Book Clubs in a Bag

A listing of all adult Book Clubs-in-Bags throughout Delaware County Libraries

 

Please Note: Contact your local library to check the availability of each bag and to reserve them for your book club. These bags cannot be put “on hold” from your home computer, so you must contact your local library to “book” them. Bags can be checked out for up to eight weeks, and can be reserved up to eleven months in advance. Bags cannot be renewed.

Library Abbreviations
CR J. Lewis Crozer Library
DE DCL Administrative Headquarters
HA Haverford Township Free Library
MA Marple Public Library
PP Prospect Park Free Library
RK Rachel Kohl Community Library
SP Springfield Township Library
UP Upper Darby Library—Primos Branch
YE Yeadon Public Library

No need to call these libraries directly—your local library can help you!

Bag Contents:
· Most bags owned by DCL Administrative Headquarters contain: 8 regular print books, 3 large print books, 1 book on CD
· Most bags owned by the Haverford Township Free Library and the Rachel Kohl Community Library contain: 8 regular print books, 1 large print book, 1 book on CD
· Most bags owned by the J. Lewis Crozer Library and the Prospect Free Library contain: 10 regular print books
· Most bags owned by the Marple Public Library contain: 8 regular print books, 2 large print books
· Most bags owned by the Upper Darby Library Primos Branch contain: 12 regular print books

All bags contain group discussion guides and author biographies.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

     The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
It is 1875 in Utah, and Ann Eliza Young has just left her powerful husband Brigham Young, the leader and prophet of the Mormon Church. Expelled from the religion and an outcast, Ann Eliza crusades against polygamy in the United States. In the present day, a murder involving a polygamist family unfolds as Jordan Scott, a young man cast out of his fundamentalist sect years ago, must reenter the world that cast him aside in order to determine the truth behind his father’s death. And as Ann Eliza’s narrative intertwines with Jordan’s search, readers are pulled deeper into the mysteries of love and faith.
(DE) HISTORICAL MYSTERY; PARALLEL NARRATIVES

     22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson
At the end of World War II, Silvana and her near-feral eight-year-old son Aurek board the ship that will take them from Poland to England. After living wild in the forests for years, carrying a terrible secret, all Silvana knows is that she and Aurek are survivors. Everything else is lost. Waiting for them in England is her husband Janusz, who has not seen his wife or son in six years. He has reinvented himself as an Englishman in hopes of forgetting the past. But the six years spent apart have changed them all. To make a real home, Silvana and Janusz will have to come to terms with what happened during the war, accept that each is different, and allow their beloved but wild son to be who he truly is.
(MA) HISTORICAL FICTION; ENGAGING

     Absolution by Alice McDermott
Tricia is a shy newlywed, married to a rising attorney on loan to navy intelligence. Charlene is a practiced corporate spouse and mother of three, a beauty and a bully. In Saigon in 1963, the two women form a wary alliance as they balance the era’s mandate to be “helpmeets” to their ambitious husbands with their own inchoate impulse to “do good” for the people of Vietnam. Sixty years later, Charlene’s daughter, spurred by an encounter with an aging Vietnam vet, reaches out to Tricia. Together, they look back at their time in Saigon, taking wry account of that pivotal year and of Charlene’s altruistic machinations, and discovering how their own lives as women on the periphery—of politics, of history, of war, of their husbands’ convictions—have been shaped and burdened by the same sort of unintended consequences that followed America’s tragic interference in Southeast Asia.
(HA) FICTION; RIVETING; VIETNAM WAR

     The Accidental by Ali Smith
Amber, thirty-something and barefoot, shows up at the door of the Norfolk cottage that the Smarts have rented for the summer. She talks her way in. She tells nothing but lies. She stays for dinner. As she insinuates herself into the family, the questions of who she is and how she’s come to be there drop away. Instead, dazzled by her seeming exoticism, the Smarts begin to examine the accidents of their lives through the searing lens of Amber’s perceptions. When Eve Smart finally banishes her from the cottage, Amber disappears from their sight, but not—they discover when they return home—from their profoundly altered lives.
(MA) LITERARY FICTION; EXPERIMENTAL; FAMILY LIFE

     The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
On the banks of the Mississippi River, Tom Sawyer and his friends seek out adventure at every turn. Then one fateful night in the graveyard, they witness a murder. The boys make an oath to never reveal the secret, and they run away to be pirates in search of treasure. But when Tom gets trapped in a cave with scary Injun Joe, can he escape unharmed?
(UP) CLASSIC FICTION; HUMOROUS; CHARMING

     The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
In the aftermath of World War II, unwed American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant. She’s also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in France during the war, might still be alive. When Charlie’s parents banish her to Europe to have her “little problem” taken care of, she flees to London, determined to find out what happened to Rose. There, she finds Eve Gardiner, a woman who worked as a spy for the Alice Network during World War I. Their chance meeting launches them both on a mission for the truth, no matter where it leads.
(HA, MA) HISTORICAL FICTION; PARALLEL NARRATIVES; GRIPPING

     All Adults Here by Emma Straub
When Astrid Strick witnesses a school bus accident in the center of town, it jostles loose a repressed memory from her young parenting days, decades years earlier. Suddenly, Astrid realizes she was not quite the parent she thought she'd been to her three, now-grown children. But to what consequence? Astrid's youngest son is drifting and unfocused, making parenting mistakes of his own. Her daughter is intentionally pregnant yet struggling to give up her own adolescence. And her eldest seems to measure his adult life according to standards no one else shares. But who gets to decide, so many years later, which long-ago lapses were the ones that mattered? Who decides which apologies really count? It might be that only Astrid's 13-year-old granddaughter and her new friend really understand the courage it takes to tell the truth to the people you love the most.
(HA) DOMESTIC FICTION; DEEPLY SATISFYING; HUMOROUS

     The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg
Mrs. Sookie Earle has just married off the last of her daughters and is looking forward to putting her feet up. But then one day, a package arrives. Its contents knock Sookie sideways, propelling her back to the 1940s, and to four irrepressible sisters whose wartime adventures force them to reimagine who they are and what they are capable of, running the All-Girl Filling Station in 1941 Wisconsin while all the men are off to war.
(DE) FUNNY; HEARTWARMING; UPBEAT

     All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is 12, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel. In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. As he becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, he is enlisted to use this talent to track down the resistance, bringing him into Marie-Laure’s life.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; COMPELLING; LYRICAL 

     American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
Lydia Quixano Perez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable. Even though she knows they'll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with four books he would like to buy-two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia's husband's tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.
(HA) SUSPENSE FICTION; UNBREAKABLE DETERMINATION; IMMIGRATION 

     An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Newlyweds Roy and Celestial are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined: Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years in prison for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood best friend and the best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold onto the love that has been her center. Then, after five years, Roy’s conviction is overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.
(HA, DE) LITERARY FICTION; HEART-WRENCHING; BITTERSWEET

     American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI by Kate Winkler Dawson
Describes the life of America’s first forensic scientist, who invented tools that are still being used today—including blood-spatter analysis, ballistics, lie-detector tests and fingerprints—and solved at least 2,000 cases over 40 years.
(SP) NON-FICTION; RIVETING; ENTERTAINING 

      Animal, Vegetable, Junk by Mark Bittman
The history of Homo sapiens is usually told as a story of technology or economics. But there is a more fundamental driver: food. How we hunted and gathered explains our emergence as a new species and our earliest technology; our first food systems, from fire to agriculture, tell where we settled and how civilizations expanded. The quest for food for growing populations drove exploration, colonialism, slavery, even capitalism. A century ago, food was industrialized. Since then, new styles of agriculture and food production have written a new chapter of human history, one that’s driving both climate change and global health crises.
(HA) HISTORY; AGRICULTURE; EXPANSIVE

     An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Fields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields might know what she’s thinking…and what she has been hiding. As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.
(HA) PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER; INTRICATELY PLOTTED

     Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
Taken hostage by a failed bank robber while attending an open house, eight anxiety-prone strangers--including a redemption-seeking bank director, two couples who would fix their marriages, and a plucky octogenarian--discover their unexpected common traits.
(HA) PSYCHOLOGICAL FICTION; HUMOROUS; QUIRKY

     Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty
A family of tennis stars debate whether or not to report their mother as missing because it would implicate their father in this novel that looks at marriage, sibling rivalry, and the lies we tell others and ourselves.
(HA) DOMESTIC REALISM; PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER; FAMILY

     Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope are two NYPD rookies assigned to the same precinct in 1973. They aren’t close on the job but find themselves living next door outside the city. What goes on in both houses—the loneliness of Francis’s wife Lena,  and the instability of Brian’s wife Anne—sets the stage for the events to come, brought on by the friendship and love that blossoms between Francis’s daughter, Kate, and Brian’s son Peter. In Kate and Peter’s eighth grade year, a violent event divides the neighbors, the Stanhopes are forced to move, and the kids are forbidden any contact. But Kate and Peter find a way back to each other, and their relationship is tested by echoes of the past.
(HA) FAMILY SAGA; LOVE STORY; MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES

     The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel
As America’s Mercury Seven astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, TV cameras focused on the brave smiles of their young wives. Overnight, these women were transformed from military wives into American royalty. They had tea with Jackie Kennedy, appeared on the cover of magazines, and became fashion icons. As their celebrity rose and divorce and tragedy touched their lives, the women formed bonds that would withstand the tests of time.
(RK) NON-FICTION; WOMEN IN HISTORY; FRIENDSHIPS

     Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown
In Atlas of the Heart, Brown takes us on a journey through 85 of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. As she maps the necessary skills and lays out an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances - a universe where we can share and steward the stories of our bravest and most heartbreaking moments with one another in a way that builds connection. An invaluable, research-based framework that shows us that naming an experience doesn't give the experience more power, it gives us the power of understanding, meaning, and choice.
(HA) SELF HELP; SELF ACTUALIZATION 

     The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin
When Anne Morrow travels to Mexico City, she meets Charles Lindbergh, fresh off his celebrated 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic. Enthralled by Charles’s assurance and fame, Anne is certain he has scarcely noticed her. But she is wrong: Charles sees in Anne a kindred spirit and a fellow adventurer. In the years that follow, Anne becomes the first female glider pilot in the U.S. But despite her achievements, she is viewed merely as the aviator’s wife. The fairy-tale life she once longed for will bring heartbreak and hardships, ultimately pushing her to reconcile her need for love and her desire for independence.
(MA) BIOGRAPHICAL NOVEL; LOVE STORY

     Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Beartown is a tiny, struggling community nestled deep in the forest of Sweden. If their junior hockey team, still playing in the old ice rink built generations ago by the working men who founded the town, can win the national semi-final, they might just attract a new ice rink and revitalize the town’s economy. But being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden for a group of boys to bear, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that leaves a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.
(HA) COMING OF AGE; LYRICAL; HAUNTING

     Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper looks out over the waters of the Ligurian Sea and sees a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio’s back lot—searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier. What unfolds is a dazzling but deeply human roller coaster of a story, spanning fifty years and nearly as many lives.
(RK) ROMANTIC; PARALLEL NARRATIVES; LOVE STORY

     Beautiful World, Where Are You? by Sally Rooney
Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a warehouse, and asks him if he’d like to travel to Rome with her. In Dublin, her best friend, Eileen, is getting over a break-up, and slips back into flirting with Simon, a man she has known since childhood. Alice, Felix, Eileen, and Simon are still young―but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they get together, they break apart. They have sex, they worry about sex, they worry about their friendships and the world they live in. Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world?
(HA) PSYCHOLOGICAL FICTION; FRIENDSHIP

     Becoming by Michelle Obama
In this memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm and wise, this is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations.
(HA, YE) MEMOIR; WOMEN’S LIVES & RELATIONSHIPS

     Becoming Madam Secretary by Stephanie Dray (NEW!)
Frances Perkins arrives in New York City at the turn of the century, armed with her trusty parasol and an unyielding determination to make a difference. One day Frances meets a young lawyer named Franklin Delano Roosevelt at a tea dance. Neither knows it yet, but over the next twenty years, they will form a historic partnership that will carry them both to the White House. Frances is destined to rise in a political world dominated by men, facing down the Great Depression as FDR’s most trusted lieutenant—even as she struggles to balance the demands of a public career with marriage and motherhood. And when vicious political attacks mount and personal tragedies threaten to derail her ambitions, she must decide what she’s willing to do—and what she’s willing to sacrifice—to save a nation.
(DE) HISTORICAL FICTION; CAPTIVATING; DRAMATIC 

     Bee Season by Myla Goldberg
Eliza Naumann, a seemingly unremarkable 9-year-old, expects never to fit into her gifted family: her autodidact father, Saul, absorbed in his study of Jewish mysticism; her brother, Aaron, the vessel of her father’s spiritual ambitions; and her brilliant but distant lawyer mother, Miriam. But when she sweeps her school and district spelling bees in quick succession, Saul, takes it as a sign that she is destined for greatness. In this altered reality, Saul inducts her into his study and lavishes upon her attention previously reserved for her brother. But when her mother’s secret life triggers a familial explosion, it is Eliza who must order the chaos.
(PP) COMING OF AGE; FAMILY LIFE

     The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King
Long retired, Sherlock Holmes quietly pursues his study of honeybee behavior on the Sussex Downs. He never imagined he would encounter anyone whose intellect matched his own, much less a teenage girl with a penchant for both detection and beekeeping. Miss Mary Russell becomes Holmes’ pupil and quickly hones her talent for deduction, disguises, and danger. But when an elusive villain enters the picture, their partnership is put to a real test.
(HA) HISTORICAL MYSTERY; LYRICAL; COMPELLING

      Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate 
In 1939, 12-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life on their family’s Mississippi River shanty-boat—until things suddenly go very wrong and the children are taken to a shady orphanage. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty. In the present day, Avery Stafford lives a life of privilege that is shattered when a visit home forces her to examine questions about her family’s history and sets her on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or redemption.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; PARALLEL NARRATIVES; FAMILY SAGA

     Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and disease from harrowing to manageable. But the goals of medicine seem too often to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Doctors, committed to extending life and uncomfortable discussing patients’ anxieties about death, fall back on false hopes and treatments that are actually shortening lives instead of improving them. Through eye-opening research and gripping stories of his own patients and family, Atul Gawande, himself a practicing surgeon, reveals the suffering this dynamic has produced.
(HA) NON-FICTION; HEALTH & MEDICINE; THOUGHT-PROVOKING

     Beloved by Toni Morrison
Sethe was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later, she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. Her new home is haunted by the vengeful, enraged ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, this is towering, spellbinding novel that stares unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery.
(CR) HISTORICAL FICTION; MAGICAL REALISM; DARK

     Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan
Italian teenager Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He’s a normal Italian teenager, but his days of innocence are numbered. When his family home in Milan is destroyed by bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow. Then, in an attempt to protect him, Pino’s parents force him to enlist as a German soldier—a move they think will keep him out of combat. But after he is injured, Pino, only 18, is recruited to be the personal driver for Hitler’s left hand in Italy.
(RK) HISTORICAL FICTION; SPY STORIES; WAR

     The Berry Pickers by Amanda Peters
July 1962. A Mi’kmaq family from Nova Scotia arrives in Maine to pick blueberries for the summer. Weeks later, four-year-old Ruthie, the family’s youngest child, vanishes. She is last seen by her six-year-old brother, Joe, sitting on a favorite rock at the edge of a berry field. Joe will remain distraught by his sister’s disappearance for years to come. In Maine, a young girl named Norma grows up as the only child of an affluent family. Her father is emotionally distant, her mother frustratingly overprotective. Norma is often troubled by recurring dreams and visions that seem more like memories than imagination. As she grows older, Norma slowly comes to realize there is something her parents aren’t telling her. Unwilling to abandon her intuition, she will spend decades trying to uncover this family secret. 
(UP) FICTION; DEBUT; KIDNAPPING

     Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Three women in a seaside town, each at a crossroads. There’s Madeline, a force to be reckoned with, dealing with the arrival in town of her ex-husband and his new wife; beautiful, remote Celeste, who is grappling with an unbearable situation at home and paying the price for the illusion of perfection; and Jane, a new-to-town single mom so young she is often mistaken for a nanny, and who harbors secret doubts about her son and a sadness beyond her years. When Madeline and Celeste take Jane under their wing, none of them realize how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.
(RK) WOMEN’S LIVES & RELATIONSHIPS; SUSPENSEFUL

     Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
We can’t choose what we inherit. But can we choose who we become?
In present-day California, Eleanor Bennett’s death leaves behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a black cake, made from a family recipe with a long history, and a voice recording. In her message, Eleanor shares a tumultuous story about a headstrong young swimmer who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder. The heartbreaking tale Eleanor unfolds, the secrets she still holds back, and the mystery of a long-lost child challenge everything the siblings thought they knew about their lineage and themselves. Can Byron and Benny reclaim their once-close relationship, piece together Eleanor’s true history, and fulfill her final request to “share the black cake when the time is right”? Will their mother’s revelations bring them back together or leave them feeling more lost than ever?
(HA) MOVING; MULTI-GENERATIONAL; CHARACTER DRIVEN

     Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall
Arrested and convicted of madness for seeking justice for her plantation-owning husband’s slaves at the height of the Civil War, Iris Dunleavy is sent away to Sanibel Asylum on a remote Florida island to be restored as a good, compliant woman. Iris knows, though, that her husband is the true criminal; she is no lunatic, only guilty of disagreeing with him on notions of justice, cruelty, and property. On this island, Iris meets the residents—some seemingly sane, some wrongly convinced they’re crazy, some charmingly odd, some dangerously unstable. But which of these is Ambrose Weller, the war-haunted Confederate soldier?
(RK) HISTORICAL FICTION; LOVE STORY

     The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd 
Raised in a wealthy family in Sepphoris with ties to the ruler of Galilee, Ana is rebellious and ambitious, a relentless seeker with a brilliant, curious mind and a daring spirit. She yearns for a pursuit worthy of her life, but finds no outlet for her considerable talents. Defying the expectations placed on women, she engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes secret narratives about neglected and silenced women. When she meets the eighteen-year-old Jesus, each is drawn to and enriched by the other's spiritual and philosophical ideas. He becomes a floodgate for her intellect, but also the awakener of her heart. Their marriage unfolds with love and conflict, humor and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, James and Simon, and their mother, Mary. Here, Ana's pent-up longings intensify amid the turbulent resistance to the Roman occupation of Israel, partially led by her charismatic adopted brother, Judas.
(HA) BIOGRAPHICAL FICTION; WOMEN'S VOICES; INSPIRING

     The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate
Louisiana, 1875: In the tumultuous aftermath of Reconstruction, three young women set off as unwilling companions on a perilous quest: Lavinia, the pampered heir to a now-destitute plantation; Juneau Jane, her illegitimate free-born Creole half-sister; and Hannie, Lavinia's former slave. Each carries private wounds and powerful secrets as they head for Texas, following dangerous roads rife with ruthless vigilantes and soldiers still fighting a war lost a decade before. For Lavinia and Juneau Jane, the journey is one of inheritance and financial desperation, but for Hannie, torn from her mother and eight siblings before slavery's end, the pilgrimage westward reignites an agonizing question: Could her long-lost family still be out there? Beyond the swamps lie the seemingly limitless frontiers of Texas and, improbably, hope. Louisiana, 1987: For first-year teacher Benedetta Silva, a subsidized job at a poor rural school seems like the ticket to canceling her hefty student debt--until she lands in a tiny, out-of-step Mississippi River town. Augustine, Louisiana, seems suspicious of new ideas and new people, and Benny can scarcely comprehend the lives of her poverty-stricken students. But amid the gnarled live oaks and run-down plantation homes lies the century-old history of three young women, a long-ago journey, and a hidden book that could change everything
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; DRAMATIC; AUTHENTIC

     The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
A personified Death tells the story of a German girl recently placed in a foster family. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself when by stealing when she finds something she can’t resist—books. Soon, she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, and wherever else there are books to be found. With the help of her foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids, as well as the Jewish man hidden in her basement, which both opens up and closes down Liesel’s world.
(DE, RK) HISTORICAL FICTION; COMING OF AGE; MOVING

     The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Michele Richardson
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a fictional account of real subjects in the history of eastern Kentucky. Cussy Mary is a "Book Woman" — one of the Packhorse Librarians who delivered books to remote areas of the Appalachian Mountains during the Great Depression, from 1935 to 1943, as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration (WPA) program. Cussy Mary is also a "Blue" — the last of a line of blue-skinned people, whose skin appears the unusual shade due to a rare genetic disorder. As a Book Woman, Cussy Mary is highly regarded, but as a Blue, she is feared and reviled and experiences racism, discrimination, and violence.
(DE) HISTORICAL; UNIQUE; APPALACHIA

     The Book Woman's Daughter by Kim Michelle Richardson
In the ruggedness of the beautiful Kentucky mountains, Honey Lovett has always known that the old ways can make a hard life harder. As the daughter of the famed blue-skinned, Troublesome Creek packhorse librarian, Honey and her family have been hiding from the law all her life. But when her mother and father are imprisoned, Honey realizes she must fight to stay free, or risk being sent away for good. Picking up her mother's old packhorse library route, Honey begins to deliver books to the remote hollers of Appalachia. Honey is looking to prove that she doesn't need anyone telling her how to survive. But the route can be treacherous, and some folks aren't as keen to let a woman pave her own way. If Honey wants to bring the freedom books provide to the families who need it most, she's going to have to fight for her place, and along the way, learn that the extraordinary women who run the hills and hollers can make all the difference in the world.
(DE) HISTORICAL FICTION; SISTERHOOD; INSPIRATIONAL

     Booth by Karen Joy Fowler
In 1822, a secret family moves into a secret cabin some thirty miles northeast of Baltimore, to farm, to hide, and to bear ten children over the course of the next sixteen years. Junius Booth—breadwinner, celebrated Shakespearean actor, and master of the house in more ways than one—is at once a mesmerizing talent and a man of terrifying instability. One by one the children arrive, as year by year, the country draws frighteningly closer to the boiling point of secession and civil war. As the tenor of the world shifts, the Booths emerge from their hidden lives to cement their place as one of the country’s leading theatrical families. But behind the curtains of the many stages they have graced, multiple scandals, family triumphs, and criminal disasters begin to take their toll, and the solemn siblings of John Wilkes Booth are left to reckon with the truth behind the destructively specious promise of an early prophecy.
(HA) FICTION; STARTLING; EPIC

     Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Trevor Noah’s path from South Africa to The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. He was born to a white father and a black mother at a time when such a union was punishable by 5 years in prison. Finally liberated at the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, he and his mother could live freely. This is the story of a young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist.
(HA) MEMOIR; FUNNY; COMING OF AGE

     The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant
Addie Baum is born in 1900 to immigrant parents unprepared for and suspicious of America’s influence on their three daughters. Growing up in Boston’s North End, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addie’s intelligence and curiosity take her to a world her parents can’t imagine. At 85, she recounts the story of her life to her 22-year-old granddaughter, who has asked her, “How did you get to be the woman you are today?” Addie begins her story when she is 15 and first finds her voice and the friends who will shape her, providing a fascinating look at a generation of women finding their place in a changing world.
(RK) HISTORICAL FICTION; COMING OF AGE

     The Boston Massacre: A Family History by Serena Zabin
The story of the Boston Massacre—when on a late winter evening in 1770, British soldiers shot five local men to death—is familiar to generations. But from the very beginning, many accounts have obscured a fascinating truth: the Massacre arose from conflicts that were as personal as they were political. Professor Serena Zabin draws on original sources and lively stories to follow British troops as they are dispatched from Ireland to Boston in 1768 to subdue the increasingly rebellious colonists. And she reveals a forgotten world hidden in plain sight: the many regimental wives and children who accompanied these armies. We see these families jostling with Bostonians for living space, finding common cause in the search for a lost child, trading barbs, and sharing baptisms. Becoming, in other words, neighbors. When soldiers shot unarmed citizens in the street, it was these intensely human, now broken bonds that fueled what quickly became a bitterly fought American Revolution.
(DE) NONFICTION; DRAMATIC; ENGAGING

     Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the nation that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In this book, she brings these lenses of knowledge together to show that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings are we capable of understanding the generosity of the earth.
(DE) NON-FICTION; SCIENCE

     The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick, Dominican ghetto nerd. From his home in New Jersey where he lives with his old-world mother and rebellious sister, he dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien, and most of all, of finding love. But he may never get want he wants, thanks to the Fukœ—the curse that has haunted his family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-fated love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim.
(MA) LITERARY FICTION; MAGICAL REALISM

     Bright Young Women by Jessica Knoll
The book opens on a Saturday night in 1978, hours before a soon-to-be-infamous murderer descends upon a Florida sorority house with deadly results. The lives of those who survive, including sorority president and key witness, Pamela Schumacher, are forever changed. Across the country, Tina Cannon is convinced her missing friend was targeted by the man papers refer to as the All-American Sex Killer--and that he's struck again. Determined to find justice, the two join forces as their search for answers leads to a final, shocking confrontation.
(HA) THRILLER; EXHILARATING; ENGAGING

     Build the Life You Want by Arthur C. Brooks and Oprah Winfrey
In Build the Life You Want, Arthur C. Brooks and Oprah Winfrey invite you to begin a journey toward greater happiness no matter how challenging your circumstances. Drawing on cutting-edge science and their years of helping people translate ideas into action, they show you how to improve your life right now instead of waiting for the outside world to change. With insight, compassion, and hope, Brooks and Winfrey reveal how the tools of emotional self-management can change your life immediately. They recommend practical, research-based practices to build the four pillars of happiness: family, friendship, work, and faith. And along the way, they share hard-earned wisdom from their own lives and careers as well as the witness of regular people whose lives are joyful despite setbacks and hardship.
(HA) SELF-HELP; HAPPINESS; CHANGE

     A Burning by Megha Majumdar
After a fiery attack on a train leaves 104 people dead, the fates of three people become inextricably entangled. Jivan, a bright, striving woman from the slums looking for a way out of poverty, is wrongly accused of planning the attack because of a careless comment on Facebook. PT Sir, a slippery gym teacher from Jivan's former high school, has hitched his aspirations to a rising right wing party, and his own ascent becomes increasingly linked to Jivan's fall. Lovelyan irresistible outcast whose exuberant voice and dreams of glory fill the novel with warmth and hope and humorhas the alibi that can set Jivan free, but it will cost her everything she holds dear.
(HA) SUSPENSE FICTION; GRIPPING; THOUGHT PROVOKING

     Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
Growing up in the tiny settlement of Great Harbor, Bethia Mayfield yearns for an education that is closed to her due to her gender. At age twelve, she encounters Caleb, the young son of a chieftain, and the two forge a secret friendship that draws each into the world of the other. Bethia’s minister father tries to convert the Wampanoag, awakening the wrath of the tribe’s shaman, against whose magic he must test his own beliefs. One of his projects becomes the education of Caleb, and a year later, Caleb is at Cambridge, studying among the colonial elite. There, Bethia finds herself reluctantly indentured as a housekeeper and can closely observe Caleb’s crossing of cultures.
(DE) HISTORICAL FICTION; LYRICAL; LUSH

     Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth
In the 1950s, 22-year-old Jenny Lee leaves her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in London’s East End slums. While delivering babies across the city, she encounters a colorful cast of women, from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with who she lived to the woman with 24 children who can’t speak English, to the prostitutes of the city’s seedier side. An unforgettable story of motherhood, the bravery of a community, and the strength of remarkable and inspiring women.
(RK) MEMOIR; WOMEN’S LIVES & RELATIONSHIPS

     Cane River by Lalita Tademy
Beginning with her own great-great-great-great grandmother, Lalita Tademy chronicles four generations of strong, determined black women as they battle injustice to unite their family and forge success on their own terms. These are women whose lives began in slavery, who weather the Civil War, and who grapple with the contradictions of emancipation, Jim Crow, and the pre-Civil Rights South. As she peels back layers of racial and cultural attitudes, Tademy paints a picture of rural Louisiana and the spirit of an unforgettable family.
(CR) FAMILY SAGA; HISTORICAL FICTION; BIOGRAPHICAL NOVEL

     Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict
In the 1860s at the dawn of the Carnegie empire, Irish immigrant Clara Kelly finds herself in desperate circumstances. Looking for a way out, she seeks employment as a lady’s maid in the home of businessman Andrew Carnegie. Soon, the bond between employee and employer deepens into love. But when Clara goes missing, Carnegie’s search for her unearths secrets and revelations that lay the foundation for his lasting legacy. With captivating insight and heart, this is the story of one lost woman who may have transformed Carnegie from ruthless industrialist into the world’s first true philanthropist.
(MA) HISTORICAL FICTION; BIOGRAPHICAL NOVEL; LOVE STORY

     Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Carolina Soto is undeniably fierce.She is determined to be the best professional tennis player the world has ever seen. And by the time she retires from the game in 1989 at the age of thirty-one, she is just that: the best. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Slam titles. And if you ask Carrie, she is entitled to every one of those victories. After all, her dad-a former champion tennis player himself-has trained her for this since the age of two, always emphasizing, "We don't stop for one second until you are the best." Which is why it is infuriating when Nicki Chan arrives on the scene six years later and ties Carrie with twenty Slams. Just like that, Carrie's championship record is slipping through her hands. And she can't let that happen. So at thirty-seven years old, Carrie Soto is coming out of retirement to defend her title. Even if the sports media says she's too old to be playing professionally. Even if her injured athlete's body doesn't move as fast as it once did. Even if it means trusting her father to coach her again after he betrayed her all those years ago. And even if the fans don't want the cold, heartless "Battle Axe" Carrie back. In spite of it all: Carrie. Is. Back. She will return for one final season to prove to the world that she is the all-time champion. Because if you know your destiny is to be the best, isn't it your right to keep fighting for it?
(HA) MEMORABLE; READABLE; POWERFUL

     The Celebrants by Steven Rowley
It's been a minute--or five years--since Jordan Vargas last saw his college friends, and twenty-eight years since their graduation when their adult lives officially began. Now Jordan, Jordy, Naomi, Craig, and Marielle find themselves at the brink of a new decade, with all the responsibilities of adulthood, yet no closer to having their lives figured out. Over the years they've reunited in Big Sur to honor a decades-old pact to throw each other living "funerals," celebrations to remind themselves that life is worth living--that their lives mean something, to one another, if not to themselves. But this reunion is different. This time, Jordan is sitting on a secret that will upend their pact. 
(HA) FRIENDSHIP; MOVING; FUNNY

     A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve
Margaret and Patrick have been married just a few months when they set off on what they hope will be a great adventure—a year living in Kenya. Margaret quickly realizes there is a great deal she doesn’t know about her new home, and about her own husband. When a British couple invites them to join on a climbing expedition to Mount Kenya, they eagerly agree. But during their ascent, a horrific accident occurs, and Margaret struggles to understand what happened on the mountain and how these events have transformed her and her marriage, perhaps forever.
(DE) REFLECTIVE; LEISURELY PACED

     Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
One moment June Nealon was happily looking forward to years full of laughter and adventure with her family; the next, she was staring into a future that was as empty as her heart. For Shay Bourne, life holds no more surprises. The world has given him nothing, and he has nothing to offer the world. Now, he has one last chance for salvation, and it lies with June’s 11-year-old daughter, Claire. But between Shay and Claire stretches an ocean of bitter regrets, past crimes, and the rage of a mother who has lost her child. But can you give up vengeance against someone you hate if it meant saving someone you love?
(DE) PSYCHOLOGICAL FICTION; INTRICATELY PLOTTED

     The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty
A few years before she would become a silent film star and an icon of her generation, 15-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita, for a prestigious New York dance school. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by complicated but traditional Cora Carlisle, a 36-year-old chaperone who is neither her mother nor her friend. Cora has her own reasons for making the trip, but has no idea what she’s in for. Young Louise, already stunningly beautiful, is known for her arrogance and her lack of respect for convention. Ultimately, the weeks they spend together will transform their lives forever.
(RK) BIOGRAPHICAL NOVEL; ENGAGING; HISTORICAL FICTION

     China Dolls by Lisa See
Ruby, Helen, and Grace, three girls from very different backgrounds, find themselves competing at the same audition for showgirl roles at an exclusive “Oriental” nightclub. Despite their differences, the girls grow to depend on each other. Then, everything changes with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Suddenly, the government is sending innocent Japanese people to internment camps under suspicion—including Ruby, who is Japanese but has been passing as Chinese, something only Helen and Grace know. But which of her friends betrayed her?
(DE) HISTORICAL FICTION; FRIENDSHIPS; CHARACTER-DRIVEN

     City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
In 1940, 19-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There, Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters. But when she makes a personal mistake that turns into a professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves—and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; STRONG SENSE OF PLACE; SWEEPING

     City of Thieves by David Benioff
During the Nazis’ brutal siege of Leningrad, Lev Beniov is arrested for looting and thrown into the same cell as a handsome deserter named Kolya. Instead of being executed, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful Soviet colonel to use in his daughter’s wedding cake. In a city cut off from all supplies and suffering unbelievable deprivation, Lev and Kolya embark on a hunt through the dire lawlessness of Leningrad and behind enemy lines to find the impossible.
(DE) FUNNY; SUSPENSEFUL; HISTORICAL FICTION

     A City on Mars by Kelly and Zach Weinersmith
The authors of the best-selling popular science book Soonish discuss the future of space settlements, explore what would be needed to have space kids, build space farms and create nations, ultimately questioning whether or not it’s actually a good idea.
(HA) NONFICTION; ENTERTAINING; SPACE

     Clock Dance by Anne Tyler
Willa Drake can count on one hand the defining moments in her life. At each of them, she ended up on a path laid out for her by others. So when she gets a call telling her that her son’s ex-girlfriend has been shot and needs help, she drops everything and flies across the country. The decision to help this woman—plus her dog and her 9-year-old daughter—will lead Willa into uncharted territory. Surrounded by new and surprising neighbors, she is plunged into the rituals that make a community.
(HA) LIGHTHEARTED; WOMEN’S LIVES & RELATIONSHIPS

     The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton
Summer, 1862: a group of young artists descends on Birchwood Manor, looking forward to a haze of creativity and inspiration. But by the end of summer, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared, a priceless heirloom is missing, and the life of the group’s leader is in ruins. In the present day, a young archivist in London named Elodie Winslow uncovers a satchel containing a photo of a Victorian woman and an artist’s sketchbook. But why does Birchwood Manor feel so familiar to her? And who is the woman in the photograph?
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; PARALLEL NARRATIVES; MYSTERY

     Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
Follows four young dreamers and outcasts through time and space, from 1453 Constantinople to the future, as they discover resourcefulness and hope amidst peril in the new novel by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of All the Light We Cannot See.
(HA) FICTION; BRILLANT

     The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah
Ghetto-born Winter is the young, wealthy daughter of a prominent Brooklyn drug-dealing family. Quick-witted, sexy, and business-minded, she knows and loves the streets like the curves of her own body. When the unthinkable happens and her father is sent to prison, her street smarts and seductive skill set is put to the test like never before. Unwilling to lose, this ghetto girl will do anything to stay on top.
(CR) URBAN FICTION; GRITTY

     Come and Get It by Kiley Reid (NEW!)
It's 2017 at the University of Arkansas. Millie Cousins, a senior resident assistant, wants to graduate, get a job, and buy a house. So when Agatha Paul, a visiting professor and writer, offers Millie an easy yet unusual opportunity, she jumps at the chance. But Millie's starry-eyed hustle becomes jeopardized by odd new friends, vengeful dorm pranks, and illicit intrigue.
(HA) COLLEGE; TENSION-FILLED; FICTION

     Come Home by Lisa Scottoline
Jill Farrow is a typical suburban mom who has finally gotten her and her daughter’s lives back on track after a divorce. But her life is turned upside down when her ex-stepdaughter Abby shows up on her doorstep one night and delivers shocking news: Jill’s ex-husband is dead. Abby insists that he was murdered and pleads with Jill to help find his killer. Jill reluctantly agrees to make a few inquiries and discovers that things don’t add up. As she digs deeper, her actions threaten to rip apart her new family and even endanger her life. But how can Jill turn her back on a child she once called her own?
(DE) INTRICATELY PLOTTED; SUSPENSEFUL

     Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert
While traveling the world following her divorce, as chronicled in Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian living in Indonesia. Resettling in America, the couple swore eternal love but also vowed never to marry, since both were survivors of previous bad divorces. Then the US government gave them an ultimatum: get married, or Felipe could never enter America again. Having been effectively sentenced to wed, Gilbert tackled her fear of marriage by delving into the topic completely, trying through historical research, interviews, and much personal reflection to discover what this stubbornly enduring old institution actually is.
(DE) MEMOIR; WITTY

     Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting into motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families. Spanning five decades, this novel explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows between them.
(HA) LITERARY FICTION; FAMILY SAGA; COMING OF AGE

     Community Board by Tara Conklin
Darcy Clipper, prodigal daughter, nearly thirty, has returned home to Murbridge, Massachusetts, after her life takes an unwelcome left turn. Murbridge, Darcy is convinced, will welcome her home and provide a safe space in which she can nurse her wounds and harbor grudges, both real and imagined. But Murbridge, like so much else Darcy thought to be fixed and immutable, has changed. And while Darcy’s first instinct might be to hole herself up in her childhood bedroom, subsisting on Chef Boy-R-Dee and canned chickpeas, it is human nature to do two things: seek out meaningful human connection and respond to anonymous internet postings. As Murbridge begins to take shape around Darcy, both online and in person, Darcy will consider the most fundamental of American questions: What can she ask of her community? And what does she owe it in return?
(HA) FICTION; COMMUNITY; BIG-HEARTED

     The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer
Born in 1871 with the physical appearance of an elderly man, Max Tivoli grows mentally like any other child, but his body appears to age backwards, growing younger each year. And yet, his physical curse proves to be a blessing, especially when it comes to love, as he is able to win the same woman in three consecutive encounters, years apart, when she fails to recognize him, so giving Max another chance at love. Over Max’s narration of the preceding decades of his life, he offers outsider’s snapshots of San Francisco and all of America across the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
(PP) FANTASY; MAGICAL REALISM; LOVE STORY

     The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese
Spanning the years 1900 to 1977, The Covenant of Water is set in Kerala, on South India’s Malabar Coast, and follows three generations of a family that suffers a peculiar affliction: in every generation, at least one person dies by drowning—and in Kerala, water is everywhere. At the turn of the century, a twelve-year-old girl from Kerala’s long-existing Christian community, grieving the death of her father, is sent by boat to her wedding, where she will meet her forty-year-old husband for the first time. From this unforgettable new beginning, the young girl—and future matriarch, known as Big Ammachi—will witness unthinkable changes over the span of her extraordinary life, full of joy and triumph as well as hardship and loss, her faith and love the only constants.
(HA, SP) HISTORICAL FICTION; EMOTIONAL; LITERARY

     Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
In this exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer, songwriter, and guitarist. With humor and heart, she tells of growing up one of the few Asian American kids at her school in Eugene, Oregon; of struggling with her mother's particular, high expectations of her; of a painful adolescence; of treasured months spent in her grandmother's tiny apartment in Seoul, where she and her mother would bond, late at night, over heaping plates of food. As she grew up, moving to the East Coast for college, finding work in the restaurant industry, and performing gigs with her fledgling band--and meeting the man who would become her husband--her Koreanness began to feel ever more distant, even as she found the life she wanted to live. It was her mother's diagnosis of terminal cancer, when Michelle was twenty-five, that forced a reckoning with her identity and brought her to reclaim the gifts of taste, language, and history her mother had given her. Vivacious and plainspoken, lyrical and honest, Zauner's voice is as radiantly alive on the page as it is onstage. Rich with intimate anecdotes that will resonate widely, and complete with family photos, Crying in H Mart is a book to cherish, share, and reread.
(HA) MEMOIR; HEART WRENCHING; LYRICAL

     Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between an Indian nun and a British surgeon in Ethiopia. Orphaned by their mother’s death in childbirth and their father’s disappearance, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. When their love for the same woman drives them apart, Marion, fresh out of medical school, flees to America, where his past soon catches up with him.
(RK) FAMILY SAGA; LITERARY FICTION; INTRICATELY PLOTTED

     Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind the band’s split at the absolute height of their popularity…until now. Daisy is a girl coming of age in Los Angeles in the late 60s, sneaking into clubs and dreaming of singing at the Whisky A Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock & roll she loves most. By the time she’s 20, her voice and her beauty are getting noticed. Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that they key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; LOVE STORY; UNIQUE STRUCTURE

     Deacon King Kong by James McBride
 In September 1969, a fumbling, cranky old church deacon known as Sportcoat shuffles into the courtyard of the Cause Houses housing project in south Brooklyn, pulls a .45 from his pocket, and in front of everybody shoots the project's drug dealer at point-blank range. The reasons for this desperate burst of violence and the consequences that spring from it lie at the heart of the novel. McBride brings to vivid life the people affected by the shooting: the victim, the African-American and Latinx residents who witnessed it, the white neighbors, the local cops assigned to investigate, the members of the Five Ends Baptist Church where Sportcoat was deacon, the neighborhood's Italian mobsters, and Sportcoat himself. As the story deepens, it becomes clear that the lives of the characters--caught in the tumultuous swirl of 1960s New York--overlap in unexpected ways.
(HA) AFRICAN AMERICAN FICTION; WITTY; MOVING

     Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
One summer morning, twelve-year-old Edward Adler, his beloved older brother, his parents, and 183 other passengers board a flight in Newark headed for Los Angeles. Among them are a Wall Street wunderkind, a young woman coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy, an injured veteran returning from Afghanistan, a business tycoon, and a free-spirited woman running away from her controlling husband. Halfway across the country, the plane crashes. Edward is the sole survivor. Edward's story captures the attention of the nation, but he struggles to find a place in a world without his family. But then he makes an unexpected discovery - one that will lead him to the answers of some of life's most profound questions: When you've lost everything, how do you find the strength to put one foot in front of the other? How do you learn to feel safe again? How do you find meaning in your life?
(HA) LITERARY FICTION; GRIEF AND LOSS; COMING OF AGE

     Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis
At sixteen, Emmie Blue stood in the fields of her school and released a red balloon into the sky. Attached was her name, her email address, and a secret she desperately wanted to be free of. Weeks later, on a beach in France, Lucas Moreau discovered the balloon and immediately emailed the attached addressed, sparking an intense friendship between the two teens. Now, fourteen years later, Emmie is hiding the fact that she's desperately in love with Lucas. She has pinned all her hopes on him and waits patiently for him to finally admit that she's the one for him. So dedicated to her love for Lucas, Emmie has all but neglected her life outside of this relationship, she's given up the search for her absentee father, no longer tries to build bridges with her distant mother, and lives as a lodger to an old lady she barely knows after being laid off from her job. And when Lucas tells Emmie he has a big question to ask her, she's convinced this is the moment he'll reveal his feelings for her. But nothing in life ever quite goes as planned, does it?
(DE) ROMANTIC COMEDY; CHARMING

     Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce
Emmy Lake is doing her bit for the World War II war effort, volunteering as a phone operator. When she sees an ad for a job working at the local newspaper, her dream of becoming a war correspondent suddenly seems achievable. But the job turns out to typist to the renowned advice columnist Mrs. Henrietta Bird, who is very clear that any letters containing “unpleasantness” are to go straight in the bin. But as Emmy reads poignant letters from woman spilling out their troubles, she can’t resist responding.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; HEARTWARMING; BITTERSWEET; CHARMING

     The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall
Charles is destined to succeed his father as an esteemed professor at Harvard, until an unorthodox lecture about faith leads him to ministry. How then can he fall in love with Lily—fiercely intelligent, elegantly stern—when she tells him with certainty that she will never believe in God? And yet, how can he not? James, the youngest son of a hardscrabble family, spent much of his youth angry at his alcoholic father. Nan grew up the devout daughter of a minister and a debutante. James’s escape from his circumstances lead him to Nan and, despite his skepticism, her gentle, constant faith changes the course of his life. When the two men are hired to steward the historic Third Presbyterian Church through turbulent times, personal differences threaten to tear them apart.
(HA) FAMILY DYSFUNCTION; MOVING; MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES

     Defending Jacob by William Landay
Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban county in Massachusetts for over 20 years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shakes their quiet New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: 14-year-old Jacob is charged with the murder of a fellow student.
(RK) LEGAL THRILLER; CHARACTER-DRIVEN; HAUNTING

     Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia, Demon Copperhead is the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father’s good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. Relayed in his own unsparing voice, Demon braves the modern perils of foster care, child labor, derelict schools, athletic success, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses. Through all of it, he reckons with his own invisibility in a popular culture where even the superheroes have abandoned rural people in favor of cities.
(HA, UP, RK) BRILLIANT; HEART-BREAKING; COMING OF AGE

     The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
Andrea Sachs, a small-town girl fresh out of college, lands “the job that a million girls would die for,” working as the assistant to Miranda Priestly, editor-in-chief of Runway Magazine. She hopes the experience she gains putting up with ridiculous tasks and an abusive boss will someday land her a job at the magazine of her choosing. But Andrea soon begins to realize that the job girls would die for might kill her. And even if she survives, she has to decide whether or not the job is worth the price of her soul.
(PP) FUNNY; ENGAGING; CHARACTER-DRIVEN

     The Dinner List by Rebecca Serl
At one point or another, everyone has been asked to name five people, living or dead, with whom they’d like to have dinner. Why do we choose the people we choose? And what if that dinner was to actually happen? When Sabrina arrives at her thirtieth birthday dinner, she finds at the table not just her best friend, but also three significant people from her past…and Audrey Hepburn. As the appetizers are served, wine poured, and dinner table conversation begins, it becomes clear that there is a reason that these six people have been gathered together.
(HA) ROMANTIC FICTION; MAGICAL REALISM; LIGHTHEARTED

     Dinners With Ruth by Nina Totenberg
Dinners with Ruth is an extraordinary account of two women who paved the way for future generations by tearing down professional and legal barriers. It is also an intimate memoir of the power of friendships as women began to pry open career doors and transform the workplace. At the story’s heart is one, special relationship: Ruth and Nina saw each other not only through personal joys, but also illness, loss, and widowhood. During the devastating illness and eventual death of Nina’s first husband, Ruth drew her out of grief; twelve years later, Nina would reciprocate when Ruth’s beloved husband died. They shared not only a love of opera, but also of shopping, as they instinctively understood that clothes were armor for women who wanted to be taken seriously in a workplace dominated by men. During Ruth’s last year, they shared so many small dinners that Saturdays were “reserved for Ruth” in Nina’s house. Dinners with Ruth also weaves together compelling, personal portraits of other fascinating women and men from Nina’s life, including her cherished NPR colleagues Cokie Roberts and Linda Wertheimer; her beloved husbands; her friendships with multiple Supreme Court Justices, including Lewis Powell, William Brennan, and Antonin Scalia, and Nina’s own family—her father, the legendary violinist Roman Totenberg, and her “best friends,” her sisters.
(HA) MEMOIR; MOVING; INSPIRING

     The Doctor’s Daughter by Hilma Wolitzer
One morning, Alice Brill awakes with an awareness that something is wrong. There’s a hollowness in her chest, and a sensation of dread that she can’t shake. As she searches for the source of her unease, she confronts an array of possibilities: her once-vibrant marriage, now languishing; her misdirected son; the loss of her career as an editor at a publishing house. But Alice is buoyed by her discovery of a talented new writer, a man who works by day as a machinist in Michigan. Soon their feelings intensify, and Alice realizes that the mystery she’s been trying to solve lies not in the future but in the past.
(MA) CHARACTER-DRIVEN; REFLECTIVE

     Dominicana by Angie Cruz
15-year-old Ana Cancion never dreamed of America the way girls she grew up with in the Dominican did. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she has to say yes. Although he is twice her age, it is an opportunity for her entire family to eventually immigrate. So Ana leaves behind all she knows and becomes Ana Ruiz, confined to a cold walk-up in Washington Heights. Lonely and miserable, Ana hatches a plan to escape. But at a bus terminal, she is stopped by Juan’s brother, Cesar, who convinces her to stay. As the Dominican Republic slides into political turmoil, Juan returns to protect his assets, leaving Cesar to take care of Ana. When he comes home, Ana must once again decide between her heart and her duty to her family.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; CULTURAL DIFFERENCES; WOMEN’S LIVES

     Down River by John Hart
Adam Chase has a violent streak, and not without reason. As a boy, he saw things no child should see, suffered wounds that cut to the core and scarred. The trauma left him passionate and misunderstood. After being acquitted of a murder charge, Adam is hounded out of the only home he’s ever known, exiled for a sin he didn’t commit. For five years, he disappears. Now he’s back and nobody knows why. When bodies start turning up again, the small town rises against him and Adam again finds himself embroiled in the fight of his life.
(DE) MYSTERY; MOODY; SUSPENSEFUL

     The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott
Tess, a spirited young woman and aspiring seamstress, is over the moon. She has just been hired by the famous designer Lady Lucille Duff Gordon to be her personal maid on board the Titanic. Once on board, Tess catches the eye of two men, one a roughly-hewn but kind sailor, and the other an enigmatic Chicago millionaire. But soon, disaster strikes and Tess barely escapes with her life. Once back on land, rumors begin to circulate about Lady Duff Gordon’s questionable on-board actions as she becomes the subject of media scorn and, later, the hearings on the Titanic.
(DE) HISTORICAL FICTION; SURVIVAL STORY

     The Dry by Jane Harper
Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades after he receives a note demanding that he attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. 20 years ago, when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. But now, more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead. In the midst of the worst drought in a century, Falk investigates whether there’s more to Luke’s death than meets the eye, long-buried mysteries resurface, and Falk discovers that small towns have big secrets.
(HA) MYSTERY; SUSPENSEFUL; ATMOSPHERIC

     The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
At the end of World War II, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves. The story is told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister Maeve are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from, and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; FAMILY DYSFUNCTION

     Educated by Tara Westover
Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she spent her days preparing for the end of the world with a ready-made “head-for-the-hills” bag. The family was so isolated from society that there was no one to ensure the children got an education, and no one to intervene when Tara’s older brother became violent. Then, Tara began to educate herself. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her across the world—and away from her family. Only then would she come to wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.
(HA) MEMOIR; COMING OF AGE; SHOCKING; COMPELLING

     Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: she struggles with social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully planned life of avoiding social interactions. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.
(HA) CONTEMPORARY FICTION; QUIRKY; UNLIKELY FRIENDSHIPS

     The Engineer's Wife by Tracey Enerson Wood
The Engineer’s Wife is historical fiction about Emily Warren Roebling, the compelling woman who played an instrumental role in the design and construction of the Brooklyn Bridge during the era of women’s suffrage, riots, and corruption.
(DE) HISTORICAL FICTION; WOMEN 

     Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
In a small town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth "Evvie" Drake rarely leaves her house. Everyone in town, including her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and she doesn't correct them. In New York, Dean Tenney, former major-league pitcher and Andy's childhood friend, is struggling with a case of the "yips": he can't throw straight anymore, and he can't figure out why. An invitation from Andy to stay in Maine for a few months seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button. When Dean moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie's house, the two make a deal: Dean won't ask about Evvie's late husband, and Evvie won't ask about Dean's baseball career. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken--and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. But before they can find out what might lie ahead, they'll have to wrestle a few demons: the bonds they've broken, the plans they've changed, and the secrets they've kept. They'll need a lot of help, but in life, as in baseball, there's always a chance--right up until the last out.
(HA) ROMANTIC FICTION; QUIRKY; HUMOROUS

     Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed meet and embark on a furtive love affair. They’re soon forced into premature intimacy by the unrest. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and at a price. As the violence escalates, the two decide that they have no choice: leaving their homeland and old lives behind, they find a door and step through.
(MA) LITERARY FICTION; LOVE STORY; MAGICAL REALISM

     Facing the Mountain by Daniel James Brown
Draws on extensive interviews with the families of four soldiers to chronicle the special Japanese-American Army unit that overcame brutal odds in Europe while their parents were forced to surrender their homes and submit to life in concentration camps on American soil.
(HA) NON-FICTION; MILITARY HISTORY

     The Fairytale Life of Dorothy Gale by Virginia Kantra
Dorothy (Dee) Gale is searching for a place to belong. After her mother's death, Dee and her sister Toni settled with Uncle Henry and Aunt Em in Kansas, and Dee attended the University of Kansas. But after falling in love with and subsequently being humiliated by an adjunct faculty member and novelist, Dee is unable to face him-and the rest of the school-and applies to the writing program at Trinity College Dublin. At Trinity, Dee finds solace in a new group of friends. Throughout the semesters, the friends grow closer and encounter new opportunities, love, and heartbreak. Dee is faced with a choice that could dictate her future, but she still has feelings of doubt and insecurity. While she doesn't know where she belongs or what she truly wants, she is ready to make that decision-they say there's no place like home, but Dee comes to realize that wherever she ends up in the world will be where she's meant to be.
(HA) COLLEGE; FRIENDSHIP; IRELAND

     A Family Affair by Robyn Carr
Anna McNichol knows how to take charge. Raised by a single mother, she’s worked to ensure her three children have every advantage she didn’t. And while her marriage has its problems, she values commitment and believes in "till death do us part." Now an empty nester, she’s at the peak of her career and ready to seize the opportunity to focus on her future. But life can change in an instant, and when her husband dies suddenly, Anna’s carefully constructed world falls apart. The mysterious young woman at the memorial service confirms her husband had been keeping secrets, and Anna is determined to get to the truth. 
(DE) FICTION; FAMILY; REINVENTION STORY 

     Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo
Flor has a gift: she can predict, to the day, when someone will die. So when she decides she wants a living wake—a party to bring her family and community together to celebrate the long life she's led—her sisters are surprised. Has Flor foreseen her own death, or someone else's? Does she have other motives? She refuses to tell her sisters, Matilde, Pastora, and Camila. But Flor isn't the only person with secrets: her sisters are hiding things, too. And the next generation, cousins Ona and Yadi, face tumult of their own. Spanning the three days prior to the wake, Family Lore traces the lives of each of the Marte women, weaving together past and present, Santo Domingo, and New York City.
(HA) FICTION; WOMEN; MULTI-GENERATIONAL

     A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny
No one in Three Pines liked CC de Poitiers. Not her quiet husband, not her spineless lover, not her pathetic daughter, and certainly none of the residents. CC managed to alienate everyone, right up to the moment of her death. When Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is called to investigate, he quickly realizes the situation is quite extraordinary: CC was electrocuted in the middle of a frozen lake, in front of the entire village, and yet no one saw anything. Who could have been insane enough to try such a method—or brilliant enough to succeed?
(UP) MYSTERY; SUSPENSEFUL; EERIE

     First Lie Wins by Ashley Elston
Evie Porter has everything a nice, Southern girl could want: a perfect, doting boyfriend, a house with a white picket fence and a garden, a fancy group of friends. The only catch: Evie Porter doesn't exist. The identity comes first: Evie Porter. Once she's given a name and location by her mysterious boss Mr. Smith, she learns everything there is to know about the town and the people in it. Then the mark: Ryan Sumner. The last piece of the puzzle is the job. Evie isn't privy to Mr. Smith's real identity,but she knows this job will be different. Ryan has gotten under her skin, and she's starting to envision a different sort of life for herself. But Evie can't make any mistakes--especially after what happened last time.
(HA) SUSPENSE; FAST PACED; RIVETING

     Five Miles South of Peculiar by Angela Hunt
Darlene Caldwell is a pillar of her community, where she has spent her life tending Sycamores, an estate located five miles south of a town called Peculiar. It is the kingdom where she reigns as queen—until her limelight-stealing twin, Broadway stage veteran Carlene, returns. Their younger sister Magnolia, haunted by a tragic romance, has never wanted to live anywhere but Sycamores, but must make a choice when she meets a man haunted by tragedy.
(PP) LIGHTHEARTED; WOMEN’S LIVES & RELATIONSHIPS

     Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland
Atlantic City, 1934. Every summer, Esther and Joseph Adler rent their house out to vacationers escaping to "America's Playground" and move into the apartment above their bakery. The apartment is where they raised their two daughters, Fannie and Florence, and, despite the cramped quarters, it still feels like home. Now Florence has returned from college, determined to spend the summer training to swim the English Channel, and Fannie, pregnant again after recently losing a baby, is on bedrest, leaving her young daughter Gussie in Esther's care. When tragedy strikes during one of Florence's practice swims, Esther makes the shocking decision to keep the truth about Florence's death from Fannie-at least until the baby is born. She pulls the rest of the family into an elaborate web of secret-keeping and lies, forcing to the surface long-buried tensions that show us just how quickly the act of protecting those we love can turn into betrayal.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; UPLIFTING; CHARACTER-DRIVEN

     Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner
After decades of marriage and reinventing herself as the perfect politician’s wife, Sylvie Serfer finds herself on the wrong end of a heartbreaking betrayal by her senator husband. Together with her two daughters—Lizzie, a 24-year-old recovering addict, and her older sister Diana, an ER physician trapped in a loveless marriage—Sylvie retreats to a beach house for an escape and the possibility of new beginnings. Each of the three women is forced to reconsider her life, who she is, and who she is meant to be.
(RK) MOVING; WOMEN’S LIVES & RELATIONSHIPS

     Flying Solo by Linda Holmes
Smarting from her recently canceled wedding and about to turn forty, Laurie Sassalyn returns to her Maine hometown of Calcasset to handle the estate of her great-aunt Dot, a spirited adventurer who lived to be ninety. Along with boxes of Polaroids and pottery, a mysterious wooden duck shows up at the bottom of a cedar chest. Laurie's curiosity is piqued, especially after she finds a love letter to the never-married Dot that ends with the line, "And anyway, if you're ever desperate, there are always ducks, darling." Laurie is told that the duck has no financial value. But after it disappears under suspicious circumstances, she feels compelled to figure out why anyone would steal a wooden duck-and why Dot kept it hidden away in the first place. Suddenly Laurie finds herself swept up in a righteous caper that has her negotiating with antiques dealers and con artists, going on after-hours dates at the local library, and reconnecting with her oldest friend and first love. Desperate to uncover her great-aunt's secrets, Laurie must reckon with her past, her future, and ultimately embrace her own vision of flying solo.
(HA) MYSTERY; ROMANCE; DELIGHTFUL

      A Fool's Errand by Lonnie G. Bunch III
In its first four months of operation, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture surpassed one million visits and quickly became a cherished, vital monument to the African American experience. And yet this accomplishment was never assured. In A Fool's Errand, founding director Lonnie Bunch tells his story of bringing his clear vision and leadership to realize this shared dream of many generations of Americans.
(YE) NON FICTION; COMPELLING; INSPIRATIONAL

    The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as the crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all. One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance. In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli- like so many of her neighbors- must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life. 
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; PORTRAIT OF AMERICA AND THE AMERICAN DREAM

     French Braid by Anne Tyler
The Garretts take their first and last family vacation in the summer of 1959. They hardly ever venture beyond Baltimore, but in some ways they have never been farther apart. Mercy has trouble resisting the siren call of her aspirations to be a painter, which means less time keeping house for her husband, Robin. Their teenage daughters, steady Alice and boy-crazy Lily, could not have less in common. Their youngest, David, is already intent on escaping his family's orbit, for reasons none of them understand. Yet, as these lives advance across decades, the Garretts' influences on one another ripple ineffably but unmistakably through each generation.
(HA) DOMESTIC FICTION; INSIGHTFUL; CHARMING

    From Strength to Strength by Arthur C. Brooks
At the height of his career at the age of 50, Arthur Brooks embarked on a seven-year journey to discover how to transform his future from one of disappointment over waning abilities into an opportunity for progress. From Strength to Strength is the result, a practical roadmap for the rest of your life.
(HA) SELF HELP; INSPIRING

     Frontier Rebels by Patrick Spero
The 2023 Revolutionary Reads selection, Frontier Rebels is the untold story of the Black Boys, a band of rebels whose protests ignited the American Revolution. In 1765, as the Stamp Act riled eastern seaports, frontiersmen clashed with the British Empire over another issue: Indian relations. When British officials launched a risky diplomatic expedition into the American interior to open trade with the Indian warrior Pontiac, the Black Boys formed to stop it. Distrustful of Native neighbors and suspicious of imperial aims, the Black Boys led an uprising that threatened the future of Britain's empire. Clashing with unscrupulous traders, daring diplomats, Native warriors, and imperious British officials, the Black Boys evolved into an organized political movement that resisted the Crown years before the Declaration of Independence.
(DE) NONFICTION; FAST PACED; INTENSIVELY RESEARCHED

     The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon
In 1789 Maine, midwife and healer Martha Ballard, who is good at keeping secrets, investigates a shocking murder linked to an alleged rape that has shaken her small town, especially when her diary lands at the center of the scandal, threatening to tear both her family and her community apart.
(HA) HISTORICAL MYSTERY; LAYERED; TENDER

     Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Whether they like it or not, the Waverley women are heirs to an unusual legacy that grows behind their home in North Carolina, where an apple tree bears magical fruit. For nearly a decade, 34-year-old Claire Waverley has been at peace with this inheritance, living alone in the house and building a successful catering business using the family’s peculiar gift for making life-altering delicacies. Then her younger sister Sydney and Sydney’s young daughter Bay return, turning Claire’s routine existence upside down.
(DE) LIGHTHEARTED; MAGICAL REALISM

     A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal and is sentenced to house arrest in a luxury hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and now must live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history unfold outside of the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery.
(DE) HISTORICAL FICTION; CHARACTER-DRIVEN; LUSH

     Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella
Cadence 'Cady' Archer arrives on Harvard's campus searching for answers about her brother, a schizophrenic genius who leapt from his dorm room window the year before. Eric's brilliance overshadowed Cady growing up, but she worshipped and adored him--even as he became more unstable, retreating deeper into his secretive work on multidimensional spacetime and isolating himself from everyone around him. Losing Eric has left a black hole in Cady's life, and while her choice to walk the same path threatens to break her family apart, she is driven to know why Eric killed himself. As Cady struggles under the enormous pressure that comes with being at Harvard, she begins to investigate her brother's life on campus. What was it that caused Eric to spiral into an irretrievable madness--the paranoia, the delusions, the illusory enemies--after he had been doing so well? Soon, her prying turns up clues that grow increasingly sinister. And then, as her suspicions mount, Cady begins to hear voices herself: three ghosts that walked the hallowed halls of Harvard, each from a different era of American history. That's when the panic sets in.
(HA) PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER; COMPELLING 

     The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré
Adunni is a fourteen-year-old Nigerian girl who knows what she wants: an education. This, her mother has told her, is the only way to get a "louding voice"-the ability to speak for herself and decide her own future. But instead, Adunni's father sells her to be the third wife of a local man who is eager for her to bear him a son and heir. When Adunni runs away to the city, hoping to make a better life, she finds that the only other option before her is servitude to a wealthy family. As a yielding daughter, a subservient wife, and a powerless slave, Adunni is told, by words and deeds, that she is nothing. But while misfortunes might muffle her voice for a time, they cannot mute it. And when she realizes that she must stand up not only for herself, but for other girls, for the ones who came before her and were lost, and for the next girls, who will inevitably follow; she finds the resolve to speak, however she can-in a whisper, in song, in broken English-until she is heard.
(HA) LITERARY FICTION; POWERFUL; EMOTIONAL

     The Girls from Ames by Jeffrey Zaslow
The Ames girls are eleven childhood friends who formed a special bond growing up in Ames, Iowa. As young women, they moved to different states, yet managed to maintain a friendship that would carry them through life’s college and careers, marriage and motherhood, dating and divorce, a child’s illness and the mysterious death of one member of their group. The girls, now grown up and in their forties, have a lifetime of memories in common, some unique to their generation, and some that will resonate with anyone who’s ever had a friend. This is a testament to the deep bonds of women as they experience life’s joys and challenges—and the power of friendship to triumph over heartbreak and unexpected tragedy.
(MA) BIOGRAPHY; WOMEN’S LIVES & RELATIONSHIPS

     The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
Alice Wright marries American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new travelling library, Alice signs on. The leader, and soon Alice’s greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Horseback Librarians of Kentucky.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; BOOKS ABOUT BOOKS; WOMEN’S LIVES

     Gold by Chris Cleave
World-class athletes Kate and Zoe have been friends and rivals since they met at Elite training for track cycling at the age of nineteen. They’ve loved, fought, betrayed, forgiven, consoled, gloried, and grown up together. Now, at 32, they are facing their last and biggest race: the 2012 London Olympics, where both women will be tested to their physical and emotional limits. Kate is the more naturally gifted, but Zoe has a compulsive need to win at any cost, and her obsession may threaten her relationship with Kate.
(DE) MOVING; WOMEN’S LIVES & RELATIONSHIPS

     Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
When a beautiful woman goes missing on her fifth wedding anniversary, her diary reveals hidden turmoil in her marriage and a mysterious illness; while her husband, desperate to clear himself of suspicion, realizes that something more disturbing than murder may have occurred.
(YE) THRILLER; UNFORGETTABLE

     Good Half Gone by Tarryn Fisher (NEW!)
Iris narrowly escaped her twin sister’s fate as a teen: abducted in broad daylight and long gone before she could convince the cops there was anything to investigate. With Piper presumed a runaway and no evidence to go on but Iris’s scattered memories, the case quickly goes cold. Ever since that terrible day, Iris’ search for Piper has bordered on obsession. Chasing leads across years and following clues that all seem to point to a single name, Iris does everything she can to get close to the only person who might know the answer to the question that still haunts her: where did Piper go? And if the police still won’t help, she’ll just have to find the answer herself--using her criminal psychology degree to intern at the isolated psychiatric hospital on Shoal Island, where secrets lurk in the shadows and are kept under lock and key. But Iris soon realizes that something even more sinister is simmering beneath the surface of the Shoal, and that the patients aren’t the only ones being observed…
(DE) KIDNAPPING; SUSPENSEFUL; PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER

     Good Night, Irene by Luis Alberto Urrea
In 1943, Irene Woodward abandons an abusive fiancé in New York to enlist with the Red Cross and head to Europe. She makes fast friends in training with Dorothy Dunford, a towering Midwesterner with a ferocious wit. Together they are part of an elite group of women, nicknamed Donut Dollies, who command military vehicles called Clubmobiles at the front line, providing camaraderie and a taste of home that may be the only solace before troops head into battle. After D-Day, these two intrepid friends join the Allied soldiers streaming into France. Their time in Europe will see them embroiled in danger, from the Battle of the Bulge to the liberation of Buchenwald. Through her friendship with Dorothy, and a love affair with a courageous American fighter pilot named Hans, Irene learns to trust again. Her most fervent hope, which becomes more precarious by the day, is for all three of them to survive the war intact.
(SP) WARTIME DRAMA; UPLIFTING; FRIENDSHIP

     The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth
Fern Castle works in her local library. She has dinner with her twin sister Rose three nights a week. And she avoids crowds, bright lights and loud noises as much as possible. Fern has a carefully structured life and disrupting her routine can be...dangerous. When Rose discovers that she cannot get pregnant, Fern sees her chance to pay her sister back for everything Rose has done for her. Fern can have a baby for Rose. She just needs to find a father. Simple. Fern's mission will shake the foundations of the life she has carefully built for herself and stir up dark secrets from the past, in this quirky, rich and shocking story of what families keep hidden.
(DE, HA) THRILLER; SUSPENSEFUL; DOMESTIC DRAMA

     The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti
Twelve-year-old Ren is missing his left hand. How it was lost is a mystery that Ren has been trying to solve his entire life, as well as who his parents are, and why he was abandoned as an infant at St. Anthony’s Orphanage for boys. He longs for a family to call his own and is terrified of the day he will be sent alone into the world. Then a young man named Benjamin Nab appears, claiming to be brother and to have all the answers he longs for. But is Benjamin really who he says he is? As Ren begins to find clues to his hidden parentage, he comes to suspect that Benjamin holds the key to both his past and future.
(DE) COMING OF AGE; HISTORICAL FICTION

     Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery
Emma Gatewood told her family that she was going for a walk and left her small Ohio hometown with a change of clothes and less than $200. The next anybody heard from her, this genteel, farm-reared, 67-year-old grandmother had walked 800 miles along the 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail. And in September of 1955, having survived a rattlesnake strike, two hurricanes, and a run-in with gangsters from Harlem, she stood atop Maine’s Mount Katahdin.
(DE) BIOGRAPHY; INSPIRING

     The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Ernt Albright comes home from Vietnam a changed man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family to Alaska, where they will live in America’s last frontier. 13-year-old Leni dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future and a place for her to belong, while her mother will do anything for the man she loves. At first, Alaska seems like an answer to their prayers. But as winter approaches and darkness descends, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; FAMILY SAGA; VIVID

     Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead
A century after daredevil female aviator Marian Graves’s disappearance in Antarctica, actress Hadley Baxter is cast to play her and immerses herself in the role as their fates — and their dreams — become intertwined.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; ENTERTAINING

     The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Jay Gatsby is the man who has everything. But one thing will always be out of his reach. Everybody who’s anybody is seen at his glittering parties. Day and night at his Long Island mansion buzzes with bright young things drinking, dancing, and debating his mysterious character. For Gatsby—young, handsome, and fabulously rich—always seems alone in the crowd, watching and waiting, though no one knows what for. Beneath the shimmering surface of his life he is hiding a secret: a silent longing for his lost love, Daisy Buchanan, one which can never be fulfilled. And soon this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel.
(MA) CLASSIC FICTION; LYRICAL; ALLEGORICAL

     The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer
It is 1946: London is emerging from the shadows of World War II and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she’d find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book? As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, she is drawn into the world of this man and his friends. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming cast of characters who will change Juliet forever.
(RK) HISTORICAL FICTION; BITTERSWEET; INTRICATELY PLOTTED

     Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls
A novel based on the life of the author’s grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, a no-nonsense, resourceful, hard-working, and spectacularly compelling woman who learned to break horses in childhood, then journeyed 500 miles as a teen—alone, on a pony—to become a teacher. Lily survived tornadoes, droughts, floods, the Great Depression, and the most heartbreaking personal tragedy. She bristled at prejudice of all kinds, and, with her husband Jim, ran a vast ranch in Arizona.
(DE) ENGAGING; FAMILY DRAMA; BIOGRAPHICAL NOVEL

     The Half Moon by Mary Beth Keane
Malcolm Gephardt, handsome and gregarious longtime bartender at the Half Moon, has always dreamed of owning a bar. When his boss finally retires, Malcolm stretches to buy the place. He sees unquantifiable magic and potential in the Half Moon and hopes to transform it into a bigger success, but struggles to stay afloat. His smart and confident wife, Jess, has devoted herself to her law career. After years of trying for a baby, she is facing the idea that motherhood may not be in the cards for her. Like Malcolm, she feels her youth beginning to slip away and wonders how to reshape her future.
(SP, HA) INSIGHTFUL; MARRIAGE; SMALL TOWN

     Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
England, 1580. A young Latin tutor-- penniless, bullied by a violent father-- falls in love with an eccentric young woman who walks her family's estate with a falcon on her shoulder and is known throughout the countryside for her unusual gifts as a healer. Agnes understands plants and potions better than she does people, but settles with her husband on Henley Street in Stratford. She becomes a fiercely protective mother and a steadfast force in the life of her young husband, whose gifts as a writer are just beginning to awaken when their young son succumbs to bubonic plague.
(DE) BIOGRAPHICAL FICTION; GRIPPING; GRIEF

     Happiness Falls by Angie Kim
Mia, the irreverent, hyperanalytical twenty-year-old daughter, has an explanation for everything—which is why she isn’t initially concerned when her father and younger brother Eugene don’t return from a walk in a nearby park. They must have lost their phone. Or stopped for an errand somewhere. But by the time Mia’s brother runs through the front door bloody and alone, it becomes clear that the father in this tight-knit family is missing and the only witness is Eugene, who has the rare genetic condition Angelman syndrome and cannot speak.
(UP) RIVETING; MISSING PERSONS; FAMILY DRAMA

     The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. She realized that time was passing in her life, and she wasn’t focusing enough on the things that really mattered. In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project. In this lively and compelling account, Rubin chronicles the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Among other things, she found that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that money can buy happiness, when spent wisely; that outer order contributes to inner calm; and that the smallest changes can make the biggest difference.
(RK) NON-FICTION; MEMOIR; QUIRKY

     Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead
A furniture salesman in 1960s Harlem becomes a fence for shady cops, local gangsters and low-life pornographers after his cousin involves him in a failed heist, in the new novel from the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad.
(HA) FICTION; CRIME; HEIST 

     The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
16-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these two is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person who can answer that is Starr. But what she does—or does not—say could upend her community
(HA) THOUGHT-PROVOKING; HEART-WRENCHING

     The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Four strangers arrive at a notoriously unfriendly home called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a haunting; Theodora, his assistant; Eleanor, a fragile, friendless young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its own powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.
(PP) ATMOSPHERIC; CREEPY; MENACING

     The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride
When a skeleton is unearthed in the small, close-knit community of Chicken Hill, Pennsylvania, in 1972, an unforgettable cast of characters—living on the margins of white, Christian America—closely guard a secret, especially when the truth is revealed about what happened and the part the town’s white establishment played in it.
(SP, HA, YE) DRAMA; EMPATHETIC; COMMUNITY 

     Heft by Liz Moore
Former academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. In Yonkers, Kel navigates life as a poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on a promising baseball career—if he can untangle himself from his family drama. The link between this unlikely pair is Kel’s mother, Charlene, a former student of Arthur. After nearly two decades of silence, it is Charlene’s unexpected phone call to Arthur—a plea for help—that jostles them into action.
(MA) CHARACTER-DRIVEN; MOVING; REFLECTIVE

     Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano
William Waters grew up in a house silenced by tragedy, where his parents could hardly bear to look at him, much less love him—so when he meets the spirited and ambitious Julia Padavano in his freshman year of college, it’s as if the world has lit up around him. With Julia comes her family, as she and her three sisters are inseparable. With the Padavanos, William experiences a newfound contentment; every moment in their house is filled with loving chaos. But then darkness from William’s past surfaces, jeopardizing not only Julia’s carefully orchestrated plans for their future, but the sisters’ unshakable devotion to one another. The result is a catastrophic family rift that changes their lives for generations. Will the loyalty that once rooted them be strong enough to draw them back together when it matters most?
(HA, MA) MOVING; FAMILY; FICTION

 The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi
Vivid and compelling in its portrait of one woman's struggle for fulfillment in a society pivoting between the traditional and the modern, The Henna Artist opens a door into a world that is at once lush and fascinating, stark and cruel. A talented henna artist for wealthy confidantes finds her efforts to control her own destiny in 1950s Jaipur threatened by the abusive husband she fled as a teenage girl. 
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; FAMILY; COMPELLING

     Homecoming by Kate Morton
Adelaide Hills, Christmas Eve, 1959: At the end of a scorching hot day, beside a creek on the grounds of a grand country house, a local man makes a terrible discovery. Police are called, and the small town of Tambilla becomes embroiled in one of the most baffling murder investigations in the history of South Australia. Many years later and thousands of miles away, Jess is a journalist in search of a story. Having lived and worked in London for two decades, she now finds herself unemployed and struggling to make ends meet. A phone call out of nowhere summons her back to Sydney, where her beloved grandmother Nora, has suffered a fall and is seriously ill in the hospital. At Nora's house, Jess discovers a true crime book chronicling a long-buried police case: the Turner Family Tragedy of 1959. It is only when Jess skims through its pages that she finds a shocking connection between her own family and this notorious event – a mystery that has never been satisfactorily resolved.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; COLD CASE: EMOTIONAL

     Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born in different villages in 18th century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman who lives in the comfort of the Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, Esi is imprisoned below her in the castle’s dungeons, sold into the booming slave trade and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of the novel follows Effia’s descendants in Ghana; the other follows Esi’s in America. Both provide a searing look at the long legacy of the slave trade, and how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed on the soul of a nation.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; FAMILY SAGA; AFFECTING

     The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair With Nature by J. Drew Lanham
Dating back to slavery, Edgefield County, South Carolina—a place “easy to pass by on the way somewhere else”—has been home to generations of Lanhams. In The Home Place, readers meet these extraordinary people, including Drew himself, who over the course of the 1970s falls in love with the natural world around him. As his passion takes flight, however, he begins to ask what it means to be “the rare bird, the oddity.” By turns angry, funny, elegiac, and heartbreaking, The Home Place is a remarkable meditation on nature and belonging, at once a deeply moving memoir and riveting exploration of the contradictions of black identity in the rural South—and in America today.
(DE) BIOGRAPHY; MEMOIR; RIVETING 

     Homer and Langley by E.L. Doctorow
Homer and Langley Collyer are brothers—one blind and deeply intuitive, the other damaged into madness, or perhaps greatness, by gas in World War I. They live as recluses in their once-grand Fifth Avenue mansion, scavenging the city streets for things they think they can use, hoarding the daily newspapers as research for Langley’s proposed dateless newspaper whose reportage will be as prophecy. Yet the epic events of the century play out in the lives of the brothers, who want nothing more than to shut out the world.
(DE) BIOGRAPHICAL NOVEL; LYRICAL; HISTORICAL FICTION

     ​Horse by Geraldine Brooks
Kentucky, 1850. An enslaved groom named Jarret and a bay foal forge a bond of understanding that will carry the horse to record-setting victories across the South. When the nation erupts in civil war, an itinerant young artist who has made his name on paintings of the racehorse takes up arms for the Union. On a perilous night, he reunites with the stallion and his groom, very far from the glamour of any racetrack. 
 
New York City, 1954. Martha Jackson, a gallery owner celebrated for taking risks on edgy contemporary painters, becomes obsessed with a nineteenth-century equestrian oil painting of mysterious provenance.
 
Washington, DC, 2019. Jess, a Smithsonian scientist from Australia, and Theo, a Nigerian-American art historian, find themselves unexpectedly connected through their shared interest in the horse—one studying the stallion’s bones for clues to his power and endurance, the other uncovering the lost history of the unsung Black horsemen who were critical to his racing success.
 
Based on the remarkable true story of the record-breaking thoroughbred Lexington, Horse is a novel of art and science, love and obsession, and our unfinished reckoning with racism.
(HA, MA) HISTORICAL FICTION; MOVING; MULTI FACETED

     Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
In 1986, Henry Lee joins a crowd outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but the new owner has discovered the belongings of Japanese families who were sent to internment camps during World War II. As the owner displays and unfurls a Japanese parasol, Henry, a Chinese-American, remembers a young Japanese-American girl from his childhood in the 1940s—Keiko Okabe, with whom he forged a bond of friendship and innocent love that transcended the prejudices of their Old World ancestors.
(RK) HISTORICAL FICTION; LOVE STORY

     A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout
As a child, Amanda Lindhout escaped a violent household by paging through issues of National Geographic and imagining herself in its exotic locales. At the age of 19, working as a cocktail waitress in Calgary, she began saving her tips so she could travel the globe. In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq she carved out a fledgling career as a TV reporter. And then, in August 2008, she traveled to Somalia where, on her fourth day, she was abducted by a group of masked men. Held hostage for 460 days, Amanda converts to Islam as a survival tactic, receives “wife lessons” from one of her captors, and risks a daring escape
(DE) MEMOIR; SURVIVAL STORY

     How Not to Die Alone by Richard Roper
Andrew’s life is a little grim, searching for next of kin for those who die alone. Thankfully, he has a loving family waiting for him when he gets home, to help wash the day’s cares away. At least, that’s what his co-workers believe. Andrew didn’t mean for the misunderstanding to happen, but he’s become trapped in his own white lie. The fantasy of his wife and two kids has become a pleasant escape from his lonely real life. But when new employee Peggy breezes into his life like a breath of fresh air, Andrew is shaken out of his routine and must choose: does he tell the truth and start really living his life, but risk losing his friendship with Peggy? Or will he stay safe behind the façade?
(HA) CONTEMPORARY FICTION; FUNNY; BITTERSWEET

     How Not To Drown in a Glass of Water by Angie Cruz
Cara Romero thought she would work at the factory of little lamps for the rest of her life. But when, in her mid-50s, she loses her job in the Great Recession, she is forced back into the job market for the first time in decades. Set up with a job counselor, Cara instead begins to narrate the story of her life. Over the course of twelve sessions, Cara recounts her tempestuous love affairs, her alternately biting and loving relationships with her neighbor Lulu and her sister Angela, her struggles with debt, gentrification and loss, and, eventually, what really happened between her and her estranged son, Fernando. As Cara confronts her darkest secrets and regrets, we see a woman buffeted by life but still full of fight.
(HA) FICTION; POIGNANT; MOVING

     How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith
Beginning in his own hometown of New Orleans, Smith leads the reader through an unforgettable tour of monuments and landmarks - those that are honest about the past and those that are not - that offer an intergenerational story of how slavery has been central in shaping our nation's collective history, and ourselves.
(MA) NON-FICTION; TIMELY

     A Hundred Flowers by Gail Tsukiyama
China, 1957. Chairman Mao has declared a new openness in society. Many intellectuals fear it is only a trick, and Kai Ying’s husband, Sheng, a teacher, has promised not to jeopardize their safety or that of their young son, Tao. But one July morning, just before his sixth birthday, Tao watches helplessly as his father is dragged away for writing a letter criticizing the Communist Party and sent to a labor camp for “reeducation.” A year later, Kai Ying struggles to hold her small family together in the face of her husband’s shattering absence and other members of the household must face their own guilty secrets.
(DE) HISTORICAL FICTION; MOVING; CHARACTER-DRIVEN

      The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all: she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But when she stumbles across a letter written by her very much still alive husband to be read only after his death, everything is about to change, and not only for her and her family. Rachel and Tess, women in the community barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the repercussions of her husband’s secret.
(UP) CONTEMPORARY FICTION; WITTY; MOVING; SUSPENSEFUL

     I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silence and fought for her right to an education. At just fifteen years old, she almost paid the ultimate price when she was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school. Few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At 16, she has become a symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
(DE) MEMOIR; SURVIVAL STORY; INSPIRING

     I Dare Me by Lu Ann Cahn
Veteran journalist and cancer survivor Lu Ann Cahn was feeling angry and frustrated. The economy was tanking. Her job was changing. In a word, she felt stuck. Something had to change. So her daughter helped convince her to start a “Year of Firsts.” For the next 365 days, Cahn made a point of doing something she had never done before, every day. Before she knew it, her whole perspective on life had changed. In this inspiring book, Lu Ann recounts how a new “first” every day brought excitement and wonder back into her world and helps readers see how they can do it too.
(MA) MEMOIR; WITTY; SELF-HELP

     I Have Some Questions For You by Rebecca Makkai
A successful film professor and podcaster, Bodie Kane is content to forget her past—the family tragedy that marred her adolescence, her four largely miserable years at a New Hampshire boarding school, and the murder of her former roommate, Thalia Keith, in the spring of their senior year. But when the Granby School invites her back to teach a course, Bodie is inexorably drawn to the case and its increasingly apparent flaws. As she falls down the very rabbit hole she was so determined to avoid, Bodie begins to wonder if she wasn’t as much of an outsider at Granby as she’d thought—if, perhaps, back in 1995, she knew something that might have held the key to solving the case.
(HA) PSYCHOLOGICAL FICTION; PAGE-TURNER; MURDER

     The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black woman from the South but her cells—taken without her knowledge or consent—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though Henrietta has been dead for over sixty years. Yet Henrietta Lacks herself remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave. Her family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than 20 years after her death when scientists investigating HeLa, as her cells are known, began using her husband and children in research without informed consent.
(RK, YE) BIOGRAPHY; THOUGHT-PROVOKING; SCIENCE

     The Institute by Stephen King
The Institute is a 2019 American science fiction-horror thriller novel by Stephen King, published by Scribner. The book follows twelve-year-old genius, Luke Ellis. When his parents are murdered, he is kidnapped by intruders and awakens in the Institute, a facility that houses other abducted children who have telepathy or telekinesis.
(DE) SUPERNATURAL THRILLER; RIVETING; KID POWER

     Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu
Willis Wu doesn’t perceive himself as the protagonist in his own life: he’s merely Generic Asian Man. Sometimes he gets to be Background Oriental Making a Weird Face or even Disgraced Son, but always he is relegated to a prop. Yet every day, he leaves his tiny room in a Chinatown SRO and enters the Golden Palace restaurant, where Black and White, a procedural cop show, is in perpetual production. He’s a bit player here, too, but he dreams of being Kung Fu Guy—the most respected role that anyone who looks like him can attain. Or is it? After stumbling into the spotlight, Willis finds himself launched into a wider world than he’s ever known, discovering not only the secret history of Chinatown, but the buried legacy of his own family.
(HA) ASIAN AMERICANS; MULTI GENERATIONAL; MOVING

     In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende
Professor Richard Bowmaster hits the car of Evelyn Ortega, a young, undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, in the middle of a snowstorm in Brooklyn. What seems at first like a small inconvenience takes an unforeseen and far more serious turn when Evelyn turns up at the professor’s house seeking help. At a loss, he asks his tenant Lucia, a lecturer from Chile, for advice. The three very different people are brought together in a mesmerizing story, sparking the start of a long-overdue love story.
(MA, RK) LITERARY FICTION; IMMIGRANTS’ LIVES; LOVE STORY

     In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
In 1987, Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, to attend a commemoration of the worst year of her life. 35 years earlier, when Miri was 15 and in love for the first time, a series of airplanes fell from the sky, leaving a community reeling. The story unfolds against the backdrop of the actual 1950s, when air travel was new and exciting, and everyone dreamed of going somewhere, weaving together a haunting tale of three generations of families, friends, and strangers whose lives are profoundly changed by these disasters.
(UP) COMING OF AGE; ENGAGING

     Ines of My Soul by Isabel Allende
Ines Suarez, a seamstress born into a poor family in 16th century Spain, flees Spain to seek a life in the New World. As she makes her way to Chile, she begins a fiery romance with Pedro de Valdivia, war hero and field marshal to Francisco Pizarro. His dream is to succeed where other Spaniards have failed: to become the conqueror of Chile. Together, the lovers will build the city of Santiago—and wage a bloody, ruthless war against the native Chileans. The horrific struggle will change them forever, pulling each of them toward their separate destinies.
(DE) HISTORICAL FICTION; LYRICAL; BIOGRAPHICAL NOVEL

     Inferno by Dan Brown
Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon awakens in an Italian hospital, disoriented and with no recollection of the past 36 hours. With a relentless assassin trailing them through Florence, he and his resourceful doctor, Sienna Brooks, are forced to flee. Embarking on a harrowing journey, they must unravel a series of codes, which are the work of a brilliant scientist whose obsession with the end of the world is matched only by his passion for one of the most influential works ever written, Dante’s Inferno.
(DE) SUSPENSEFUL; FAST-PACED

     The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
In the 1970s, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later, the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed; the kind of creativity that is rewarded at 15 is not always enough to propel someone at 30. Jules Jacobson, an aspiring actress, eventually resigns herself to a more practical occupation. Her friend Jonah, a gifted musician, stops playing the guitar and becomes an engineer. Meanwhile, her now-married best friends, Ethan and Ash, stay true to their initial artistic dreams and become shockingly successful.
(RK) CHARACTER-DRIVEN; MOVING; FRIENDSHIP

     In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
n 1987, Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, to attend a commemoration of the worst year of her life. Thirty-five years earlier, when Miri was fifteen, and in love for the first time, a succession of airplanes fell from the sky, leaving a community reeling. Against this backdrop of actual events that Blume experienced in the early 1950s, when airline travel was new and exciting and everyone dreamed of going somewhere, she paints a vivid portrait of a particular time and place—Nat King Cole singing “Unforgettable,” Elizabeth Taylor haircuts, young (and not-so-young) love, explosive friendships, A-bomb hysteria, rumors of Communist threat. And a young journalist who makes his name reporting tragedy. Through it all, one generation reminds another that life goes on.
(UP) MOVING; COMPELLING; INSPIRED BY TRUE EVENTS

     The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, years for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimkes’ daughter, Sarah, has known from an early she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women. Their story is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten-year-old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next 35 years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; MOVING; STRONG SENSE OF PLACE

     The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by Victoria Schwab
France, 1714. In a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever-- and cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Addie LaRue's life will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art. After nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore. He remembers her name-- and everything changes. How far will she go to leave her mark on the world?
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; FANTASY; DARKLY ROMANTIC; SUSPENSEFUL

     The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends who come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook’s mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility, but also danger. Despite their love for each other, Mi-ja and Young-sook’s differences are impossible to ignore.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; WOMEN’S LIVES; FRIENDSHIP

     It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
After building what should be a perfect life with neurosurgeon Ryle Kincaid, Lily finds herself in a troubled relationship with an abusive husband and must make a decision about her future, as she reencounters Atlas Corrigan, a man with links to her past.
(RK) DOMESTIC VIOLENCE; ROMANCE; COMPELLING

     The It Girl by Ruth Ware
After John Neville, the man convicted of killing her best friend April ten years earlier, dies in prison, expectant mother Hannah Jones, after new evidence surfaces proving his innocence, reconnects with old friends to solve the mystery of April's death and realizes they all have something to hide--including a murder.
(HA) MYSTERY; RIVETING; PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER

     It's Not All Downhill From Here by Terry McMillan
Loretha Curry’s life is full. A little crowded sometimes, but full indeed. On the eve of her sixty-eighth birthday, she has a booming beauty-supply empire, a gaggle of lifelong friends, and a husband whose moves still surprise. True, she’s carrying a few more pounds than she should be, but Loretha is not one of those women who think her best days are behind her—and she’s determined to prove wrong her mother, her twin sister, and everyone else with that outdated view of aging wrong. It’s not all downhill from here. But when an unexpected loss turns her world upside down, Loretha will have to summon all her strength, resourcefulness, and determination to keep on thriving, pursue joy, heal old wounds, and chart new paths. With a little help from her friends, of course.
(DE) DOMESTIC FICTION; FRIENDSHIP; WITTY

     Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn
Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie have worked for the Museum, an elite network of assassins, for forty years. Now their talents are considered old-school and no one appreciates what they have to offer in an age that relies more on technology than people skills. When the foursome is sent on an all-expenses paid vacation to mark their retirement, they are targeted by one of their own. Only the Board, the top-level members of the Museum, can order the termination of field agents, and the women realize they've been marked for death. Now to get out alive they have to turn against their own organization, relying on experience and each other to get the job done, knowing that working together is the secret to their survival. They're about to teach the Board what it really means to be a woman-and a killer-of a certain age.
(UP) THRILLER; WITTY; OLDER WOMEN

     Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma, due to a discovery of oil beneath their land. Then, one by one, they began to be killed off. One Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, watched as her family was murdered. And it was just the beginning, as more Osage began to die under mysterious circumstances. In what was left of the lawless Wild West, virtually anyone who dared to investigate these killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll rose, the newly-created FBI took the case in what became their first major homicide investigation.
(HA) NON-FICTION; TRUE CRIME; SHOCKING

     The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling class of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir’s choice to abandon his friend amid ethnic, political, and racial tensions. But years later. Amir journeys back to a distant world to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.
(PP) CHARACTER-DRIVEN; DRAMATIC; HAUNTING

     Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
From her place in the store that sells artificial friends, Klara--an artificial friend with outstanding observational qualities--watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass in the street outside. She remains hopeful a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change forever, she is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans. In this luminous tale, Klara and the Sun, Nobel Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro looks at our rapidly changing modern world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator to explore a fundamental question: what does it mean to love?
(HA) SCIENCE FICTION; DYSTOPIAN; FUTURISTIC 

     The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
All of the Whitney women in Salem, Massachusetts, can read futures from a piece of lace. But the last time Towner Whitney, a self-confessed unreliable narrator, read, it killed her twin sister and nearly robbed Towner of her sanity. Vowing never to read lace again, her resolve is tested when she is brought back home to Salem and faced with the mysterious, unsolvable disappearance of two women, one of whom is her beloved great aunt Eva, Salem’s original Lace Reader.
(DE) HISTORICAL MYSTERY; INTRICATELY PLOTTED

     Lady Tan's Circle of Women by Lisa See
Sent into an arranged marriage, Tan Yunxian, forbidden to continue her work as a midwife-in-training as well as see her forever friend Meiling, is ordered to act like proper wife and seeks a way to continue treating women and girls from every level of society in fifteenth-century China.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; ENGAGING; FEMALE FRIENDSHIP 

     Land of Milk and Honey by C Pam Zhang (NEW!)
A smog has spread. Food crops are rapidly disappearing. A chef escapes her dying career in a dreary city to take a job at a decadent mountaintop colony seemingly free of the world’s troubles. There, the sky is clear again. Rare ingredients abound. Her enigmatic employer and his visionary daughter have built a lush new life for the global elite, one that reawakens the chef to the pleasures of taste, touch, and her own body.
(HA) HUMAN NATURE; SENSUOUS; UNIQUE

     The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
The language of flowers was used to convey romance. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating grief, mistrust, and solitude. Eighteen and newly emancipated from the foster care system, Victoria has nowhere to go. So she sleeps in a park, where she plants a small garden of her own. Soon a local florist discovers her talents, and Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But a mysterious vendor at the flower market has her questioning what’s been missing in her life, and when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a chance at happiness.
(HA) EMOTIONAL; LUSH

     The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly (NEW!)
Present day: Emma Lovett, who has dedicated her career to breathing new life into long-neglected gardens, has just been given the opportunity of a lifetime: to restore the gardens of the famed Highbury House estate, designed in 1907 by her hero Venetia Smith. But as Emma dives deeper into the gardens’ past, she begins to uncover secrets that have long lain hidden.

1907: A talented artist with a growing reputation for her ambitious work, Venetia Smith has carved out a niche for herself as a garden designer to industrialists, solicitors, and bankers looking to show off their wealth with sumptuous country houses. When she is hired to design the gardens of Highbury House, she is determined to make them a triumph, but the gardens—and the people she meets—promise to change her life forever.

1944: When land girl Beth Pedley arrives at a farm on the outskirts of the village of Highbury, all she wants is to find a place she can call home. Cook Stella Adderton, on the other hand, is desperate to leave Highbury House to pursue her own dreams. And widow Diana Symonds, the mistress of the grand house, is anxiously trying to cling to her pre-war life now that her home has been requisitioned and transformed into a convalescent hospital for wounded soldiers. But when war threatens Highbury House’s treasured gardens, these three very different women are drawn together by a secret that will last for decades.
(DE) GARDENS; HISTORICAL FICTION; MOVING 

     The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
What wisdom would you impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance? When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie-Mellon, was asked to give a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it was his last—he had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But his lecture wasn’t about death, but about overcoming obstacles, enabling the dreams of others, and seizing every moment (because time is all you have and you may one day find that you have less than you think). It was about living.
(DE) NON-FICTION; MOVING; INSPIRING

     The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier
Ohio, 1850. For a modest English Quaker stranded far from home, life is a trial. Untethered from the moment she leaves England, fleeing personal disappointment, Honor Bright is forced by family tragedy to rely on strangers in an alien, untamed landscape. Drawn into the clandestine activities of the Underground Railroad, a network helping runaway slaves escape to freedom, Honor befriends two exceptional people who embody the startling power of defiance. Eventually, she must decide if she too can act on what she believes in, whatever the personal cost.
(MA) HISTORICAL FICTION; LYRICAL

     The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim
Margot Lee's mother isn't returning her calls. It's a mystery to twenty-six-year-old Margot, until she visits her childhood apartment in Koreatown and finds her mother dead under suspicious circumstances. The discovery sends Margot digging through the past, unraveling the facts of Mina's life as a Korean War orphan and undocumented immigrant, only to realize how little she truly knew about her mother.
(HA) DOMESTIC FICTION; RIVETING; SUSPENSEFUL

     The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
When her husband of a year disappears, Hannah quickly learns he is not who he said he was and is left to sort out the truth with just one ally- her husband's teenage daughter, who hates her. 
(HA) THRILLER; RIVETING; SUSPENSEFUL

     The Leavers by Lisa Ko
One morning, Deming Guo’s mother goes to her job at a nail salon and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her. With his mother gone, 11-year-old Deming is left with no one to care for him. He is eventually adopted by two white professors who move him from Brooklyn to a small town in upstate New York. They rename him Daniel Wilkinson in their efforts to make him over into their version of an “all-American boy.” But far from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his new life with his memories of his mother and the community he left behind.
(HA) CULTURAL DIFFERENCES; THOUGHT-PROVOKING

     Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
Amanda and Clay head to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they've rented for the week. The houseowners, Ruth and G. H., arrive in the middle of the night in a panic. They say a sudden blackout has swept the city: the TV and internet are down, and no cell phone service. Is the vacation home, isolated from civilization, a safe place for their families? And are they safe from one other?
(HA) THRILLER; MAGNETIC; SUSPENSEFUL

     Less by Andrew Sean Greer
Who says you can’t run away from your problems? Arthur Less is a failed novelist about to turn 50 when a wedding invitation arrives in the mail…from his boyfriend of the past nine years. He can’t say yes—it would be too awkward—and he can’t say no—it would look like defeat. On his desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world, so Arthur decides that the best way to skip town is to accept them all. What could go wrong?
(HA) ROMANTIC FICTION; QUIRKY; HUMOROUS

      Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an average woman. But it's the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute takes a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant, Nobel-prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with--of all things--her mind. True chemistry results. But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America's most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth's unusual approach to cooking ('combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride') proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn't just teaching women to cook. She's daring them to change the status quo.
(HA, UP) FICTION; FUNNY; ENGAGING

     Letters from Home by Kristina McMorris
Liz Stephens has no interest in attending a USO dance with her friends Betty and Julia. She doesn’t need to flirt with a lonely serviceman when she’s set to marry her childhood sweetheart. Yet something happens the moment Liz sees Morgan McClain. They share only a brief exchange—cut short by the soldier’s evident interest in Betty—but Liz can’t forget him. When Betty asks her to ghostwrite a letter to Morgan, now stationed overseas, Liz agrees, and becomes torn by her feelings for a man who doesn’t know her true identity. And as the war draws to a close, all three will face heart-wrenching choices, painful losses, and the bittersweet joy of new beginnings.
(MA) HISTORICAL FICTION; BITTERSWEET; LOVE STORY

   Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge
Coming of age as a free-born Black girl in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, Libertie Sampson is all too aware that her mother, a physician, has a vision for their future together: Libertie will go to medical school and practice alongside her. But Libertie feels stifled by her mother's choices and is constantly reminded that, unlike her mother, Libertie has skin that is too dark. When a young man from Haiti proposes to Libertie and promises she will be his equal on the island, she accepts, only to discover that she is still subordinate to him and all men. As she tries to parse what freedom actually means for a Black woman, Libertie struggles with where she might find it-for herself and for generations to come
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN; STUNNING 

     The Lies I Tell by Julie Clark
Meg Williams. Maggie Littleton. Melody Wilde. Different names for the same person, depending on the town, depending on the job. She's a con artist who erases herself to become whoever you need her to be. A college student. A life coach. A real estate agent. But nothing about her is real. She slides alongside you and tells you exactly what you want to hear, and by the time she's done, you've likely lost everything. Kat Roberts has been waiting ten years for the woman who upended her life to return. And now that she has, Kat is determined to be the one to expose her. But as the two women grow closer, Kat's long-held assumptions begin to crumble, leaving Kat to wonder who Meg's true target is.
(DE) DOMESTIC THRILLER; RIVETING; REVENGE

     The Light Pirate by Lily Brooks-Dalton
Florida is slipping away. As devastating weather patterns and rising sea levels wreak gradual havoc on the state’s infrastructure, a powerful hurricane approaches a small town on the southeastern coast. Kirby Lowe, his pregnant wife, Frida, and their two sons, Flip and Lucas, prepare for the worst. When the boys go missing just before the hurricane hits, Kirby heads out into the high winds in search of his children. Left alone, Frida goes into premature labor and gives birth to an unusual child, Wanda, whom she names after the catastrophic storm. As Florida continues to unravel, Wanda grows. Moving from childhood to adulthood, adapting not only to the changing landscape, but also to the people who stayed behind in a place abandoned by civilization, Wanda loses family, gains community, and ultimately, seeks adventure, love, and purpose in a place remade by nature. Told in four parts—power, water, light, and time—The Light Pirate mirrors the rhythms of the elements and the sometimes quick, sometimes slow dissolution of the world as we know it. 
(HA) CLIMATE FICTION; GRIPPING; COMPLEX CHARACTERS 

     Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
On a cold, snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be unusual, to say the least. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the century marches on toward its cataclysmic second world war. Does Ursula’s apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its destiny? And if she can—will she?
(MA) HISTORICAL FICTION; STYLISTICALLY COMPLEX

     The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
After four harrowing years on the Western Front of World War I, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as a lighthouse keeper on the isolated island of Janus Rock, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, along with his bold, young, and loving wife, Isabel. After two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore with a dead man and a living baby. Isabel insists the baby is a gift from God and, against Tom’s better judgment and moral principles, the couple name the child Lucy and take her in to raise as their own.
(DE, RK) HISTORICAL FICTION; HAUNTING; MELANCHOLY

     The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama
There may be no tidy solutions or pithy answers to life’s big challenges, but Michelle Obama believes that we can all locate and lean on a set of tools to help us better navigate change and remain steady within flux. In The Light We Carry, she opens a frank and honest dialogue with readers, considering the questions many of us wrestle with: How do we build enduring and honest relationships? How can we discover strength and community inside our differences? What tools do we use to address feelings of self-doubt or helplessness? What do we do when it all starts to feel like too much? She offers readers a series of fresh stories and insightful reflections on change, challenge, and power, including her belief that when we light up for others, we can illuminate the richness and potential of the world around us, discovering deeper truths and new pathways for progress. Drawing from her experiences as a mother, daughter, spouse, friend, and First Lady, she shares the habits and principles she has developed to successfully adapt to change and overcome various obstacles—the earned wisdom that helps her continue to “become.” She details her most valuable practices, like “starting kind,” “going high,” and assembling a “kitchen table” of trusted friends and mentors. With trademark humor, candor, and compassion, she also explores issues connected to race, gender, and visibility, encouraging readers to work through fear, find strength in community, and live with boldness.
(HA) AUTOBIOGRAPHY; PROFOUND; REWARDING

     Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
The lives of three women in 1939 Europe—Caroline, a New York socialite working at the French consulate; Kasia a Polish teenager who feels her carefree youth slipping away as she works for the resistance movement; and Herta, an ambitious young German doctor looking for a way out of her desolate life—are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbruck, the infamous concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those history has forgotten.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; EMOTIONAL; POWERFUL

     Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the juvenile work farm where he has just served fifteen months for involuntary manslaughter. His mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett's intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother, Billy, and head to California where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden's car. Together, they have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmett's future, one that will take them all on a fateful journey in the opposite direction-to the City of New York.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; EXHILARATING

     The Lioness by Chris Bohjalian
In 1964, Hollywood royalty Katie Barstow and her new husband, along with her glittering entourage, arrive for their luxury African safari, but are instead taken hostage by Russian mercenaries, in this blistering story of fame, race, love death set in a world on the cusp of great change.
(HA) HISTORICAL THRILLER; RIVETING; HARROWING

     Little Bee by Chris Cleave
This is the story of two women and the tenuous friendship that blooms between strangers—one a 16-year-old illegal Nigerian refugee, the other a recent widow from suburban London. Their lives collide on one fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice, the kind of choice no one should ever have to make. Two years later, they meet again and the story begins. The magic lies in how it unfolds from there.
(RK) MOVING; DARK

     Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Shaker Heights is a quiet suburb where everything is planned. Nobody embodies its spirit more than Elena Richardson; playing by the rules is her guiding principle. Enter Mia Warren, an enigmatic artist and single mother who arrives in this bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community. When the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides.
(HA) MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES; FAMILY DRAMA; ENGROSSING

     London Séance Society by Sarah Penner
In 1873, Lenna Wickes accompanies acclaimed spiritualist Vaudeline D’Allaire to England where they team up with London’s exclusive Seance Society to solve a high-profile murder and soon suspect they are not merely out to solve a crime, but perhaps entangled in one themselves.
(HA) HISTROICAL FICTION; PARANORMAL; GOTHIC TALE

     Longbourn by Jo Baker
In this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, the servants take center stage. Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But she is beginning to chafe against the boundaries of her class.  But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, both Sarah’s life and the orderly realm of the servants’ hall threaten to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended.
(DE) HISTORICAL FICTION; CHARACTER-DRIVEN; ROMANTIC

     Long Bright River by Liz Moore
A suspense novel that also looks at the anatomy of a Philadelphia family rocked by the opioid crisis and the relationship between two sisters--one, suffering from addiction, who has suddenly gone missing amid a series of mysterious murders; the other a police officer who patrols the neighborhood from which she disappeared: a story about the formidable ties between place, family, and fate.
(HA) DOMESTIC FICTION; THRILLER; SISTERS

     Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe
Persephone, young goddess of spring, is new to Olympus. Her mother, Demeter, has raised her in the mortal realm, but after Persephone promises to train as a sacred virgin, she's allowed to live in the fast-moving, glamorous world of the gods. When her roommate, Artemis, takes her to a party, her entire life changes: she ends up meeting Hades and feels an immediate spark with the charming yet misunderstood ruler of the Underworld. Now Persephone must navigate the confusing politics and relationships that rule Olympus, while also figuring out her own place--and her own power.
(HA) GRAPHIC NOVEL; MYTHOLOGICAL; ROMANCE

     The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary's fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries. Meanwhile in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary's in a stunning twist of fate, and not everyone will survive.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; SUSPENSEFUL; BOLD

     Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly
It’s 1914 and Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanoffs. The two met years ago over a summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia. But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia’s imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortuneteller’s daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; PARALLEL NARRATIVES; MOVING

     Love and Ruin by Paula McLain
In 1937, Martha Gellhorn travels alone to Madrid to report on the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War and becomes drawn to the stories of ordinary people caught in devastating conflict. She also finds herself unexpectedly and uncontrollably falling in love with Ernest Hemingway, a man already on his way to becoming a legend. In the shadow of the impending Second World War, their relationship and professional careers ignite. But when Ernest publishes the biggest literary success of his career, they are no longer equals and Martha must make a choice that will break Ernest’s heart and her own.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; WOMEN’S LIVES; LOVE STORY

     The Love Scribe by Amy Meyerson
When Alice’s best friend, Gabby, is reeling from a breakup, Alice writes her a heartfelt story to cheer her up. While reading it in a café, Gabby, as if by magic, meets the man of her dreams. Thinking the story might have some special power to it, Gabby shares it with her sister and other friends, who all find instant love. Word of mouth spreads, and Alice stumbles upon a new calling—to be a love scribe. But not all the love stories she writes unfold as expected. And while Alice tries to harness her extraordinary gift, she is summoned to a mansion in the woods where she encounters the reclusive Madeline Alger and her mysterious library. As Alice struggles to write a story for Madeline, her most challenging assignment yet, she’s forced to confront her own guarded heart. Because maybe—just maybe—there’s a love story waiting to be written for her, too.
(HA) FICTION; EMOTIONAL; ROMANTIC

     Lucky by Marissa Stapley
What if you had the winning ticket that would change your life forever, but you couldn’t cash it in? Lucky Armstrong is a tough, talented grifter who has just pulled off a million-dollar heist with her boyfriend, Cary. She’s ready to start a brand-new life, with a new identity—when things go sideways. Lucky finds herself alone for the first time, navigating the world without the help of either her father or her boyfriend, the two figures from whom she’s learned the art of the scam. When she discovers that a lottery ticket she bought on a whim is worth millions, her elation is tempered by one big problem: cashing in the winning ticket means she’ll be arrested for her crimes. She’ll go to prison, with no chance to redeem her fortune. As Lucky tries to avoid capture and make a future for herself, she must confront her past by reconciling with her father; finding her mother, who abandoned her when she was just a baby; and coming to terms with the man she thought she loved—whose dark past is catching up with her, too.
(UP) FICTION; THRILLING; FAMILY

     Maame by Jessica George
It’s fair to say that Maddie’s life in London is far from rewarding. With a mother who spends most of her time in Ghana (yet still somehow manages to be overbearing), Maddie is the primary caretaker for her father, who suffers from advanced stage Parkinson’s. At work, her boss is a nightmare and Maddie is tired of always being the only Black person in every meeting. When her mum returns from her latest trip to Ghana, Maddie leaps at the chance to get out of the family home and finally start living. A self-acknowledged late bloomer, she’s ready to experience some important “firsts”: She finds a flat share, says yes to after-work drinks, pushes for more recognition in her career, and throws herself into the bewildering world of internet dating. But it's not long before tragedy strikes, forcing Maddie to face the true nature of her unconventional family, and the perils—and rewards—of putting her heart on the line.
(RK) FUNNY; COMING-OF-AGE; MOVING

     Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult
Olivia McAfee knows what it feels like to start over. Her picture-perfect life—living in Boston, married to a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon, raising their beautiful son, Asher—was upended when her husband revealed a darker side. She never imagined that she would end up back in her sleepy New Hampshire hometown, living in the house she grew up in and taking over her father’s beekeeping business. Lily Campanello is familiar with do-overs, too. When she and her mom relocate to Adams, New Hampshire, for her final year of high school, they both hope it will be a fresh start. And for just a short while, these new beginnings are exactly what Olivia and Lily need. Their paths cross when Asher falls for the new girl in school, and Lily can’t help but fall for him, too. With Ash, she feels happy for the first time. Yet at times, she wonders if she can trust him completely. . . . Then one day, Olivia receives a phone call: Lily is dead, and Asher is being questioned by the police. Olivia is adamant that her son is innocent. But she would be lying if she didn’t acknowledge the flashes of his father’s temper in Ash, and as the case against him unfolds, she realizes he’s hidden more than he’s shared with her.
(HA) SUSPENSE; RIVETING, UNFORGETTABLE

     The Maid by Nita Prose
When she discovers the dead body of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black in his suite, hotel maid Molly Gray finds her orderly life upended as she becomes the prime suspect in the case and is caught in a web of deception that she has no idea how to unravel.
(HA) PAGE TURNER; ORIGINAL; WHODUNIT 

     The Maidens by Alex Michaelides
Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike—particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens. Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge. Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, quickly suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, and beneath the ancient traditions, lies something sinister. And she becomes convinced that, despite his alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of the murder. But why would the professor target one of his students? And why does he keep returning to the rites of Persephone, the maiden, and her journey to the underworld? When another body is found, Mariana’s obsession with proving Fosca’s guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships. But Mariana is determined to stop this killer, even if it costs her everything—including her own life.
(HA) FICTION; PSYCHOLOGICAL; THRILLER

     Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired) leads a quiet life valuing the proper things that Englishmen have lived by for generations: honor, duty, decorum, and a properly brewed cup of tea. But then his brother’s death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, a Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Soon their friendship begins to blossom into something more as they bond over their shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses. But will their relationship survive in a society that considers Mrs. Ali an outsider?
(RK) CONTEMPORARY FICTION; QUIRKY; ROMANTIC

     Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Malibu: August 1983. It's the day of Nina Riva's annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva. By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family's generations will all come bubbling to the surface.
(HA) FICTION; FAST PACED; FAMILY 

     The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
Sam Spade, a slightly shop-worn private eye with his own solitary code of ethics, is hired by a Miss Wonderley to track down her sister, who has eloped with a louse called Floyd Thursby. But Miss Wonderley is actually the beautiful and treacherous Brigid O’Shaughnessy, whose loyalties shift at the drop of a dime, and when Spade’s partner Miles Archer is shot while on Thursby’s trail, Spade finds himself both the hunter and the hunted. Can he track down a treasure worth killing for, before the Fat Man finds him?
(UP) CLASSIC FICTION; MYSTERY; HARD-BOILED

     Maman’s Homesick Pie by Donia Bijan
For Donia Bijan’s family, food has been the language they use to tell their stories and communicate their love. In 1978, when the Islamic revolution in Iran threatened their safety, they fled to California’s Bay Area, where familiar flavors of Bijan’s mother’s cooking formed a bridge to the life they left behind. Now, through the prism of food, Bijan, an award-winning chef, unwinds her own story, finding that her mother is at the heart of it all, a woman whose love and support enabled Bijan to realize her dreams.
(PP) MEMOIR; HEARTWARMING; IMMIGRANTS’ LIVES

     A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon with staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse.  People call him the “bitter neighbor from hell,” but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time? But beneath his cranky exterior, there is a story and a sadness. When one morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the beginning of a comical and heartwarming tale unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, the art of backing up a U-Haul, and the impact one life can have on countless others.
(HA, UP) FUNNY; BITTERSWEET; QUIRKY

     The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford
Dorothy Moy breaks her own heart for a living. As Seattle's former poet laureate, that's how she describes channeling her dissociative episodes and mental breakdowns into her art. But when her five-year-old daughter, Annabel, exhibits the same behavior and begins remembering things and events she has never experienced, Dorothy believes the past has truly come to haunt the present. If she doesn't take radical steps, her daughter will be doomed to face the same debilitating depression that has marked her life. Through epigenetic therapy-an experimental treatment designed to mitigate inherited trauma-Dorothy intimately connects with the past generations of women in her family. Through reliving their painful stories, Dorothy comes to understand the true cost of inherited pain. As the past bleeds into the present, Dorothy discovers that trauma isn't the only thing she's inherited. A stranger is searching for her in each time period. A stranger who's loved her through all of her genetic memories. Dorothy endeavors to break the cycle of pain and abandonment, to finally find peace for her daughter, and gain the love that has long been waiting, knowing she may pay the ultimate price.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; POWERFUL

     The Many Lives of Mama Love by Lara Love Hardin (NEW!)
No one expects the police to knock on the door of the million-dollar two-story home of the perfect cul-de-sac housewife. But soccer mom Lara Love Hardin has been hiding a shady secret: she is funding her heroin addiction by stealing her neighbors’ credit cards. Lara is convicted of thirty-two felonies and becomes inmate S32179. She finds that jail is a class system with a power structure that is somewhere between an adolescent sleepover party and Lord of the Flies. But Lara quickly learns the rules and brings love and healing to her fellow inmates as she climbs the social ladder and acquires the nickname “Mama Love.” 

When she’s released, she reinvents herself as a ghostwriter. But the shadow of her past follows her. Shame is a poison worse than heroin—there is no way to detox. Lara must learn how to forgive herself and others, navigate life as a felon on probation, and prove to herself that she is more good than bad, among other essential lessons.
(MA) MEMOIR; DRUG ADDICTION; REDEMPTION

     March by Geraldine Brooks
An idealistic abolitionist, March—the absent father from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women—has gone to serve the Union cause as a chaplain in the Civil War. But the war tests his faith not only in the Union—which is also capable of barbarism and racism—but in himself, his marriage, and his most ardently-held beliefs. As he recovers from a near-fatal illness, March must reassemble and reconnect with his family, who have no idea what he has endured.
(MA) HISTORICAL FICTION; DRAMATIC; LYRICAL

     Matrix by Lauren Groff
Cast out of the royal court, 17-year-old Marie de France, born the last in a long line of women warriors, is sent to England to be the new prioress of an impoverished abbey where she vows to chart a bold new course for the women she now leads and protects.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; VIVIDLY DESCRIPTIVE; ORIGINAL

     The Measure by Nikki Erlick (NEW!)
It seems like any other day. You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and head out. But today, when you open your front door, waiting for you is a small wooden box. This box holds your fate inside: the answer to the exact number of years you will live. From suburban doorsteps to desert tents, every person on every continent receives the same box. In an instant, the world is thrust into a collective frenzy. Where did these boxes come from? What do they mean? Is there truth to what they promise? As society comes together and pulls apart, everyone faces the same shocking choice: Do they wish to know how long they’ll live? And, if so, what will they do with that knowledge?
(HA, SP) FICTION; MORTALITY; UPLIFTING

     Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Louisa Clark is an ordinary woman living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than her tiny village.  She takes a badly-needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, and worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, and bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to him than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans for himself, she sets out to show him life is still worth living.
(RK) LOVE STORY; EMOTIONAL; HEARTWRENCHING

     The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
On a winter night in 1964, Dr. David Henry is forced by a blizzard to deliver his own twins. His son, born first, is perfectly healthy. But when his daughter is born, he sees immediately that she has Down’s syndrome. Rationalizing it as a need to protect Norah, his wife, he makes a split-second decision that will alter all of their lives forever: he asks his nurse to take the baby to an institution and never to reveal the secret. But Caroline, the nurse, can’t bring herself to leave the baby. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child herself. So begins a story that unfolds over a twenty-five years, in which these two families, ignorant of each other, are yet bound by that fateful decision.
(PP) MOVING; MELANCHOLY

     Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen
Not long after Rhoda Janzen turned 40, her world turned upside down. Bad enough that her brilliant husband of fifteen years left her for Bob, a guy he met on Gay.com. But that same week, a car accident left her with serious injuries. So she decided to move back home…with her Mennonite parents. It was in this safe place—which welcomed her back with open arms and offbeat advice—that Rhoda was able to come to terms with her failed marriage; her desire, as a young woman, to leave her sheltered world behind; and the choices that both freed and entrapped her.
(HA) MEMOIR; CULTURE CLASH; QUIRKY

     The Middle Ages: A Graphic History by Eleanor Janega
The Middle Ages: A Graphic History busts the myth of the ‘Dark Ages’, shedding light on the medieval period’s present-day relevance in a unique illustrated style. This history takes us through the rise and fall of empires, papacies, caliphates and kingdoms; through the violence and death of the Crusades, Viking raids, the Hundred Years War and the Plague; to the curious practices of monks, martyrs and iconoclasts. We’ll see how the foundations of the modern West were established, influencing our art, cultures, religious practices and ways of thinking. And we’ll explore the lives of those seen as ‘Other’ – women, Jews, homosexuals, lepers, sex workers and heretics. Join historian Eleanor Janega and illustrator Neil Max Emmanuel on a romp across continents and kingdoms as we discover the Middle Ages to be a time of huge change, inquiry and development – not unlike our own.
(HA) GRAPHIC NOVEL; FASCINATING

    The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived, to see how things would be if you had made other choices. Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets? Up until now Nora Seed's life has been full of misery. When she finds herself in the Midnight Library, she can now undo every decision she regrets. But things aren't always what she imagined they'd be....
(HA) FANTASY; CONTEMPORARY; WHIMSICAL

     The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo
When Marilyn Connolly and David Sorenson fall in love in the 1970s, they are blithely ignorant of all that is to come. By 2016, their four radically different daughters are each in a state of unrest. Wendy, widowed young, soothes herself with booze and younger men; Violet, a litigator-turned-stay-at-home-mom, battles anxiety and self-doubt when the darkest part of her past resurfaces; Liza, a neurotic newly tenured professor, finds herself pregnant with a baby she’s not sure she wants by a man she’s not sure she loves; and Grace, the dawdling youngest, begins living a lie no one suspects. Above it all, the daughters share the fear that they will never find a love quite like their parents’.
(HA) SWEEPING; FAMILY DRAMA; MOVING

     Mother- Daughter Murder Night by Nina Simon
High-powered businesswoman Lana Rubicon has a lot to be proud of: her keen intelligence, impeccable taste, and the L.A. real estate empire she's built. But when she finds herself trapped 300 miles north of the city, convalescing in a sleepy coastal town with her adult daughter Beth and teenage granddaughter Jack, Lana is stuck counting otters instead of square footage - and hoping that boredom won't kill her before the cancer does. Then Jack stumbles upon a dead body while kayaking near their bungalow. Jack quickly becomes a suspect in the homicide investigation, and the Rubicon women are thrown into chaos. Beth thinks Lana should focus on recovery, but Lana has a better idea. She'll pull on her wig, find the true murderer, protect her family, and prove she still has power. With Jack and Beth's help, Lana uncovers a web of lies, family vendettas, and land disputes lurking beneath the surface of a community populated by folksy conservationists and wealthy ranchers. But as their amateur snooping advances into ever-more dangerous territory, the headstrong Rubicon women must learn do the one thing they've always resisted: depend on each other.
(HA) MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS; MYSTERY; INTRIGUING 

     The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth
From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, she knew she wasn’t the wife Diana had pictured for her perfect son. Exquisitely polite, friendly, and always generous, Diana has nonetheless kept Lucy at arm’s length despite her attempts to win her over. Now Diana is dead, a suicide note near her body claiming that she no longer wanted to live because of the cancer wreaking havoc inside her body. But the autopsy finds no cancer. It does find traces of poison and evidence of suffocation. But who could possibly have wanted Diana dead?
(HA) THRILLER; PARALLEL NARRATIVES; PLOT TWIST

     Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a web-design drone and landed him a new gig working the night at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. After a few days on the job, he discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything. Suspicious, Clay engineers an analysis of the clientele’s behavior, seeking help from his friends. When they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstore’s secrets extend far beyond its walls.
(RK) CHARMING; SUSPENSEFUL

     Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner
Jo and Bethie Kaufman were born into a world full of promise. Growing up in 1950s Detroit, they live in a perfect “Dick and Jane” house, where their roles are clearly defined. Jo is the tomboy, the bookish rebel with a passion to make the world a fairer place; Bethie is the pretty, feminine good girl, a would-be movie star who enjoys the power her beauty confers and dreams of a traditional life. But the truth ends up looking different from what the girls imagined, as Jo and Bethie survive traumas and tragedies. Neither woman inhabits the world she dreams of, nor has a life that feels authentic or brings her joy. Is it too late for them to finally stake a claim on happily ever after?
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; WOMEN’S LIVES & RELATIONSHIP; MOVING

     Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
With her gift for sniffing out the malevolent side of human nature, Miss Jane Marple is led on her first case to a crime scene at the local vicarage. Colonel Protheroe, the magistrate in town whom everyone hates, has been shot through the head. No one heard the shots. There are no leads. Yet everyone in town seems to have a reason to want the Colonel dead. It’s a race against the clock as Miss Marple sets out on the twisted trail of the mysterious killer.
(PP) MYSTERY; INTRICATELY PLOTTED; SUSPENSEFUL

     My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
The story begins in the 1950s in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples, Italy. Growing up on these tough streets, two girls, Elena and Lila, learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else. As they grow, as their paths repeatedly diverge and converge, Elena and Lila remain best friends whose respective destinies are reflected and refracted in the other. They are likewise the embodiment of a nation undergoing momentous change. Their lives tell the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform their relationship.
(HA) LITERARY FICTION; FRIENDSHIP; SAGA

     My Broken Language by Quiara Alegria Hudes
Quiara Alegria Hudes was the sharp-eyed girl on the stairs while her family danced in her grandmother's tight South Philly kitchen, "frizzy hair cut short, bangs teased into stiff clouds, sweat glistening in the summer fog, pamper-butt babies weaving between legs." Quiara was awed by her aunts and uncles and cousins, but haunted by the secrets of the family and the unspoken stories of the barrio -- even as she tried to find her own voice in the sea of language around her, written and spoken, English and Spanish, bodies and books, Western art and sacred altars. Her family became her private pantheon, a gathering of powerful orishas with tragic wounds and she vowed to tell their stories--but first she'd have to get off the stairs and join the dance; she'd have to find her langauge. This is an inspired exploration of home, family, memory, and belonging, narrated by the obsessed girl who fought to become an artist so she could capture the world she loved in all its wild and delicate beauty.
(HA, UP) COMING OF AGE; LYRICAL; VIBRANT

     My Dear Hamilton by Laura Dray & Stephanie Kamoie
Coming of age on the frontier of revolutionary New York, Elizabeth Schuyler champions the fight for independence. When she meets Alexander Hamilton, she’s captivated by the young officer’s charisma and brilliance. They fall in love, despite Hamilton’s bastard birth and the uncertainties of war. But they union they create—in their marriage and the new nation—is far from perfect. The Hamiltons are at the center of it all—including the political treachery of America’s first sex scandal which forces Eliza to struggle through heartbreak and betrayal to find forgiveness.
(DE) HISTORICAL FICTION; BIOGRAPHICAL NOVEL; DRAMATIC

     My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman
Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is 77 and crazy. She’s also Elsa’s best and only friend. At night, she takes refuge in her grandmother’s stories of the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas, where everybody is different. When her grandmother dies unexpectedly, she leaves a series of letters apologizing to people she’s wronged, and Elsa’s greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother’s letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairytales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.
(RK) FANTASY; QUIRKY; LIGHTHEARTED

     Mystic River by Dennis Lehane
When they were children, Sean Devine, Jimmy Marcus, and Dave Boyle were friends. But then a strange car pulled up to their street. One boy got into the car; two did not, and something terrible happened that ended their friendship and changed their lives forever. 25 years later, Sean is a homicide detective. Jimmy is an ex-con who owns a corner store. And Dave is trying to hold his marriage together and keep his demons at bay—demons that urge him to do terrible things. When Jimmy’s daughter is murdered, Sean is assigned to the case and his investigation brings him into conflict with Jimmy and Dave again.
(PP) PSYCHOLOGICAL FICTION; SUSPENSEFUL

     My Summer Darlings by May Cobb
Three women now approaching forty have been friends since childhood. Their lives have changed over the years, but their insular East Texas town has not. They stay sane by drinking wine in the afternoons, dishing about other women in the neighborhood, and bonding over the heartache of their own encroaching middle age and raising ungrateful teens. Then mysterious and charming Will Harding comes to town…
(DE) PSYCHOLOGICAL SUSPENSE; THRILLER 

     Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain
After the death of her parents, 15-year-old Ivy Hart is left to care for her grandmother, older sister, and nephew as tenants on small tobacco farm. As she struggles with her grandmother’s aging, her sister’s mental illness, and her own epilepsy, she realizes they might need more than she can give. Then she connects with Grace County’s newest social worker, Jane Forrester, who quickly becomes emotionally invested in the lives of the Hart family at the risk of straining her personal and professional relationships. And as she is drawn in, she begins to discover the secrets of the small farm.
(DE) HAUNTING; ISSUE-ORIENTED

     News of the World by Paulette Jiles
In the wake of the Civil War, Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a 70-year-old retired Army captain, does live readings to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. Then he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna’s parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued, she has once again been torn away from the only home she knows.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; HEARTWARMING; PLOT-DRIVEN

     Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
In 1958 Havana, Elisa Perez, the daughter of a sugar baron, is part of Cuba’s high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country’s growing political unrest—until she embarks on an affair with a revolutionary. In 2017 Miami, Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa’s last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in her homeland. Now, Marisol will face the contrast of Cuba’s tropical beauty and its perilous political climate.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; FAMILY SAGA; LUSH

     The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Martin Luther King to heart: he is as good as anyone. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called The Nickel Academy, which claims to shape boys into “honorable and honest men,” but is in reality a chamber of horrors, driven by an abusive staff. Stunned to find himself here, Elwood tries to hold onto the words of Dr. King. His friend Turner thinks he is worse than naïve, that the world is crooked and the only way to survive is to scheme. The tension between Elwood’s ideals and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision with repercussions that will echo for decades.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; DISTURBING

     Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
Frances Welty, former best-selling romance novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House, a remote health resort, nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests, but the person that fascinates her the most is the strange and charismatic owner/director. Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer—or should she run while she can?
(HA) PSYCHOLOGICAL FICTION; WITTY; SUSPENSEFUL

     None of This is True by Lisa Jewell
Celebrating her forty-fifth birthday at her local pub, popular podcaster Alix Summers crosses paths with an unassuming woman called Josie Fair. Josie, it turns out, is also celebrating her forty-fifth birthday. A few days later, Alix and Josie bump into each other again, this time outside Alix's children's school. Josie has been listening to Alix's podcasts and thinks she might be an interesting subject for her series. Josie's life appears to be strange and complicated, and although Alix finds her unsettling, she can't quite resist the temptation to keep making the podcast. Slowly she starts to realise that Josie has been hiding some very dark secrets, and before she knows it, Josie has inveigled her way into Alix's life-and into her home. But, as quickly as she arrived, Josie disappears. Only then does Alix discover that Josie has left a terrible and terrifying legacy in her wake, and that Alix has become the subject of her own true crime podcast, with her life and her family's lives under mortal threat. Who is Josie Fair? And what has she done?
(HA) SUSPENSE; PSYCHOLOGICAL FICTION; EDGY; 

     North Woods by Daniel Mason (NEW!)
When two young lovers abscond from a Puritan colony, little do they know that their humble cabin in the woods will become the home of an extraordinary succession of human and nonhuman characters alike. An English soldier, destined for glory, abandons the battlefields of the New World to devote himself to growing apples. A pair of spinster twins navigate war and famine, envy and desire. A crime reporter unearths an ancient mass grave—only to discover that the ancient trees refuse to give up their secrets. A lovelorn painter, a sinister con man, a stalking panther, a lusty beetle: As the inhabitants confront the wonder and mystery around them, they begin to realize that the dark, raucous, beautiful past is very much alive.
(MA, UP) INVENTIVE; NATURE; HUMAN CONNECTION

     The No Show by Beth O'Leary
The No Show is a Rom-Com that reads like a mystery, in which three women who seemingly have nothing in common find that they're involved with the same man when they are all stood up on Valentine’s Day.
(DE) ROM-COM; PLOT DRIVEN; ENGAGING 

     The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home in Sussex, England. Although the house he lived in is gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road where, when he was seven, he encountered a remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother, and her grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond she’d claimed was the ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.
(DE) FANTASY; MYSTICAL; EERIE

     Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia
In present-day Miami, Jeanette is battling addiction. Daughter of Carmen, a Cuban immigrant, she is determined to learn more about her family history from her reticent mother and makes the snap decision to take in the daughter of a neighbor detained by ICE. Carmen, still wrestling with the trauma of displacement, must process her difficult relationship with her own mother while trying to raise a wayward Jeanette. Steadfast in her quest for understanding, Jeanette travels to Cuba to see her grandmother and reckon with secrets from the past destined to erupt.
(HA) FICTION; IMMIGRATION; HAUNTING

     One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle
When Katy's mother dies, she is left reeling. Carol wasn't just Katy's mom, but her best friend and first phone call. She had all the answers and now, when Katy needs her the most, she is gone. To make matters worse, their planned mother-daughter trip of a lifetime looms: two weeks in Positano, the magical town Carol spent the summer right before she met Katy's father. Katy has been waiting years for Carol to take her, and now she is faced with embarking on the adventure alone. But as soon as she steps foot on the Amalfi Coast, Katy begins to feel her mother's spirit. Buoyed by the stunning waters, beautiful cliffsides, delightful residents, and, of course, delectable food, Katy feels herselfcoming back to life. And then Carol appears-in the flesh, healthy, sun-tanned, and thirty years old. Katy doesn't understand what is happening, or how-all she can focus on is that she has somehow, impossibly, gotten her mother back. Over the course of one Italian summer, Katy gets to know Carol, not as her mother, but as the young woman before her. She is not exactly who Katy imagined she might be, however, and soon Katy must reconcile the mother who knew everything with the young woman who does not yet have a clue. 
(HA) TOUCHING; UNCONVENTIONIAL; MOTHER/DAUGHTER RELATIONSHIP

     Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
Close to aging out of the foster care system, Molly Ayer knows she has one last chance. She takes a position helping a 91-year-old woman named Vivian. Molly soon discovers that they are more alike than they are different as she learns about Vivian’s past as an Irish immigrant put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies were determined by luck and fate. The closer Molly, a Penobscot Indian being raised by strangers, grows to Vivian, the more she discovers parallels to her own life.
(DE, MA, PP) MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES; HISTORICAL FICTION

     The Other Mothers by Katherine Faulkner
When a young nanny is found dead in mysterious circumstances, new mom, Tash, is intrigued. She has been searching for a story to launch her career as a freelance journalist. But she has also been searching for something else--new friends to help her navigate motherhood. She sees them at her son's new playgroup. The other mothers. A group of sleek, sophisticated women who live in a neighborhood of tree-lined avenues and stunning houses. The sort of mothers Tash herself would like to be. When the mothers welcome her into their circle, Tash discovers the kind of life she has always dreamt of--their elegant London townhouses a far cry from her cramped basement flat and endless bills. She is quickly swept up into their wealthy world via coffees, cocktails, and playdates. But when another young woman is found dead, it's clear there's much more to the community than meets the eye. The more Tash investigates, the more she's led uncomfortably close to the other mothers. Are these women really her friends? Or is there another, more dangerous reason why she has been so quickly accepted into their exclusive world? Who, exactly, is investigating who?
(HA) PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER; MOTHERHOOD; INTRICATE PLOT

     The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore
In 2000, the Baltimore Sun ran a small piece about Wes Moore, a local student who had just received a Rhodes scholarship. The same paper also ran a series of articles about the hunt for two of the suspects in the murder of a police officer. One of them was also named Wes Moore. After following the story in the paper, the first Wes, unable to shake off the unsettling coincidence, wrote to the other Wes in prison, beginning a correspondence and relationship that has lasted years.
(HA) NON-FICTION; SOCIAL HISTORY

     Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
Twelve-year-old Bird Gardner lives a quiet existence with his loving but broken father, a former linguist who now shelves books in Harvard University's library. Bird knows to not ask too many questions, stand out too much, or stray too far. For a decade, their lives have been governed by laws written to preserve "American culture" in the wake of years of economic instability and violence. To keep the peace and restore prosperity, the authorities are now allowed to relocate children of dissidents, especially those of Asian origin, and libraries have been forced to remove books seen as unpatriotic--including the work of Bird's mother, Margaret, a Chinese American poet who left the family when he was nine years old. Bird has grown up disavowing his mother and her poems; he doesn't know her work or what happened to her, and he knows he shouldn't wonder. But when he receives a mysterious letter containing only a cryptic drawing, he is drawn into a quest to find her. His journey will take him back to the many folktales she poured into his head as a child, through the ranks of an underground network of librarians, into the lives of the children who have been taken, and finally to New York City, where a new act of defiance may be the beginning of much-needed change.
(HA) SUSPENCEFUL; HEARTRENDING; INSPIRING 

     Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant—and that her lover is married—she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son’s powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; FAMILY SAGA; SWEEPING

     The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up – to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? – he’s not there. The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Ben’s neighbors are an eclectic bunch, and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question. The socialite – The nice guy – The alcoholic – The girl on the verge – The concierge. Everyone's a neighbor. Everyone's a suspect. And everyone knows something they’re not telling.
(HA) THRILLER; SUSPENSEFUL; CLEVER

     The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Quiet 28-year-old Hadley has all but given up on love and happiness—until a mutual friend introduces her to Ernest Hemingway and her life is changed forever. After a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Though the two are deeply in love, Hadley is unprepared for the hard-drinking, fast-living life of Jazz Age Paris, which hardly values notions of family and monogamy. She strives to hold onto her sense of self as the demands of life with Ernest grow costly.
(DE) ROMANTIC; BIOGRAPHICAL NOVEL

     Peony in Love by Lisa See
For young Peony, betrothed to a suitor she has never met, lyrics from the famed Peony Pavilion—“I finally understand what the poets have written. In spring, moved to passion; in autumn only regret”—mirror her own longings. In the garden of the Chen Family Villa, a small theatrical troupe is performing scenes from this epic opera, a live spectacle few women have ever seen. Like the heroine in the drama, Peony is the cloistered daughter of a wealthy family, trapped like a good-luck cricket in a bamboo-and-lacquer cage. Though raised to be obedient, Peony has dreams of her own.
(DE) HISTORICAL FICTION; INTRICATELY PLOTTED

     People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
In 1996, Hannah Heath, an Australian rare books expert, is offered the job of a lifetime: analysis and conservation of the famous Sarajevo Haggadah, rescued from Serb shelling during the Bosnian war. Priceless and beautiful, the book is one of the earliest Jewish volumes ever to be illuminated with images. When Hanna, a caustic loner with a passion for her work, discovers a series of tiny artifacts in the book’s ancient binding, she begins to unlock its mysteries. She is ushered into an exquisitely detailed and atmospheric past, tracing the book’s journey from its salvation back to its creation.
(DE) MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES; INTRICATELY PLOTTED

     People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She's a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart--she's in New York City, and he's in their small hometown--but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together. Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven't spoken since. Poppy has everything she should want, but she's stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together--lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees. Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?
(RK) FICTION; ROMANCE; HUMOROUS

     The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy
They call themselves the May Mothers--a group of new moms whose babies were born in the same month. Twice a week, they get together in Brooklyn's Prospect Park for some much-needed adult time. When the women go out for drinks at the hip neighborhood bar, they are looking for a fun break from their daily routine. But on this hot Fourth of July night, something goes terrifyingly wrong: one of the babies is taken from his crib. Winnie, a single mom, was reluctant to leave six-week-old Midas with a babysitter, but her fellow May Mothers insisted everything would be fine. Now he is missing. What follows is a heart-pounding race to find Midas, during which secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are destroyed.
(RK) PSYCHOLOGICAL FICTION; THRILLER; FAST PACED

     The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray
In her twenties, Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J. Pierpont Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his newly built Morgan Library. Belle becomes a fixture on the New York society scene and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world, known for her impeccable taste and shrewd negotiating for critical works as she helps build a world-class collection. But Belle has a secret, one she must protect at all costs. The Personal Librarian tells the story of an extraordinary woman, famous for her intellect, style, and wit, and shares the lengths she must go-for the protection of her family and her legacy-to preserve her carefully crafted white identity in the racist world in which she lives.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; CAPTIVATING; ENLIGHTENING

     The Piano Lesson by August Wilson
At the heart of this play stands the Charles family’s prized possession, an ornately carved upright piano, which now sits in Berniece Charles’s Pittsburgh home. When Boy Willie, Berniece’s exuberant brother, bursts into her life with his dream of buying the same Mississippi land that their family worked as slaves, he plans to sell their antique piano for the hard cash he needs to stake his future. But Berniece refuses to sell, clinging to the piano as a reminder of the history that is their family legacy. Their dilemma is the real “piano lesson,” reminding readers that black people are often deprived of both the symbols of their past and of opportunity in the present.
(CR) DRAMA; FAMILY LIFE; ALLEGORICAL; HAUNTING

     A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline
To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family’s farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Instead, for more than twenty years, she was host and inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth, and became the subject of one of the best-known paintings of the 20th century: Christina’s World.
(MA) HISTORICAL FICTION; ARTISTS; COMING OF AGE

     Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson
Darley, the eldest daughter in the well-connected old money Stockton family, followed her heart, trading her job and her inheritance for motherhood but giving up far too much in the process; Sasha, a middle-class New England girl, has married into the Brooklyn Heights family, and finds herself cast as the arriviste outsider; and Georgiana, the baby of the family, has fallen in love with someone she can’t have, and must decide what kind of person she wants to be. 
(HA) DEBUT NOVEL; FUNNY; DOMESTIC FICTION

     Please Look After Mom by Kyong-Suk Shin
When sixty-nine-year-old So-nyo is separated from her husband among the crowds of the Seoul subway station and vanishes, her children are consumed with loud recriminations and are awash in sorrow and guilt. As they argue over the missing posters they are posting throughout the city—how large of a reward to offer, the best way to phrase the text—they realize that none of them have a recent photograph of Mom. Soon a larger question emerges: do they really know the woman they called Mom?
(RK) PSYCOLOGICAL FICTION; FAMILY LIFE; COMPELLING

     Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross
For a thousand years, her existence has been denied—Pope Joan, the 9th-century woman who disguised herself as a man and became the only female ever to sit on St. Peter’s throne. Brilliant and talented, young Joan rebels against medieval social strictures forbidding women to learn. When her brother is brutally killed during a Viking attack, Joan takes up his cloak—and his identity—and enters the monastery of Fulda. As Brother John Anglicus, Joan distinguishes herself as a scholar and healer. Eventually, she is drawn to Rome, where she becomes enmeshed in a dangerous web of love, passion, and politics.
(PP) BIOGRAPHICAL NOVEL; WOMEN IN HISTORY

     The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
On the eve of the US entrance into World War II, Iris James, the postmistress in a small Cape Cod town, does the unthinkable: slips a letter into her pocket, reads it, and doesn’t deliver it. Meanwhile, in London, Frankie Bard is working with Edward R. Murrow, reporting on the radio. Her dispatches beg listeners to pay heed as the Nazis bomb London. One night in a shelter, she meets a doctor from Cape Cod with a letter in his pocket, a letter Frankie vows to deliver when she returns home. When Frankie arrives in Iris’s town, their stories collide in a way no one could foresee.
(DE, MA) HISTORICAL FICTION; ROMANTIC; THOUGHT-PROVOKING

     The Radium Girls by Kate Moore
The discovery of radium made headlines across America as the fresh face of beauty and the wonder drug of the medical community, shining bright during the otherwise dark years of World War I. Hundreds of girls toiled among the glowing dust of the radium dial factories, lit up like fireflies by the chemical. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” were the luckiest alive—until they began to fall mysteriously ill, while the factories denied all claims of the gruesome effects. As the fatal poison of the radium took hold, the women found themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America’s 20th century.
(HA) NON-FICTION; WOMEN IN HISTORY; SHOCKING

     The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams
Working at the local library, Aleisha reads every book on a secret list she found, which transports her from the painful realities she's facing at home, and decides to pass the list on to a lonely widower desperate to connect with his bookworm granddaughter.
(HA) FICTION; MOVING; HEARTWARMING

     Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
Kate is in the middle of the biggest meeting of her life when she gets a call from her 15-year-old daughter Amelia’s exclusive private school in Brooklyn, telling her she needs to come down there—now. Amelia has been caught cheating and suspended. But by the time Kate gets there, her stress has turned to panic when she sees the school surrounded by police cars. By then, it’s too late: Amelia has jumped to her death—or so the school tells her. When Kate gets an anonymous text message that reads “She didn’t jump,” she must reconstruct the last days in the life of the daughter she couldn’t save.
(MA) SUSPENSEFUL; INTRICATELY PLOTTED

     Red Lotus by Chris Bohjalian
A twisting story of love and deceit: an American man vanishes from a rural road in Vietnam and his girlfriend, an ER doctor trained in deductive reasoning, follows a path that leads her home to the very hospital where they first met. Alexis and Austen met on a Saturday night. Not in a bar, but instead in the emergency room where Alexis sutured a bullet wound in Austen's arm. Six months later, on the brink of falling in love, they travel to Vietnam on a bicycling tour so that Austen can show her his passion for cycling and so that he can pay his respects to the place where his father and uncle fought in the war. But as Alexis sips white wine and waits at the hotel for Austen to return from his solo ride, two men emerge from the tall grass and Austen vanishes into thin air
(HA) SUSPENSE FICTION; THRILLER

     A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
Ralph Truitt, a wealthy business man, has advertised for a reliable wife; his ad is answered by Catherine Land, who is not what Ralph was expecting. She is both complex and devious, haunted by a terrible past and motivated by greed. Her plan is simple: she will win his devotion and then slowly poison him and leave a wealthy widow, able to take care of one she truly loves. What Catherine didn’t realize, though, was that the enigmatic, lonely Ralph had a plan of his own. And what neither anticipated was that they would fall completely in love.
(DE) HISTORICAL FICTION; SUSPENSEFUL; ATMOSPHERIC

     Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier
Mary Anning is a woman with a talent for finding fossils, and whose discovery of ancient marine reptiles like the ichthyosaur, discovered by herself and her brother in 1810, shakes the scientific community and leads to new ways of thinking about the creation of the world. In danger of becoming an outcast in her community, dominated by middle-class men, she takes solace in an unexpected friendship with Elizabeth Philpot, a prickly London spinster with her own passion for fossils. Their strong bond sees them through struggles with poverty, rivalry, and ostracism, and reminds readers that friendship can outlast storms and landslides, anger and jealousy.
(RK) HISTORICAL FICTION; DRAMATIC

     Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
After Tova Sullivan’s husband died, she began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium, mopping floors and tidying up. Keeping busy has always helped her cope, which she’s been doing since her eighteen-year-old son, Erik, mysteriously vanished on a boat in Puget Sound over thirty years ago. Tova becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium. Marcellus knows more than anyone can imagine but wouldn’t dream of lifting one of his eight arms for his human captors—until he forms a remarkable friendship with Tova. Ever the detective, Marcellus deduces what happened the night Tova’s son disappeared. And now Marcellus must use every trick his old invertebrate body can muster to unearth the truth for her before it’s too late.
(MA, HA) FRIENDSHIP; MEMORABLE; CHARMING

      The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
Joining the elite Bletchley Park code breaking team during World War II, three women from very different walks of life uncover a spy's dangerous agenda years later against the backdrop of the royal wedding of Elizabeth and Philip.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; SUSPENSEFUL; FEMALE FRIENDSHIP

     The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a wonderful husband, his first reaction is shocked. Determined to find the perfect partner, he embarks upon the Wife Project. Enter Rosie Jarman, a woman on a quest of her own who meets almost none of his criteria, but who befriends Don, sparking an unlikely relationship and forcing the scientifically-minded Don to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie and the notion that love is not always what looks good on paper.
(DE) FUNNY; HEARTWARMING; LOVE STORY

     The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
American Rebecca Porter has never been one for fairy tales—that’s her twin sister, Lacey. But it’s Bex who is seeking adventure when she goes to study off at Oxford University. There, she finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, the future king of England. When she can’t resist falling for Nick, the man behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face. Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners with his family at Kensington Palace. But it also comes with unimaginable baggage.
(HA) FUNNY; LIGHTHEARTED; ROMANTIC

     Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
Paris, 1942. Sarah, a ten-year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, but not before she locks her brother in a cupboard in the family’s apartment, thinking that she will be back in a few hours. Paris, 2002. On Vel’ d’Hiv’s sixtieth anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France’s past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl’s ordeal, from the Vel d’Hiv, to the camps and beyond.
(RK) HISTORICAL FICTION; MOVING

     Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe
In December 1972, Jean McConville, a 38-year-old mother of ten, was dragged from her Belfast home by masked intruders, her children clinging to her legs. They never saw her again. Her abduction was one of the most notorious episodes of the vicious conflict known as The Troubles. Everyone in the neighborhood knew the IRA was responsible. But in a climate of fear and paranoia, no one would dare speak of it. This mesmerizing book uses the McConville case as a starting point for the tale of a society wracked by a guerilla war, a war whose consequences have never been reckoned with.
(HA) NON-FICTION; TRUE CRIME; SHOCKING

     The School For Good Mothers by Jessamine Chad
Frida Liu is struggling. She doesn’t have a career worthy of her Chinese immigrant parents’ sacrifices. She can’t persuade her husband, Gust, to give up his wellness-obsessed younger mistress. Only with Harriet, their cherubic daughter, does Frida finally attain the perfection expected of her. Harriet may be all she has, but she is just enough. Until Frida has a very bad day. The state has its eyes on mothers like Frida. The ones who check their phones, letting their children get injured on the playground; who let their children walk home alone. Because of one moment of poor judgment, a host of government officials will now determine if Frida is a candidate for a Big Brother–like institution that measures the success or failure of a mother’s devotion. Faced with the possibility of losing Harriet, Frida must prove that a bad mother can be redeemed. That she can learn to be good.
(HA) DEBUT NOVEL; PAGE TURNER; EXPLOSIVE

     Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok
Sylvie, the beautiful, brilliant, successful older daughter of the Lee family, flies to the Netherlands for one final visit with her dying grandmother—and then vanishes. Amy, the sheltered baby of the family, is too young to remember a time when her parents were new immigrants from China and too poor to keep Sylvie. Seven years old, Sylvie was raised by a distant relative in a faraway, foreign place, and didn’t rejoin her family in America until she was nine. Now, terrified but determined, Amy retraces her sister’s movements. But instead of simple answers, she discovers something more valuable: the truth—however painful that may be.
(HA) SUSPENSEFUL; FAMILY SAGA; WOMEN’S LIVES & RELATIONSHIPS

     The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott
At the height of the Cold War, two secretaries are pulled out of the typing pool at the CIA and given the assignment of a lifetime. Their mission: to smuggle Doctor Zhivago out of the USSR, where no one dares publish it, and help Boris Pasternak’s magnum opus make its way into print. Sally Forrester is a seasoned spy who has honed her gift for deceit all over the world—using her charm to pry secrets out of powerful men. Irina is a complete novice, but under Sally’s tutelage quickly learns how the ropes of working as a spy. Their story is combined with a legendary literary love story: the decades-long affair between Pasternak and his mistress and muse.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; PARALLEL NARRATIVES; SPY FICTION

     Seek You by Kristen Radtke
When Kristen Radtke was in her twenties, she learned that, as her father was growing up, he would crawl onto his roof in rural Wisconsin and send signals out on his ham radio. Those CQ calls were his attempt to reach somebody--anybody--who would respond. In Seek You, Radtke uses this image as her jumping off point into a piercing exploration of loneliness and the ways in which we attempt to feel closer to one another. She looks at the very real current crisis of loneliness through the lenses of gender, violence, technology, and art. Ranging from the invention of the laugh-track to Instagram to Harry Harlow's experiments in which infant monkeys were given inanimate surrogate mothers, Radtke uncovers all she can about how we engage with friends, family, and strangers alike, and what happens--to us and to them--when we disengage. With her distinctive, emotionally charged drawings and unflinchingly sharp prose, Kristen Radtke masterfully reframes some of our most vulnerable and sublime moments.
(HA) GRAPHIC NOVEL; LONELINESS; ENGAGING

     The Sentence by Louise Erdrich
A small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted from November 2019 to November 2020 by the store's most annoying customer. Flora dies on All Souls' Day, but she simply won't leave the store. Tookie, who has landed a job selling books after years of incarceration that she survived by reading "with murderous attention," must solve the mystery of this haunting while at the same time trying to understand all that occurs in Minneapolis during a year of grief, astonishment, isolation, and furious reckoning. The Sentence begins on All Souls' Day 2019 and ends on All Souls' Day 2020. Its mystery and proliferating ghost stories during this one year propel a narrative as rich, emotional, and profound as anything Louise Erdrich has written.
(HA) WICKEDLY FUNNY; RESOUNDING; UNIQUE

     The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Legendary Hollywood actress Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous, scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Summoned to Evelyn’s apartment, Monique listens as she tells her story: from making her way to LA by herself in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business,  to her great forbidden love, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As the story slowly catches up to the present, it becomes clear that Evelyn’s life intersects with Monique’s in tragic, irreversible ways.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; LOVE STORY; WOMEN’S LIVES

     The Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor
On a summer day on the beach in Florida, two extraordinary things happen to Maeve Donnelly. First, she is kissed by Daniel, the boy of her dreams. Then, she is bitten by a shark. Years later, Maeve has thrown herself into her work as a marine biologist learning more about the minds of misunderstood sharks. But when she returns home to the eccentric hotel where she was raised, she finds more than just sunsets waiting for her. While Maeve has always been fearless in the water, on land she is indecisive and a chance meeting with a little girl who is just as fascinated by the ocean as Maeve leaves her at a crossroads.
(HA) LIGHTHEARTED; WOMEN’S LIVES; SCIENCE

     The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Alicia Berenson’s life seems perfect. But then, one evening, her husband Gabriel, a photographer, returns home late from a fashion shoot. Alicia shoots him five times and never speaks another word. Her refusal to talk turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination. Meanwhile, criminal psychotherapist Theo Faber has waited a long time to work with Alicia; his determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of her crime takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him.
(HA) PSYCHOLOGICAL FICTION; SUSPENSEFUL; PARALLEL NARRATIVES

     A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins
When a young man is found gruesomely murdered in a London houseboat, it triggers questions about three women who knew him. Laura is the troubled one-night-stand last seen in the victim’s home. Carla is his grief-stricken aunt, already mourning the recent death of yet another family member. And Miriam is the nosy neighbor clearly keeping secrets from the police. Three women with separate connections to the victim. Three women who are – for different reasons – simmering with resentment. Who are, whether they know it or not, burning to right the wrongs done to them. When it comes to revenge, even good people might be capable of terrible deeds. How far might any one of them go to find peace? How long can secrets smolder before they explode into flame?
(HA) THRILLER; SUSPENSEFUL; RIVETING

     Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene? Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime.
(HA) CONTROVERSIAL; THOUGHT-PROVOKING

     Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris
2 CHILDREN FOR SALE. The sign is a last resort. It sits on a farmhouse porch in 1931, but could be found anywhere in an era of breadlines, bank runs and broken dreams. It could have been written by any mother facing impossible choices. For struggling reporter Ellis Reed, the gut-wrenching scene evokes memories of his family's dark past. He snaps a photograph of the children, not meant for publication. But when it leads to his big break, the consequences are more devastating than he ever imagined.
(DE) HISTORICAL FICTION; UNFORGETTABLE; DEPRESSION-ERA

     Someone Else's Shoes by Jojo Moyes
 Who are you when you are forced to walk in someone else's shoes? Nisha Cantor and Sam Kemp are two very different women. Nisha, 45, lives the globetrotting life of the seriously wealthy, until her husband inexplicably cuts her off entirely. She doesn't even have the shoes she was, until a moment ago, standing in. That's because Sam--47, middle-aged, struggling to keep herself and her family afloat--has accidentally taken Nisha's gym bag. Now Nisha's got nothing. And Sam's walking tall with shoes that catch eyes--and give her a career an unexpected boost. Except Nisha wants her life back--and she'll start with her shoes.
(HA) HUMOROUS; FEMALE FRIENDSHIP; FICTION

     The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth
There's a cottage on a cliff. Gabe and Pippa's dream home in a sleepy coastal town. But their perfect house hides something sinister. The tall cliffs have become a popular spot for people to end their lives. Night after night Gabe comes to their rescue, literally talking them off the ledge. Until he doesn't. When Pippa discovers Gabe knew the victim, the questions spiral...Did the victim jump? Was she pushed? And would Gabe, the love of Pippa's life, her soulmate...lie? As the perfect facade of their marriage begins to crack, the deepest and darkest secrets begin to unravel.
(HA) THRILLER; BESTSELLING AUTHOR; SECRETS

     Spare by Prince Harry
With its raw, unflinching honesty, Prince Harry’s memoir—in which he discusses the effect of his mother Princess Diana’s death on his life—is full of insight, revelation, self-examination and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.
(UP) MEMOIR; TELL-ALL; ROYAL FAMILY

     The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson
On Winston Churchill's first day as prime minister, Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold the country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally-and willing to fight to the end. 
(HA) NON-FICTION; BIOGRAPHY; COMPELLING

Stay With Me book cover     Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo
Yejide and Akin have been married since they met and fell in love at university in Nigeria. Though many expected Akin to take several wives, he and Yejide have always agreed: polygamy is not for them. But four years into marriage, after consulting fertility doctors and healers, Yejide is still not pregnant. She assumes she still has time, until her family arrives with a young woman they introduce as Akin’s second wife. Furious, shocked, and livid with jealousy, Yejide knows the only way to save her marriage is to get pregnant, which comes at a far greater cost than she ever imagined.
(MA) CULTURAL DIFFERENCES; LITERARY FICTION

     Stella Bain by Anita Shreve
When an American woman named Stella Bain is found suffering from severe shell shock in an exclusive garden in London, surgeon August Bridge and his wife selflessly agree to take her in. A gesture of goodwill turns into something more as Bridge quickly develops a clinical interest in his guest. Stella had been working as a nurse’s aide near the front, but now she can’t remember anything prior to four months earlier when she was found wounded on a French battlefield
(DE) HISTORICAL FICTION; ENGAGING

     The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon
It is 1968. Lynnie, a white woman with a disability, and Homan, a deaf African-American man, are locked in a mental institution. Deep in love, they escape and find refuge in the farmhouse of Martha, a widow and retired schoolteacher. But the couple isn’t alone: Lynnie has just given birth to a baby girl. When the authorities catch up to them, Homan escapes into the darkness and Lynnie is caught. Before she is forced back into the institution, she whispers two words to Martha: “Hide her.” And so begins the forty-year epic journey of Lynnie, Holman, Martha, and baby Julia—lives divided by insurmountable obstacles, drawn together by a secret pact and extraordinary love.
(DE) PSYCHOLOGICAL FICTION; LOVE STORY

     The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel
In 1985, a shy and intelligent 20-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life as well as the challenges he has faced since returning to the world.
(MA) NON-FICTION; SHOCKING

     Stuffed by Patricia Volk
Patricia Volk’s memoir lets readers into her big, crazy, loving, cheerful, infuriating, wonderful family, where you’re never just hungry—you’re starving to death—and you’re never just full—you’re stuffed. Volk’s family fed New York City for one hundred years, from 1888 when her great-grandfather introduced pastrami to America until 1988, when her father closed his garment center restaurant. All along, food and family were the center of their lives.
(PP) MEMOIR; FAMILY LIFE

     The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner
When her stepdaughter announces her engagement to her pandemic boyfriend, Sarah Danhauser is shocked. Headstrong Ruby has already set a date (just three months away!) and spoken to her beloved safta, Sarah's mother Veronica, about having the wedding at the family's beach house on Cape Cod before it is being put on the market. As the wedding date approaches, Ruby finds herself grappling with the wounds left by the mother who walked out when she was a baby. Veronica ends up facing unexpected news, and mustrevisit the choices she made long ago. Sarah's twin brother, Sam, is recovering from a terrible loss, and confronting big questions about who he is. Sarah's husband, Eli, has been distant during the pandemic. And Sarah, frustrated by her husband, concerned about her stepdaughter, faces the reappearance of someone from her past-- and a life that could have been.
(HA) FICTION; ENGROSSING; FAMILY BONDS

     Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly
Union nurse Georgeanna Woolsey, an ancestor of Caroline Ferriday, travels with her sister to Gettysburg, where they cross paths with a slave-turned-army conscript and her cruel plantation mistress. Inspired by true accounts, Sunflower Sisters provides a vivid, detailed look at the Civil War experience, from the barbaric and inhumane plantations, to a war-torn New York City to the horrors of the battlefield. It's a sweeping story of women caught in a country on the brink of collapse, in a society grappling with nationalism and unthinkable racial cruelty, a story still so relevant today.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; ENGAGING; WELL RESEARCHED

     The Survivors by Jane Harper
Kieran Elliott's life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences. The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal community he once called home. Kieran's parents are struggling in a town where fortunes are forged by the sea. Between them all is his absent brother, Finn. When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away.
(DE) MYSTERY; THRILLING; ATMOSPHERIC

     Symphony of Secrets by Brendan Slocumb
When he is asked to authenticate a newly discovered piece from famed twentieth-century composer Frederick Delaney, Bern Hendricks uncovers clues that indicate Delaney may have had help composing his most successful work, which makes him a target of a powerful organization who will stop at nothing to keep their secret hidden.
(HA) MYSTERY; RIVETING; CLASSICAL MUSIC

     The Talk by Darrin Bell
Darrin Bell was six years old when his mother told him he couldn’t have a realistic water gun. She said she feared for his safety, that police tend to think of little Black boys as older and less innocent than they really are. Through evocative illustrations and sharp humor, Bell examines how The Talk shaped intimate and public moments from childhood to adulthood. While coming of age in Los Angeles―and finding a voice through cartooning―Bell becomes painfully aware of being regarded as dangerous by white teachers, neighbors, and police officers and thus of his mortality. Drawing attention to the brutal murders of African Americans and showcasing revealing insights and cartoons along the way, he brings us up to the moment of reckoning when people took to the streets protesting the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. And now Bell must decide whether he and his own six-year-old son are ready to have The Talk.
(HA) GRAPHIC NOVEL; RACISM; COMING OF AGE

     Tea Time for the Traditionally Built by Alexander McCall Smith
In Botswana, Precious Ramotswe’s ever-ready tiny white van has recently developed a disturbing noise, and she suspects her estimable husband, Mr. J.L.B Matekoni, one of the country’s most brilliant mechanics, will simply condemn it and replace it with something newer. Can she find a way to save her old friend? Meanwhile Mma. Makutsi has discovered that her old rival has set her sights on her own fiancé, and the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency tries to discover if a member of a local football team’s is throwing the games on purpose.
(DE) COZY MYSTERY; HEARTWARMING

     That Summer by Jennifer Weiner
Daisy Shoemaker can't sleep. With a thriving cooking business, full schedule of volunteer work, and a beautiful home in the Philadelphia suburbs, she should be content. But her teenage daughter can be a handful, her husband can be distant, her work can feel trivial, and she has lots of acquaintances, but no real friends. Still, Daisy knows she's got it good. So why is she up all night? While Daisy tries to identify the root of her dissatisfaction, she's also receiving misdirected emails meant for a woman named Diana Starling, whose email address is just one punctuation mark away from her own. While Daisy's driving carpools, Diana is chairing meetings. While Daisy's making dinner, Diana's making plans to reorganize corporations. Diana's glamorous, sophisticated, single-lady life is miles away from Daisy's simpler existence. When an apology leads to an invitation, the two women meet and become friends. But, as they get closer, we learn that their connection was not completely accidental. Who IS this other woman, and what does she want with Daisy?
(HA) FICTION; EMOTIONALLY CHARGED; SEXUAL ASSAULT 

     Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
When 16-year-old Janie Crawford—fair-skinned, long-legged, and fiercely independent—is caught kissing shiftless Johnny Taylor, her grandmother swiftly marries her off to an old man with 60 acres of land. Over the years, Janie endures two stifling marriages before meeting the man of her dreams, who offers her not diamonds but a packet of flowering seeds. Janie’s quest for identity takes her through three marriages and into a journey back to her roots. Told in the voice of a woman who refuses to live in bitterness, fear, or foolish dreams, this is the story of a life marked by poverty, trials, and purpose.
(UP) CLASSIC FICTION; MELANCHOLY

     Think Again by Adam Grant
Examines the critical art of rethinking: learning to question your beliefs and to know what you don't know, which can position you for success at work and happiness at home. The difficulty of rethinking our assumptions is surprisingly common--maybe even fundamentally human. Our ways of thinking become habits that we don't bother to question, and mental laziness leads us to prefer the ease of old routines to the difficulty of new ones. We fail to update the beliefs we formed in the past for the challenges we face in the present. But in a rapidly changing world, we need to spend as much time rethinking as we do thinking. Think Again is a book about the benefit of doubt, and about how we can get better at embracing the unknown and the joy of being wrong. Evidence has shown that creative geniuses are not attached to one identity but constantly willing to rethink their stances, that leaders who admit they don't know something and seek critical feedback lead more productive and innovative teams, and that our greatest presidents have been open to updating their views. The new science of intellectual humility shows that as a mindset and a skillset, rethinking can be taught, and Grant explains how to develop the necessary qualities.
(HA) SELF HELP; THOUGHT PROVOKING; APPROACHABLE

     This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
Meet Claude. He’s five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress and dreams of being a princess. When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl. His parents, Rosie and Penn, want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They’re just not sure they’re ready to share that. Soon the entire family is keeping the secret…until one day it explodes. This is how a family keeps a secret, and how that secret ends up keeping them. This is how a family lives happily ever after…until happily ever after becomes complicated.
(DE) FAMILY SAGA; EMOTIONAL

     This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub
On the eve of her 40th birthday, Alice's life isn't terrible. She likes her job, even if it isn't exactly the one she expected. She's happy with her apartment, her romantic status, her independence, and she adores her lifelong best friend. But something is missing. Her father, the single parent who raised her, is ailing and out of reach. How did they get here so fast? Did she take too much for granted along the way? When Alice wakes up the next morning somehow back in 1996, it isn't her 16-year-old body that is the biggest shock, or the possibility of romance with her adolescent crush, it's her dad: the vital, charming, 49-year-old version of her father with whom she is reunited. Now armed with a new perspective on her own life and his, is there anything that she should do differently this time around? What would she change, given the chance? 
(HA) TIME TRAVEL; PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP; CAPTIVATING

     The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht
Natalia is a young doctor on a mission of mercy at an orphanage in a Balkan country mending from years of conflict. As she works, she can feel both the gathering of age-old superstitions and secrets and the grief from her own private, hurtful mystery: the inexplicable circumstances surrounding the recent death of her beloved grandfather. After telling her grandmother he was on his way to meet Natalia, he instead set off for a ramshackle settlement none of their family had ever heard of and died there alone. To try to find answers, she turns to the stories he told her when she was a child.
(RK) PARALLEL NARRATIVES; MYSTICAL

     The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom
The inventor of the first clock is punished for trying to measure God’s greatest gift. He is banished to a cave for centuries and forced to listen to the voices of all who come after him seeking more days, more years. Eventually, with his soul nearly broken, Father Time is granted freedom, along with a magic hourglass and a mission: a chance to redeem himself by teaching two people the true meaning of time. He returns to our world—now dominated by the hour-counting he so innocently began—and commences a journey with two unlikely people: one a teenage girl about to give up on life, the other a wealthy businessman who wants to live forever.
(DE) INSPIRATIONAL; MOVING; SPARE

     The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The story of Henry, an adventurous librarian, and Clare, a beautiful art student, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry thirty-six and who married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible…but true, because Henry is one of the first known sufferers of Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically, his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity in his life, past and future. In other words…he’s a time traveler. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, harrowing and amusing.
(PP) SCIENCE FICTION; LOVE STORY; MOVING

     Tom Lake by Ann Patchett (NEW!)
In the spring of 2020, Lara’s three daughters return to the family's orchard in Northern Michigan. While picking cherries, they beg their mother to tell them the story of Peter Duke, a famous actor with whom she shared both a stage and a romance years before at a theater company called Tom Lake. As Lara recalls the past, her daughters examine their own lives and relationship with their mother, and are forced to reconsider the world and everything they thought they knew.
(HA) FAMILY; REFLECTIVE; FICTION

     Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
On a bitter-cold day, in the December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn’t heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom. These friends, intimates since childhood, borrow money, beg favors, and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo. Overnight, the world is theirs. Not even twenty-five years old, Sam and Sadie are brilliant, successful, and rich, but these qualities won’t protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of their hearts.
(MA, HA) MODERN LOVE STORY; VIDEO GAMES; BRILLIANT

     To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara
In an alternate version of 1893 America, New York is part of the Free States, where people may live and love whomever they please (or so it seems). The fragile young scion of a distinguished family resists betrothal to a worthy suitor, drawn to a charming music teacher of no means. In a 1993 Manhattan besieged by the AIDS epidemic, a young Hawaiian man lives with his much older, wealthier partner, hiding his troubled childhood and the fate of his father. And in 2093, in a world riven by plagues and governed by totalitarian rule, a powerful scientist's damaged granddaughter tries to navigate life without him- and solve the mystery of her husband's disappearances. What unites not just the characters, but these Americas, are their reckonings with the qualities that make us human: Fear. Love. Shame. Need. Loneliness.
(HA) BOLD; EMOTIONAL; DYSTOPIAN FICTION

    Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
Gifty is a sixth-year PhD candidate in neuroscience at Stanford University School of Medicine studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after an ankle injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her. But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family's loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive.
(HA) FICTION; EMOTIONAL; DEEPLY LAYERED

     True Biz by Sara Nović 
This revelatory novel plunges readers into the halls of a residential school for the deaf, where they'll meet Charlie, a rebellious transfer student who's never met another deaf person before; Austin, the school's golden boy, whose world is rocked when his baby sister is born hearing; and February, the headmistress, who is fighting to keep her school open and her marriage intact, but might not be able to do both at the same time. As a series of crises both personal and political threaten to unravel each of them, Charlie, Austin, and February find their lives inextricable from one another--and changed forever.
(HA) DEAF CULTURE; COMING OF AGE; RELATABLE 

     Trust by Hernan Diaz
Even through the roar and effervescence of the 1920s, everyone in New York has heard of Benjamin and Helen Rask. He is a legendary Wall Street tycoon; she is the daughter of eccentric aristocrats. Together, they have risen to the very top of a world of seemingly endless wealth—all as a decade of excess and speculation draws to an end. But at what cost have they acquired their immense fortune? This is the mystery at the center of Bonds, a successful 1937 novel that all of New York seems to have read. Yet there are other versions of this tale of privilege and deceit. Hernan Diaz’s TRUST elegantly puts these competing narratives into conversation with one another—and in tension with the perspective of one woman bent on disentangling fact from fiction.
(MA) 1920s NEW YORK CITY; EXHILARATING; MULTILAYERED

     The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis
In 1923, 15-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. She vows to prepare them for the calamitous difficulty she knows awaits them, and for a world she is certain will love them, a world that will not be kind.
(DE) FAMILY SAGA; CHARACTER-DRIVEN

     The Undergroud Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.
(YE) HISTORICAL FICTION; ORIGINAL; SPELLBINDING 

     The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, who seems irritated by almost everything he does. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning, Harold finds a letter addressed to him in a shaky scrawl from a woman he hasn’t seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. After a chance encounter on his way to mail his reply, Harold decides he must hand-deliver the letter and sets out to cover the 600 miles on foot. Along the way he meets a series of characters, each of whom unlocks his long-dormant spirit and sense of promise.
(DE) HEARTWARMING; QUIRKY

     Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect?
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; RIVETING; EMOTIONAL

     The Vaster Wilds by Lauren Groff
Escaping from a colonial settlement in the wilderness, a servant girl, with nothing but her wits, a few possessions and some faith, is tested beyond the limits of her imagination, forcing her to question her belief of everything her own civilization taught her.
(HA) COLONIAL HISTORY; ADVENTURE; NATURE

     Verity by Colleen Hoover
Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish. Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity's recollection of the night her family was forever altered. Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents could devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue loving her.
(HA) PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER; UNEXPECTED; DARK

     The Villa by Rachel Hawkins
While on a girls trip to Italy with her best friend Chess, Emily discovers their high-end villa was once the scene of a brutal murder, and, digging into the past, finds the truth seeping into the present as dangerous betrayals emerge.
(HA) GOTHIC SUSPENSE; FEMALE FRIENDSHIP; BRISK PLOT

     Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
Kate Battista is stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and pretty, bratty younger sister Bunny, working at a daycare? Her father is on the verge of a breakthrough that could help millions. There’s just one problem: his brilliant young lab assistant is about to be deported, and without him, all would be lost. When Dr. Battista cooks up a plan, he’s relying, as usual, on Kate to help him. Kate is furious—this time he's really asking too much. But will she be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to bring her around?
(UP) LIGHTHEARTED; LOVE STORY; QUIRKY

     The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder by David Grann
On January 28, 1742, a ramshackle vessel of patched-together wood and cloth washed up on the coast of Brazil. Inside were thirty emaciated men, barely alive, and they had an extraordinary tale to tell. They were survivors of His Majesty’s Ship the Wager, a British vessel that had left England in 1740 on a secret mission during an imperial war with Spain. While the Wager had been chasing a Spanish treasure-filled galleon known as “the prize of all the oceans,” it had wrecked on a desolate island off the coast of Patagonia. The men, after being marooned for months and facing starvation, built the flimsy craft and sailed for more than a hundred days, traversing nearly 3,000 miles of storm-wracked seas. They were greeted as heroes.

But then ... six months later, another, even more decrepit craft landed on the coast of Chile. This boat contained just three castaways, and they told a very different story. The thirty sailors who landed in Brazil were not heroes – they were mutineers. The first group responded with countercharges of their own, of a tyrannical and murderous senior officer and his henchmen. It became clear that while stranded on the island the crew had fallen into anarchy, with warring factions fighting for dominion over the barren wilderness. As accusations of treachery and murder flew, the Admiralty convened a court martial to determine who was telling the truth. The stakes were life-and-death—for whomever the court found guilty could hang.
(HA, MA) NONFICTION; PAGE-TURNING; POWERFUL

     Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange (NEW!)
Colorado, 1864. Star, a young survivor of the Sand Creek Massacre, is brought to the Fort Marion prison castle,where he is forced to learn English and practice Christianity by Richard Henry Pratt, an evangelical prison guard who will go on to found the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, an institution dedicated to the eradication of Native history, culture, and identity. A generation later, Star’s son, Charles, is sent to the school, where he is brutalized by the man who was once his father’s jailer. Under Pratt’s harsh treatment, Charles clings to moments he shares with a young fellow student, Opal Viola, as the two envision a future away from the institutional violence that follows their bloodlines. Follow-up to There, There.
(HA) GENERATIONAL; TRAMA; POWERFUL

     The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known. So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.
(YE) HISTORICAL FICTION; MAGICAL REALISM

     We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange
Returning to the east coast to recover from a drunk driving accident she caused, 29-year-old Sunday Brennan must protect her family from a man from her past who brings her family’s pub business to the brink of financial ruin. 
(HA) FICTION; IRISH AMERICAN; FAMILY DRAMA

     The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
The three Andreas sisters grew up in a cloistered household dominated by their Shakespearean professor father, a prominent, eccentric academic whose reverence for the Bard left its imprint on his daughters’ names: Rosalind, Bianca, and Cordelia. The sisters eventually left hope and escaped their ponderous monikers with nicknames, but their mother’s medical maladies bring them back. Before long, their unwelcome reunion reveals that they all have problems: Rose is force-feeding a troubled relationship; Bean is entangled in a big city case of embezzlement; and single Cordy is pregnant.
(DE) DOMESTIC FICTION; WITTY; CHARACTER-DRIVEN

     Wellness by Nathan Hill (NEW!)
When Jack and Elizabeth meet as college students in the gritty '90s Chicago art scene, the two quickly join forces and hold on tight, each eager to claim a place in the thriving underground scene with an appreciative kindred spirit. Fast-forward twenty years to suburban married life, and alongside the challenges of parenting, they encounter the often-baffling pursuits of health and happiness from polyamorous would-be suitors to home-renovation hysteria. For the first time, Jack and Elizabeth struggle to recognize each other, and the no-longer-youthful dreamers are forced to face their demons, from unfulfilled career ambitions to childhood memories of their own dysfunctional families. In the process, Jack and Elizabeth must undertake separate, personal excavations, or risk losing the best thing in their lives: each other.
(DE) WITTY; MARRIAGE; MIDLIFE CRISIS

     What an Owl Knows: The New Science of the World's Most Enigmatic Birds by Jennifer Ackerman
Illuminating the rich biology and natural history of owls, the most elusive of birds—and often a symbol of wisdom, knowledge and foresight—the New York Times best-selling author of The Genius of Birds takes us around the globe and through human history to understand the complex nature of these extraordinary creatures.
(HA) NON-FICTION; ENGAGING; WELL RESEARCHED

     What Happened to You? by Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey, sharing stories from her own past, and a renowned brain development and trauma expert discuss the impact of trauma and adversity and how healing must begin with a shift to asking, "What happened to you?" rather than "What's wrong with you?"
(HA) NON-FICTION; MENTAL HEALING; CANDID 

Where the Crawdads Sing book cover     Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Rumors of the Marsh Girl have long haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in 1969, when Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sands. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life—until the unthinkable happens.
(HA, YE) HAUNTING; COMING OF AGE

     Where the Past Begins by Amy Tan
Amy Tan is at her most intimate in revealing truths and inspirations that underlie her extraordinary fiction. By delving into memories of her traumatic childhood, confessions of self-doubt in her journals, and heartbreaking letters to and from her mother, Tan gives evidence that it was both unlikely and inevitable that she would be a writer. Through spontaneous storytelling, she shows how a fluid fictional state of mind unleashed near-forgotten memories that became the emotional nucleus of her work. She also writes about her complex relationship with her father, who died when she was fifteen.
(MA) MEMOIR; THOUGHT-PROVOKING

     While Beauty Slept by Elizabeth Blackwell
When Elise Dalriss’s great-granddaughter recounts a tale about a beautiful princess awakened by a handsome prince’s kiss, it pushes open a door to the past, a door Elise has kept locked for years. For she was the companion to the real princess who slumbered—and she is the only one left who knows the truth of what happened so many years ago. As the memories start to unfold, Elise is plunged back into the world behind the opulent palace walls. Fleeing a hardscrabble existence and personal tragedy, she builds a life for herself as a servant to the royal family and quickly rises within the castle hierarchy.
(DE) FANTASY; FAIRY TALES

     White Houses by Amy Bloom
Lorena Hickok meets Eleanor Roosevelt in 1932 while reporting on Franklin Roosevelt’s first campaign. Having grown up worse than poor in South Dakota and reinvented herself as the most prominent woman reporter in America, Hick is not quite instantly charmed by Eleanor. But then as her connection with the future First Lady deepens into intimacy, what begins as a powerful passion matures into a lasting love and a life that Hick never expected to have. She moves into the White House, where her status as “first friend” is an open secret. After she takes a job in the Roosevelt administration, she comes to know Franklin as not only a great president, but as a complicated rival and friend.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; LOVE STORY; WOMEN’S LIVES

     The Widow’s War by Sally Gunning
Married for twenty years to Edward Berry, Lyddie is used to the trials of being a whaler’s wife in the Cape Cod village of Satucket, Massachusetts—running their house during her husband’s long absences at sea, living with the daily uncertainty that Edward will simply not return. And when her worst fear is realized, she is doubly cursed. She is overwhelmed by grief, and her property and rights are now legally in the hands of her nearest male relative: her daughter’s overbearing husband, whom Lyddie cannot abide. Lyddie decides to challenge both law and custom for control of her destiny, but she soon discovers the price of her bold “war” for personal freedom to be heartbreakingly dear.
(MA) HISTORICAL FICTION; WOMEN’S LIVES

     The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
The divorce has just been finalized, and Richard is already engaged to someone else. One woman, Richard’s ex-wife, is determined to change that—no matter what it takes. Soon a tangle of lies binds her life to Richard and his new fiancée. A tangle of lies that hide some dangerous truths. No one is who they seem to be in this twisted, deliciously chilling novel, which explores the complexities of marriage and those dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.
(DE, MA) PSYCHOLOGICAL FICTION; PLOT TWISTS

     The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon
One summer night in 1930, Judge Joseph Crater steps into a New York City cab and is never heard from again. Behind this great man are three women, each with her own tale to tell: Stella, his fashionable wife, the picture of propriety; Maria, their steadfast maid, indebted to the judge; and Ritzi, his showgirl mistress, willing to seize any chance to break out of their chorus line. Soon, the twisted truth will emerge from among the smoky jazz clubs and seedy dressing rooms.
(DE) ATMOSPHERIC; SUSPENSEFUL; HISTORICAL FICTION

     The Wildest Sun by Asha Lemmie
When tragedy forces Delphine Auber, an aspiring writer on the cusp of adulthood, from her home in postwar Paris, she seizes the opportunity to embark on the journey she's long dreamed of: finding the father she has never known. But her quest—spanning from Paris to New York’s Harlem, to Havana and Key West—is complicated by the fact that she believes him to be famed luminary Ernest Hemingway, a man just as elusive as he is iconic. She desperately yearns for his approval, as both a daughter and a writer, convinced that he holds the key to who she's truly meant to be. But what will happen if she is wrong, or if her real story falls outside of the legend of her parentage that she’s revered all her life? 
(HA) FATHERS AND DAUGHTERS; HISTORICAL FICTION; COMING OF AGE

     Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. But with their beloved father ill, the two find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother Anya, who, even now, offers no comfort to her daughters. As children, the only connection between them was the Russian fairy tale Anya sometimes told the girls at night. On his deathbed, their father makes the three women promise him: the fairy tale will be told one last time—all the way to the end.
(RK) HISTORICAL FICTION; EMOTIONAL

     The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
19-year-old Ruthie lives in a farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that has weighty consequences when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished. In her search for clues, she is startled to find beneath the floorboards a copy of a diary that belonged to Sara Harrison Shea, a mysterious former inhabitant. As Ruthie gets sucked into the historical mystery, she discovers that she’s not the only person looking for someone they’ve lost—but she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself.
(DE) INTRICATELY PLOTTED; ATMOSPHERIC

     The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer (NEW!)
Lucy Hart knows better than anyone what it’s like to grow up without parents who loved her. In a childhood marked by neglect and loneliness, Lucy found her solace in books, namely the Clock Island series by Jack Masterson. Now a twenty-six-year-old teacher’s aide, she is able to share her love of reading with bright, young students, especially seven-year-old Christopher Lamb, who was left orphaned after the tragic death of his parents. Lucy would give anything to adopt Christopher, but even the idea of becoming a family seems like an impossible dream without proper funds and stability. Just when Lucy is about to give up, Jack Masterson announces he’s finally written a new book. Even better, he’s holding a contest at his home on the real Clock Island, and Lucy is one of the four lucky contestants chosen to compete to win the one and only copy. For Lucy, the chance of winning the most sought-after book in the world means everything to her and Christopher. But first she must contend with ruthless book collectors, wily opponents, and the distractingly handsome (and grumpy) Hugo Reese, the illustrator of the Clock Island books. Meanwhile, Jack “the Mastermind” Masterson is plotting the ultimate twist ending that could change all their lives forever.
(HA) BOOKS; HEARTWARMING; CLEVER

     Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult
Diana O'Toole is perfectly on track. She will be married by thirty, done having kids by thirty-five, and move out to the New York City suburbs, all while climbing the professional ladder in the cutthroat art auction world. She's an associate specialist at Sotheby's now, but her boss has hinted at a promotion if she can close a deal with a high-profile client. She's not engaged just yet, but she knows her boyfriend, Finn, a surgical resident, is about to propose on their romantic getaway to the Galapagos-days before her thirtieth birthday. Right on time. But then a virus that felt worlds away has appeared in the city, and on the eve of their departure, Finn breaks the news: he has to stay behind. You should still go, he assures her. And so, reluctantly, she goes. Almost immediately, Diana's dream vacation goes awry. Completely isolated, she must venture beyond her comfort zone. In the Galapagos Islands, Diana finds herself examining her relationships, her choices, and herself-and wondering if when she goes home, she too will have evolved into someone completely different.
(HA) DEEPLY MOVING; PANDEMIC FICTION

     The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn
Anna Fox lives alone, a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her days drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times…and spying on her neighbors. Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. A perfect family. But when Anna is gazing out her window one night, she sees something she shouldn’t. Her world begins to crumble around her and shocking secrets are laid bare.  
(HA) PSYCHOLOGICAL FICTION; SUSPENSEFUL

     The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore
In the mid-19th century, Elizabeth Packard found herself trapped in an unjust world, silenced by a society that deemed her opinions and intellect unworthy. Braving the confines of an oppressive mental asylum, Elizabeth defied all odds as she fought for her freedom and the rights of countless other women confined against their will. With relentless determination, she became a voice that resonated across the nation, igniting a movement for change.
(SP) BIOGRAPHY; WELL RESEARCHED; INSPIRING

     The Women by Kristin Hannah
In 1965, nursing student Frankie McGrath, after hearing the words “Women can be heroes, too,” impulsively joins the Army Nurse Corps and follows her brother to Vietnam where she is overwhelmed by the destruction of war, as well as the unexpected trauma of coming home to a changed and politically divided America.
(HA, MA) COMING OF AGE; HISTORICAL FICTION; NURSES

     The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck
Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany’s defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once-grand castle of her husband’s ancestors. The widow of a resistor murdered in the failed plot to assassinate Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband’s conspirators: to find and protect their wives. She makes her way across Europe, rescuing first six-year-old Martin from a Nazi reeducation home, then his mother, the beautiful and naïve Benita, and then Ania, another resistor’s wife and her two boys. As Marianne assembles this makeshift family from the ruins of the resistance movement, she is certain that their shared pain and circumstances will hold them together.
(HA) HISTORICAL FICTION; ATMOSPHERIC; WOMEN’S LIVES

     The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
In Iraq, 21-year-old Private Bartle and 18-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle. In the endless days that follow, the young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in from all sides. Bound together since basic training when their Sergeant ordered Bartle to watch over Murphy, the two have been dropped into a war neither is prepared for. As reality blurs into nightmare, Murphy becomes increasingly unmoored from the world around him and Bartle takes impossible actions.
(DE) LYRICAL; REFLECTIVE; DARK

     Yellowface by R.F. Kuang (NEW!)
Authors June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to be twin rising stars. But Athena’s a literary darling. June Hayward is literally nobody. Who wants stories about basic white girls, June thinks. So when June witnesses Athena’s death in a freak accident, she acts on impulse: she steals Athena’s just-finished masterpiece, an experimental novel about the unsung contributions of Chinese laborers during World War I. So what if June edits Athena’s novel and sends it to her agent as her own work? So what if she lets her new publisher rebrand her as Juniper Song—complete with an ambiguously ethnic author photo? Doesn’t this piece of history deserve to be told, whoever the teller? That’s what June claims, and the New York Times bestseller list seems to agree. But June can’t get away from Athena’s shadow, and emerging evidence threatens to bring June’s (stolen) success down around her. As June races to protect her secret, she discovers exactly how far she will go to keep what she thinks she deserves.
(HA) FICTION; TIMELY; RACISM

     You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi
This is Nigerian writer Emezi's first romance novel, and third adult novel. It follows Feyi Adekola, a Nigerian American visual artist as she heals from the trauma of widowhood and finds new love.
(DE) ROMANCE; SEDUCTIVE; SECOND CHANCES

 

 

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Mon Jun 24

Mon Jun 24

(All day)
Marple Public Library
Unleash your creativity with our Teen Take & Make program. Pick up fun DIY kits at the...
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Upper Darby Township/Sellers Library – Sellers Memorial Branch
Available in the Children's Library.  Free craft kits for Preschool - 2nd grade and Grades 3 - 5. ...
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Marple Public Library
WIN BOOKS & A CHANCE TO WIN OUR GRAND PRIZE!! Take our summer bingo challenge! Pick up a bingo...
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Middletown Free Library
Mindful Mondays @ MFL Each Monday throughout the summer, participate in our rotating Mindfulness...