping the reader to better understand what it might have felt like to live in a Nazi controlled Amsterdam in 1943. - Katy
This is an excellent guide to having healthy conversations with people who have different views than you, and maybe even changing their minds. Lee provides keys to understanding barriers to meaningful and civil communication, tips on how to empathize with opposing views, and how to change their minds. - Carrie
I liked the 2nd book in this historical mystery series even better than the first one. The author takes a drunken rector on the coast of England during the time before the Napoleonic Wars and has him solving murders with the assistance of a recent widow. The first book is The Body on the Doorstep.
This story of a troubled family in the wilds of Alaska was so well written that when I accidentally listened to the last CD in the audio book instead of the first, it made me want to listen to the entire book. Knowing the ending was not a spoiler for me. – Laura
Receiving an invitation to his ex-boyfriend's wedding, Arthur, a failed novelist on the eve of his 50th birthday, embarks on an international journey that finds him falling in love, risking his life, reinventing himself and making connections with the past. A satire of the American abroad; a rumination on time, the human heart, and of chances lost; and, above all, a love story.
I heard this author interviewed on NPR just as I was starting to read it. It’s such a good book, and not just for teens or graphic novel fans. Anyone who’s lived in or witnessed a dysfunctional family will appreciate what a great job the author does at capturing the tragic, comic, and emotional life he lived as a young person.
I love anything related to my favorite state of Iowa, and this did not disappoint! A guided tour of our state parks through the eyes of a woman traveling the perimeter of Iowa, camping alone in a tent for the very first time. In her adventure, she finds solace from a disastrous career and healing in her homecoming to Iowa. I enjoy "armchair travel" and this was a thoughtful, marvelous read. - Luann
When a philanthropist is found dead under suspicious circumstances on the anniversary of his son's fatal overdose, Monkeewrench computer genius Grace MacBride assists the Minneapolis police to connect the case to a plot threatening hundreds of lives. Combines the best qualities of a fast-paced thriller with an intricately plotted police procedural.
The fourth book in a teen fantasy series about children with "peculiar" gifts, like being invisible, super strong, or, in the title hero's case, being able to sense & see monsters called "Hollowgasts" that nobody else can see. The novel is interspersed with old pictures of peculiars that (supposedly) come from real life. Check it out!
A probing and visionary investigation into today's most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future. Harari addresses the challenge of navigating life in the face of constant and disorienting change and raises the important questions we need to ask ourselves. Presenting complex contemporary challenges clearly and accessibly, this is essential reading.
As usual, Orlean’s narrative nonfiction is captivating. It focuses first on a fire that happened in 1986, destroying the main Los Angeles Public Library, but it spreads out to include the story of the suspected arsonist, the previous history of the Los Angeles Public Library system (and its many quirky leaders), and libraries across the country. - Sandy
Florida is an American state and a state of mind in Groff's stunning story collection, where her human characters face elemental dangers from all sides – hurricanes, panthers, gators, swamps and starvation – as they navigate their own fears and anxieties of the world and their place in it. The writing is wrapped in metaphor, and at times approaches magical realism – but each story is so lyrical and suffocating you can almost feel the humidity and smell the rot.
The Fletchers are new to the Lancashire village of Heptonclough but they don’t feel very welcome. Something isn’t quite right, including the mysterious deaths of three young girls over the last ten years. Expertly balances gothic supernatural elements with a crackling psychological plot in a very scary tale of village secrets, leaving readers breathless until the last page.
Diana Bishop, a reluctant witch, unknowingly summons an enchanted alchemical manuscript that causes the supernatural underworld to take notice, setting off this epic saga. This series is perfect for those who enjoy reading paranormal books as well as historical fiction. - Sarah L.
History is filled with tales of women accused of witchcraft, of fearsome girls with arcane knowledge. This teen collection features fifteen stories of girls embracing their power, reclaiming their destinies and using their magic. It reveals a universal truth: there's nothing more powerful than a teenage girl who believes in herself.
Parker's irreverent, hilarious, and enchanting memoir gives you the opportunity to feel as if she’s your airplane seat companion. Full of personal stories, whimsical how-tos, recipes, and beautiful handmade collages made by the author this is a delight in every way. Posey opens up about the art of acting, life on the set, and the realities of its accompanying fame as well as her other creative interests.
A witty and emotionally charged novel that delves into the heart of a marriage, and how those we love and think we know best can sometimes surprise us the most. Little does Sylvie suspect where Project Surprise Me will lead.
Milo’s house is an Inn with a lot of history. During a snowstorm, mysterious strangers arrive one-by-one and one of them drops an old map with a deep connection to Greenglass House. Milo and a new friend work to solve the mystery surrounding the strange guests. This is a great mystery adventure that will appeal to adults even though it’s children’s fiction. - Katy
I love this Instant Pot book. So far, some of my go-to recipes from this book are: pineapple skirt steak, baked potatoes, sesame rice, and steamed carrots. I was completely new to this multi-use appliance and this book helped explain the different functions, it includes enticing pictures, and uses ingredients I recognize. - Brenda
In 1958, Elisa and her family are forced to leave their beloved Cuba as Fidel Castro takes power. Now, after the death of her grandmother, Marisol travels to Havana to find out the roots of her family's identity and unearths revolutionary secrets. With a dual story line, both set a Cuba, readers are given a glimpse into the small island nation. - Sarah L.
I just finished this and it’s definitely worth a look for mystery fans! It has a great combination of historical fiction (WWII) and Agatha Christie touches (trapped on a remote island). It continues the Maggie Hope series, but it’s not necessary to know everything that happened before it to read this one.
This hilarious and charming book is written in the form of emails and messages and chronicles the hapless life of Melissa Fuller, a newspaper editor in New York. The fun begins when Melissa saves her neighbor from a break-in and the neighbor's mysterious nephew moves into house sit and take care of her Great Dane. - Carrie
Maximum ease, minimal cleanup, and mouthwatering recipes. In other words, a revelation that will change the way we cook. It's the one-pot meal reinvented. All you need is a sheet pan, your oven and this book. And it’s not just weeknight suppers, there are also special occasion meals, meatless meals and extras like party snacks, brunch dishes and desserts. Yum!
After her sister’s death, Sadie sets out on a mission to bring the murderer to justice. Totally engrossing, this teen novel alternates between Sadie’s perspective and the transcript for a Serial-style podcast.
Nelson Mandela's grandson Ndaba began life in the Soweto, in South Africa's era of apartheid, but went to live with his grandfather Nelson at age 12. His journey is fascinating, and gives a sense of the problems and possibilities of the country. The book also provides insight into Ndaba's famous grandfather. - Richard
Sins and secrets abound in this novel set in fictional Sweet Apple, Georgia. If you liked Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, this will give you the suspense and twists that keep you guessing until the very end. - Luann
This two-volume graphic series ties in with the BBC America show Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency based on the original Douglas Adams books. It gives an extra layer of depth to an already intricate and fascinating plot. An excellent read for a fan of either the show or the book series. - Carrie
A young editor at a Los Angeles art museum is pulled into the disturbing and dangerous world of a famous artist who goes missing on the opening night of her exhibition. I was hooked from the moment I started. Kept me guessing until the end – couldn’t stop listening! – Sarah S.
A single mother's life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes in this chilling debut thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. It’s a remarkable tale of psychological suspense that masterfully ratchets up the tension in a taut, unsettling, and completely absorbing story that holds you in its grip until the final page. Coming soon as a major motion picture!
The title story is about two first-generation Indian American brothers, their coming of age and their relationship unraveling. All the stories revolve around Indian American characters and the stereotypes they deal with, the expectations from family, and society pressures. I'd recommend this short story collection for sure. I really enjoyed it. - Veronica
Crosley’s collection of essays is a humorous and witty look at life. She writes on a range of topics, from the noisy teenage boy next door who disturbs her peace, to the time she appeared on Gossip Girl, to climbing a volcano. Each essay is fresh and funny; I found myself smiling throughout. – Stephanie
Fox travels along the U.S.-Canadian border, meeting all kinds of people and sharing the history of the border, Native Americans, westward settlement, the Great Lakes and more. He also documents the environmental changes happening on the landscape the border crosses. It’s eye-opening, interesting, and something different!
While investigating the supposed suicides of her best friend, Riley, and mean girls June and Dayton, sixteen-year-old Wiccan Mila Flores accidentally brings them back to life. They don’t remember their murders but they do have unfinished business to attend to so Mila must wrangle the undead teens and work fast to uncover their murderer…before the killer strikes again.
A thickly plotted literary mystery set in a small drought-stricken town in the Australian outback where old and new murders have unhinged the inhabitants. A former resident, now a federal investigator, is summoned to his hometown for the funeral of the three current victims, which include his one-time best friend. The investigator, a suspect in the earlier case, can’t wait to leave, but various circumstances draw him in and delay his departure.
In her classic style, Tyler follows a woman, Willa Drake, through various formative stages of her life. She relates how Willa’s views of the world change as she ages - but also how the world itself has changed. Poignant and relatable. - Sue
Your brain runs your life. When it works right, your body works right. Master your brain and body for the rest of your life with the scientifically-designed program laid out in this book. Get the tools to take control and live a better life - the key to victory rests between your ears!
Meet one of the most pragmatic protagonists in history. Alexia Tarabotti has no soul, which means she can turn supernatural creatures mortal again, and has no time for the social etiquette of aristocratic Victorian London. Both of these traits get her into trouble when unexpected vampires enter the city, and the dreadful werewolf, Lord Maccon, is tasked to investigate in this steampunk comedy of manners. – Sarah L.
Hilarious and poignant, this novel brings us the new adventures of Kate Reddy, the beleaguered heroine of I Don't Know How She Does It. She’s gotten through turning forty but now her kids are teenagers, her husband quit his job and she’s left to go back to work even though the job market isn't keen on hiring 49-year old mothers. Surely it will all work out in the end.
Stuck on a squad with the other officers no one else wants, but who can’t be fired, DC Callum MacGregor accidentally gets handed the biggest murder investigation Oldcastle has ever seen and the ‘Misfit Mob’ works together to solve the case and bring a serial killer to swift justice. This stand-alone thriller from the author of the Logan McRae and Ash Henderson series features twisty plotting, great use of British dialect, and dazzling black humor.
This is a chilling story of a small Iowa town and the mystery that develops from a rented video (yes, VHS!) that the customer says ‘has something else on it besides the movie’. It leads two curious Video Hut employees to find out where the shadowy places on the tape were filmed. One is reluctant and the other is determined to get some answers. - Luann
The best-selling coming-of-age classic is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing who and what she will become. Told in a series of vignettes--sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous--this masterpiece is a story of childhood and self-discovery. Isn’t it time to read it - or read it again?
If you enjoy reading graphic novels, learning about gods and mythology, great representation of diverse characters, and a little mystery and suspense, you'll enjoy this thrilling series about 12 gods that return as humans every 90 years, but only live two years each time. Book 7 coming in the fall. - Marlu
A surprising bestseller, this fascinating memoir follows Tara’s life in a survivalist family on Buck Peak, Idaho, through ignorance and isolation, blistering work and terrifying abuse to her ultimate education at Brigham Young University and Cambridge. If you liked Hillbilly Elegy, this is even more compulsively readable. - Dawn
A new series introduces Bombay's first female lawyer, Oxford graduate Perveen Mistry, as she investigates a suspicious will on behalf of three Muslim widows living in strict purdah seclusion who become subject to a murderous guardian's schemes for their inheritances. Inspired in part by a real woman, this is a richly wrought story of multicultural 1920s Bombay as well as the debut of a sharp and promising new sleuth.
An old-fashioned fairy tale nonetheless full of surprises, magic and wonderful, strong female characters. This is an imaginative retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin story that you’ll want to return to again and again.
Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama team up in this high-stakes noir thriller that combines a mystery worthy of Watson and Holmes with the laugh-out-loud bromantic chemistry of Lethal Weapon's Murtaugh and Riggs. Together they’ll plumb the darkest corners of Delaware, traveling from cheap motels to biker bars and beyond, as they uncover the sinister forces advancing America’s opioid epidemic. It’s a hoot!
Rediscover a lost Doctor Who adventure by Douglas Adams (author of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy).
In it, the Fourth Doctor and his companion Romana are tugged into a pan-galactic dance with fate as they rush to stop the Krikkitmen from gaining the key to escaping their prison and raining fiery retribution on the cosmos.
Guardians of the Galaxy meets The Hobbit in this rollicking fantasy adventure. It's not easy to live in a world ruled by dragons. The taxes are high and their control is complete. But for one group of bold misfits, it's time to band together and steal back some of that wealth. No one said they were smart.
This sparsely worded teen novel packs an emotional punch in very few pages. The main character, Will, deals with his father’s suicide by walking and by trying to replicate his father’s famous cornbread recipe. After his best friend is raped at a party, Will starts to leave gifts for her and helping out the people around him. A beautifully written tribute to the power of how helping others helps yourself. Powerful and gorgeous. - Cat
If you enjoy graphic novels and exploring the Marvel Universe, this is a great place to start. The first volume of this teen series includes the Hulk and an introduction to the preteen super genius and prehistoric dino duo. - Marlu
A long-waged war against a little understood foe escalates as many characters prod the edges of reality to discover who they really are and what they should really believe. This is book one in the Stormlight Archive, the next two books are already published and I’m looking forward to reading my way through this fantasy series!
An all-new Dresden Files story headlines this urban fantasy short story collection starring Chicago’s only professional wizard, Harry Dresden.
With twelve stories in all, it offers both longtime fans and first-time readers tantalizing glimpses into Harry's funny, gritty, and unforgettable realm, whetting their appetites for more to come from the wizard with a heart of gold.
For the romance reader looking for something different! This choose your own adventure novel manages to be a real romance as well as an entertaining parody of the genre, set within the regency romance setting. The choose your own style is entertaining and effective. - Carrie
On a seventeenth-birthday cruise with her parents and three friends, just months after her boyfriend died, Natalie is surprised to connect with a fellow passenger, who then mysteriously disappears. With her signature thrilling storytelling, the author explores our vulnerability to the power of suggestion--and the lies we tell others and ourselves--in a twisting, Hitchcock-inspired teen mystery with high stakes and dark secrets.
This teen historical fiction continues the story of newlyweds Alexander and Eliza Hamilton as he starts his law office in New York. Eliza establishes their home with much excitement, but misses Alex terribly as he recruits clients. She’s in a new element in New York, but is determined to make her marriage work, making friends, furnishing their home, but most importantly, standing up to citizens who want to mock Alex, who’s determined to call the former 13 Colonies a country.
Can't get enough of Class on BBC America? This thrilling companion teen novel to the new Doctor Who spin-off features the group of extraordinary humans (and aliens) from the show, facing down a wholly original threat. Don't go near the house, whatever you do. It wants the lonely, the lost, the vulnerable. It wants you.
This teen novel is a glorious romp through 1700s Europe following Henry Montague, his sister Felicity, and his best friend (and crush) Percy as they go on their Grand Tour. There are highwaymen, pirates, thievery, sex, and alchemy. Full of adventure, interesting characters, and a lovely unconventional romance. I couldn’t put it down. A great summer read! - Cat
After an art dealer is found dead in his gallery, book editor Samantha Clair is caught between loyalties to her new boyfriend, police inspector Jake Field, and her ex-boyfriend, the deceased's art-dealing partner. Armed with her trusty weapons of satire, cynicism, and a stock of irrelevant information culled from novels, she races to find a killer who’s determined to find her first. Second in the series and every bit as good as the first!
We suffer from nature deficit disorder, but studies show spending mindful, intentional time around trees--what the Japanese call shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing--can promote health and happiness. Once you discover the healing power of trees, you can lose yourself in the beauty of your surroundings, leave everyday stress behind, and reach a place of greater calm and wellness. It can be as simple as standing in the shade of blooming trees in a nearby park and breathing deeply. Try it!
This graphic novel has made the modern Stone Age family relevant again by being topical and candid. Still set in Bedrock, these cave-people tackle the subjects of consumerism, historical amnesia, bullying and more. A new take on an old classic that's both poignant and hilarious. - Sarah L.
After a car accident, five estranged friends become stuck in an alternate reality, reliving the same day again and again. The Keeper of the realm gives them an ultimatum: decide who lives or spend eternity waking up to the same day in the Neverworld. This teen book felt wholly original to me and had me wishing I could wake in the Neverworld, just so I could re-read this novel every day. - Gen
A collection of seventeen wonderful short stories showing that two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is as talented a writer as he is an actor. The stories reflect a myriad of emotions, settings, and time periods with two common threads: the typewriter and uncommonly normal men and women. The tales are surprising, intelligent, heartwarming and Hank’s charm and wit come through them all.
This story grabbed me from the first sentence ("Once a week, I chase men who are not my husband . . .") and pulled me right into the story of a Midwestern family who cope with loss by moving to Paris and running a bookstore. Add in all the literary references, plus a character who reveals he’s from Des Moines, not to mention the setting (Paris!) and I was enthralled from start to finish.- Kate
Teen historical romance at it's best with a very young Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler. Set in 1877, they struggle for her parents' approval to marry Alex as he's considered a man with no family and no money, and Eliza is from a Society family. We see the complications and how true love can conquer them in this charming story loosely based on their real-life courtship.
Part thriller, part mystery, part love story—it’s been called "a smart, unpredictable, and heartfelt adventure story." In this genre-bending novel, there is no such thing as chance and every action is carefully executed by highly trained agents. You'll never look at coincidences the same way again.
Something is happening to the magic in NYC. No one understands it, except Sydney, a young magician with more power than has been seen in decades. But Sydney doesn’t want to restore the city’s power – she wants to destroy it. This is a fun dark fantasy with a strong protagonist and lots of imagination.
Two interwoven mysteries takes place at a famous private school. The first occurred soon after the school opened and becomes a great unsolved crime of American history. Now, a new student has an ambitious plan to solve the cold case. But the perpetrator of the original crime appears to be back and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The tales dovetail brilliantly in this first book of a new teen series.
Maisie Dobbs was a WWI nurse and has become a ‘psychologist and investigator’ in London. Now in the spring of 1940, while investigating the disappearance of a young apprentice working on a secret government contract she’s discovered suspicious links to the London underworld and another boy close to her heart. A complex and admirable character you’ll want to get to know.
Join Ruth Galloway, forensic archeologist, in this newest book in the series. This time she travels to Italy to help an old acquaintance assess some ancient bones and stumbles on another mystery dating back to World War II. Fans of strong-minded women and wry humor will enjoy this.
If you are fascinated by how the crazy rich live, you have to pick up this book immediately. The perfect beach read. Soak up some sun and read about shopping sprees in Paris and back stabbing in Singapore. This is a delicious read that is going to become a movie soon! - Sarah L.
A thoroughly fun and whimsical alternate history of the Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen of England for a few short days in the 1500’s. Told like a quirky fairytale, this book is great for fans of Ella Enchanted and The Princess Bride. The next installment of the Lady Jane series is due to come out in June of this year.
This account by the New Orleans mayor who removed Confederate statues from the city helped me understand the racism that shapes many Americans as he argues for white America to reckon with its past. - Richard
This novel opens in a strikingly original way, with the scene set by the collective voice of a group of mothers in an African-American community in southern California. Beautifully written, it traces the consequences of secret choices made by a group of friends during their last summer before adulthood. - Heather
After Dee Moreno, seventeen, makes a deal with a demon, trading her heart for the chance of a good education, she becomes part of a group of "heartless" teens engaged in fighting a paranormal war. A young adult novel that’s an intoxicating blend of fantasy, horror, and romance.
Stars, rounds or squares? The small pack, the family size or mini? Spicy, cheesy or cilantro lime? And how many are in one serving and why can’t I stop at one? It’s overwhelming and not accidental. At times entertaining and definitely well researched, Moss guarantees you will never look at your food choices the same way.
This group biography is by our final AViD author for 2018. It’s the story of the American Revolution through the eyes of six different participants – including George Washington, a slave, and an American Indian. It’s getting me in the mood for Hamilton! - Sue
What if you could go back in time and meet Jane Austen? In a near-future society where time travel is possible, Austen aficionado Rachel Katzman is sent back in time with her handsome partner Liam to find Austen's lost manuscript and discover the cause of her fatal illness. A perfect genre blend for fans of either Jane Austen or time travel science fiction. - Carrie
An engrossing account of how Britain became the base of operations for the exiled leaders of Europe in their desperate struggle to reclaim their continent from Hitler. (I pulled this straight from Goodreads, but it is a really good description of the book) - Sarah L.
Milne is a household name, thanks to his beloved children’s stories, but he was never able to enjoy the fame they brought him. He resented their overshadowing of everything else he wrote and his son grew to loathe his famous father, accusing him of exploiting his childhood. This book delves into the life of Milne to shed light on new places, and tell stories untold.
Discover the power of soil to reverse climate change and how regenerative farming can give us better health and restore the ground beneath our feet. Tickell presents an informative and persuasive argument to save the planet.
Serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, and easy exercises. By the end, you'll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can't change, how to change what you don't love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious ass.
When Lara Jean has a crush, she writes him a letter and seals it in the hatbox her mother left her. When those letters find their way into the world, she must face up to crushes past and confront her true feelings. A film adaptation of this teen novel is due for release in the summer.
Welcome back to Saint Mary’s Institute of Historical Research for the ninth outing in this heartbreaking and humorous series. Wonderfully written characters, fast-paced, full of sass – what more could you ask for in an alternate reality, time-travel adventure? A word of advice, read it on a day off because once you start, you won’t be able to put it down!
Set in present-day England this is a horror tale about a species of flying lizard that’s accidentally released from an underground cave. They multiply rapidly, eating everything, and everyone, in their path. Being blind, they can only hunt by sound so it’s reminiscent of the current film A Quiet Place though it was written earlier. The movie based on this book is in production now. Very good story!
With her characteristic wit and dazzling drawings, celebrated graphic novelist Bagieu profiles the lives of feisty female role models - some world famous, some little known. From Nellie Bly to Mae Jemison or Josephine Baker to Naziq al-Abid, the stories in this comic biography are sure to inspire the next generation of rebel ladies.
A book of lists, from Leonardo da Vinci's to-do list to F. Scott Fitzgerald's list of advice to his daughter to Ben Franklin's list of words for drunkenness. The book's presentation is beautiful, and the lists are both fascinating and enlightening.
A dynamic children’s novel in verse with striking graphic novel panels, it's a companion to his Newbery Award winning The Crossover. But this time Chuck Bell takes center stage as readers see how he became the jazz music worshipping basketball star his sons look up to.
An entertaining read, written with a sly humor and a touch of Green's Nightside that will please both mystery purists and fans of subtler dark urban fantasy. A fun spin on the classic English locked room mystery at a snowed-in country manor with all the usual suspects. No one is who they appear to be, particularly the investigator Ishmael Jones.
A collection of entertaining personal essays that are self-deprecating, honest, heartbreaking and heartwarming (I highly recommend the audio version). Irby tackles everything from her complicated childhood to mental health to modern dating. I especially enjoyed her essays on falling in love and how surprisingly predictable and boring it can be – and should be?
In this well-written history of the world, Kolbert looks at the five mass extinction events that have plagued earth from its creation until now. These are periods where a majority of species have died out. Then she makes a case that we are in a sixth extinction moment, this one brought about by human activity. An informative, fascinating, if sobering read. - Cat