New Arrivals

11/8/2020

I’m finally getting around to adding the newest batch of books (it sure has taken me long enough!). These have all been entered into the catalog and are ready to check out. Click on each image to be taken to the book’s GoodRead reviews. Happy reading!

Adult Fiction

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove comes a charming, poignant novel about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and eight extremely anxious strangers who find they have more in common than they ever imagined.

Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix their own marriage. There’s a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world.

Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them—the bank robber included—desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.

Rich with Fredrik Backman’s “pitch-perfect dialogue and an unparalleled understanding of human nature” (Shelf Awareness), Anxious People is an ingeniously constructed story about the enduring power of friendship, forgiveness, and hope—the things that save us, even in the most anxious times.

The Lying Life of Adults by Elana Ferrante

Giovanna’s pretty face is changing, turning ugly, at least so her father thinks. Giovanna, he says, looks more like her Aunt Vittoria every day. But can it be true? Is she really changing? Is she turning into her Aunt Vittoria, a woman she hardly knows but whom her mother and father clearly despise? Surely there is a mirror somewhere in which she can see herself as she truly is.

Giovanna is searching for her reflection in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and Naples of the depths, a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves from one to the other in search of the truth, but neither city seems to offer answers or escape.

Named one of 2016’s most influential people by TIME Magazine and frequently touted as a future Nobel Prize-winner, Elena Ferrante has become one of the world’s most read and beloved writers. With this new novel about the transition from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, Ferrante proves once again that she deserves her many accolades. In The Lying Life of Adults, readers will discover another gripping, highly addictive, and totally unforgettable Neapolitan story.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

A wedding celebration turns dark and deadly in this deliciously wicked and atmospheric thriller reminiscent of Agatha Christie from the New York Times bestselling author of The Hunting Party.

The bride – The plus one – The best man – The wedding planner  – The bridesmaid – The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

The Shame by Makenna Goodman

What if you could change your life? Would you do it? How would you do it?

Alma and her family live close to the land: they raise chickens and sheep, they make maple syrup. Every day Alma’s husband leaves for his job at a nearby college while she stays home with their young children, cleans, searches for secondhand goods online, and reads books by the women writers she adores. Then, one night, she abruptly leaves it all behind―speeding through the darkness, away from their Vermont homestead, bound for New York.

In a series of flashbacks, Alma reveals the circumstances and choices that led to this moment. The joys and claustrophobia of their remote life through the passing of each season. Her fears and uncertainties about motherhood. The painfully awkward faculty dinners. Her feelings of loneliness and failure. And her growing fascination with Celeste: the mysterious ceramicist and self-loving doppelgänger whose story begins as inspiration for Alma before turning into a powerful obsession.

A fable both blistering and surreal, The Shame is a propulsive, funny, and thought-provoking debut about a woman in isolation, whose mind―fueled by capitalism, motherhood, and the search for meaningful art―attempts to betray her.

Camino Winds by John Grisham

Welcome back to Camino Island, where anything can happen—even a murder in the midst of a hurricane, which might prove to be the perfect crime . . .
 
Just as Bruce Cable’s Bay Books is preparing for the return of bestselling author Mercer Mann, Hurricane Leo veers from its predicted course and heads straight for the island. Florida’s governor orders a mandatory evacuation, and most residents board up their houses and flee to the mainland, but Bruce decides to stay and ride out the storm.
 
The hurricane is devastating: homes and condos are leveled, hotels and storefronts ruined, streets flooded, and a dozen people lose their lives. One of the apparent victims is Nelson Kerr, a friend of Bruce’s and an author of thrillers. But the nature of Nelson’s injuries suggests that the storm wasn’t the cause of his death: He has suffered several suspicious blows to the head.
 
Who would want Nelson dead? The local police are overwhelmed in the aftermath of the storm and ill equipped to handle the case. Bruce begins to wonder if the shady characters in Nelson’s novels might be more real than fictional. And somewhere on Nelson’s computer is the manuscript of his new novel. Could the key to the case be right there—in black and white? As Bruce starts to investigate, what he discovers between the lines is more shocking than any of Nelson’s plot twists—and far more dangerous. 
 
Camino Winds is an irresistible romp and a perfectly thrilling beach read—# 1 bestselling author John Grisham at his beguiling best.

Monogamy: A Novel by Sue Miller

A brilliantly insightful novel, engrossing and haunting, about marriage, love, family, happiness and sorrow, from New York Times bestselling author Sue Miller.

Graham and Annie have been married for nearly thirty years. Their seemingly effortless devotion has long been the envy of their circle of friends and acquaintances. By all appearances, they are a golden couple.

Graham is a bookseller, a big, gregarious man with large appetites—curious, eager to please, a lover of life, and the convivial host of frequent, lively parties at his and Annie’s comfortable house in Cambridge. Annie, more reserved and introspective, is a photographer. She is about to have her first gallery show after a six-year lull and is worried that the best years of her career may be behind her. They have two adult children; Lucas, Graham’s son with his first wife, Frieda, works in New York. Annie and Graham’s daughter, Sarah, lives in San Francisco. Though Frieda is an integral part of this far-flung, loving family, Annie feels confident in the knowledge that she is Graham’s last and greatest love.

When Graham suddenly dies—this man whose enormous presence has seemed to dominate their lives together—Annie is lost. What is the point of going on, she wonders, without him? 

Then, while she is still mourning Graham intensely, she discovers a ruinous secret, one that will spiral her into darkness and force her to question whether she ever truly knew the man who loved her.

All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny

The 16th novel by #1 bestselling author Louise Penny finds Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Quebec investigating a sinister plot in the City of Light

On their first night in Paris, the Gamaches gather as a family for a bistro dinner with Armand’s godfather, the billionaire Stephen Horowitz. Walking home together after the meal, they watch in horror as Stephen is knocked down and critically injured in what Gamache knows is no accident, but a deliberate attempt on the elderly man’s life.

When a strange key is found in Stephen’s possession it sends Armand, his wife Reine-Marie, and his former second-in-command at the Sûreté, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, from the top of the Tour d’Eiffel, to the bowels of the Paris Archives, from luxury hotels to odd, coded, works of art.

It sends them deep into the secrets Armand’s godfather has kept for decades.

A gruesome discovery in Stephen’s Paris apartment makes it clear the secrets are more rancid, the danger far greater and more imminent, than they realized.

Soon the whole family is caught up in a web of lies and deceit. In order to find the truth, Gamache will have to decide whether he can trust his friends, his colleagues, his instincts, his own past. His own family.

For even the City of Light casts long shadows. And in that darkness devils hide.

The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult

From the author of Small Great Things and A Spark of Light comes a “powerful” (The Washington Post) novel about the choices that alter the course of our lives.

Everything changes in a single moment for Dawn Edelstein. She’s on a plane when the flight attendant makes an announcement: Prepare for a crash landing. She braces herself as thoughts flash through her mind. The shocking thing is, the thoughts are not of her husband but of a man she last saw fifteen years ago: Wyatt Armstrong.

Dawn, miraculously, survives the crash, but so do all the doubts that have suddenly been raised. She has led a good life. Back in Boston, there is her husband, Brian, their beloved daughter, and her work as a death doula, in which she helps ease the transition between life and death for her clients.

But somewhere in Egypt is Wyatt Armstrong, who works as an archaeologist unearthing ancient burial sites, a career Dawn once studied for but was forced to abandon when life suddenly intervened. And now, when it seems that fate is offering her second chances, she is not as sure of the choice she once made.

After the crash landing, the airline ensures that the survivors are seen by a doctor, then offers transportation to wherever they want to go. The obvious destination is to fly home, but she could take another path: return to the archaeological site she left years before, reconnect with Wyatt and their unresolved history, and maybe even complete her research on The Book of Two Ways—the first known map of the afterlife.

As the story unfolds, Dawn’s two possible futures unspool side by side, as do the secrets and doubts long buried with them. Dawn must confront the questions she’s never truly asked: What does a life well lived look like? When we leave this earth, what do we leave behind? Do we make choices… or do our choices make us? And who would you be if you hadn’t turned out to be the person you are right now?

Dark August by Katie Tallo

An electrifying, page-turning debut about a young woman haunted by her tragic past, who returns to her hometown and discovers that there might be more to her police detective mother’s death—and last case—than she ever could have imagined.

Augusta (Gus) Monet is living an aimless existence with her grifter boyfriend when she learns that her great grandmother—her last living relative—has just died. Ditching her boyfriend, Gus returns to the home she left as a young girl. Her inheritance turns out to be a dilapidated house and an old dog named Levi. While combing through her great grandmother’s possessions, Gus stumbles across an old trunk filled with long-lost childhood belongings. But that’s not all the trunk contains. She also discovers cold case files that belonged to her mother, a disgraced police detective who died in a car accident when Gus was eight. Gus remembers her mother obsessing over these very same documents and photographs, especially a Polaroid of a young ballerina.

When Gus spots a front-page news story about the unearthing of a body linked to one of the cold case files from her childhood trunk, she can’t resist following her mother’s clues. As she digs deeper, determined to finish her mother’s investigation, her search leads her to a deserted ghost town, which was left abandoned when the residents fled after a horrific fire. As Gus’ obsession with the case grows, she inadvertently stirs up the evils of the past, putting her life in danger. But Gus is undeterred and is committed to uncovering long-buried secrets, including the secrets surrounding a missing geology student, the young ballerina in the Polaroid, a prominent family’s devastating legacy, and a toxic blast that blew an entire town off the map. 

But is Gus ready to learn the truths that culminated on one terrible August night, more than a decade earlier, when lives were taken, and secrets were presumed buried forever…? 

Dark August introduces a bold new voice and will leave readers guessing until the final startling conclusion.

Adult Nonfiction

The Yellow House: A Memoir by Sarah M. Broom

A brilliant, haunting and unforgettable memoir from a stunning new talent about the inexorable pull of home and family, set in a shotgun house in New Orleans East.

In 1961, Sarah M. Broom’s mother Ivory Mae bought a shotgun house in the then-promising neighborhood of New Orleans East and built her world inside of it. It was the height of the Space Race and the neighborhood was home to a major NASA plant―the postwar optimism seemed assured. Widowed, Ivory Mae remarried Sarah’s father Simon Broom; their combined family would eventually number twelve children. But after Simon died, six months after Sarah’s birth, the Yellow House would become Ivory Mae’s thirteenth and most unruly child.

A book of great ambition, Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House tells a hundred years of her family and their relationship to home in a neglected area of one of America’s most mythologized cities. This is the story of a mother’s struggle against a house’s entropy, and that of a prodigal daughter who left home only to reckon with the pull that home exerts, even after the Yellow House was wiped off the map after Hurricane Katrina. The Yellow House expands the map of New Orleans to include the stories of its lesser known natives, guided deftly by one of its native daughters, to demonstrate how enduring drives of clan, pride, and familial love resist and defy erasure. Located in the gap between the “Big Easy” of tourist guides and the New Orleans in which Broom was raised, The Yellow House is a brilliant memoir of place, class, race, the seeping rot of inequality, and the internalized shame that often follows. It is a transformative, deeply moving story from an unparalleled new voice of startling clarity, authority, and power.

Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald

Animals don’t exist in order to teach us things, but that is what they have always done, and most of what they teach us is what we think we know about ourselves.

In Vesper Flights Helen Macdonald brings together a collection of her best loved essays, along with new pieces on topics ranging from nostalgia for a vanishing countryside to the tribulations of farming ostriches to her own private vespers while trying to fall asleep.

Meditating on notions of captivity and freedom, immigration and flight, Helen invites us into her most intimate experiences: observing the massive migration of songbirds from the top of the Empire State Building, watching tens of thousands of cranes in Hungary, seeking the last golden orioles in Suffolk’s poplar forests. She writes with heart-tugging clarity about wild boar, swifts, mushroom hunting, migraines, the strangeness of birds’ nests, and the unexpected guidance and comfort we find when watching wildlife.

By one of this century’s most important and insightful nature writers, Vesper Flights is a captivating and foundational book about observation, fascination, time, memory, love and loss and how we make sense of the world around us.

His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope by Jon Meacham

An intimate and revealing portrait of civil rights icon and longtime U.S. congressman John Lewis, linking his life to the painful quest for justice in America from the 1950s to the present—from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Soul of America 
 
John Lewis, who at age twenty-five marched in Selma, Alabama, and was beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, was a visionary and a man of faith. Drawing on decades of wide-ranging interviews with Lewis, Jon Meacham writes of how this great-grandson of a slave and son of an Alabama tenant farmer was inspired by the Bible and his teachers in nonviolence, Reverend James Lawson and Martin Luther King, Jr., to put his life on the line in the service of what Abraham Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.” From an early age, Lewis learned that nonviolence was not only a tactic but a philosophy, a biblical imperative, and a transforming reality. At the age of four, Lewis, ambitious to become a minister, practiced by preaching to his family’s chickens. When his mother cooked one of the chickens, the boy refused to eat it—his first act, he wryly recalled, of nonviolent protest. Integral to Lewis’s commitment to bettering the nation was his faith in humanity and in God—and an unshakable belief in the power of hope. 
 
Meacham calls Lewis “as important to the founding of a modern and multiethnic twentieth- and twenty-first-century America as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and Samuel Adams were to the initial creation of the Republic itself in the eighteenth century.” A believer in the injunction that one should love one’s neighbor as oneself, Lewis was arguably a saint in our time, risking limb and life to bear witness for the powerless in the face of the powerful. In many ways he brought a still-evolving nation closer to realizing its ideals, and his story offers inspiration and illumination for Americans today who are working for social and political change.

Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves by Frans de Waal

Mama’s Last Hug is a fascinating exploration of the rich emotional lives of animals, beginning with Mama, a chimpanzee matriarch who formed a deep bond with biologist Jan van Hooff. Her story and others like it—from dogs “adopting” the injuries of their companions, to rats helping fellow rats in distress, to elephants revisiting the bones of their loved ones—show that humans are not the only species with the capacity for love, hate, fear, shame, guilt, joy, disgust, and empathy. Frans de Waal opens our hearts and minds to the many ways in which humans and other animals are connected.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

The Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling author of The Warmth of Other Suns examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.

“As we go about our daily lives, caste is the wordless usher in a darkened theater, flashlight cast down in the aisles, guiding us to our assigned seats for a performance. The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power—which groups have it and which do not.”

In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.

Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people—including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball’s Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others—she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity.

Beautifully written, original, and revealing, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of American life today.

Rage by Bob Woodward

Bob Woodward’s new book, Rage, is an unprecedented and intimate tour de force of new reporting on the Trump presidency facing a global pandemic, economic disaster and racial unrest.

Woodward, the #1 international bestselling author of Fear: Trump in the White House, has uncovered the precise moment the president was warned that the Covid-19 epidemic would be the biggest national security threat to his presidency. In dramatic detail, Woodward takes readers into the Oval Office as Trump’s head pops up when he is told in January 2020 that the pandemic could reach the scale of the 1918 Spanish Flu that killed 675,000 Americans.

In 17 on-the-record interviews with Woodward over seven volatile months—an utterly vivid window into Trump’s mind—the president provides a self-portrait that is part denial and part combative interchange mixed with surprising moments of doubt as he glimpses the perils in the presidency and what he calls the “dynamite behind every door.”

At key decision points, Rage shows how Trump’s responses to the crises of 2020 were rooted in the instincts, habits and style he developed during his first three years as president.

Revisiting the earliest days of the Trump presidency, Rage reveals how Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats struggled to keep the country safe as the president dismantled any semblance of collegial national security decision making.

Rage draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand witnesses as well as participants’ notes, emails, diaries, calendars and confidential documents.

Woodward obtained 25 never-seen personal letters exchanged between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who describes the bond between the two leaders as out of a “fantasy film.”

Trump insists to Woodward he will triumph over Covid-19 and the economic calamity. “Don’t worry about it, Bob. Okay?” Trump told the author in July. “Don’t worry about it. We’ll get to do another book. You’ll find I was right.”

Children’s Picture Books

I Was Born in a Tree and Raised by Bees by Jim Arnosky

Crinkleroot, an ancient woodsman, watches the changing seasons and finds puzzles among the leaves and secret messages in the snow.

The Boy Who Ate Words by Thierry Dedieu

Gaby appears to be a perfectly normal boy until, one day he finds he cannot speak clearly any more. He develops his other senses, which help him to discover the world around him, and learns the languages of flowers and ants. Then he comes across a little girl who wants to communicate with him. This charmingly illustrated story tells of a boy whose unruly relationship with words forces him to learn instead the language of nature, which allows him to communicate with flowers and ants but not with the little girl next door.

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena

Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty-and fun-in their routine and the world around them. This energetic ride through a bustling city highlights the wonderful perspective only grandparent and grandchild can share, and comes to life through Matt de la Pena’s vibrant text and Christian Robinson’s radiant illustrations.

Becoming a Good Creature by Sy Montgomery, illustrated by Rebecca Green

School is not the only place to find a teacher. In this picture book adaptation of Sy Montgomery and Rebecca Green’s New York Times best-selling How to Be a Good Creature, learn the many surprising lessons animals have to teach us about friendship, compassion, and how to be a better creature in the world.

Sy Montgomery has had many teachers in her life: some with two legs, others with four, or even eight! Some have had fur, feathers, or hooves. But they’ve all had one thing in common: a lesson to share.

The animals Sy has met on her many world travels have taught her how to seek understanding in the most surprising ways, from being patient to finding forgiveness and respecting others. Gorillas, dogs, octopuses, tigers, and more all have shown Sy that there are no limits to the empathy and joy we can find in each other if only we take the time to connect.

Based on the New York Times best-selling adult memoir, Sy Montgomery and Rebecca Green’s beautiful, friendly guide is for readers young and old who wish to be better creatures in the world. Go ahead, pass it on. 

Nothing in Common by Kate Hoefler, illustrated by Corinna Luyken

A tender and timely story of compassion and finding common ground with others, perfect for fans of I Walk With Vanessa and Thank You, Omu!

Two neighbors both love to watch the old man and his dog from their windows, but they never wave to each other. After all, they have nothing in common. But everything changes when they are the only ones who notice that one day is different—there is the old man, but where is the dog?

In this lyrical picture book, two strangers learn about the many ways the world connects us—even if the only thing we have in common is how much we care about someone else. Filled with whimsy and warmth, Nothing In Common is a tender friendship story that reminds us to always lead with compassion. 

The Journey of Cattail (with American Sign Language) by Barbara A. Palmer

Come along as Cattail glides over a velvet collection of landscapes, through changing seasons in search of Karen Cat. Every cat he encounters is a friend of the adventurous black cat with the long white tipped tail…even Fido the watch dog! Barbara Palmer is a folk artist and author from Hilton, New York. This is a revised version of her first book that includes American Sign Language.

Be You by Peter H. Reynolds

Be curious…
Be adventurous…
Be brave…
BE YOU!

Discover a joyful reminder of the ways that every child is unique and special, from the beloved creator of The DotHappy Dreamer, and New York Times bestseller, The Word Collector. Here, Reynolds reminds readers to “be your own work of art.” To be patient, persistent, and true. Because there is one, and only one, YOU.

In the tradition of books like Oh, the Places You’ll Go! and I Wish You More comes a wholly original, inspirational celebration of individuality as only Peter H. Reynolds can create!

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli

One wintry day, a postman delivers a mysterious package with a big pink bow to a lonely man named Mr. Hatch.

“Somebody loves you,” the note says.
“Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch sings as he dusts his living room.
“Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch whistles as he does his errands in town.
“But who,” Mr. Hatch wonders, “could that somebody be?”

After some time, Mr. Hatch discovers just who his secret admirer is and, in doing so, enjoys the biggest surprise of his life!

Easy Readers

Too Many Jacks by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Greg Pizzoli

From New York Times bestselling author Mac Barnett and Geisel Award-winning illustrator Greg Pizzoli, an uproarious early reader series about a mischievous rabbit, a cranky old lady, and a lovable dog.

The Lady gives Jack a gift. It’s a lab kit! Jack goes into the shed to experiment and doesn’t come out until he’s made another Jack and another Jack and another. But one Jack was already too many. Can Jack stop his naughty robot clones before they destroy the town?

Welcome to the laugh-out-loud and irreverent world of Jack, a new early reader series by the New York Times bestselling and award-winning team of Mac Barnett and Greg Pizzoli.

Sea Sheep by Eric Seltzer, illustrated by Tom Disbury

Come along for a silly and sea-worthy adventure in this tale of swimming sheep. This Pre-Level 1 Ready-to-Read is perfect for beginning readers who like a side of silly with their stories!

In this sweet, silly, rhyming story, a group of sheep go for a swim! What will they see under the sea? Lots and lots of giggles are guaranteed! What is a sea sheep?

Sea sheep can swim.
Sea sheep can speak.
Most of them baa.
This one can squeak!

The Land of the Spring Dragon by Tracey West, illustraed by Matt Loveridge

Drake’s kingdom is in trouble — a terrible earthquake has destroyed Bracken’s crops! A magical Spring Dragon has the power to save the kingdom and regrow the crops, but he lives deep inside a secret fairy world. To find the Spring Dragon, Drake must pass a series of tests given by a Dragon Master named Breen. But the fairy world is full of confusing tricks and mysterious riddles! Can Drake save his kingdom?

Junior Fiction

The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate

Return to the unforgettable world of the Newbery Medal-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling novel The One and Only Ivan (soon to be a major motion picture!)in this incredible sequel, starring Ivan’s friend Bob!

Bob sets out on a dangerous journey in search of his long-lost sister with the help of his two best friends, Ivan and Ruby. As a hurricane approaches and time is running out, Bob finds courage he never knew he had and learns the true meaning of friendship and family.

Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea

It’s the start of a new year at Snow Hill School, and seven students find themselves thrown together in Mr. Terupt’s fifth grade class. There’s Jessica, the new girl, smart and perceptive, who’s having a hard time fitting in; Alexia, a bully, your friend one second, your enemy the next; Peter, class prankster and troublemaker; Luke, the brain; Danielle, who never stands up for herself; shy Anna, whose home situation makes her an outcast; and Jeffrey, who hates school.
 
They don’t have much in common, and they’ve never gotten along. Not until a certain new teacher arrives and helps them to find strength inside themselves—and in each other. But when Mr. Terupt suffers a terrible accident, will his students be able to remember the lessons he taught them? Or will their lives go back to the way they were before—before fifth grade and before Mr. Terupt?

Frindle by Andrew Clements

From bestselling and award-winning author Andrew Clements, a quirky, imaginative tale about creative thought and the power of words that will have readers inventing their own words.

Is Nick Allen a troublemaker? He really just likes to liven things up at school — and he’s always had plenty of great ideas. When Nick learns some interesting information about how words are created, suddenly he’s got the inspiration for his best plan ever…the frindle. Who says a pen has to be called a pen? Why not call it a frindle? Things begin innocently enough as Nick gets his friends to use the new word. Then other people in town start saying frindle. Soon the school is in an uproar, and Nick has become a local hero. His teacher wants Nick to put an end to all this nonsense, but the funny thing is frindle doesn’t belong to Nick anymore. The new word is spreading across the country, and there’s nothing Nick can do to stop it.

Girls Who Code: Team BFF: Race to the Finish by Stacia Deutsch

Perfect for fans of The Babysitters Club and anyone interested in computer science, this book by New York Times bestselling author Stacia Deustch is published in partnership with the organization Girls Who Code!

Sophia and her coding club BFFs have the best time together. Sure, they work on coding projects, but mostly they gossip about crushes, eat cookies, and do totally silly impersonations. Now they’re about to participate in their first hackathon–a full day of coding and meeting other coders—so it’s time to step up their game!

Just when Sophia and her friends think their hackathon project is ready for the big time, a change of plans threatens to tear their group apart. Will they have each other’s backs, or are they destined for an epic fail? They know that coding is all about teamwork and problem-solving—maybe friendship is, too!

The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden by Karina Yan Glaser

While Isa is off at sleepaway orchestra camp, Jessie, Oliver, Hyacinth, and Laney are stuck at home in the brownstone with nothing to do but get on one another’s nerves. But when catastrophe strikes their beloved upstairs neighbor, their sleepy summer transforms in an instant as the Vanderbeeker children band together to do what they do best: make a plan. They will create the most magical healing garden in all of Harlem.

In this companion to The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, experience the warmth of a family and their community as they work together to bring a little more beauty and kindness to the world, one thwarted plan at a time.

Dear America Series – The Great Railroad Race: The Diary of Libby West, Utah Territory 1868 by Kristiana Gregory

As the daughter of a newspaper reporter, fourteen-year-old Libby keeps a diary account of the exciting events surrounding her during the building of the railroad in the West in 1868.

May 5, 1869 Late this afternoon our track-layers arrived at the Summit! The Union Pacific engine came to a stop with a loud release of steam. Facing it, on another sidetrack, was California’s locomotive. Both engines greeted each other with a sharp whistle. Finally. It was the first time the trains from the Pacific coast and the Atlantic coast had met, and I saw it with my own eyes! We cheered with excitement, men threw their hats in the air, ladies waved handkerchiefs, and Joe ran wild with some other boys…. Everyone is still waiting for Mr. Durant and the others to arrive. Then workers will lay the final half mile — that’s just about 2,500 feet.

Dear America SeriesThe Winter of Red Snow: The Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart by Kristiana Gregory

Eleven-year-old Abigail Jane Stewart’s fictionalized diary about her life, family, friends, and neighbors, and the sides they have to choose in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, during the height of the Revolutionary War, renders a vivid portrayal of one of the most memorable and crucial winters in American history.

Abby’s life with her family is quickly upended when they are awakened by the unfamiliar sound of drums. General George Washington is leading the Continental soldiers into their winter encampment at Valley Forge, PA.

Dog Man: Grime and Punishment by Dave Pilkey

The mayor has had enough of Dog Man’s shenanigans in the ninth book from worldwide bestselling author and artist Dav Pilkey.

Dog Man’s really done it this time! He hands over his badge and clears out his desk, but while he may be out of a job, he’s not yet out of hope. With his friends at his side, can Dog Man dig himself out of this hole and paw his way back onto the force?

Dav Pilkey’s wildly popular Dog Man series appeals to readers of all ages and explores universally positive themes, including empathy, kindness, persistence, and the importance of doing good.

Sunny by Jason Reynolds

Sunny tries to shine despite his troubled past in this third novel in the critically acclaimed Track series from National Book Award finalist Jason Reynolds.

Ghost. Patina. Sunny. Lu. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds, with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could take them to the state championships. They all have a lot to lose, but they all have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves. Sunny is the main character in this novel, the third of four books in Jason Reynold’s electrifying middle grade series.

Sunny is just that—sunny. Always ready with a goofy smile and something nice to say, Sunny is the chillest dude on the Defenders team. But his life hasn’t always been sun beamy-bright. You see, Sunny is a murderer. Or at least he thinks of himself that way. His mother died giving birth to him, and based on how Sunny’s dad treats him—ignoring him, making Sunny call him Darryl, never “Dad”—it’s no wonder Sunny thinks he’s to blame. It seems the only thing Sunny can do right in his dad’s eyes is win first place ribbons running the mile, just like his mom did. But Sunny doesn’t like running, never has. So he stops. Right in the middle of a race.

With his relationship with his dad now worse than ever, the last thing Sunny wants to do is leave the other newbies—his only friends—behind. But you can’t be on a track team and not run. So Coach asks Sunny what he wants to do. Sunny’s answer? Dance. Yes, dance. But you also can’t be on a track team and dance. Then, in a stroke of genius only Jason Reynolds can conceive, Sunny discovers a track event that encompasses the hard beats of hip-hop, the precision of ballet, and the showmanship of dance as a whole: the discus throw. But as he practices for this new event, can he let go of everything that’s been eating him up inside? (Shana’s note: We now have all four books in the Track series.)

The Unadoptables by Hana Tooke

Neil Gaiman meets Hans Christian Andersen in this delicious fairy tale full of mysterious spirits, daring escapes, and a beautiful message about the power of found families.

In all the years that Elinora Gassbeek has been matron of the Little Tulip Orphanage, not once have the Rules for Baby Abandonment been broken. Until the autumn of 1880, when five babies are left in outrageous circumstances; one in a tin toolbox, one in a coal bucket, one in a picnic hamper, one in a wheat sack, and finally, one in a coffin-shaped basket.

Those babies were Lotta, Egg, Fenna, Sem, and Milou. And although their cruel matron might think they’re “unadoptable,” they know their individuality is what makes them special–and so determined to stay together.

When a most sinister gentleman appears and threatens to tear them apart, the gang make a daring escape across the frozen canals of Amsterdam. But is their real home–and their real family–already closer than they realize?

Junior Graphic Novels

The Witches: The Graphic Novel by Penelope Bagieu and Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl’s darkly funny masterpiece, The Witches, now available as a graphic novel from Eisner Award-winning artist Pénélope Bagieu!

Witches are real, and they are very, very dangerous. They wear ordinary clothes and have ordinary jobs, living in ordinary towns all across the world — and there’s nothing they despise more than children. When an eight-year-old boy and his grandmother come face-to-face with the Grand High Witch herself, they may be the only ones who can stop the witches’ latest plot to stamp out every last child in the country!

This full-color graphic novel edition of Roald Dahl’s The Witches, adapted and illustrated by Eisner Award winner Pénélope Bagieu, is the first-ever Dahl story to appear in this format. Graphic novel readers and Roald Dahl fans alike will relish this dynamic new take on a uniquely funny tale.

Junior Nonfiction

Jonas Hanway’s Umbrella by Josh Crute, illustrations by Eileen Ryan Ewan

Sometimes in London it drizzles. Sometimes it mizzles. Other times it pelts and showers and spits. And Jonas Hanway hates getting wet. How can he go about his day as a proper London gentleman when his shoes are soggy, his coat is always collecting puddles, and his wig looks like a wet cat? Fed up with damp and dreary London, Jonas sails far away, to places where the sun always shines. But what he sees when he gets there is…. scandalous! Shocking! Sensational! Perhaps also…quite genius? Now all Jonas has to do is convince the rest of London that they need an umbrella, too.

All about the real gentleman who introduced umbrellas to 1750’s London society, this is the perfect story of persistence, problem-solving, and how good ideas hold (off) water.

The Way Life Works: The Science Lover’s Illustrated Guide to How Life Grows, Develops, Reproduces, and Gets Along by Mahlon B. Hoagland, illustrated by Bert Dodson

In the tradition of David Macaulay’s The Way Things Work, this popular-science book–a unique collaboration between a world-renowned molecular biologist and an equally talented artist–explains how life grows, develops, reproduces, and gets by. Full color.

On the Horizon: World War II Reflections by Lois Lowry

From two-time Newbery medalist and living legend Lois Lowry comes a moving account of the lives lost in two of WWII’s most infamous events: Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. With evocative black-and-white illustrations by SCBWI Golden Kite Award winner Kenard Pak.

Lois Lowry looks back at history through a personal lens as she draws from her own memories as a child in Hawaii and Japan, as well as from historical research, in this stunning work in verse for young readers.

On the Horizon tells the story of people whose lives were lost or forever altered by the twin tragedies of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima.  Based on the lives of soldiers at Pearl Harbor and civilians in Hiroshima, On the Horizon contemplates humanity and war through verse that sings with pain, truth, and the importance of bridging cultural divides. This masterful work emphasizes empathy and understanding in search of commonality and friendship, vital lessons for students as well as citizens of today’s world. Kenard Pak’s stunning illustrations depict real-life people, places, and events, making for an incredibly vivid return to our collective past.

In turns haunting, heartbreaking, and uplifting, On the Horizon will remind readers of the horrors and heroism in our past, as well as offer hope for our future.

What’s Chemistry All About? by Alex Frith

An approachable introduction to what chemistry is, how it works and why it is vital to everyday life. Topics include: the periodic table, atom structure and radiation, and the scientific method, all illustrated with humorous illustrations and diagrams. With simple experiments to aid learning and internet links to recommended websites to find out more.

Science Comics: Crows: Bird Geniuses by Kyla Vanderklugt

That’s something to crow about! Learn all about these genius birds in Kyla Vanderklugt’s Science Comics: Crows, the latest volume in First Second’s action-packed nonfiction graphic novel series for middle-grade readers!

Did you know that crows make their own tools, lead complex social lives, and never forget a human face? Scientists are just beginning to unlock the secrets of the crow’s brain to discover how these avian Einsteins can be as smart as some primates, and even perform some of the same cognitive feats as human children! Crows have problem-solving skills that will make you you rethink what it means to be a bird brain!

A Young People’s History of the United States, Volume 1: Columbus to the Spanish-American War by Howard Zinn and Rebecca Stefoff

A Young People’s History of the United States brings to US history the viewpoints of workers, slaves, immigrants, women, Native Americans, and others whose stories, and their impact, are rarely included in books for young people.

Volume 1 begins with a look at Christopher Columbus’s arrival through the eyes of the Arawak Indians, then leads the reader through the earliest struggles for workers’ rights, women’s rights, and civil rights during the 18th and 19th centuries. Volume 2 picks the thread up in the early 20th century, covering both World Wars, Vietnam, the Black Rights movement, and ending with the current protests against continued American imperialism. Zinn presents a radical new way of understanding America’s history. In so doing, he reminds readers that America’s true greatness is shaped by our dissident voices, not our military generals.

A Young People’s History of the United States, Volume 2: Class Struggle to the War On Terror by Howard Zinn and Rebecca Stefoff

A Young People’s History of the United States brings to US history the viewpoints of workers, slaves, immigrants, women, Native Americans, and others whose stories, and their impact, are rarely included in books for young people. 

Volume 1 begins with a look at Christopher Columbus’s arrival through the eyes of the Arawak Indians, then leads the reader through the earliest struggles for workers’ rights, women’s rights, and civil rights during the 18th and 19th centuries. Volume 2 picks the thread up in the early 20th century, covering both World Wars, Vietnam, the Black Rights movement, and ending with the current protests against continued American imperialism. Zinn presents a radical new way of understanding America’s history. In so doing, he reminds readers that America’s true greatness is shaped by our dissident voices, not our military generals.

Young Adult Fiction

Ziggy, Stardust & Me by James Brandon

In this tender-hearted debut, set against the tumultuous backdrop of life in 1973, when homosexuality is still considered a mental illness, two boys defy all the odds and fall in love.

The year is 1973. The Watergate hearings are in full swing. The Vietnam War is still raging. And homosexuality is still officially considered a mental illness. In the midst of these trying times is sixteen-year-old Jonathan Collins, a bullied, anxious, asthmatic kid, who aside from an alcoholic father and his sympathetic neighbor and friend Starla, is completely alone. To cope, Jonathan escapes to the safe haven of his imagination, where his hero David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and dead relatives, including his mother, guide him through the rough terrain of his life. In his alternate reality, Jonathan can be anything: a superhero, an astronaut, Ziggy Stardust, himself, or completely “normal” and not a boy who likes other boys. When he completes his treatments, he will be normal–at least he hopes. But before that can happen, Web stumbles into his life. Web is everything Jonathan wishes he could be: fearless, fearsome and, most importantly, not ashamed of being gay.

Jonathan doesn’t want to like brooding Web, who has secrets all his own. Jonathan wants nothing more than to be “fixed” once and for all. But he’s drawn to Web anyway. Web is the first person in the real world to see Jonathan completely and think he’s perfect. Web is a kind of escape Jonathan has never known. For the first time in his life, he may finally feel free enough to love and accept himself as he is.

A poignant coming-of-age tale, Ziggy, Stardust and Me heralds the arrival of a stunning and important new voice in YA.

Young Adult Nonfiction

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

A timely, crucial, and empowering exploration of racism–and antiracism–in America.

This is NOT a history book.
This is a book about the here and now.
A book to help us better understand why we are where we are.
A book about race.

The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future. It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited.

Through a gripping, fast-paced, and energizing narrative written by beloved award-winner Jason Reynolds, this book shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas–and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives.

10/14/2020

New audiobooks have arrived from the Librarians of the Upper Valley (LUV) Co-op! Have a look at the titles and their Goodreads reviews, and let me know if you’d like me to hold anything for you. (As usual, you won’t find these listed in the catalog.) Happy listening!

Edward Abbey – Desert Solitaire
C.J. Box – Off the Grid
Alan Bradley – The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches
Bill Bryson – One Summer
Tracy Chevalier – At the Edge of the Orchard
Louise Erdrich – The Plague of Doves
Louise Erdrich – The Night Watchman
Linda Fairstein – Death Angel
Alan Furst – Polish Officer
Lisa Gardner – Fear Nothing
Miep Gies – Anne Frank Remembered
Elizabeth Gilbert – Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage
Leopoldo Gout – Ghost Radio
Sue Grafton – S is for Silence
Stephen Greenblatt – Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare
Lauren Groff – Fates and Furies
Nathaniel Hawthorn – The House of the Seven Gables
Joseph Heller – Catch 22
Jon Katz – Dog Days: Dispatches from Bedlam Farm
Brian Kilmeade – Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War that Changed American History
Harper Lee – Go Set a Watchman
Donna Leon – Blood from a Stone
Ben Macintyre – The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War
Alexander McCall-Smith – Miracle at Speedy Motors
Jojo Moyes – The Girl You Left Behind
Stacey O’Brien – Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl
Louise Penny – Glass Houses
Nathaniel Philbrick – The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn
Edgar Allan Poe – Tales of Terror
Stacy Schiff – Cleopatra: A Life
Lisa See – The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane
William Shakespeare – Othello
Daniel Silva – The Heist
J.R.R. Tolkien – The Hobbit
Kurt Vonnegut – Cat’s Cradle
Martin Walker – The Devil’s Cave

10/13/2020

The books below have arrived! If you see something of interest, you can place a hold in the catalog, or just let me know, and I’ll hold it for you.

Adult Fiction
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
The Lying Life of Adults by Elana Ferrante
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
The Shame by Makenna Goodman
Camino Winds by John Grisham
Monogamy: A Novel by Sue Miller
All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny
The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult
Dark August by Katie Tallo

Adult Nonfiction
The Yellow House: A Memoir by Sarah M. Broom
Vesper Flights by Helen MacDonald
His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope by Jon Meacham
Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves by Frans de Waal
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
Rage by Bob Woodward

Picture Books
I Was Born in a Tree and Raised by Bees by Jim Arnosky
The Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena
Becoming a Good Creature by Sy Montgomery
Be You by Peter H. Reynolds
Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli

Easy Readers
The Land of the Spring Dragon by Tracey West

Junior Fiction
The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate
Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
Frindle by Andrew Clements
The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden by Karina Yan Glaser
Nothing in Common by Kate Hoefler
Dog Man: Grime and Punishment by Dave Pilkey
The Unadoptables by Hana Tooke

Junior Graphic Novels
The Witches: The Graphic Novel by Penelope Bagieu and Roald Dahl

Junior Nonfiction
A Writer’s Notebook: Unlocking the Writer Within by Ralph J. Fletcher
A Young People’s History of the United States (Vols. 1 & 2) by Howard Zinn

Young Adult
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junaulda Petrus

10/12/2020

Over the weekend, I discovered an educator who was getting rid of some marvelous children’s books and DVDs! These are in the process of being added to the collection, but if you see anything you want that isn’t already in the catalog, just send me an email!

9/13/2020

These 11 adult novels have all finally arrived and will be ready for curbside pickup Tuesday, September 22. They’ve been added into the system and are available for placing holds, but if you prefer, you can email me, and I’ll place the hold(s) for you. To see reviews for each title, click on its image. Happy reading!

Adult Fiction

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

“Bennett’s tone and style recalls James Baldwin and Jacqueline Woodson, but it’s especially reminiscent of Toni Morrison’s 1970 debut novel, The Bluest Eye.” —Kiley Reid, Wall Street Journal 

A story of absolute, universal timelessness …For any era, it’s an accomplished, affecting novel. For this moment, it’s piercing, subtly wending its way toward questions about who we are and who we want to be….” – Entertainment Weekly

From The New York Times-bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.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. Many 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?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passingLooking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.

Fair Warning by Michael Connelly

The hero of The Poet and The Scarecrow is back in the new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly. Jack McEvoy, the journalist who never backs down, tracks a serial killer who has been operating completely under the radar–until now.

Veteran reporter Jack McEvoy has taken down killers before, but when a woman he had a one-night stand with is murdered in a particularly brutal way, McEvoy realizes he might be facing a criminal mind unlike any he’s ever encountered.

Jack investigates–against the warnings of the police and his own editor–and makes a shocking discovery that connects the crime to other mysterious deaths across the country. Undetected by law enforcement, a vicious killer has been hunting women, using genetic data to select and stalk his targets.

Uncovering the murkiest corners of the dark web, Jack races to find and protect the last source who can lead him to his quarry. But the killer has already chosen his next target, and he’s ready to strike.

Terrifying and unputdownable, Fair Warning shows once again why “Michael Connelly has earned his place in the pantheon of great crime fiction writers” (Chicago Sun-Times).

Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby

A husband, a father, a son, a business owner…And the best getaway driver east of the Mississippi. “Sensationally good―new, fresh, real, authentic, twisty, with characters and dilemmas that will break your heart. More than recommended.” ―Lee Child

Beauregard “Bug” Montage is an honest mechanic, a loving husband, and a hard-working dad. Bug knows there’s no future in the man he used to be: known from the hills of North Carolina to the beaches of Florida as the best wheelman on the East Coast.

He thought he’d left all that behind him, but as his carefully built new life begins to crumble, he finds himself drawn inexorably back into a world of blood and bullets. When a smooth-talking former associate comes calling with a can’t-miss jewelry store heist, Bug feels he has no choice but to get back in the driver’s seat. And Bug is at his best where the scent of gasoline mixes with the smell of fear.

Haunted by the ghost of who he used to be and the father who disappeared when he needed him most, Bug must find a way to navigate this blacktop wasteland…or die trying.

Like Ocean’s Eleven meets Drive, with a Southern noir twist, S. A. Cosby’s Blacktop Wasteland is a searing, operatic story of a man pushed to his limits by poverty, race, and his own former life of crime.

The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue

In Dublin, 1918, a maternity ward at the height of the Great Flu is a small world of work, risk, death, and unlooked-for love, in “Donoghue’s best novel since Room” (Kirkus Reviews)

In an Ireland doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city center, where expectant mothers who have come down with the terrible new Flu are quarantined together. Into Julia’s regimented world step two outsiders — Doctor Kathleen Lynn, a rumoured Rebel on the run from the police , and a young volunteer helper, Bridie Sweeney.

In the darkness and intensity of this tiny ward, over three days, these women change each other’s lives in unexpected ways. They lose patients to this baffling pandemic, but they also shepherd new life into a fearful world. With tireless tenderness and humanity, carers and mothers alike somehow do their impossible work.

In The Pull of the Stars, Emma Donoghue once again finds the light in the darkness in this new classic of hope and survival against all odds.

Th Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich

Based on the extraordinary life of National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich’s  grandfather who worked as a night watchman and carried the fight against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington, D.C., this powerful novel explores themes of love and death with lightness and gravity and unfolds with the elegant prose, sly humor, and depth of feeling of a master craftsman.

Thomas Wazhashk is the night watchman at the jewel bearing plant, the first factory located near the Turtle Mountain Reservation in rural North Dakota. He is also a Chippewa Council member who is trying to understand the consequences of a new “emancipation” bill on its way to the floor of the United States Congress. It is 1953 and he and the other council members know the bill isn’t about freedom; Congress is fed up with Indians. The bill is a “termination” that threatens the rights of Native Americans to their land and their very identity. How can the government abandon treaties made in good faith with Native Americans “for as long as the grasses shall grow, and the rivers run”?

Since graduating high school, Pixie Paranteau has insisted that everyone call her Patrice. Unlike most of the girls on the reservation, Patrice, the class valedictorian, has no desire to wear herself down with a husband and kids. She makes jewel bearings at the plant, a job that barely pays her enough to support her mother and brother. Patrice’s shameful alcoholic father returns home sporadically to terrorize his wife and children and bully her for money. But Patrice needs every penny to follow her beloved older sister, Vera, who moved to the big city of Minneapolis. Vera may have disappeared; she hasn’t been in touch in months, and is rumored to have had a baby. Determined to find Vera and her child, Patrice makes a fateful trip to Minnesota that introduces her to unexpected forms of exploitation and violence, and endangers her life.

Thomas and Patrice live in this impoverished reservation community along with young Chippewa boxer Wood Mountain and his mother Juggie Blue, her niece and Patrice’s best friend Valentine, and Stack Barnes, the white high school math teacher and boxing coach who is hopelessly in love with Patrice.

In the Night Watchman, Louise Erdrich creates a fictional world populated with memorable characters who are forced to grapple with the worst and best impulses of human nature. Illuminating the loves and lives, the desires and ambitions of these characters with compassion, wit, and intelligence, The Night Watchman is a majestic work of fiction from this revered cultural treasure.

Deacon King Kong by James McBride

From the author of the National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird and the best-selling modern classic The Color of Water, comes one of the most celebrated novels of the year. 

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 .38 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 Deacon King Kong, James McBride’s funny, moving novel and his first since his National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird. In Deacon King Kong, 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. When the truth does emerge, McBride shows us that not all secrets are meant to be hidden, that the best way to grow is to face change without fear, and that the seeds of love lie in hope and compassion.

Bringing both his masterly storytelling skills and his abiding faith in humanity, James McBride has written a novel every bit as involving as The Good Lord Bird and as emotionally honest as The Color of Water. Told with insight and wit, Deacon King Kong demonstrates that love and faith live in all of us.

The Geometry of Holding Hands by Alexander McCall Smith

Isabel finds herself entangled in some tricky familial and financial situations that will require all of her kindness, charm, and philosophical expertise to navigate.
 
Just when Isabel and Jamie finally seem to have some time to connect and unwind, a wealthy Edinburgh resident reaches out to Isabel with an unusual request—he would like her to become the executor of his large Highland estate. Though Isabel initially demurs, he presses on. He has only a short time to live, and, without any direct heirs, is struggling to determine which of his three cousins would be the best caretaker. Should it go to the bohemian artist, the savvy city property developer, or the quiet, unassuming bachelor?  
 
As if this weren’t enough to keep Isabel occupied, she’s also spending more time helping her niece Cat at the deli. Cat, perennially unlucky in love, seems to have finally found her match in the leonine Leo. But Isabel is beginning to suspect that Leo might be interested in more than Cat’s charms, namely her access to the family trust. Isabel will need to rely upon remarkable reserves of intelligence and compassion in order to give all parties exactly what they want and deserve—no more, and no less.

Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars. by Joyce Carol Oates

The bonds of family are tested in the wake of a profound tragedy, providing a look at the darker side of our society by one of our most enduringly popular and important writers

Night Sleep Death The Stars is a gripping examination of contemporary America through the prism of a family tragedy: when a powerful parent dies, each of his adult children reacts in startling and unexpected ways, and his grieving widow in the most surprising way of all.

Stark and penetrating, Joyce Carol Oates’s latest novel is a vivid exploration of race, psychological trauma, class warfare, grief, and eventual healing, as well as an intimate family novel in the tradition of the author’s bestselling We Were the Mulvaneys.

These Women by Ivy Pochoda

From the award-winning author of Wonder Valley and Visitation Street comes a serial killer story like you’ve never seen before—a literary thriller of female empowerment and social change

In West Adams, a rapidly changing part of South Los Angeles, they’re referred to as “these women.” These women on the corner … These women in the club … These women who won’t stop asking questions … These women who got what they deserved … 

In her masterful new novel, Ivy Pochoda creates a kaleidoscope of loss, power, and hope featuring five very different women whose lives are steeped in danger and anguish. They’re connected by one man and his deadly obsession, though not all of them know that yet. There’s Dorian, still adrift after her daughter’s murder remains unsolved; Julianna, a young dancer nicknamed Jujubee, who lives hard and fast, resisting anyone trying to slow her down; Essie, a brilliant vice cop who sees a crime pattern emerging where no one else does; Marella, a daring performance artist whose work has long pushed boundaries but now puts her in peril; and Anneke, a quiet woman who has turned a willfully blind eye to those around her for far too long. The careful existence they have built for themselves starts to crumble when two murders rock their neighborhood.

Written with beauty and grit, tension and grace, These Women is a glorious display of storytelling, a once-in-a-generation novel.

The Order by Daniel Silva

From Daniel Silva, the internationally acclaimed #1 New York Times bestselling author, comes a riveting new thriller featuring art restorer and legendary spy Gabriel Allon.

It was nearly one a.m. by the time he crawled into bed. Chiara was reading a novel, oblivious to the television, which was muted. On the screen was a live shot of St. Peter’s Basilica. Gabriel raised the volume and learned that an old friend had died …

Gabriel Allon has slipped quietly into Venice for a much-needed holiday with his wife and two young children. But when Pope Paul VII dies suddenly, Gabriel is summoned to Rome by the Holy Father’s loyal private secretary, Archbishop Luigi Donati. A billion Catholic faithful have been told that the pope died of a heart attack. Donati, however, has two good reasons to suspect his master was murdered. The Swiss Guard who was standing watch outside the papal apartments the night of the pope’s death is missing. So, too, is the letter the Holy Father was writing during the final hours of his life. A letter that was addressed to Gabriel.

While researching in the Vatican Secret Archives, I came upon a most remarkable book …

The book is a long-suppressed gospel that calls into question the accuracy of the New Testament’s depiction of one of the most portentous events in human history. For that reason alone, the Order of St. Helena will stop at nothing to keep it out of Gabriel’s hands. A shadowy Catholic society with ties to the European far right, the Order is plotting to seize control of the papacy. And it is only the beginning.

As the cardinals gather in Rome for the start of the conclave, Gabriel sets out on a desperate search for proof of the Order’s conspiracy, and for a long-lost gospel with the power to put an end to two thousand years of murderous hatred. His quest will take him from the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, to a monastery in Assisi, to the hidden depths of the Secret Archives, and finally to the Sistine Chapel, where he will witness an event no outsider has ever before seen—the sacred passing of the Keys of St. Peter to a newly elected pope.

Swiftly paced and elegantly rendered, The Order will hold readers spellbound, from its opening passages to its breathtaking final twist of plot. It is a novel of friendship and faith in a perilous and uncertain world. And it is still more proof that Daniel Silva is his generation’s finest writer of suspense and international intrigue. 

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

A deliciously funny, remarkably poignant, and simply unputdownable novel about the power of friendship, the lure of frenemies, and the importance of making peace with yourself through all life’s ups and down. From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Good in Bed and Best Friends ForeverBig Summer is the perfect escape with one of the most lovable heroines to come to the page in years.

Six years after the fight that ended their friendship, Daphne Berg is shocked when Drue Cavanaugh walks back into her life, looking as lovely and successful as ever, with a massive favor to ask. Daphne hasn’t spoken one word to Drue in all this time—she doesn’t even hate-follow her ex-best friend on social media—so when Drue asks if she will be her maid-of-honor at the society wedding of the summer, Daphne is rightfully speechless.

Drue was always the one who had everything—except the ability to hold onto friends. Meanwhile, Daphne’s no longer the same self-effacing sidekick she was back in high school. She’s built a life that she loves, including a growing career as a plus-size Instagram influencer. Letting glamorous, seductive Drue back into her life is risky, but it comes with an invitation to spend a weekend in a waterfront Cape Cod mansion. When Drue begs and pleads and dangles the prospect of cute single guys, Daphne finds herself powerless as ever to resist her friend’s siren song.

A sparkling novel about the complexities of female relationships, the pitfalls of living out loud and online, and the resilience of the human heart, Big Summer is a witty, moving story about family, friendship, and figuring out what matters most.

8/15/2020

I’ve just added ten new children’s books and lots of donated goodies (three of which are in my list of absolute favorites – try to figure out which). Next week, I’ll be able to add a dozen or so new adult novels, too! Stay tuned….

Adult Fiction

Mercy Road by Dalia Pagani (an Upper Valley author)

From an astonishing new voice on the American literary landscape comes a powerful, haunting novel set against the harsh beauty of rural Vermont.  In Mercy Road Dalia Pagani exposes the soul of a wounded family, holding us captive under a spell of unforgettable characters in a mythic place.

On a rocky, windswept mountain ridge at the end of Mercy Road lives a family called Summer.  Earl and Darlene, trappers born to the ridge, rooted to the land, struggle to find hope and love in an unforgiving place.  Butch is their firstborn–with his father’s brawn and his mother’s tenderness, he would become his brother’s keeper.  Then Sid, the strange, silent son, willed to live by his mother’s fierce love.  And Tina, the only daughter, full of promise, but in whose heart beats her family’s madness.

For the Summers, a difficult life comes apart one fall day when Darlene does the unthinkable, fleeing the ridge for a long, strange winter in New York.  In the wake of her flight, each of the Summers is driven, as if by the land itself, to make choices that will shape the rest of their lives.  

In the hands of a remarkable writer, Mercy Road becomes an epic drama of heroism and redemption, of the forces that bind us to the land that gave us roots, and of what is passed from generation to generation.  At once fierce and tender, raw and lyrical, Mercy Road is a riveting portrait of an unseen corner of the American landscape.

Shana’s note: This is an incredibly dark story, but the language is achingly beautiful.

Want by Lynn Steger Strong

Grappling with motherhood, economic anxiety, rage, and the limits of language, Want is a fiercely personal novel that vibrates with anger, insight, and love.

Elizabeth is tired. Years after coming to New York to try to build a life, she has found herself with two kids, a husband, two jobs, a PhD―and now they’re filing for bankruptcy. As she tries to balance her dream and the impossibility of striving toward it while her work and home lives feel poised to fall apart, she wakes at ungodly hours to run miles by the icy river, struggling to quiet her thoughts.

When she reaches out to Sasha, her long-lost childhood friend, it feels almost harmless―one of those innocuous ruptures that exist online, in texts. But her timing is uncanny. Sasha is facing a crisis, too, and perhaps after years apart, their shared moments of crux can bring them back into each other’s lives.

In Want, Lynn Steger Strong explores the subtle violences enacted on a certain type of woman when she dares to want things―and all the various violences in which she implicates herself as she tries to survive.

Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore

Written with the haunting emotional power of Elizabeth Strout and Barbara Kingsolver, an astonishing debut novel that explores the lingering effects of a brutal crime on the women of one small Texas oil town in the 1970s.

Mercy is hard in a place like this . . .

It’s February 1976, and Odessa, Texas, stands on the cusp of the next great oil boom. While the town’s men embrace the coming prosperity, its women intimately know and fear the violence that always seems to follow.

In the early hours of the morning after Valentine’s Day, fourteen-year-old Gloria Ramírez appears on the front porch of Mary Rose Whitehead’s ranch house, broken and barely alive. The teenager had been viciously attacked in a nearby oil field—an act of brutality that is tried in the churches and barrooms of Odessa before it can reach a court of law. When justice is evasive, the stage is set for a showdown with potentially devastating consequences.

Valentine is a haunting exploration of the intersections of violence and race, class and region in a story that plumbs the depths of darkness and fear, yet offers a window into beauty and hope. Told through the alternating points of view of indelible characters who burrow deep in the reader’s heart, this fierce, unflinching, and surprisingly tender novel illuminates women’s strength and vulnerability, and reminds us that it is the stories we tell ourselves that keep us alive.

Children’s Picture Books

A Year of Borrowed Men by Michelle Barker, illustrated by Renné Benoit

When World War II “borrows” the men in seven-year-old Gerda’s family, the German government sends them three new men in return: Gabriel, Fermaine, and Albert, French prisoners of war who must sleep in an outbuilding and work the farm until the war is over. Gerda knows they are supposed to treat the men as enemies, but it doesn’t seem fair. Can’t they invite them into the warm house for one meal? What harm could it do to be friendly?

Writing from her mother’s childhood memories of Germany during World War II, Michelle Barker shares the story of one family’s daring kindness in a time of widespread anger and suspicion. Renné Benoit’s illustrations bring warmth to the era, showing the small ways in which a forbidden friendship bloomed: good food, a much-loved doll, a secret Christmas tree. Family photographs and an Author’s Note give further insight into the life of Gerda, the little girl who proved that it isn’t so far from Feinde (enemies) to Freunde (friends).

The Minpins by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Patrick Benson

Billy’s mum says he must never go out through the garden gate and explore the dark forest beyond. So, one day, he does exactly that! There Billy meets the amazing Minpins, tiny people who live inside the hollow trees.

But the Minpins are in danger. The terrible, galloping Gruncher stalks the forest, and the Minpins are disappearing in their thousands. Can Billy find a way to destroy the hungry beast, once and for all–or will it gobble him up too?

Wild Honey from the Moon by Kenneth Kraegel

In an epic adventure like no other, an unflappable mother will stop at nothing to find a cure for her ailing young son — even if it means traveling to the moon itself.

Where are you going?”
To the moon. A quick trip.”
But you can’t fly.”
“Darling, I am your mother,” she said, and gave him one last kiss.

On a cold winter’s eve, deep in the woods, a mother shrew frets about her sick young son. His head is cold and his feet are hot, and there is only one thing that can cure him: wild honey from the moon. Mother Shrew does not stop to wonder how she will make such an impossible journey. Instead, she grabs her trusty red umbrella, gives her darling son a kiss, and sets out into the unknown. Along the way, Mother Shrew encounters one obstacle after another, from a malevolent owl to a herd of restless “night mares” to an island humming with angry bees. But each can prove no match for a mother on a mission. From the mind of the uniquely talented Kenneth Kraegel comes an utterly original ode to the limitlessness of maternal love.

The Sugaring-Off Party by Jonathan London, illustrated by Gilles Pelletier

A French-Canadian grandmother reminisces about her first sugaring-off party, complete with music, dancing, and lots of food. The primitive-style pictures are lush and colorful.
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Storm by Sam Usher

A storm is brewing and the wind is picking up, so a boy and his grandfather decide it’s the perfect weather for kite flying. There’s just one problem: they have to find the kite! Their search brings up many wonderful memories of previous adventures together, and when they finally make it outside, their adventure really takes off!
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Pyxx by Robert Wahl

When the wild children of Tangled Hill find a home and parents, they give their magical qualities to Pyxx who will live in the hearts of all children to make sure they are never too tame. “A genuinely childlike spirit pervades this tale, which may be taken as myth or metaphor…. Never sentimental, the story has a pleasant, rolling rhythm that adds to its fable-like qualities. Is it a story about the imaginative world of children and their return to a concrete universe with their parents, or is it meant to be a new fairy tale? It doesn’t matter. Striking illustrations, energetic and eerie, depict the action in a story of a time when children and animals lived as one in the wild.” (Publishers Weekly)

Easy Readers

Who says princesses don’t wear black? Not Princess Magnolia, whose monster-fighting alter ego saves the kingdom from monsters again and again in this funny, action-packed series.

The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party by Shannon and Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Inconvenient monster alarms, a sparkly array of princess guests, and spot-on slapstick pacing make for a party readers will celebrate.

Today is Princess Magnolia’s birthday party, and she wants everything to be perfect. But just as her guests are arriving . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! Princess Magnolia runs to the broom closet, ditches her frilly clothes, and becomes the Princess in Black! She rushes to the goat pasture, defeats the monster, and returns to the castle before her guests discover her secret. But every time Princess Magnolia is about to open her presents, the monster alarm rings again. And every time she rushes back—an inside-out dress here, a missing shoe there—it gets harder to keep the other princesses from being suspicious. Don’t those monsters understand that now is not a good time for an attack?

The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde by Shannon and Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

It’s a case of monstrous cuteness as the Princess in Black encounters her biggest challenge yet: a field overrun by adorable bunnies.

Princess Magnolia and her unicorn, Frimplepants, are on their way to have brunch with Princess Sneezewort, an occasion Frimplepants enjoys more than anything in the world. But just when he can smell the freshly baked bread and the heaping platters of sugar-dusted doughnuts, Princess Magnolia’s glitter-stone ring rings. The monster alarm! After a quick change in the secret cave, Princess Magnolia and Frimplepants are transformed into the Princess in Black and her faithful pony, Blacky. But when they get to the goat pasture, all they can see is a field full of darling little bunnies nibbling on grass, twitching their velvet noses, and wiggling their fluffy tails. Where are the monsters? Are these bunnies as innocent as they appear?

The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation by Shannon and Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Even monster-battling princesses get tired sometimes! But a peaceful time away is hard to find as the humorous New York Times best-selling series continues.

After battling monsters all night, a sleepy Princess in Black decides that she needs a vacation. After all, the Goat Avenger, a new hero who looks oddly familiar, has offered to protect the goats while she takes a much needed break. The very next day Princess Magnolia rides her bicycle to the seaside, where the air is salty, the sun is shiny, and the sea is as blue as monster fur. But just as Princess Magnolia is about to take a nap on her hammock, she hears a “ROAR!” Seriously? A monster? On the perfect beach? Impossible! Could a sea monster really ruin this vacation for the Princess in Black?

The Princess in Black and the Mysterious Playdate by Shannon and Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Noseholes and elephants! A pet-eating monster interrupts a perfect playdate with Princess Sneezewort . . . but who is that new masked avenger?

Princess Magnolia and Princess Sneezewort have plans . . . mysterious plans, like a princess playdate! They dress-up slam! They karaoke jam! They playhouse romp and snack-time stomp! But then a shout from outside Princess Sneezewort’s castle interrupts their fun. It’s a monster trying to eat someone’s kitty! This is a job for the Princess in Black. Yet when the Princess in Black gets there, she finds only a masked stranger and no monster in sight . . . or is there? Action and humor abound in this ode to friendship that proves that when shape-shifting monsters intrude on your plans, two heroes are better than one.

Junior Fiction

Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure by Jeff Kinney and Greg Heffley

From the imagination of Rowley Jefferson comes an adventure of epic proportions. Join Roland and his best friend, Garg the Barbarian, as they leave the safety of their village and embark on a quest to save Roland’s mom from the White Warlock. Will our heroes survive? Find out in Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure!
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The Bottle Imp of Bright House by Tom Llewellyn, illustrated by Gris Grimly

A delightfully dark middle-grade novel reminiscent of the Newbery-winning classic, The Westing Game.

Think of a wish. Go big with it. A winning lottery ticket. Eternal happiness. School vacation for a year. Now, answer this question: If you know this wish will come true, would you still make it if you knew someone else would somehow have to pay for it?

That’s the catch thirteen-year-old Gabe Silver faces when a mysterious millionaire sells him a bottle containing a wish-granting imp. Any time Gabe makes a wish, someone else, somewhere, is going to lose something–maybe something big. That means each of Gabe’s wishes should be an ethical dilemma–but as he scores a Ferrari, a hot tub, and all the pizza and sub sandwiches a kid could want, he’s certain a guilty conscience is worth it…isn’t it?

This thought-provoking book, inspired by a Robert Louis Stevenson novella, is pithy, dark, and very, very funny. It has an endearing, wacked-out cast of characters brought to life by illustrator Gris Grimly, whose cover art will be embossed to highlight the depth and detail of the art.

Knights vs. the End (of Everything) by Matt Phelan

Five daring heroes face their most difficult challenge yet: saving Camelot itself. Can the band of friends survive an evil queen, a powerful Faerie King, and one nasty dragon? This heavily illustrated middle grade adventure is a hilarious tale of derring-do, perfect for reluctant readers as well as fans of The Terrible Two and The Wild Robot.

A year has passed since the knights battled monsters on the mist-covered Orkney Isles. The knights have searched high and low for the elusive Queen Morgause, who is bent on destroying King Arthur and all of Camelot. Finally, a tip from the legendary Green Knight sends the heroes searching for the Faerie Realm, an eerie world where nothing is what it seems. Together, the knights will lose an old friend, discover a new ally, face a dangerous dragon, and learn what it means to be a legend.With art on nearly every page, including an epic fight scene depicted in several graphic-novel–style spreads, this engaging story is ideal for reluctant readers, aspiring knights, and action-adventure fans. Camelot may never be the same after these heroes come to the rescue!

The Griffins of Castle Cary by Heather Shumaker

A charming, adventure-filled debut novel that’s perfect for fans of The Penderwicks series.

Siblings Meg, Will, and Ariel Griffin are off on an adventure! They can’t wait to spend a week visiting their eccentric aunt and her giant, tongue-drooling Newfoundland dog in England. But when they finally arrive, they’re faced with a few local secrets that stir up more than a little trouble.

Add in some very peculiar lights, strange new friends, a police chase and some stampeding sheep, and the Griffin kids are in over their heads—literally. Apparently this town has a ghost problem and the three children must race to solve the mystery before the ghosts take something that doesn’t belong to them.

The Length of a String by Elissa Brent Weissman

Imani is adopted, and she’s ready to search for her birth parents. Anna has left behind her family to escape from Holocaust-era Europe to meet a new family–two journeys, one shared family history, and the bonds that make us who we are. Perfect for fans of The Night Diary.

Imani knows exactly what she wants as her big bat mitzvah gift: to find her birth parents. She loves her family and her Jewish community in Baltimore, but she has always wondered where she came from, especially since she’s black and almost everyone she knows is white. Then her mom’s grandmother–Imani’s great-grandma Anna–passes away, and Imani discovers an old journal among her books. It’s Anna’s diary from 1941, the year she was twelve and fled Nazi-occupied Luxembourg alone, sent by her parents to seek refuge in Brooklyn, New York. Anna’s diary records her journey to America and her new life with an adoptive family of her own. And as Imani reads the diary, she begins to see her family, and her place in it, in a whole new way.

Children’s Nonfiction

What Linnaeus Saw: A Scientist’s Quest to Name Every Living Thing by Karen Magnuson Beil

The globetrotting naturalists of the eighteenth century were the geeks of their day: innovators and explorers who lived at the intersection of science and commerce. Foremost among them was Carl Linnaeus, a radical thinker who revolutionized biology.

In What Linnaeus Saw, Karen Magnuson Beil chronicles Linnaeus’s life and career in readable, relatable prose. As a boy, Linnaeus hated school and had little interest in taking up the religious profession his family had chosen. Though he struggled through Latin and theology classes, Linnaeus was an avid student of the natural world and explored the school’s gardens and woods, transfixed by the properties of different plants. At twenty-five, on a solo expedition to the Scandinavian Mountains, Linnaeus documented and described dozens of new species. As a medical student in Holland, he moved among leading scientific thinkers and had access to the best collections of plants and animals in Europe. What Linnaeus found was a world with no consistent system for describing and naming living things―a situation he methodically set about changing. The Linnaean system for classifying plants and animals, developed and refined over the course of his life, is the foundation of modern scientific taxonomy, and inspired and guided generations of scientists.

What Linnaeus Saw is rich with biographical anecdotes―from his attempt to identify a mysterious animal given him by the king to successfully growing a rare and exotic banana plant in Amsterdam to debunking stories of dragons and phoenixes. Thoroughly researched and generously illustrated, it offers a vivid and insightful glimpse into the life of one of modern science’s founding thinkers. 60 color illustrations

A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars by Seth Fishman, illustrated by Isabel Greenberg

Did you know that the earth is covered in three trillion trees? And that seven billion people weigh about the same as ten quadrillion ants? Our world is full of constantly changing numbers, from a hundred billion trillion stars in space to thirty-seven billion rabbits on Earth. Can you imagine that many of anything?

The playful illustrations from New York Times–bestselling artist Isabel Greenberg and the friendly, straightforward voice of author Seth Fishman illuminate some of the biggest numbers in the universe—a hundred billion trillion stars—and the smallest—one unique and special YOU. Here is a book for story time, for science time, for math time, for bedtime, and all the times in between.

Flight for Freedom: The Wetzel Family’s Daring Escape from East Germany by Kristen Fulton, illustrated by Torben Kuhlmann

An Inspiring True Story about One Family’s Escape from Behind the Berlin Wall!

Peter was born on the east side of Germany, the side that wasn’t free. He watches news programs rather than cartoons, and wears scratchy uniforms instead of blue jeans. His family endures long lines and early curfews. But Peter knows it won’t always be this way. Peter and his family have a secret. Late at night in their attic, they are piecing together a hot air balloon—and a plan. Can Peter and his family fly their way to freedom? This is the true story of one child, Peter Wetzel, and his family, as they risk their lives for the hope of freedom in a daring escape from East Germany via a handmade hot air balloon in 1979.

Material World: A Global Family Portrait by Peter Menzel

In an unprecedented effort, sixteen of the world’s foremost photographers traveled to thirty nations around the globe to live for a week with families that were statistically average for that nation. At the end of each visit, photographer and family collaborated on a remarkable portrait of the family members outside their home, surrounded by all of their possessions – a few jars and jugs for some, an explosion of electronic gadgetry for others. Vividly portraying the look and feel of the human condition everywhere on Earth, this internationally acclaimed bestseller puts a human face on the issues of population, environment, social justice, and consumption as it illuminates the crucial question facing our species today: Can all six billion of us have all the things we want?

You Are Enough: Your Guide to Body Image and Eating Disorder Recovery by Jen Petro-Roy

This nonfiction self-help book for young readers with disordered eating and body image problems delivers real talk about eating disorders and body image, tools and information for recovery, and suggestions for dealing with the media messages that contribute so much to disordered eating.

You Are Enough answers questions like:
• What are eating disorders?
• What types of treatment are available for eating disorders?
• What is anxiety?
• How can you relax?
• What is cognitive reframing?
• Why are measurements like BMI flawed and arbitrary?
• What is imposter syndrome?
• How do our role models affect us?
• How do you deal with body changes?
. . . just to name a few.

Many eating disorder books are written in a way that leaves people out of the eating disorder conversation, and this book is written with a special eye to inclusivity, so that people of any gender, socioeconomic group, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, or chronic illness can benefit.

Eating disorder survivor Jen Petro-Roy draws from her own experience with anorexia, OCD, and over-exercising, as well as research and interviews with survivors and medical professionals, to deliver a toolkit for recovery, written in a easy-to-understand, conversational way.

Born Just Right by Jordan Reeves and Jen Lee Reeves

From tween advocate for limb difference and founder of Project Unicorn Jordan Reeves and her mom, Jen, comes an inspiring memoir about how every kid is perfect just the way they are.

When Jordan Reeves was born without the bottom half of her left arm, the doctors reassured her parents that she was “born just right.” And she has been proving that doctor right ever since!

With candor, humor, and heart, Jordan’s mother, Jen Lee Reeves, helps Jordan tell her story about growing up in an able-bodied world and family, where she was treated like all of her siblings and classmates—and where she never felt limited. Whether it was changing people’s minds about her capabilities, trying all kinds of sports, or mentoring other kids, Jordan has channeled any negativity into a positive, and is determined to create more innovations for people just like her.

Her most famous invention, aptly called Project Unicorn, is a special prosthetic (that shoots glitter!) made with the help of a 3-D printer. A real-life superhero, Jordan is changing the world with her foundation, Born Just Right, which advocates and celebrates kids with differences, and helps them live their best possible life—just like Jordan is today!

8/4/2020

Here are the newest Audiobooks from the Librarians of the Upper Valley (LUV) Co-op. Their due dates will be only two weeks (rather than the now-standard month) from the checkout date, as we’ll have to swap them out within a few months. Shorter check-out lengths will allow more people to view them before they disappear. Each title links to the GoodReads page for the book – not the audiobook. You won’t be able to find these in the catalog, so if you’d like to check one (or more!) out, just email me.

Barr, Nevada – Firestorm (read by Barbara Rosenblat)
Bird, Sarah – How Perfect Is That?
(read by Susan Bennett)
Box, C.J. – Wolf Pack (read by David Chandler)
Capote, Truman – Breakfast at Tiffany’s (read by Michael C. Hall)
Connelly, Michael – The Lincoln Lawyer (read by Adam Grupper)
Dent, Jim – The Kids Got It Right: How the Texas All-Stars Kicked Down Racial Walls (read by Brian Hutchison)
Drury, Bob & Tom Clavin – The Heart of Everything that Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend (read by George Newbern)
Erdrich, Louise – LaRose (read by the author)
Grandin, Temple & Catherine Johnson – Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior (read by Shelly Frasier)
Griffiths, Elly – The Dark Angel (read by Jane McDowell)
Groff, Lauren – Arcadia (read by Andrew Garman)
Herbert, Frank – Dune (read by Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Susan Morton, Simon Vance, and cast)
Horowitz, Anthony – Magpie Murders (read by Samantha Bond and Allan Corduner)
Kaling, Mindy – Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (read by the author)
Kidd, Sue Monk – The Mermaid Chair (read by Eliza Foss)
Kondo, Marie – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (read by Emily Woo Zeller)
Leon, Donna – Drawing Conclusions (read by David Colacci)
Leroux, Gaston – The Phantom of the Opera (read by Henry Butler)|
MacDonald, Helen – H Is for Hawk (read by the author)
Malerman, Josh – Bird Box (read by Cassandra Campbell)
Morgan, Robert – Gap Creek (read by Kate Forbes)
Peters, Elizabeth – Tomb of the Golden Bird (read by Barbara Rosenblat)
Rutherfurd, Edward – Paris (read by Jean Gilpin)
Sedaris, David – Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk (read by David Sedaris, Elaine Stritch, Dylan Barker, and Sian Phillips)
Shakespeare, William – Macbeth (fully dramatized)
Shakespeare, William – Richard III (fully dramatized)
Ware, Ruth – The Turn of the Key (read by Imogen Church)
Winspear, Jacqueline – Messenger of Truth (read by Orlagh Cassidy)

7/28/2020

Here are the newest DVDs from the Librarians of the Upper Valley (LUV) Co-op. Their due dates will be only two weeks (rather than the now-standard month) from the checkout date, as we’ll have to swap them out within a few months. Shorter check-out lengths will allow more people to view them before they disappear. Each title is linked to its IMDB page (though in a few cases, linked to another review page). You won’t be able to find these in the catalog, so if you’d like to check one (or more!) out, just email me.

Beyond Borders
Brothers McMullen
The Escape Artist
Follow the Fleet
Free Solo
Hot Fuzz

Houdini
How to Die in Oregon
The Human Resources Manager
I Am MLK Jr.

I, Tonya
The Ides of March
Inside Planet Earth
The Internship
Interstellar
The Invisible War
Isle of Dogs
Jack the Giant Slayer
Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth (2 discs)
Kidnapped
Killer Subs in Pearl Harbor
The Kings of Summer
Life, Animated
The Lincoln Lawyer
Little Fugitive
Lo and Behold
Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women
Mad Hot Ballroom
Mad Max: Fury Road
Mad Men – Season 3 (4 discs)
Maiden

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Manglehorn
Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge
Martin Clunes: Islands of America
Mississippi Grind
Muscle Shoals
OSS 117: Lost in Rio
Pat and Mike
Planet of the Apes
Verdi’s Il Trovatore


7/26/2021

We’ve finally received may of the books that focus on issues of racism and/or, in the case of children’s books, inclusion and kindness. (If you’d like to view Baxter’s collection of children’s books that can help facilitate conversations about race with children, please see the blog post Using Books to Talk about Racism.) These titles have all been added into the catalog, so if you see something you’d like to check out, just log into the catalog and place a hold on the item. (You’ll be added to the waiting list, if someone has already requested it.) If you’re unsure how to log into your account, you can simply email me, and I’ll place the hold for you (or send you your patron number so that you can do so, yourself).

Adults

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo

The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.

In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

How to Be and Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

From the National Book Award–winning author of Stamped from the Beginning comes a “groundbreaking” (Time) approach to understanding and uprooting racism and inequality in our society—and in ourselves.

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

The National Book Award winning history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and deeply rooted in American society.

Some Americans insist that we’re living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America–it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit.

In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis.

As Kendi shows, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. They were created to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation’s racial inequities.

In shedding light on this history, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose racist thinking. In the process, he gives us reason to hope.

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

In this New York Times bestseller, Ijeoma Oluo offers a hard-hitting but user-friendly examination of race in America. Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy–from police brutality to the mass incarceration of Black Americans–has put a media spotlight on racism in our society. Still, it is a difficult subject to talk about. How do you tell your roommate her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law take umbrage when you asked to touch her hair–and how do you make it right? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend?

In So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to “model minorities” in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.

Children

The Colors of Us by Karen Katz

Seven-year-old Lena is going to paint a picture of herself. She wants to use brown paint for her skin. But when she and her mother take a walk through the neighborhood, Lena learns that brown comes in many different shades.

Through the eyes of a little girl who begins to see her familiar world in a new way, this book celebrates the differences and similarities that connect all people.

Be Kind by Pat Zeitlow Miller, illustrated by Jen Hill

When Tanisha spills grape juice all over her new dress, her classmate wants to make her feel better, wondering: What does it mean to be kind?

From asking the new girl to play to standing up for someone being bullied, this moving story explores what kindness is, and how any act, big or small, can make a difference―or at least help a friend.

With a gentle text from the award-winning author of Sophie’s Squash, Pat Zietlow Miller, and irresistible art from Jen Hill, Be Kind is an unforgettable story about how two simple words can change the world.

Saturday by Oge Mora

In this warm and tender story by the Caldecott Honor-winning creator of Thank You, Omu!, join a mother and daughter on an up-and-down journey that reminds them of what’s best about Saturdays: precious time together.

Today would be special. Today would be splendid. It was Saturday! But sometimes, the best plans don’t work out exactly the way you expect….

In this heartfelt and universal story, a mother and daughter look forward to their special Saturday routine together every single week. But this Saturday, one thing after another goes wrong–ruining storytime, salon time, picnic time, and the puppet show they’d been looking forward to going to all week. Mom is nearing a meltdown…until her loving daughter reminds her that being together is the most important thing of all.

Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester

In this acclaimed book, the author of the Newbery Honor Book To Be a Slave shares his own story as he explores what makes each of us special. A strong choice for sharing at home or in the classroom.

Karen Barbour’s dramatic, vibrant paintings speak to the heart of Lester’s unique vision, truly a celebration of all of us. “This stunning picture book introduces race as just one of many chapters in a person’s story” (School Library Journal). “Lester’s poignant picture book helps children learn, grow, discuss, and begin to create a future that resolves differences” (Children’s Literature).

Julius Lester said: “I write because our lives are stories. If enough of these stories are told, then perhaps we will begin to see that our lives are the same story. The differences are merely in the details.”

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael López

National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson and two-time Pura Belpré Illustrator Award winner Rafael López have teamed up to create a poignant, yet heartening book about finding courage to connect, even when you feel scared and alone.

There will be times when you walk into a room
and no one there is quite like you.

There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it’s how you look or talk, or where you’re from; maybe it’s what you eat, or something just as random. It’s not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it.

Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text and Rafael López’s dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.

7/21/2020

I’m adding thirteen new children’s titles today. Remember, you can click on the each title’s image for its GoodReads review. We’ve also received a donation of an Electronic Snap Circuits kit. If you’re interested in checking it out, just email. You can view the instructions here.

Clap when You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

In a novel-in-verse that brims with grief and love, National Book Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered.

And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other. 

Cape: The League of Secret Heroes by Kate Hannigan

Hidden Figures meets Wonder Woman in this action-packed, comic-inspired adventure about a brilliant girl puzzler who discovers she’s part of a superhero team—the first in a new series! Josie O’Malley does a lot to help out Mam after her father goes off to fight the Nazis, but she wishes she could do more—like all those caped heroes who now seem to have disappeared. If Josie can’t fly and control weather like her idol, Zenobia, maybe she can put her math smarts to use cracking puzzles for the government.

After an official tosses out her puzzler test because she’s a girl, it soon becomes clear that an even more top-secret agency has its eye on Josie, along with two other applicants: Akiko and Mae. The trio bonds over their shared love of female superhero celebrities, from Hauntima to Zenobia to Hopscotch. But during one extraordinary afternoon, they find themselves transformed into the newest (and youngest!) superheroes in town. As the girls’ abilities slowly begin to emerge, they learn that their skills will be crucial in thwarting a shapeshifting henchman of Hitler, and, just maybe, in solving an even larger mystery about the superheroes who’ve recently gone missing.

Inspired by remarkable real-life women from World War II—the human computers and earliest programmers called “the ENIAC Six”—this pulse-pounding adventure features bold action and brave thinking, with forty-eight pages of comic book style graphic panels throughout the book. Readers will want to don their own capes for an adventure, and realize they have the power to be a superhero, too!

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins

It’s the first day of school for Penelope Rex, and she can’t wait to meet her classmates. But it’s hard to make human friends when they’re so darn delicious! That is, until Penelope gets a taste of her own medicine and finds she may not be at the top of the food chain after all. . . . Readers will gobble up this hilarious new story from award-winning author-illustrator Ryan T. Higgins.

The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments: Awesome Things To Do With Your Parents, Babysitters and Other Adults by Holly Homer, Rachel Miller, and Jamie Harrington

The Quirky Mommas from the wildly popular Kids Activities Blog and authors of the bestselling 101 Kids Activities That Are the Bestest, Funnest Ever! have done it again with this book of ridiculously amazing, simple science experiments. You can do things both indoors and outdoors. The handy mess meter, preparation times and notes on the level of supervision will keep your parents happy, and you safe. Experimenting is really fun, and you will have a blast being a scientist! You will be so entertained, you might not notice you’re also learning important things about the world around you. Some experiments to master:

• Balloon-Powered Car
• Burst Soap Cloud
• CD Hovercraft
• Creeping Ink
• Bendy Bones
• Electromagnet
• Paper Helicopters
• Unbreakable Bubbles

Now put on your lab coat and let’s get experimenting!

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

When Floyd’s kite gets stuck in a tree, he’s determined to get it out. But how? Well, by knocking it down with his shoe, of course. But strangely enough, it too gets stuck. And the only logical course of action . . . is to throw his other shoe. Only now it’s stuck! Surely there must be something he can use to get his kite unstuck. An orangutan? A boat? His front door? Yes, yes, and yes. And that’s only the beginning. Stuck is Oliver Jeffers’ most absurdly funny story since The Incredible Book-Eating Boy. Childlike in concept and vibrantly illustrated as only Oliver Jeffers could, here is a picture book worth rescuing from any tree.

Awesome Robotics Projects for Kids: 20 Original STEAM Robots and Circuits to Design and Build by Bob Katovich

Get ready to build all kinds of incredible robots―right in your own home! Designed for young robot builders (ages 5 – 10), these do-it-yourself robotics for kids projects will teach you about science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) as you assemble an amazing collection of real working robots!

From scribblebots to two-legged walkers, this book walks you through robotics for kids, one beautifully-photographed project at a time. The robots start out simple and get more advanced as you go, helping you boost your skills (and your confidence) at the same time. This exciting guide to robotics for kids includes:

20 awesome projects―Rock the world of robotics for kids with nearly two-dozen different designs for bots that glow, draw, walk, climb, and more.
Full-color photos―Construction is easy thanks to clear directions and 200 step-by-step pictures that help you build your robot right.
Robots in the world―Chapters are divided based on the functions of robots, showing you how they can be used to help in your day-to-day life.

Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border by Mitali Perkins, illustrations by Sara Palacios

It’s almost time for Christmas, and Maria is traveling with her mother and younger brother, Juan, to visit their grandmother on the border of California and Mexico. For the few minutes they can share together along the fence, Maria and her brother plan to exchange stories and Christmas gifts with the grandmother they haven’t seen in years. But when Juan’s gift is too big to fit through the slats in the fence, Maria has a brilliant idea. Here is a heartwarming tale of families and the miracle of love.

You Are My Friend: The Story of Mister Rogers and His Neighborhood by Aimee Reid, illustrated by Matt Phelan

Mister Rogers is one of the most beloved television personalities, but before he was the man who brought us Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, he was just little Freddie Rogers. Though he was often sick and had trouble making friends as a child, his mom and grandfather encouraged him to ask for help and explore the world. With their support, he learned how to better say what he was feeling and see the beauty around him. As he grew up, he realized he could spread the message of compassion, equality, and kindness through television. You Are My Friend is a gentle homage to Fred Rogers and shows how his simple message still resonates with us today: “There’s no person in the world like you and I like you just the way you are.” The book includes a short biography of Fred’s life and a bibliography.

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan (fifth book in The Heroes of Olympus series)

Though the Greek and Roman crew members of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen-all of them-and they’re stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood-the blood of Olympus-in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it might be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea’s army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan

A publisher in New York asked me to write down what I know about the Greek gods, and I was like, Can we do this anonymously? Because I don’t need the Olympians mad at me again. But if it helps you to know your Greek gods, and survive an encounter with them if they ever show up in your face, then I guess writing all this down will be my good deed for the week.

So begins Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods, in which the son of Poseidon adds his own magic–and sarcastic asides–to the classics. He explains how the world was created, then gives readers his personal take on a who’s who of ancients, from Apollo to Zeus. Percy does not hold back. “If you like horror shows, blood baths, lying, stealing, backstabbing, and cannibalism, then read on, because it definitely was a Golden Age for all that.”

The Tyrant’s Tomb by Rick Riordan (fourth book in The Trials of Apollo series)

It’s not easy being Apollo, especially when you’ve been turned into a human and banished from Olympus. On his path to restoring five ancient oracles and reclaiming his godly powers, Apollo (aka Lester Papadopoulos) has faced both triumphs and tragedies. Now his journey takes him to Camp Jupiter in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the Roman demigods are preparing for a desperate last stand against the evil Triumvirate of Roman emperors. Hazel, Reyna, Frank, Tyson, Ella, and many other old friends will need Apollo’s aid to survive the onslaught. Unfortunately, the answer to their salvation lies in the forgotten tomb of a Roman ruler . . . someone even worse than the emperors Apollo has already faced.

Teddy’s Favorite Toy by Christian Trimmer, illustrated by Madeline Valentine

A mom goes to great lengths to rescue her son’s favorite doll in this delightful tribute to treasured toys—and mothers. Teddy has a lot of cool toys. But his very favorite doll has the best manners, the sickest fighting skills, and a fierce sense of style. Then one morning, something truly awful happens. And there’s only one woman fierce enough to save the day. Can Teddy’s mom reunite Teddy with his favorite toy?

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage

A Newbery Honor Book
“An irresistible Southern narrator—a literary descendant of Scout Finch of To Kill a Mockingbird.” —Newsday

Rising sixth grader Miss Moses LoBeau lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC, where everyone’s business is fair game and no secret is sacred. She washed ashore in a hurricane eleven years ago, and she’s been making waves ever since. Although Mo hopes someday to find her “upstream mother,” she’s found a home with the Colonel–a café owner with a forgotten past of his own–and Miss Lana, the fabulous café hostess. She will protect those she loves with every bit of her strong will and tough attitude. So when a lawman comes to town asking about a murder, Mo and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, set out to uncover the truth in hopes of saving the only family Mo has ever known.

7/11/2020

We’ve gotten a BIG shipment! Since browsing isn’t possible at the moment, I’ll use this page to detail each new title. You can also click on the covers to see each book’s GoodReads page (including reviews).

Adult Fiction

Afterlife by Julia Alvarez

The first adult novel in almost fifteen years by the internationally bestselling author of In the Time of the Butterflies and How the García Girls Lost Their Accents.

Antonia Vega, the immigrant writer at the center of Afterlife, has had the rug pulled out from under her. She has just retired from the college where she taught English when her beloved husband, Sam, suddenly dies. And then more jolts: her bighearted but unstable sister disappears, and Antonia returns home one evening to find a pregnant, undocumented teenager on her doorstep. Antonia has always sought direction in the literature she loves—lines from her favorite authors play in her head like a soundtrack—but now she finds that the world demands more of her than words.

Afterlife is a compact, nimble, and sharply droll novel. Set in this political moment of tribalism and distrust, it asks: What do we owe those in crisis in our families, including—maybe especially—members of our human family? How do we live in a broken world without losing faith in one another or ourselves? And how do we stay true to those glorious souls we have lost?

Hello, Summer by Mary Kay Andrews

Conley Hawkins left her family’s small town newspaper, The Silver Bay Beacon, in the rearview mirror years ago. Now a star reporter for a big-city paper, Conley is exactly where she wants to be and is about to take a fancy new position in Washington, D.C. Or so she thinks.

When the new job goes up in smoke, Conley finds herself right back where she started, working for her sister, who is trying to keep The Silver Bay Beacon afloat―and she doesn’t exactly have warm feelings for Conley. Soon she is given the unenviable task of overseeing the local gossip column, “Hello, Summer.”

Then Conley witnesses an accident that ends in the death of a local congressman―a beloved war hero with a shady past. The more she digs into the story, the more dangerous it gets. As an old heartbreaker causes trouble and a new flame ignites, it soon looks like their sleepy beach town is the most scandalous hotspot of the summer.

Outfox by Sandra Brown

FBI agent Drex Easton is relentlessly driven by a single goal: to outmaneuver the conman once known as Weston Graham. Over the past thirty years, Weston has assumed many names and countless disguises, enabling him to lure eight wealthy women out of their fortunes before they disappeared without a trace, their families left without answers and the authorities without clues. The only common trait among the victims: a new man in their life who also vanished, leaving behind no evidence of his existence . . . except for one signature custom.

Drex is convinced that these women have been murdered, and that the man he knows as Weston Graham is the sociopath responsible. But each time Drex gets close to catching him, Weston trades one persona for another and disappears again. Now, for the first time in their long game of cat and mouse, Drex has a suspect in sight.

Attractive and charming, Jasper Ford is recently married to a successful businesswoman many years his junior, Talia Shafer. Drex insinuates himself into their lives, posing as a new neighbor and setting up surveillance on their house. The closer he gets to the couple, the more convinced he becomes that Jasper is the clever, merciless predator he’s sought–and that his own attraction to Talia threatens to compromise his purpose and integrity.

This is Drex’s one chance to outfox his cunning nemesis before he murders again and eludes justice forever. But first he must determine if the desirable Talia is a heartless accomplice . . . or the next victim.

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable.

One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England’s finest novelists. Now it’s home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen’s legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. These people―a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others―could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society.

A powerful and moving novel that explores the tragedies and triumphs of life, both large and small, and the universal humanity in us all, Natalie Jenner’s The Jane Austen Society is destined to resonate with readers for years to come.

Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles

The critically acclaimed, bestselling author of News of the World and Enemy Women returns to Texas in this atmospheric story, set at the end of the Civil War, about an itinerant fiddle player, a ragtag band of musicians with whom he travels trying to make a living, and the charming young Irish lass who steals his heart.

In March 1865, the long and bitter War between the States is winding down. Till now, twenty-three-year-old Simon Boudlin has evaded military duty thanks to his slight stature, youthful appearance, and utter lack of compunction about bending the truth. But following a barroom brawl in Victoria, Texas, Simon finds himself conscripted, however belatedly, into the Confederate Army. Luckily his talent with a fiddle gets him a comparatively easy position in a regimental band.

Weeks later, on the eve of the Confederate surrender, Simon and his bandmates are called to play for officers and their families from both sides of the conflict. There the quick-thinking, audacious fiddler can’t help but notice the lovely Doris Mary Dillon, an indentured girl from Ireland, who is governess to a Union colonel’s daughter.

After the surrender, Simon and Doris go their separate ways. He will travel around Texas seeking fame and fortune as a musician. She must accompany the colonel’s family to finish her three years of service. But Simon cannot forget the fair Irish maiden, and vows that someday he will find her again.

Incandescent in its beauty, told in Paulette Jiles’s trademark spare yet lilting style, Simon the Fiddler is a captivating, bittersweet tale of the chances a devoted man will take, and the lengths he will go to fulfill his heart’s yearning.

The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd

An extraordinary story set in the first century about a woman who finds her voice and her destiny, from the celebrated number one New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings.

In her mesmerizing fourth work of fiction, Sue Monk Kidd takes an audacious approach to history and brings her acclaimed narrative gifts to imagine the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, with a brilliant mind and a daring spirit. She engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes narratives about neglected and silenced women. Ana is expected to marry an older widower, a prospect that horrifies her. An encounter with eighteen-year-old Jesus changes everything.

Their marriage evolves with love and conflict, humor and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, and their mother, Mary. Ana’s pent-up longings intensify amid the turbulent resistance to Rome’s occupation of Israel, partially led by her brother, Judas. She is sustained by her fearless aunt Yaltha, who harbors a compelling secret. When Ana commits a brazen act that puts her in peril, she flees to Alexandria, where startling revelations and greater dangers unfold, and she finds refuge in unexpected surroundings. Ana determines her fate during a stunning convergence of events considered among the most impactful in human history.

Grounded in meticulous research and written with a reverential approach to Jesus’s life that focuses on his humanity, The Book of Longings is an inspiring, unforgettable account of one woman’s bold struggle to realize the passion and potential inside her, while living in a time, place and culture devised to silence her. It is a triumph of storytelling both timely and timeless, from a masterful writer at the height of her powers.

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

From the award-winning author of Station Eleven, an exhilarating novel set at the glittering intersection of two seemingly disparate events-a massive Ponzi scheme collapse and the mysterious disappearance of a woman from a ship at sea.

Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star lodging on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. On the night she meets Jonathan Alkaitis, a hooded figure scrawls a message on the lobby’s glass wall: “Why don’t you swallow broken glass.” High above Manhattan, a greater crime is committed: Alkaitis is running an international Ponzi scheme, moving imaginary sums of money through clients’ accounts. When the financial empire collapses, it obliterates countless fortunes and devastates lives. Vincent, who had been posing as Jonathan’s wife, walks away into the night. Years later, a victim of the fraud is hired to investigate a strange occurrence: a woman has seemingly vanished from the deck of a container ship between ports of call.

In this captivating story of crisis and survival, Emily St. John Mandel takes readers through often hidden landscapes: campgrounds for the near-homeless, underground electronica clubs, the business of international shipping, service in luxury hotels, and life in a federal prison. Rife with unexpected beauty, The Glass Hotel is a captivating portrait of greed and guilt, love and delusion, ghosts and unintended consequences, and the infinite ways we search for meaning in our lives.

The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

With The Mirror & the Light, Hilary Mantel brings to a triumphant close the trilogy she began with her peerless, Booker Prize-winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. (Yes, Baxter has both. ~S) She traces the final years of Thomas Cromwell, the boy from nowhere who climbs to the heights of power, offering a defining portrait of predator and prey, of a ferocious contest between present and past, between royal will and a common man’s vision: of a modern nation making itself through conflict, passion and courage.

The story begins in May 1536: Anne Boleyn is dead, decapitated in the space of a heartbeat by a hired French executioner. As her remains are bundled into oblivion, Cromwell breakfasts with the victors. The blacksmith’s son from Putney emerges from the spring’s bloodbath to continue his climb to power and wealth, while his formidable master, Henry VIII, settles to short-lived happiness with his third queen, Jane Seymour.

Cromwell, a man with only his wits to rely on, has no great family to back him, no private army. Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry’s regime to the breaking point, Cromwell’s robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future. All of England lies at his feet, ripe for innovation and religious reform. But as fortune’s wheel turns, Cromwell’s enemies are gathering in the shadows. The inevitable question remains: how long can anyone survive under Henry’s cruel and capricious gaze?

Eagerly awaited and eight years in the making, The Mirror & the Light completes Cromwell’s journey from self-made man to one of the most feared, influential figures of his time. Portrayed by Mantel with pathos and terrific energy, Cromwell is as complex as he is unforgettable: a politician and a fixer, a husband and a father, a man who both defied and defined his age.

The 20th Victim by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Sergeant Lindsay Boxer tackles an ambitious case that spans San Francisco, L.A., and Chicago in this pulse-pounding thriller of “smart characters” and “shocking twists” (Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author).

Three victims, three bullets, three cities. The shooters’ aim is as fearsomely precise as their target selection. When Lindsay realizes that the fallen men and women excel in a lucrative, criminal activity, she leads the charge in the manhunt for the killers. As the casualty list expands, fear and fascination with this suspicious shooting gallery galvanizes the country.
The victims were no angels, but are the shooters villains . . . or heroes?

Take Me Apart by Sara Sligar

When the famed photographer Miranda Brand died mysteriously at the height of her career, it sent shock waves through Callinas, California. Decades later, old wounds are reopened when her son Theo hires the ex-journalist Kate Aitken to archive his mother’s work and personal effects.

As Kate sorts through the vast maze of material and contends with the vicious rumors and shocking details of Miranda’s private life, she pieces together a portrait of a vibrant artist buckling under the pressures of ambition, motherhood, and marriage. But Kate has secrets of her own, including a growing attraction to the enigmatic Theo, and when she stumbles across Miranda’s diary, her curiosity spirals into a dangerous obsession.

A seductive, twisting tale of psychological suspense, Take Me Apart draws readers into the lives of two darkly magnetic young women pinned down by secrets and lies. Sara Sligar’s electrifying debut is a chilling, thought-provoking take on art, illness, and power, from a spellbinding new voice in literary suspense.

Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler

From the beloved Anne Tyler, a sparkling new novel about misperception, second chances, and the sometimes elusive power of human connection.

Micah Mortimer is a creature of habit. A self-employed tech expert, superintendent of his Baltimore apartment building, cautious to a fault behind the steering wheel, he seems content leading a steady, circumscribed life. But one day his routines are blown apart when his woman friend (he refuses to call anyone in her late thirties a “girlfriend”) tells him she’s facing eviction, and a teenager shows up at Micah’s door claiming to be his son. These surprises, and the ways they throw Micah’s meticulously organized life off-kilter, risk changing him forever. An intimate look into the heart and mind of a man who finds those around him just out of reach, and a funny, joyful, deeply compassionate story about seeing the world through new eyes, Redhead by the Side of the Road is a triumph, filled with Anne Tyler’s signature wit and gimlet-eyed observation.

The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate

From the best-selling author of Before We Were Yours comes a new historical novel: the dramatic story of three young women searching for family amid the destruction of the post-Civil War South, and of a modern-day teacher who learns of their story and its vital connection to her students’ lives.

Best-selling author Lisa Wingate brings to life startling stories from actual “Lost Friends” advertisements that appeared in Southern newspapers after the Civil War, as newly freed slaves desperately searched for loved ones who had been sold away.

Louisiana, 1875: In the tumultuous era of Reconstruction, three young women set off as unwilling companions on a perilous quest: Hannie, a freed slave; Lavinia, the pampered heir to a now destitute plantation; and Juneau Jane, Lavinia’s Creole half-sister. Each carries private wounds and powerful secrets as they head for Texas, following roads rife with vigilantes and soldiers still fighting a war lost a decade before. For Lavinia and Juneau Jane, the journey is one of stolen inheritance and financial desperation, but for Hannie, torn from her mother and siblings before slavery’s end, the pilgrimage west reignites an agonizing question: Could her long-lost family still be out there? Beyond the swamps lie the 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, is 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 lie the century-old history of three young women, a long-ago journey, and a hidden book that could change everything.

Broken by Don Winslow

No matter how you come into this world, you come out broken . . . 

In six intense short novels connected by the themes of crime, corruption, vengeance, justice, loss, betrayal, guilt and redemption, Broken is #1 international bestseller Don Winslow at his nerve-shattering, heart-stopping, heartbreaking best. In Broken, he creates a world of high-level thieves and low-life crooks, obsessed cops struggling with life on and off the job, private detectives, dope dealers, bounty hunters and fugitives, the lost souls driving without headlights through the dark night on the American criminal highway.

With his trademark blend of insight, humanity, humor, action and the highest level of literary craftsmanship, Winslow delivers a collection of tales that will become classics of crime fiction.

The End of October by Lawrence Wright

“Featuring accounts of past plagues and pandemics, descriptions of pathogens and how they work, and dark notes about global warming, the book produces deep shudders . . . A disturbing, eerily timed novel.” —Kirkus Reviews

In this riveting medical thriller–from the Pulitzer Prize winner and best-selling author–Dr. Henry Parsons, an unlikely but appealing hero, races to find the origins and cure of a mysterious new killer virus as it brings the world to its knees.

At an internment camp in Indonesia, forty-seven people are pronounced dead with acute hemorrhagic fever. When Henry Parsons–microbiologist, epidemiologist–travels there on behalf of the World Health Organization to investigate, what he finds will soon have staggering repercussions across the globe: an infected man is on his way to join the millions of worshipers in the annual Hajj to Mecca. Now, Henry joins forces with a Saudi prince and doctor in an attempt to quarantine the entire host of pilgrims in the holy city . . . A Russian émigré, a woman who has risen to deputy director of U.S. Homeland Security, scrambles to mount a response to what may be an act of biowarfare . . . Already-fraying global relations begin to snap, one by one, in the face of a pandemic . . . Henry’s wife, Jill, and their children face diminishing odds of survival in Atlanta . . . And the disease slashes across the United States, dismantling institutions–scientific, religious, governmental–and decimating the population. As packed with suspense as it is with the fascinating history of viral diseases, Lawrence Wright has given us a full-tilt, electrifying, one-of-a-kind thriller.

Adult Nonfiction

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results

No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving–every day. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.

If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Here, you’ll get a proven system that can take you to new heights.

Clear is known for his ability to distill complex topics into simple behaviors that can be easily applied to daily life and work. Here, he draws on the most proven ideas from biology, psychology, and neuroscience to create an easy-to-understand guide for making good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible. Along the way, readers will be inspired and entertained with true stories from Olympic gold medalists, award-winning artists, business leaders, life-saving physicians, and star comedians who have used the science of small habits to master their craft and vault to the top of their field.

Learn how to:
  make time for new habits (even when life gets crazy);
  overcome a lack of motivation and willpower;
  design your environment to make success easier;
  get back on track when you fall off course;
…and much more.

Atomic Habits will reshape the way you think about progress and success, and give you the tools and strategies you need to transform your habits–whether you are a team looking to win a championship, an organization hoping to redefine an industry, or simply an individual who wishes to quit smoking, lose weight, reduce stress, or achieve any other goal.

Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering by Joanna Gaines

Magnolia Table is infused with Joanna Gaines’ warmth and passion for all things family, prepared and served straight from the heart of her home, with recipes inspired by dozens of Gaines family favorites and classic comfort selections from the couple’s new Waco restaurant, Magnolia Table.

Jo believes there’s no better way to celebrate family and friendship than through the art of togetherness, celebrating tradition, and sharing a great meal. Magnolia Table includes 125 classic recipes—from breakfast, lunch, and dinner to small plates, snacks, and desserts—presenting a modern selection of American classics and personal family favorites. Complemented by her love for her garden, these dishes also incorporate homegrown, seasonal produce at the peak of its flavor. Inside Magnolia Table, you’ll find recipes the whole family will enjoy, such as:

• Chicken pot pie
• Chocolate chip cookies
• Asparagus and Fontina quiche
• Brussels sprouts with crispy bacon, toasted pecans, and balsamic reduction
• Peach caprese
• Overnight French toast
• White cheddar bisque
• Fried chicken with sticky poppy seed jam
• Lemon pie
• Mac and cheese

Full of personal stories and beautiful photos, Magnolia Table is an invitation to share a seat at the table with Joanna Gaines and her family.

The Falcon Thief: A True Tale of Adventure, Treachery, and the Hunt for the Perfect Bird by Joshua Hammer

A rollicking true-crime adventure about a rogue who trades in rare birds and their eggs—and the wildlife detective determined to stop him.

On May 3, 2010, an Irish national named Jeffrey Lendrum was apprehended at Britain’s Birmingham International Airport with a suspicious parcel strapped to his stomach. Inside were fourteen rare peregrine falcon eggs snatched from a remote cliffside in Wales.

So begins a tale almost too bizarre to believe, following the parallel lives of a globe-trotting smuggler who spent two decades capturing endangered raptors worth millions of dollars as race champions—and Detective Andy McWilliam of the United Kingdom’s National Wildlife Crime Unit, who’s hell bent on protecting the world’s birds of prey.

The Falcon Thief whisks readers from the volcanoes of Patagonia to Zimbabwe’s Matobo National Park, and from the frigid tundra near the Arctic Circle to luxurious aviaries in the deserts of Dubai, all in pursuit of a man who is reckless, arrogant, and gripped by a destructive compulsion to make the most beautiful creatures in nature his own. It’s a story that’s part true-crime narrative, part epic adventure—and wholly unputdownable until the very last page.

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson

On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Adolf 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 his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally—and willing to fight to the end.

In The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people “the art of being fearless.” It is a story of political brinkmanship, but it’s also an intimate domestic drama, set against the backdrop of Churchill’s prime-ministerial country home, Chequers; his wartime retreat, Ditchley, where he and his entourage go when the moon is brightest and the bombing threat is highest; and of course 10 Downing Street in London. Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports—some released only recently—Larson provides a new lens on London’s darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family: his wife, Clementine; their youngest daughter, Mary, who chafes against her parents’ wartime protectiveness; their son, Randolph, and his beautiful, unhappy wife, Pamela; Pamela’s illicit lover, a dashing American emissary; and the advisers in Churchill’s “Secret Circle,” to whom he turns in the hardest moments.

The Splendid and the Vile takes readers out of today’s political dysfunction and back to a time of true leadership, when, in the face of unrelenting horror, Churchill’s eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together.

When Time Stopped: A Memoir of My Father’s War and What Remains by Ariana Neumann

In this remarkably moving memoir Ariana Neumann dives into the secrets of her father’s past: years spent hiding in plain sight in war-torn Berlin, the annihilation of dozens of family members in the Holocaust, and the courageous choice to build anew.

In 1941, the first Neumann family member was taken by the Nazis, arrested in German-occupied Czechoslovakia for bathing in a stretch of river forbidden to Jews. He was transported to Auschwitz. Eighteen days later his prisoner number was entered into the morgue book.

Of thirty-four Neumann family members, twenty-five were murdered by the Nazis. One of the survivors was Hans Neumann, who, to escape the German death net, traveled to Berlin and hid in plain sight under the Gestapo’s eyes. What Hans experienced was so unspeakable that, when he built an industrial empire in Venezuela, he couldn’t bring himself to talk about it. All his daughter Ariana knew was that something terrible had happened.

When Hans died, he left Ariana a small box filled with letters, diary entries, and other memorabilia. Ten years later Ariana finally summoned the courage to have the letters translated, and she began reading. What she discovered launched her on a worldwide search that would deliver indelible portraits of a family loving, finding meaning, and trying to survive amid the worst that can be imagined.

When Time Stopped is an unputdownable detective story and an epic family memoir, spanning nearly ninety years and crossing oceans. Neumann brings each relative to vivid life. In uncovering her father’s story after all these years, she discovers nuance and depth to her own history and liberates poignant and thought-provoking truths about the threads of humanity that connect us all.

What It’s Like to Be a Bird: From Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing–What Birds Are Doing, and Why by David Allen Sibley

The bird book for birders and nonbirders alike that will excite and inspire by providing a new and deeper understanding of what common, mostly backyard, birds are doing–and why.

“Can birds smell?” “Is this the same cardinal that was at my feeder last year?” “Do robins ‘hear’ worms?” In What It’s Like to Be a Bird, David Sibley answers the most frequently asked questions about the birds we see most often. This special, large-format volume is geared as much to nonbirders as it is to the out-and-out obsessed, covering more than two hundred species and including more than 330 new illustrations by the author. While its focus is on familiar backyard birds–blue jays, nuthatches, chickadees–it also examines certain species that can be fairly easily observed, such as the seashore-dwelling Atlantic puffin. David Sibley’s exacting artwork and wide-ranging expertise bring observed behaviors vividly to life. (For most species, the primary illustration is reproduced life-sized.) And while the text is aimed at adults–including fascinating new scientific research on the myriad ways birds have adapted to environmental changes–it is nontechnical, making it the perfect occasion for parents and grandparents to share their love of birds with young children, who will delight in the big, full-color illustrations of birds in action. Unlike any other book he has written, What It’s Like to Be a Bird is poised to bring a whole new audience to David Sibley’s world of birds.

Children’s Fiction

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (Junior Fiction)

Winner of the Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Times bestseller
Soon to be a major motion picture

This unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated book is told from the point of view of Ivan himself.

Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.

In the tradition of timeless stories like Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create an unforgettable story of friendship, art, and hope.

Dragons and Marshmallows (Zoey and Sassafras #1) by Asia Citro (Easy Reader)

With magical animals, science, mystery, and adventure — the brand new series Zoey and Sassafras has something for everyone! Easy-to-read language and illustrations on nearly every page make this series perfect for a wide range of ages.

In the first book of this series, Zoey discovers a glowing photo and learns an amazing secret. Injured magical animals come to their backyard barn for help! When a sick baby dragon appears, it’s up to Zoey and Sassafras to figure out what’s wrong. Will they be able to help little Marshmallow before it’s too late?

Each story in the Zoey and Sassafras series features a new magical animal with a problem that must be solved using science. There isn’t a set formula for each book; Zoey sometimes needs to run experiments, while other times she needs to investigate a mystery, and yet other times she needs to do research. Zoey models how to keep a science journal through her handwritten entries in each story. Each story is complete with a glossary of the kid-friendly definitions for scientific terms used. The series highlights child-led inquiry science and the topics covered align with both Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins (Young Adult)

Ambition will fuel him.
Competition will drive him.
But power has its price.


 It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined — every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute . . . and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

A Parade of Elephants by Kevin Henkes (Board Book)

New York Times–bestselling and Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes follows five joyful elephants as they march from dawn to dusk. Where are they going? Read and find out! An ALA Notable Book

Up and down, over and under, through and around . . . five big and brightly colored elephants are on a mission in this picture book for young children by Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes. Where are they going? What will they do when they get there? It’s a surprise!

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott (Junior Fiction)

Goodreads Choice Winner, Best Young Adult Fiction of 2019
A YALSA 2020 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers

In this #1 New York Times bestselling novel that’s perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, two teens fall in love with just one minor complication—they can’t get within a few feet of each other without risking their lives.

Can you love someone you can never touch?

Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.

Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.

What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

Ali Cross by James Patterson (Junior Fiction)

James Patterson’s blockbuster Alex Cross series has sold over 100 million copies–and now he’s bringing those thrills to a new generation! Alex’s son Ali is eager to follow in his father’s footsteps as a detective, but when his best friend goes missing, what price will he have to pay to solve the mystery?

Ali Cross has always looked up to his father, former detective and FBI agent Alex Cross. While solving some of the nation’s most challenging crimes, his father always kept his head and did the right thing. Can Ali have the same strength and resolve?

When Ali’s best friend Gabe is reported missing, Ali is desperate to find him. At the same time, a string of burglaries targets his neighborhood—and even his own house. With his father on trial for a crime he didn’t commit, it’s up to Ali to search for clues and find his friend. But being a kid sleuth isn’t easy—especially when your father warns you not to get involved!—and Ali soon learns that clues aren’t always what they seem. Will his detective work lead to a break in Gabe’s case or cause even more trouble for the Cross family?

The Heart of a Whale by Anna Pignataro (Picture Book)

In this beautiful story of kindness and empathy, loneliness and love, one creature finds that the help he needs is just a song and a sigh away.

Whale’s beautiful song winds its way through the ocean, reaching the farthest of faraways. His song is one of happiness and hope, magic and wonder–and Whale’s fellow sea creatures are calmed, cheered, and lulled by it. But though Whale sings his tender song day after day, night after night, Whale wonders why he has no song to fill his empty heart. So when he lets out a mournful sigh, the ocean carries it like a wish through its fathoms, bringing it to just the right place.

Filled with stunning art and poetic language, this poignant story reminds us that being kind and helping a friend in need is sometimes the most beautiful thing of all.

Uni the Unicorn Uni’s First Sleepover (Step into Reading) by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (Easy Reader)

Join Uni the Unicorn on this all-new Step into Reading adventure in the Land of Unicorns! In this Step 2 book, it’s Uni’s very first sleepover! The other unicorns have been to sleepovers before, and have learned LOTS of magical games. Uni struggles with game after game, and by bedtime, Uni isn’t having a very good time. Will Uni find a way to contribute to the fun?

Step 2 readers use basic vocabulary and short sentences to tell simple stories. They are perfect for children who recognize familiar words and can sound out new words with help.

After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) by Dan Santat (Picture Book)

Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after?

Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat’s poignant tale follows Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher whose favorite place to be is high up on the city wall ― that is, until after his famous fall. Now terrified of heights, Humpty can longer do many of the things he loves most. Will he summon the courage to face his fear?

After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) is a masterful picture book that will remind readers of all ages that Life begins when you get back up.

2018 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award Winner
Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of 2017
New York Times Notable Children’s Book of 2017
A New York City Public Library Notable Best Book for Kids
A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2017
Horn Book Fanfare Best Book of 2017
An NPR Best Book of 2017

Tiny T. Rex and the Very Very Dark by Jonathan Stutzman (Picture Book)

Tiny T. Rex and his friend Pointy are having a campout in the backyard! It is what best friends do. But without their nighty-lights, the dark outside suddenly seems VERY dark . . . and very full of spooky things. Good thing Tiny has a super-secret plan to keep the dark at bay! Full of warmth and plenty of laughs, this new adventure starring Tiny T. Rex shows that friends will always find a way to face their fears together—even when those fears are not what they seem!

Children’s Nonfiction

(Because of the pandemic, I chose children’s nonfiction that focused on fun activities and projects – baking, gardening, science play, etc. What will you create?)

The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids

From the creators of the #1 New York Times bestselling cookbook for kids comes the ultimate baking book. America’s Test Kitchen once again brings their scientific know-how, rigorous testing, and hands-on learning to KIDS!

Want to make your own soft pretzels? Or wow your friends with homemade empanadas? What about creating a showstopping pie? Maybe some chewy brownies after school? From breakfast to breads, from cookies to cakes (yes, even cupcakes!), learn to bake it all here. You can do this, and it’s fun!

A Little Bit of Dirt: 55+ Science and Art Activities to Reconnect Children with Nature by Asia Citro

Dandelion Bubbles, Rain Drums, Seed Bomb Lollipops and more!

Bursting with creative hands-on outdoor science and art activities, A Little Bit of Dirt is full of motivation to get outside and explore. Whether you’re investigating the health of your local stream, making beautiful acrylic sunprints with leaves and flowers, running an experiment with your backyard birds, or concocting nature potions, you’ll be fostering an important connection with nature. The engaging activities encourage the use of the senses and imagination and are perfect for all ages. Discover more about the natural world waiting just outside your door!

We Are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines

In the #1 New York Times bestseller We Are the Gardeners, Joanna Gaines and the kids chronicle the adventures of starting their own family garden. From their failed endeavors, obstacles to overcome (bunnies that eat everything), and all of the knowledge they gain along the way, the Gaines family shares how they learned to grow a happy, successful garden.

Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children by Sharon Lovejoy

Plant a pumpkinseed with a child, and cultivate wonder. This simple act of reconnecting with children with nature is Sharon Lovejoy’s purpose and joy and gift. Author of Sunflower Houses: Garden Discoveries for Children of All Ages and Hollyhock Days: Garden Adventures for the Young at Heart, Sharon Lovejoy is a nationally known garden writer whose books, television specials, and projects at her learning landscape in California have introduced thousands of children to the pleasures of gardening.

In her newest book, Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots, she presents 12 spirited, easy-to-implement ideas for theme gardens that parents and kids can grow together. Illustrated throughout by the author’s own lyrical watercolors, each garden includes a plan, the planting recipe — seeds, seedlings, and growing instructions spelled out step-by-step — and activities. There’s the Pizza Patch , a giant-size wheel garden planted in “slices” of tomatoes, zucchini, oregano, and basil. A Flowery Maze to get lost in. A Moon Garden of night-blooming flowers, including a moonflower tent. And Mother Nature’s Medicine Chest.

Discovery Walks teach kids how the gardens work, and a chapter on gardening basics includes a child-friendly 10-Minute Plan for planting and maintenance, plus a list of the top 20 plants guaranteed to make gardeners out of kids.

Sticks and Stones: A Kid’s Guide to Building and Exploring in the Great Outdoors by Melissa Lennig

Discover a treasure trove of exciting outdoor building, engineering, and artistic ideas for children in Sticks and Stones. This comprehensive guide features tools, toys, and games kids can create right outside their door.

Kids will love building cabins, tipis, bridges, dams rock gardens, and more. They’ll discover that creating art is more fun outdoors as they learn to make making stone pendants, ochre paint, and a weaving. A variety of large and small-scale activities boost engineering, creative, and problem-solving skills, all while promoting fun. With simple tools and materials a branch becomes a fishing pole, and logs turn into a simple seesaw.

Opportunities and materials for productive play exist everywhere in nature. Author Melissa Lennig (of the blog Fireflies and Mud Pies) introduces today’s screen-overloaded kids to a world of exploring and adventure. Whether camping in the woods or hanging out in the back yard, children will marvel at the wonderful, useful tools and playthings they can create with natural objects. They’ll also learn about STEAM principles, campfire chemistry, why building with blocks is so powerful, and how mindfulness techniques can reduce stress.

Awesome Engineering Activities for Kids: 50+ Exciting STEAM Projects to Design and Build by Christina Schul

Watch your child’s eyes light up as they get excited about engineering, learn valuable knowledge, and have tons of fun. Awesome Engineering Activities for Kids is packed with more than 50 fascinating STEAM exercises, complete with step-by-step instructions, colorful pictures, and simple explanations of how and why the experiments work.

Make engineering for kids easy and enjoyable with projects that use common, inexpensive household materials so they can play and learn anytime. From toothpick towers and marble runs to egg drops and water rockets, the activities in this book about engineering for kids will challenge and delight.


6/2/2020

Baxter Memorial Library is a part of Librarians of the Upper Valley (LUV), a group of a few dozen area libraries that rotate audiobook and dvd collections. These are our current LUV audiobook offerings. They don’t appear in the catalog, but feel free to email me if you’d like to reserve one. Currently, we’re scheduled to exchange these audiobooks for a new batch in July, so please have them returned by July 1st. Happy listening!

Jane Austen – Mansfield Park
David Baldacci – The Last Mile
Linda Barnes – Steel Guitar (The Carlotta Carlyle Mysteries Book 4)
Jennifer Chiaverini – Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule
Lee Child – Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol
Joseph J. Ellis – American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies in the Founding of the Republic
Leif Enger – Virgil Wander
Tina Fey – Bossypants
Alan Furst – Spies of the Balkans: A Novel
Malcolm Gladwell – The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
Elly Griffiths – The Chalk Pit (Ruth Galloway Mysteries Book 9)
Robert Harris – Munich
Kent Haruf – Benediction
Kent Haruf – Our Souls at Night
Ernest Hemingway – The Old Man and the Sea
Craig Johnson – The Western Star
Jonathan Kellerman – Evidence: An Alex Delaware Novel
Stephen King – On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Christina Baker Kline – Orphan Train: A Novel


6/1/2020

The kids’ books below have just been added; however, we’re waiting on a shipment of new fiction and nonfiction for adults (as well as another shipment of children’s books – including lots of books brimming with cool activities). The new adult books listed below are what we had before the stay-home order.

KIDS’

Jack Blasts Off! by Mac Barnett (easy reader)
Monstrous: The Lore, Gore, and Science Behind Your Favorite Monsters by Carlyn Beccia (jr. nonfiction)
Wildheart: The Daring Adventures of John Muir by Julie Bertagna and William Goldsmith (nonfiction graphic novel)
Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker (jr. fiction)
Science Comics – Trees: Kings of the Forest by Andy Hirsch (graphic novel)
Earth by the Numbers: A Book of Infographics by Steve Jenkins (nonfiction)
A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata (jr. fiction)
The Singing Rock & Other Brand New Fairy Tales by Nathaniel Lachenmeyer and Siini Blocker (graphic novel)
The Hundred-Year Barn by Patricia MacLachlan
The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty (jr. fiction)
Pilu of the Woods by Mai K. Nguyen (graphic novel)
Cast Away: Poems for Our Time by Naomi Shihab Nye (jr. book of poetry)
The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree by Paola Peretti (jr. fiction)
One Dark Bird by Liz Garton Scanlon
Astronuts – Mission One: The Plant Planet by Jon Scieszka (jr. fiction)
The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys (YA fiction)
Small in the City by Sydney Smith (picture book)
Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Pugh (YA graphic novel)
Guts by Raina Telgemeier (graphic novel)

ADULT FICTION

The Confession Club by Elizabeth Berg
Exhalation: Stories by Ted Chiang
Blue Moon by Lee Child
The Body in Question by Jill Ciment 
The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Night Fire by Kevin Connelly
Akin by Emma Donohue
Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths
The River by Peter Heller
Cemetery Road by Greg Iles
The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
The Institute by Stephen King
Bomber’s Moon by Archer Mayor
To the Land of Long Lost Friends by Alexander McCall Smith
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
The Starless Sea by Emily Morgenstern
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
The Friend: A Novel by Sigrid Nunez
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
The 18th Abduction by James Patterson
A Better Man by Louise Penny
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Last Day by Luanne Rice
Chances Are… by Richard Russo
The Grammarians by Cathleen Schine
Grand Union: Stories by Zadie Smith
The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal
Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk
The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

ADULT NONFICTION

The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson
Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow
The Book of Delights: Essays by Ross Gay
From the Oven to the Table cookbook by Diana Henry
The Winter Army: The WWII Odyssey of the 10th Mountain Division, America’s Elite Alpine Warriors by Maurice Isserman
Why We’re Polarized by Ezra Klein
This America: The Case for the Nation by Jill Lepore
The Guarded Gate: Bigotry, Eugenics and the Law that Kept Two Generations of Jews, Italians, and Other European Immigrants Out of America by Daniel Okrent
Fay Wray and Robert Riskin: A Hollywood Memoir by Victoria Riskin
The Heartbeat of Wounded Kneww: Native America from 1890 to the Present by David Treuer