West Bloomfield Township Public Library
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Awards - Library Journal Best Books of 2020

In a year that many would call one of the worst in recent memory, we were still rewarded with lots of great books. Comfort reads mix with fresh new perspectives in this selection of outstanding titles published in 2020.

The Toni Morrison book club by Juda Bennett

"What is a book club but an excuse to talk to friends? The Toni Morrison Book Club brings that experience to life by telling the story of four friends who turn to Toni Morrison as they search for meaning in their lives. In this startling group memoir, the writers--black and white, gay and straight, immigrant and American born--allow Morrison's words, like music, to make them feel, confess, and discover. The result is a collection of deeply personal conversations about everything from first love to Soul Train to police brutality, all told with an ever present lens on race in America. Not shying away from controversies, this book offers a radically new way to envision book clubs as a healing force in our lives. So pull up a chair and pour yourself a much needed glass of wine, as you get ready to experience the messy differences, surprising revelations, and restorative power of The Toni Morrison Book Club"--

What becomes a legend most : a biography of Richard Avedon by Philip Gefter

A portrait of the twentieth-century photographer examines how Avedon endured intense personal and professional discrimination to join an influential group of artists who transformed women's culture

Unfinished business : notes of a chronic re-reader by Vivian Gornick

"A series of essays exploring the different books that shaped Gornick throughout her life"--

My autobiography of Carson McCullers by Jenn Shapland

"While working as an intern in the archives at the Harry Ransom Center, Jenn Shapland encounters the love letters of Carson McCullers and a woman named Annemarie-letters that are tender, intimate, and unabashed in their feelings. Shapland recognizes herself in the letters' language-but does not see McCullers as history has portrayed her. And so, Shapland is compelled to undertake a recovery of the full narrative and language of McCullers's life: she wades through the therapy transcripts; she stays at McCullers's childhood home, where she lounges in her bathtub and eats delivery pizza; she relives McCullers's days at her beloved Yaddo. As Shapland reckons with the expanding and collapsing distance between her and McCullers, she sees the way McCullers's story has become a way to articulate something about herself. The results reveal something entirely new not only about this one remarkable, walleyed life, but about the way we tell queer love stories. In genre-defying vignettes, Jenn Shapland interweaves herown story with Carson McCullers's to create a vital new portrait of one of America's most beloved writers, and shows us how the writers we love and the stories we tell about ourselves make us who we are"--

Notes on a silencing : a memoir by Lacy Crawford

Traces the author's healing journey after a traumatizing sexual assault at infamous St. Paul's boarding school, describing how she helped police uncover proof of the school's institutionalized mandate of silence.

All the young men : a memoir of love, AIDS, and chosen family in the American South by Ruth Coker Burks

"In 1986, twenty-six-year-old Ruth visits a friend at the hospital when she notices a door to one of the rooms is painted red. Nurses are drawing straws to see who will tend to the patient crying for his mother on the other side, all of them unwilling to help. Ruth immediately steps into the quarantined space herself, comforting the young man in his last moments. Before she realizes what she's done, word spreads in the community that Ruth is the only person willing to help these young men afflicted by AIDS, and is called upon to nurse them. Shuttling from patient to patient, Ruth forges deep friendships with the men she helps: Paul and Billy, Angel, Chip, Todd and Douglas, working tirelessly to find them housing and jobs, and burying their ashes in her own family's cemetery. She teaches sex-ed to drag queens after hours at secret bars and defies local pastors and nurses to help the men she cares for, ultimately advising then-Governor Bill Clinton on the national HIV-AIDS crisis and becoming a beacon of hope to an otherwise spurned group of ailing gay men on the fringes of an intensely conservative state. This moving and elegiac memoir honors the extraordinary life of Ruth Coker Burks and the beloved men with AIDS who fought valiantly for their lives during a most hostile and misinformed time in America"--

Inferno : a memoir of motherhood and madness by Catherine (Author of Inferno) Cho

"The riveting story of a mother who is separated from her newborn son and husband when committed to an involuntary psychiatric ward in New Jersey after a harrowing bout of postpartum psychosis"--

Once I was you : a memoir of love and hate in a torn America by Maria Hinojosa

"Emmy Award-winning NPR journalist Maria Hinojosa shares her personal story interwoven with American immigration policy's coming-of-age journey at a time when our country's branding went from "The Land of the Free" to "the land of invasion.""--

Rebel Cinderella : from rags to riches to radical, the epic journey of Rose Pastor Stokes by Adam Hochschild

"From the bestselling author of King Leopold's Ghost and Spain in Our Hearts comes the astonishing but forgotten story of an immigrant sweatshop worker who married an heir to a great American fortune and became one of the most charismatic radical leadersof her time"--

The dragons, the giant, the women : a memoir by Wayaetu Moore

The author shares her experiences of escaping the First Liberian Civil War and building a life in the United States, shining the light on the great political and personal forces that continue to affect many migrants around the world.

The dead are arising : the life of Malcolm X by Les Payne

"An epic biography of Malcolm X finally emerges, drawing on hundreds of hours of the author's interviews, rewriting much of the known narrative. Les Payne, the renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, embarked in 1990 on a nearly thirty-year-long quest to interview anyone he could find who had actually known Malcolm X-all living siblings of the Malcolm Little family, classmates, street friends, cellmates, Nation of Islam figures, FBI moles and cops, and political leaders around the world.His goal was ambitious: to transform what would become over a hundred hours of interviews into an unprecedented portrait of Malcolm X, one that would separate fact from fiction. The result is this historic biography that conjures a never-before-seen world of its protagonist, a work whose title is inspired by a phrase Malcolm X used when he saw his Hartford followers stir with purpose, as if the dead were truly arising, to overcome the obstacles of racism. Setting Malcolm's life not only within the Nationof Islam but against the larger backdrop of American history, the book traces the life of one of the twentieth century's most politically relevant figures "from street criminal to devoted moralist and revolutionary." In tracing Malcolm X's life from hisNebraska birth in 1925 to his Harlem assassination in 1965, Payne provides searing vignettes culled from Malcolm's Depression-era youth, describing the influence of his Garveyite parents: his father, Earl, a circuit-riding preacher who was run over by a street car in Lansing, Michigan, in 1929, and his mother, Louise, who continued to instill black pride in her children after Earl's death. Filling each chapter with resonant drama, Payne follows Malcolm's exploits as a petty criminal in Boston and Harlem in the 1930s and early 1940s to his religious awakening and conversion to the Nation of Islam in a Massachusetts penitentiary. With a biographer's unwavering determination, Payne corrects the historical record and delivers extraordinary revelations-from the unmasking of the mysterious NOI founder "Fard Muhammad," who preceded Elijah Muhammad; to a hair-rising scene, conveyed in cinematic detail, of Malcolm and Minister Jeremiah X Shabazz's 1961 clandestine meeting with the KKK; to a minute-by-minute account of Malcolm X's murder at the Audubon Ballroom. Introduced by Payne's daughter and primary researcher, Tamara Payne, who, following her father's death, heroically completed the biography, The Dead Are Arising is a penetrating and riveting work that affirms the centrality of Malcolm X to the African American freedom struggle"--

Fairest : a memoir by Meredith Talusan

"A heartrending immigrant memoir and a uniquely intersectional coming-of-age story of a life lived in duality and the in-between, and how one navigates through race, gender, and the search for love"--

Memorial Drive : a daughter's memoir by Natasha D Trethewey

"At age nineteen, Natasha Trethewey had her world turned upside down when her former stepfather shot and killed her mother. Grieving and still new to adulthood, she confronted the twin pulls of life and death in the aftermath of unimaginable trauma and now explores the way this experience lastingly shaped the artist she became. With penetrating insight and a searing voice that moves from the wrenching to the elegiac, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey explores this profound experience of pain, loss, and grief as an entry point into understanding the tragic course of her mother's life and the way her own life has been shaped by a legacy of fierce love and resilience. Moving through her mother's history in the deeply segregated South and through her own girlhood as a "child of miscegenation" in Mississippi, Trethewey plumbs her sense of dislocation and displacement in the lead-up to the harrowing crime that took place on Memorial Drive in Atlanta in 1985. Memorial Drive is a compelling and searching look at a shared human experience of sudden loss and absence but also a piercing glimpse at the enduring ripple effects of white racism and domestic abuse. Animated by unforgettable prose and inflected by a poet's attention to language, this is a luminous, urgent, and visceral memoir from one of our most important contemporary writers and thinkers."--Amazon

The fixed stars : a memoir by Molly Wizenberg

"At age 36, while serving on a jury, author Molly Wizenberg found herself drawn to a female attorney she hardly knew. Married to a man for nearly a decade and mother to a toddler, Wizenberg tried to return to her life as she knew it, but something inside her had changed irrevocably. Instead, she would discover that the trajectory of our lives is rarely as smooth or as logical as we'd like to believe. Like many of us, Wizenberg had long understood sexual orientation as a stable part of ourselves: we're 'born this way.' Suddenly she realized that her story was more complicated. Who was she, she wondered, if something at her very core could change so radically? The Fixed Stars is a taut, electrifying memoir exploring timely and timeless questions about desire, identity, and the limits and possibilities of family. In honest and searing prose, Wizenberg forges a new path: through the murk of separation and divorce, coming out to family and friends, learning to co-parent a young child, and realizing a new vision of love. The result is a frank and moving story about letting go of rigid definitions and ideals that no longer fit, and learning instead who we really are." --book jacket

Everyone can bake : simple recipes to master and mix / by Dominique Ansel

Acclaimed pastry chef Dominique Ansel shares his simple, foolproof recipes for tarts, cakes, jams, buttercreams, and more "building blocks "of desserts for home cooks to master and mix as they please. Dominique Ansel is the creator of beautiful, innovative, and delicious desserts, from the Frozen S'More to the Cronut, the croissant- doughnut hybrid that took the world by storm. He has been called the world's best pastry chef. But this wasn't always the case. Raised in a large, working-class family in rural France, Ansel could not afford college and instead began work as a baker's apprentice at age sixteen. There, he learned the basics--how to make tender chocolate cakes, silky custards, buttery shortbread, and more. Ansel shares these essential, go-to recipes for the first time. With easy-to-follow instructions and kitchen tips, home cooks can master the building-blocks of desserts. These crucial components can be mixed in a variety of ways, and Ansel will show you how: his vanilla tart shell can be rolled out and stamped into cookies; shaped and filled with lemon curd; or even crumbled into a topping for ice cream. This cookbook will inspire beginners and experienced home cooks alike to bake as imaginatively as Ansel himself

Milk Street cookish : throw it together by Christopher Kimball

"In Cookish, Christopher Kimball and his team of cooks and editors harness the most powerful cooking principles from around the world to create 200 of the simplest, most delicious recipes ever created. These recipes, most with six or fewer ingredients (other than oil, salt, and pepper), make it easy to be a great cook -- the kind who can walk into a kitchen and throw together dinner in no time"--Provided by publisher

Falastin : a cookbook by Sami Tamimi

"A soulful tour of Palestinian cooking today from the Ottolenghi restaurants' executive chef and partner-120 recipes shaped by his personal story as well as the history of Palestine"--

Djinn patrol on the purple line : a novel by Deepa Anappara

"Based on a true story--Nine-year-old Jai watches too many reality police shows, thinks he's smarter than his friend Pari (even though she gets the best grades), and considers himself to be a better boss than Faiz (even though Faiz is the one with a job).When a classmate goes missing, Jai decides to use the crime-solving skills he has picked up from TV to find him. He asks Pari and Faiz to be his assistants and together they draw up lists of people to interview and places to visit. But what begins as a game turns sinister as other children start disappearing from their neighborhood. Jai, Pari, and Faiz have to confront terrified parents, an indifferent police force, and their fears of soul-snatching djinns. As the disappearances edge ever closer to home,the lives of Jai and his friends will never be the same again. At times exuberant, at times heartbreaking, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line traces the unfolding of a tragedy while capturing the fierce warmth and resilience of a community forged in times of trouble"--

Blacktop wasteland : a novel by S Cosby

"A gritty, voice-driven thriller about a former getaway driver who thought he had escaped the criminal life who is pulled back in by race, poverty, and his own former life of crime. Beauregard "Bug" Montage is a man with many different titles: husband, father, friend, honest car mechanic. But before he gave it up, Bug used to be known from the hills of North Carolina to the beaches of Florida as the best Wheel Man on the East Coast. After a series of financial calamities, Bug feels he has no choice but totake one final job as the getaway driver for a daring diamond heist that could solve all his money troubles and allow him to go straight once and for all. Like "Ocean's Eleven" meets "Drive" (but with a mostly black cast of characters), Blacktop Wasteland is a searing, operatic story of sons living up (or down) to their fathers; of a heist gone sideways; of a man ground down by economic desperation; of fast cars and daring chases and identity and love"--

The searcher : a novel by Tana French

"Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in a bucolic Irish village would be the perfect escape. After twenty-five years in the Chicago police force and a bruising divorce, he just wants to build a new life in a pretty spot with a good pub where nothing much happens. But when a local kid whose brother has gone missing arm-twists him into investigating, Cal uncovers layers of darkness beneath his picturesque retreat, and starts to realize that even small towns shelter dangerous secrets"--

Unspeakable things by Jess Lourey

Cassie McDowell’s life in 1980s Minnesota seems perfectly wholesome. She lives on a farm, loves school, and has a crush on the nicest boy in class. Yes, there are her parents’ strange parties and their parade of deviant guests, but she’s grown accustomed to them. All that changes when someone comes hunting in Lilydale. One by one, local boys go missing. One by one, they return changed―violent, moody, and withdrawn. What happened to them becomes the stuff of shocking rumors. The accusations of who’s responsible grow just as wild, and dangerous town secrets start to surface. Then Cassie’s own sister undergoes the dark change. If she is to survive, Cassie must find her way in an adult world where every sin is justified, and only the truth is unforgivable.

The Thursday murder club by Richard Osman

"In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves The Thursday Murder Club"--

All the devils are here : a Chief Inspector Gamache novel by Louise Penny

On their first night in Paris, the Gamaches gather for a family dinner with Armand's godfather, the billionaire Stephen Horowitz. But the evening ends in horror when Stephen is critically injured in what Armand is convinced is no accident. When a strange key is found in Stephen's possession it sends Armand on a desperate search for the truth that will take him from the top of the Tour Eiffel, to the bowels of the Paris Archives. Armand finds himself ensnared in a web of lies and deceit that threatens to destroy everything - and everyone - he holds dear. For even the City of Light casts long shadows. And in that darkness devils hide ..

Hide away by Jason Pinter

"On the surface, Rachel Marin is an ordinary single mother; on the inside, she's a fierce, brilliant vigilante. After an unspeakable crime shatters her life, she changes her identity and moves to a small town in Illinois, hoping to spare her children from further trauma...or worse. But crime follows her everywhere. When the former mayor winds up dead, Rachel can't help but get involved. Where local detectives see suicide, she sees murder. They resent her for butting in--especially since she's always one step ahead. But her investigative genius may be her undoing: the deeper she digs, the harder it is to keep her own secrets buried. Her persistence makes her the target of both the cops and a killer. Meanwhile, the terrifying truth about her past threatens to come to light, and Rachel learns the hard way that she can't trust anyone. Surrounded by danger, she must keep her steely resolve, protect her family, and stay one step ahead, or else she may become the next victim."--Amazon.com

The mountains wild by Sarah Stewart Taylor

""With its evocative Dublin setting, lyrical prose, tough but sympathetic heroine, and a killer twist in the plot, Sarah Stewart Taylor's The Mountains Wild should top everyone's must-read lists this year!" - New York Times bestselling author Deborah Crombie In a series debut for fans of Tana French and Kate Atkinson, set in Dublin and New York, homicide detective Maggie D'arcy finally tackles the case that changed the course of her life. Twenty-three years ago, Maggie D'arcy's family received a call fromthe Dublin police. Her cousin Erin has been missing for several days. Maggie herself spent weeks in Ireland, trying to track Erin's movements, working beside the police. But it was to no avail: no trace of her was ever found. The experience inspired Maggie to become a cop. Now, back on Long Island, more than 20 years have passed. Maggie is a detective and a divorced mother of a teenager. When the Gardaai call to say that Erin's scarf has been found and another young woman has gone missing, Maggie returnsto Ireland, awakening all the complicated feelings from the first trip. The despair and frustration of not knowing what happened to Erin. Her attraction to Erin's coworker, now a professor, who never fully explained their relationship. And her determination to solve the case, once and for all. A lyrical, deeply drawn portrait of a woman - and a country - over two decades - The Mountains Wild introduces a compelling new mystery series from a mesmerizing author"--

Winter counts : a novel by David Heska Wanbli Weiden

"An addictive and groundbreaking debut thriller set on a Native American reservation"--

Kent State : four dead in Ohio by author Derf

On May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard gunned down unarmed college students protesting the Vietnam War at Kent State University. In a deadly barrage of 67 shots, 4 students were killed and 9 shot and wounded. It was the day America turned guns on its own children - a shocking event burned into our national memory. A few days prior, 10-year-old Derf Backderf saw those same Guardsmen patrolling his nearby hometown, sent in by the governor to crush a trucker strike. Using the journalism skills he employed on 'My Friend Dahmer' and 'Trashed', Backderf has conducted extensive interviews and research to explore the lives of these four young people and the events of those four days in May, when the country seemed on the brink of tearing apart. 'Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio', which will be published in time for the 50th anniversary of the tragedy, is a moving and troubling story about the bitter price of dissent-as relevant today as it was in 1970

Dancing after TEN : a graphic memoir by Vivian Chong

"In late 2004, Vivian Chong's life was changed forever when a rare skin disease, TEN (Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis), left her with scar tissue that would eventually blind her. As she was losing her sight, she put down as many drawings on paper as she could to document the experience. In Dancing After TEN, Chong teams up with cartoonist Georgia Webber -- whose graphic autobiography, Dumb, chronicled her own disability -- to trace her journey out of the darkness and into the spotlight. Chong now expresses her art through singing, stand-up, drumming, running, and dancing. This graphic novel is an inspirational tale and a powerful work of graphic medicine."--Amazon

Slaughterhouse-five : or the children's crusade : a duty-dance with death by 1980- author Vonnegut Kurt

"One of the world's seminal anti-war books, Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five is faithfully presented in graphic novel form....Listen: Billy Pilgrim has read Kilgore Trout; opened a successful optometry business; built a loving family; witnessed the firebombing of Dresden; traveled to the planet Tralfamadore; met Kurt Vonnegut; come unstuck in time. Billy Pilgrim’s journey is at once a farcical look at the horror and tragedy of war where children are placed on the frontlines and die (so it goes), and a moving examination of what it means to be fallibly human." --back cover

Sports is hell by Ben Passmore

"After her city wins the Super Bowl for the first time, Tea is separated from her friend during a riot and joins a small clique fighting its way through armed groups of football fanatics to meet a star receiver that just might end the civil war or become the city's new oppressive leader."--Amazon

Jack Kirby : the epic life of the king of comics by Tom Scioli

"This sweeping, full-color comic book biography tells the complete life story of Jack Kirby, co-creator of some of the most enduring superheroes and villains of the twentieth century for Marvel Comics, DC Comics, and more. Critically acclaimed graphic novelist Tom Scioli breathes visual life into Kirby's life story--from his days growing up in New York during the Great Depression and discovering a love for science fiction and cartoons to his time on the frontlines in the European theatre of World War II where he experienced the type of action and adventure he'd later imbue his comic pages with, and on to his world-changing collaborations at Marvel with Stan Lee, where the pair redefined comics as a part of pop culture. Just as every great superhero needsa villain to overcome, Kirby's story also includes his struggles to receive the recognition and compensation that he believed his work deserved. Scioli captures his moves from Marvel to DC and back again, showing how Kirby himself and later his family fought to preserve his artistic legacy. Drawn from an unparalleled imagination and a life as exciting as his comic book tales, Kirby's super-creations have influenced subsequent generations of creatives in the comics field and beyond. Now, readers can experience the life and times of a comics titan through the medium that made him famous"--

The loneliness of the long-distance cartoonist by Adrian Tomine

What happens when a childhood hobby grows into a lifelong career? The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist, Adrian Tomine's funniest and most revealing foray into autobiography, offers an array of unexpected answers. When a sudden medical incident lands Tomine in the emergency room, he begins to question if it was really all worthwhile"--

Ring shout : or, Hunting Ku Kluxes in the end times by P Clark

"In 1915, The Birth of a Nation cast a spell across America, swelling the Klan's ranks and drinking deep from the darkest thoughts of white folk. All across the nation they ride, spreading fear and violence among the vulnerable. They plan to bring hell to Earth. But even Ku Kluxes can die. Standing in their way is Maryse Boudreaux and her fellow resistance fighters, a foul-mouthed sharpshooter and a Harlem Hellfighter. Armed with blade, bullet, and bomb, they hunt their hunters and send the Klan's demons straight to Hell. But something awful's brewing in Macon, and the war on hell is about to heat up. Can Maryse stop the Klan before it ends the world?"--inside jacket

Plain bad heroines : a novel by Emily M Danforth

"Our story begins in 1902, at the Brookhants School for Girls. Flo and Clara, two impressionable students, are obsessed with each other and with a daring young writer named Mary MacLane, the author of a scandalous bestselling memoir. To show their devotion to Mary, the girls establish their own private club and call it the Plain Bad Heroine Society. They meet in secret in a nearby apple orchard, the setting of their wildest happiness and, ultimately, of their macabre deaths. This is where their bodies are later discovered with a copy of Mary’s book splayed beside them, the victims of a swarm of stinging, angry yellow jackets. Less than five years later, the Brookhants School for Girls closes its doors forever—but not before three more people mysteriously die on the property, each in a most troubling way. Over a century later, the now abandoned and crumbling Brookhants is back in the news when wunderkind writer Merritt Emmons publishes a breakout book celebrating the queer, feminist history surrounding the “haunted and cursed” Gilded Age institution. Her bestselling book inspires a controversial horror film adaptation starring celebrity actor and lesbian it girl Harper Harper playing the ill-fated heroine Flo, oppo­site B-list actress and former child star Audrey Wells as Clara. But as Brookhants opens its gates once again, and our three modern her­oines arrive on set to begin filming, past and present become grimly entangled—or perhaps just grimly exploited—and soon it’s impossible to tell where the curse leaves off and Hollywood begins

The boatman's daughter : a novel by Andy Davidson

"A swampy literary horror novel about a young woman facing down drug dealers, a crooked cop, and a mad preacher on the banks of an Arkansas river"--

The southern book club's guide to slaying vampires by Grady Hendrix

"A supernatural thriller set in South Carolina in the '90s about a women's book club that must protect its suburban community from a mysterious stranger who turns out to be a real monster"--

The only good Indians : a novel by Stephen Graham Jones

"Peter Straub's Ghost Story meets Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies in this American Indian horror story of revenge on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Four American Indian men from the Blackfeet Nation, who were childhood friends, find themselves in a desperate struggle for their lives, against an entity that wants to exact revenge upon them for what they did during an elk hunt ten years earlier by killing them, their families, and friends"--

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

"The acclaimed author of Gods of Jade and Shadow returns with a darkly enchanting reimagining of Gothic fantasy, in which a spirited young woman discovers the haunting secrets of a beautiful old mansion in 1950s Mexico"--

Homeland elegies : a novel by Ayad Akhtar

"A deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, Homeland Elegies blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel, at its heart it is the story of a father, a son, and the country they both call home. Ayad Akhtar forges a new narrative voice to capture a country in which debt has ruined countless lives and the gods of finance rule, where immigrants live in fear, and where the nation's unhealed wounds wreak havoc around the world. Akhtar attempts to make sense of it all through the lens of a story about one family, from a heartland town in America to palatial suites in Central Europe to guerrilla lookouts in the mountains of Afghanistan, and spares no one -- least of all himself -- in the process."--Amazon

Leave the world behind : a novel by Rumaan Alam

"A magnetic novel about two families, strangers to each other, who are forced together on a long weekend gone terribly wrong"--

Little family by Ishmael Beah

Hidden away from a harsh and chaotic outside world, five young people have cobbled together a home for themselves in an abandoned airplane, a relic of their country's tumult. At seventeen, Elimane, the bookworm, is as street-smart as he is wise: the group's father figure. Clever Khoudimata is mother by default, helping scheme how to keep the younger boys-athletic, pragmatic Ndevui and thoughtful Kpindi-and especially little Namsa, their newest and youngest member-safe and fed. When Elimane makes himself of service to the shadowy William Handkerchief, it seems as if the small group may be able to keep the world at bay and their ad hoc family intact. But when Khoudi comes under the spell of the "Beautiful People"-the fortunate sons and daughters of the powerful and corrupt-the desire to resume an interrupted coming of age and forge her own destiny proves impossible to resist.

The index of self-destructive acts by Christopher R Beha

"The day Sam Waxworth arrives in New York to write for The Interviewer, a street-corner preacher declares that the world is coming to an end. A sports statistician, data journalist, and newly minted media celebrity who correctly forecasted every outcome of the 2008 election, Sam's familiar with predicting the future. But when projection meets reality, things turn complicated. Sam's editor sends him to profile disgraced political columnist Frank Doyle. To most readers, Doyle is a liberal lion turned neoconIraq war apologist, but to Sam he is above all the author of the great works of baseball lore that sparked Sam's childhood love of the game-books he now views as childish myth-making to be crushed with his empirical hammer. But Doyle proves something else in person: charming, intelligent, and more convincing than Sam could have expected. Then there is his daughter, Margo, to whom Sam becomes desperately attracted-just as his wife, Lucy, arrives from Wisconsin. The lives of these characters are entwined with those of the rest of the Doyle family-Frank's wife, Kit, whose investment bank collapsed during the financial crisis; his son, Eddie, an Army veteran just returned from his second combat tour; and Eddie's best childhood friend, hedge funder Justin Price. While the end of the world might not be arriving, Beha's characters are each headed for apocalypses of their own making"--

Transcendent kingdom : a novel by Yaa Gyasi

"A novel about faith, science, religion, and family that tells the deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief, narrated by a fifth year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford school of medicine studying the neural circuits of reward seeking behavior in mice"--

A burning by Megha Majumdar

"After a fiery attack on a train leaves 104 people dead, the fates of three people become inextricably entangled. Jivan, a bright, striving woman from the slums looking for a way out of poverty, is wrongly accused of planning the attack because of a careless comment on Facebook. PT Sir, a slippery gym teacher from Jivan's former high school, has hitched his aspirations to a rising right wing party, and his own ascent becomes increasingly linked to Jivan's fall. Lovely, a spirited, impoverished, relentlessly optimistic hjira, who harbors dreams of becoming a Bollywood star, can provide the alibi that would set Jivan free--but her appearance in court will have unexpected consequences that will change the course of all of their lives. A novel about fate, power, opportunity, and class; about innocence and guilt, betrayal and love, and the corrosive media cycle that manufactures falsehoods masquerading as truths--A Burning is a debut novel of exceptional power and urgency, haunting and beautiful, brutal, vibrant, impossible to forget"--

Apeirogon : a novel by Colum McCann

"Bassam Aramin is Palestinian. Rami Elhanan is Israeli. They inhabit a world of intractable conflict that colors every aspect of their daily lives, from the roads they are allowed to take to the schools their daughters, Abir and Smadar, each attend. Theirs is a life in which children from both sides of the wall throw stones at one another. But their worlds shift irreparably when ten-year-old old Abir is killed by a rubber bullet meant to quell unruly crowds, and again when thirteen-year-old Smadar becomesthe victim of suicide bombers. When Bassam and Rami learn one another's stories and the loss that connects them, they become part of a much larger tale that ranges over centuries and continents. Apeirogon is a novel that balances on the knife edge of fiction and nonfiction. Bassam and Rami are real men and their actual words are a part of this narrative, one that builds through thousands of moments and images into one grand, unforgettable crescendo"--

Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy

"Franny Stone has always been a wanderer. By following the ocean's tides and the birds that soar above, she can forget the losses that have haunted her life. But when the wild she so loves begins to disappear, Franny can no longer wander without a destination. She arrives in remote Greenland with one purpose: to find the world's last flock of Arctic terns and follow them on their final migration. She convinces Ennis Malone, captain of the Saghani, to take her onboard, winning over his salty, eccentric crew with promises that the birds she is tracking will lead them to fish. As the Saghani fights its way south, Franny's new shipmates begin to realize that the beguiling scientist in their midst is not who she seems. Battered by night terrors, accumulating a pile of letters to her husband, and dead set on following the terns at any cost, Franny is full of dark secrets. When the story of her past begins to unspool, Ennis and his crew must ask themselves what Franny is really running toward-and running from. Propelled by a narrator as fierce and fragile as the terns she is following, Migrations is a shatteringly beautiful ode to the wild places and creatures now threatened. But at its heart, it is about the lengths we will go, to the very edges of the world, for the people we love"--

Hamnet : a novel of the plague by Maggie O'Farrell

"A thrilling departure: a short, piercing, deeply moving novel about the death of Shakespeare's 11 year old son Hamnet--a name interchangeable with Hamlet in 15th century Britain--and the years leading up to the production of his great play. England, 1580. A young Latin tutor--penniless, bullied by a violent father--falls in love with an extraordinary, eccentric young woman--a wild creature who walks her family's estate with a falcon on her shoulder and is known throughout the countryside for her unusualgifts as a healer. Agnes understands plants and potions better than she does people, but once she settles with her husband on Henley Street in Stratford she becomes a fiercely protective mother and a steadfast, centrifugal force in the life of her young husband, whose gifts as a writer are just beginning to awaken when his beloved young son succumbs to bubonic plague. A luminous portrait of a marriage, a shattering evocation of a family ravaged by grief and loss, and a hypnotic recreation of the story that inspired one of the greatest masterpieces of all time, Hamnet is mesmerizing, seductive, impossible to put down--a magnificent departure from one of our most gifted novelists"--

Dearly : new poems by Margaret Atwood

The internationally acclaimed author presents her first collection of poetry in over a decade that addresses themes such as love, loss, the passage of time, nature, and zombies

The girl with the louding voice : a novel by Abi Daré

"A powerful, emotional debut novel told in the unforgettable voice of a young Nigerian woman who is trapped in a life of servitude but determined to get an education so that she can escape and choose her own future. Adunni is a fourteen-year-old Nigeriangirl who knows what she wants: an education. This, her mother has told her, is the only way to get a "louding voice"-the ability to speak for herself and decide her own future. But instead, Adunni's father sells her to be the third wife of a local man whois eager for her to bear him a son and heir. When Adunni runs away to the city, hoping to make a better life, she finds that the only other option before her is servitude to a wealthy family. As a yielding daughter, a subservient wife, and a powerless slave, Adunni is told, by words and deeds, that she is nothing. But while misfortunes might muffle her voice for a time, they cannot mute it. And when she realizes that she must stand up not only for herself, but for other girls, for the ones who came before her and were lost, and for the next girls, who will inevitably follow; she finds the resolve to speak, however she can-in a whisper, in song, in broken English-until she is heard"--

Mercy House : a novel by Alena Dillon

Inside a century-old row house in Brooklyn, renegade Sister Evelyn and her fellow nuns preside over a safe haven for the abused and abandoned. Gruff and indomitable on the surface, warm and wry underneath, little daunts Evelyn, until she receives word that Mercy House will be investigated by Bishop Hawkins, a man with whom she shares a dark history. In order to protect everything they've built, the nuns must conceal many of their methods, which are forbidden by the Catholic Church. Evelyn will go to great lengths to defend all that she loves. She confronts a gang member, defies the church, challenges her own beliefs, and faces her past. She is bolstered by the other nuns and the vibrant, diverse residents of the shelter--Lucia, Mei-Li, Desiree, Esther, and Katrina--whose differences are outweighed by what unites them: they've all been broken by men but are determined to rebuild. Amidst her fight, Evelyn discovers the extraordinary power of mercy and the grace it grants, not just to those who receive it, but to those strong enough to bestow it

Big girl, small town : a novel by Michelle Gallen

"Majella is happiest out of the spotlight, living a quiet life away from neighbors' stares and the gossips of the small town in Northern Ireland where she grew up during the Troubles. But underneath her seemingly predictable existence, she doesn't know where her father is, and every person in her town has been changed by the lingering divide between Protestants and Catholics. When Majella's grandmother dies, she comes to realize there may be more to life than the gossips of Aghybogey, the pub, and the chip shop. In fact, there just may be a whole big world outside her small town"--

The other Bennet sister : a novel by Janice Hadlow

"What if Mary Bennet's life took a different path from that laid out for her in Pride and Prejudice? What if the frustrated intellectual of the Bennet family, the marginalized middle daughter, the plain girl who takes refuge in her books, eventually found the fulfillment enjoyed by her prettier, more confident sisters? This is the plot of The Other Bennet Sister, a debut novel with exactly the affection and authority to satisfy Austen fans. Ultimately, Mary's journey is like that taken by every Austen heroine. She learns that she can only expect joy when she has accepted who she really is. She must throw off the false expectations and wrong ideas that have combined to obscure her true nature and prevented her from what makes her happy. Only when she undergoes this evolution does she have a chance at finding fulfillment; only then does she have the clarity to recognize her partner when he presents himself--and only at that moment is she genuinely worthy of love. Mary's destiny diverges from that of her sisters. It does not involve broad acres or landed gentry. But it does include a man; and, as in all Austen novels, Mary must decide whether he is the truly the one for her. In The Other Bennet Sister, Mary is a fully rounded character--complex, conflicted, and often uncertain; but also vulnerable, supremely sympathetic, and ultimately the protagonist of an uncommonly satisfying debut novel"--

His only wife : a novel by Peace A Medie

"An intelligent and funny debut about a relatable, indomitable heroine: a young seamstress in Ghana who agrees to an arranged marriage, only to realize that some compromises are too extreme to accept, illuminating what it means to be a woman in a rapidlychanging world"--

The authenticity project by Clare Pooley

"A story about a solitary green notebook that brings together six strangers and leads to unexpected friendship, and even love--think Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine meets Love, Actually "Everybody lies about their lives. What would happen if you shared the truth?" This is the question that Julian Jessop, an eccentric, seventy-nine-year-old artist, poses within a pale green exercise book that he labels The Authenticity Project, before leaving it behind in Monica's Café. When Monica discovers Julian'sabandoned notebook, not only does she add her own story to the book, she is determined to find a way to help Julian feel less lonely. And so it goes with the others who find the green notebook that will soon contain their deepest selves. It will also knitthe group together In Real Life at Monica's Cafe, where they'll discover the thrill and sometime-risk of being completely honest--and, for some, find unexpected love. With a cast of characters who are by turns quirky and funny, heartbreakingly sad and painfully true-to-life, The Authenticity Project is a novel readers will take to their hearts and read with unabashed pleasure"--

Such a fun age : a novel by Kiley Reid

Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living, with her confidence-driven brand, showing other women how to do the same. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains' toddler one night, walking the aisles of their local high-end supermarket. The store's security guard, seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make things right. But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix's desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix's past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other. With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone "family," the complicated reality of being a grown up, and the consequences of doing the right thing for the wrong reason

Self care : a novel by Leigh Stein

"Two female cofounders of a wellness start-up struggle to find balance between being good people and doing good business, while trying to maintain their best friendship. Have you ever scrolled through Instagram and seen countless influencers who seem likeexperts at caring for themselves--from their yoga crop tops to their well-lit clean meals to their serumed skin and erudite-but-color-coded reading stack? This novel delves into the real lives of the people working in the wellness industry and exposes the world behind the filter. Maren Gelb is on a company-imposed digital detox. She tweeted something terrible about the President's daughter, and as the COO of Richual, "the most inclusive online community platform for women to cultivate the practice of self-care and change the world by changing ourselves," it's a PR nightmare. Not only is CEO Devin Avery counting on Maren to be fully present for the upcoming Series B closing, but indispensable employee Khadijah Walker has been keeping a secret that will reveal just how feminist Richual's values actually are, and former Bachelorette contestant and Richual board member Evan Wiley is about to be embroiled in a sexual misconduct scandal that could threaten Richual's future forever. When self-care is part of your revenue model, can confessing your damage be good for business?"--

Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West

In the South Side of Chicago, a young woman is determined to protect her best friend and a deadly secret that threatens to undermine both of their families.

Conventionally yours by Annabeth Albert

"LGBTQIA+ ROMCOM Conrad Stewart and Alden Parks are enemies, and that's the way it's always been. But when they're stuck together on a cross-country road trip to the biggest fan convention of their lives, the competition takes a backseat as unexpected feelings blossom. Yet each boy has a reason why they have to win the upcoming con tournament and neither is willing to let emotion get in the way-even if it means giving up their one chance at something truly magical"--

Starbreaker by Amanda Bouchet

Captain Tess Bailey and Shade Ganavan are the galaxy's Most Wanted, while the universe is on the brink of catastrophic war. As their attraction builds, they must decide if they trust each other to change the course of history together

Ties that tether by Jane Igharo

"When a Nigerian woman falls for a man she knows will break her mother's heart, she must choose between love and her family. At twelve years old, Azere promised her dying father she would marry a Nigerian man and preserve her culture, even after immigrating to Canada. Her mother has been vigilant about helping-well, forcing-her to stay within the Nigerian dating pool ever since. But when another match-made-by-mom goes wrong, Azere ends up at a bar, enjoying the company and later sharing the bed of RafaelCastellano, a man who is tall, handsome, and . . . white. When their one-night stand unexpectedly evolves into something serious, Azere is caught between her feelings for Rafael and the compulsive need to please her mother. Soon, Azere can't help wondering if loving Rafael makes her any less of a Nigerian. Can she be with him without compromising her identity? The answer will either cause Azere to be audacious and fight for her happiness, or continue to be the compliant daughter"--

Chasing Cassandra by Lisa Kleypas

Everything has a price... Railway magnate Tom Severin is wealthy and powerful enough to satisfy any desire as soon as it arises. Anything -- or anyone -- is his for the asking. It should be simple to find the perfect wife -- and from his first glimpse of Lady Cassandra Ravenel, he's determined to have her. But the beautiful and quick-witted Cassandra is equally determined to marry for love -- the one thing he can't give. Everything except her... Severin is the most compelling and attractive man Cassandra has ever met, even if his heart is frozen. But she has no interest in living in the fast-paced world of a ruthless man who always plays to win. When a newfound enemy nearly destroys Cassandra's reputation, Severin seizes the opportunity he's been waiting for. As always, he gets what he wants -- or does he? There's one lesson Tom Severin has yet to learn from his new bride: Never underestimate a Ravenel. The chase for Cassandra's hand may be over. But the chase for her heart has only just begun

Daring and the duke by Sarah MacLean

When she is reconciled with the man who betrayed her, who will go to any lengths to win her back, fiercely independent Grace Condry, who has spent a lifetime running from her past, vows to take revenge on this man she once loved.

If the boot fits by Rebekah Weatherspoon

"In this thoroughly modern take on the timeless tale of a struggling Cinderella who finds her prince charming at the eleventh hour, an Oscar-winning actor and an aspiring screenwriter attempt to make a relationship work away from the Hollywood spotlight. Working as the personal assistant to one of Hollywood's cruelest divas has left Amanda Queen more determined than ever to sell her screenplay and gain her independence. In the meantime, she'll settle for a temporary escape. When her employer is felled by the flu on Hollywood's biggest night of the year, Amanda gets her glam on, struts out the door, and parties with the glitterati. But she never expects to come face to face--and closer than close--with one of the hottest stars in the game... Following up his first Oscar win with a steamy after-hours romp with an enigmatic woman seems like the perfect way for actor Sam Pleasant to celebrate--until she suddenly disappears. Worse, she's vanished with the wrong swag bag: the one containing his Oscar statue, leaving Sam even more intrigued about the beauty's identity--and wondering if a repeat performance of their amazing night is in the stars. And when a second chance encounter happens, only a trip to Sam's family ranch--and revealing the whole, not-always-glamorous, truth about themselves--will give them a chance to turn one magical night into forever..."--Provided by publisher

The bird way : a new look at how birds talk, work, play, parent, and think by Jennifer Ackerman

There is the mammal way and there is the bird way." This is one scientist's pithy distinction between mammal brains and bird brains: two ways to make a highly intelligent mind. But the bird way is much more than a unique pattern of brain wiring, and lately, scientists have taken a new look at bird behaviors they have, for years, dismissed as anomalies or mysteries. What they are finding is upending the traditional view of how birds conduct their lives, how they communicate, forage, court, breed, survive. They're also revealing the remarkable intelligence underlying these activities, abilities we once considered uniquely our own--deception, manipulation, cheating, kidnapping, infanticide, but also, ingenious communication between species, cooperation, collaboration, altruism, culture, and play. Some of these extraordinary behaviors are biological conundrums that seem to push the edges of--well--birdness.

Fathoms : the world in the whale by Rebecca Giggs

"When writer Rebecca Giggs encountered a humpback whale stranded on her local beachfront in Australia, she began to wonder how the lives of whales reflect the condition of our oceans. Fathoms : The World in the Whale blends natural history, philosophy, and science to explore: How do whales experience ecological change? How has whale culture been both understood and altered by human technology? What can observing whales teach us about the complexity, splendor, and fragility of life?"--Jacket flap

Hidden Valley Road : inside the mind of an American family by Robert Kolker

"Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don's work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those years, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins--aspiration, hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony--and they worked hard to play their parts. But behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after the other, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family? What took place inside the house on Hidden Valley Road was so extraordinary that the Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institutes of Mental Health. Their story offers a shadow history of the science of schizophrenia, from the era of institutionalization, lobotomy, and the schizophrenogenic mother, to the search for genetic markers for the disease, always amidst profound disagreements about the nature of the illness itself. And unbeknownst to the Galvins, samples of their DNA informed decades of genetic research that continues today, offering paths to treatment, prediction, and even eradication of the disease for future generations. With clarity and compassion, bestselling and award-winning author Robert Kolker uncovers one family's unforgettable legacy of suffering, love and hope"--

The next great migration : the beauty and terror of life on the move by Sonia Shah

"A prize-winning journalist upends our centuries-long assumptions about migration through science, history, and reporting--predicting its lifesaving power in the face of climate change. The news today is full of stories of dislocated people on the move. Wild species, too, are escaping warming seas and desiccated lands, creeping, swimming, and flying in a mass exodus from their past habitats. News media presents this scrambling of the planet's migration patterns as unprecedented, provoking fears of the spread of disease and conflict and waves of anxiety across the Western world. On both sides of the Atlantic, experts issue alarmed predictions of millions of invading aliens, unstoppable as an advancing tsunami, and countries respond by electing anti-immigration leaders who slam closed borders that were historically porous. But the science and history of migration in animals, plants, and humans tell a different story. Far from being a disruptive behavior to be quelled at any cost, migration is an ancient andlifesaving response to environmental change, a biological imperative as necessary as breathing. Climate changes triggered the first human migrations out of Africa. Falling sea levels allowed our passage across the Bering Sea. Unhampered by barbed wire, migration allowed our ancestors to people the planet, catapulting us into the highest reaches of the Himalayan mountains and the most remote islands of the Pacific, creating and disseminating the biological, cultural, and social diversity that ecosystems and societies depend upon. In other words, migration is not the crisis--it is the solution. Conclusively tracking the history of misinformation from the 18th century through today's anti-immigration policies, The Next Great Migration makes the case for a future in which migration is not a source of fear, but of hope"--

The sirens of Mars : searching for life on another world by Sarah Stewart Johnson

"A young planetary scientist intimately details the search for life on Mars, tracing our centuries-old obsession with this seemingly desolate planet. Mars was once similar to Earth, but today there are no rivers, no lakes, no oceans. Coated in red dust, the terrain is bewilderingly empty. And yet multiple spacecraft are circling Mars, sweeping over Terra Sabaea, Syrtis Major, the dunes of Elysium, and Mare Sirenum-on the brink, perhaps, of a staggering find, one that would inspire humankind as much as anydiscovery in the history of modern science. In this beautifully observed, deeply personal book, Georgetown scientist Sarah Stewart Johnson tells the story of how she and other researchers have scoured Mars for signs of life, transforming the planet froma distant point of light into a world of its own. Johnson's fascination with Mars began as a child in Kentucky, turning over rocks with her father and looking at planets in the night sky. She now conducts fieldwork in some of Earth's most hostile environments, such as the Dry Valleys of Antarctica and the salt flats of Western Australia, developing methods for detecting life on other worlds. Here, with poetic precision, she interlaces her own personal journey-as a female scientist and a mother-with talesof other seekers, from Percival Lowell, who was convinced that a utopian society existed on Mars, to Audouin Dollfus, who tried to carry out astronomical observations from a stratospheric balloon. In the process, she shows how the story of Mars is also astory about Earth: This other world has been our mirror, our foil, a telltale reflection of our own anxieties and yearnings. Empathetic and evocative, The Sirens of Mars offers an unlikely natural history of a place where no human has ever set foot, whileproviding a vivid portrait of our quest to defy our isolation in the cosmos"--

The book of eels : our enduring fascination with the most mysterious creature in the natural world by Patrik Svensson

"Part H Is for Hawk, part The Soul of an Octopus, The Book of Eels is both a meditation on the world's most elusive fish-the eel-and a reflection on the human condition"--

The city we became by N Jemisin

"Five New Yorkers must come together in order to save their city from destruction in the first book of a stunning new series by Hugo award-winning and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin. Every great city has a soul. Some are ancient as myths, and othersare as new and destructive as children. New York? She's got six. When a young man crosses the bridge into New York City, something changes. He doesn't remember who he is, where he's from, or even his own name. But he can feel the pulse of the city, can see its history, can access its magic. And he's not the only one. All across the boroughs, strange things are happening. Something is threatening to destroy the city and her six newborn avatars unless they can come together and stop it once and for all"--

The space between worlds by Micaiah Johnson

"A multiverse-hopping outsider discovers a secret that threatens her home world and her fragile place in it-a stunning sci-fi debut that's both a cross-dimensional adventure and a powerful examination of identity, privilege, and belonging. CARA IS DEAD ONTHREE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-FOUR WORLDS. The multiverse business is booming, but there's just one catch: no one can visit a world where their counterpart is still alive. Enter Cara, whose parallel selves happen to be exceptionally good at dying-from diseases, from turf wars, from vendettas they couldn't outrun. But on this earth, Cara's survived. And she's reaping the benefits, thanks to the well-heeled Wiley City scientists who ID'd her as an outlier and plucked her from the dirt. Now she's got a new jobcollecting offworld data, a path to citizenship, and a near-perfect Wiley City accent. Now she can pretend she's always lived in the city she grew up staring at from the outside, even if she feels like a fraud on either side of its walls. But when one ofher eight remaining doppelgangers dies under mysterious circumstances, Cara is plunged into a new world with an old secret. What she discovers will connect her past and future in ways she never could have imagined-and reveal her own role in a plot that endangers not just her world, but the entire multiverse"--

The burning god by R Kuang

"After saving her nation of Nikan from foreign invaders and battling the evil Empress Su Daji in a brutal civil war, Fang Runin was betrayed by allies and left for dead. Despite her losses, Rin hasn’t given up on those for whom she has sacrificed so much—the people of the southern provinces and especially Tikany, the village that is her home. Returning to her roots, Rin meets difficult challenges—and unexpected opportunities. While her new allies in the Southern Coalition leadership are sly and untrustworthy, Rin quickly realizes that the real power in Nikan lies with the millions of common people who thirst for vengeance and revere her as a goddess of salvation. Backed by the masses and her Southern Army, Rin will use every weapon to defeat the Dragon Republic, the colonizing Hesperians, and all who threaten the shamanic arts and their practitioners. As her power and influence grows, though, will she be strong enough to resist the Phoenix’s intoxicating voice urging her to burn the world and everything in it?" --book jacket

Goldilocks by Laura Lam

A gripping science fiction thriller where five women task themselves with ensuring the survival of the human race; perfect for readers of The Martian, The Power, and Station Eleven. Despite increasing restrictions on the freedoms of women on Earth, Valerie Black is spearheading the first all-female mission to a planet in the Goldilocks Zone, where conditions are just right for human habitation. It's humanity's last hope for survival, and Naomi, Valerie's surrogate daughter and the ship's botanist, has been waiting her whole life for an opportunity like this - to step out of Valerie's shadow and really make a difference. But when things start going wrong on the ship, Naomi begins to suspect that someone on board is concealing a terrible secret - and realizes time for life on Earth may be running out faster than they feared . . .Goldilocks is The Handmaid's Tale meets The Martian - a bold and thought-provoking new high-concept thriller

Black sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world. Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters aroundher as easily as it can warp a man's mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain. Crafted with unforgettable characters, Rebecca Roanhorse has created an epic adventure exploring the decadence of power amidst the weight of history and the struggle of individuals swimming against the confines of society and their broken pasts in the most original series debut of the decade

The empress of salt and fortune by Nghi Vo

"A young royal from the far north, is sent south for a political marriage in an empire reminiscent of imperial China. Her brothers are dead, her armies and their war mammoths long defeated and caged behind their borders. Alone and sometimes reviled, she must choose her allies carefully. Rabbit, a handmaiden, sold by her parents to the palace for the lack of five baskets of dye, befriends the emperor's lonely new wife and gets more than she bargained for. At once feminist high fantasy and an indictment of monarchy, this evocative debut follows the rise of the empress In-yo, who has few resources and fewer friends. She's a northern daughter in a mage-made summer exile, but she will bend history to her will and bring down her enemies, piece by piece."--Provided by publisher

A pale light in the black : a NeoG novel by K Wagers

"For the past year, their close loss in the annual Boarding Games has haunted Interceptor Team Zuma's Ghost. With this year's competition looming, they're looking forward to some payback until an unexpected personnel change leaves them reeling. Their best swordsman has been transferred, and a new lieutenant has been assigned as his replacement. Maxine Carmichael is trying to carve a place in the world on her own away from the pressure and influence of her powerful family. The last thing she wants is to cause trouble at her command on Jupiter Station. With her new team in turmoil, Max must overcome her self-doubt and win their trust if she's going to succeed. Failing is not an option, and would only prove her parents right. But Max and the team must learn to work together quickly. A routine mission to retrieve a missing ship has suddenly turned dangerous, and now their lives are on the line. Someone is targeting members of Zuma's Ghost, a mysterious opponent willing to kill to safeguard a secret that could shake society to its core, a secret that could lead to their deaths and kill thousands more unless Max and her team stop them. Rescue those in danger, find the bad guys, win the Games. It's all in a day's work at the NeoG." -- Provided by publisher

Likes by Sarah Shun-lien Bynum

"A new collection from an acclaimed author weaves together the real and unreal, fairy tale, sci-fi, and myth"--

The office of historical corrections : a novella and stories by Danielle Evans

In "The Office of Historical Corrections, [author Danielle] Evans zooms in on particular moments and relationships in her characters’ lives in a way that allows them to speak to larger issues of race, culture, and history. She introduces us to Black and multiracial characters who are experiencing the universal confusions of lust and love, and getting walloped by grief—all while exploring how history haunts us, personally and collectively. Ultimately, she provokes us to think about the truths of American history—about who gets to tell them, and the cost of setting the record straight. In 'Boys Go to Jupiter,' a white college student tries to reinvent herself after a photo of her in a Confederate-flag bikini goes viral. In “Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain,” a photojournalist is forced to confront her own losses while attending an old friend’s unexpectedly dramatic wedding. And in the eye-opening title novella, a black scholar from Washington, DC, is drawn into a complex historical mystery that spans generations and puts her job, her love life, and her oldest friendship at risk." --publisher's website

To be a man : stories by Nicole Krauss

"In one of her strongest works of fiction yet, Nicole Krauss plunges fearlessly into the struggle to understand what it is to be a man and what it is to be a woman, and the arising tensions that have existed from the very beginning of time. Set in our contemporary moment, and moving across the globe from Switzerland, Japan, and New York City to Tel Aviv, Los Angeles, and South America, the stories in To Be a Man feature male characters as fathers, lovers, friends, children, seducers, and even a lost husband who may never have been a husband at all. The way these stories mirror one other and resonate is beautiful, with a balance so finely tuned that the book almost feels like a novel. Echoes ring through stages of life: aging parents and new-born babies; young women’s coming of age and the newfound, somewhat bewildering sexual power that accompanies it; generational gaps and unexpected deliveries of strange new leases on life; mystery and wonder at a life lived or a future waiting to unfold. To Be a Man illuminates with a fierce, unwavering light the forces driving human existence: sex, power, violence, passion, self-discovery, growing older. Profound, poignant, and brilliant, Krauss’s stories are at once startling and deeply moving, but always revealing of all-too-human weakness and strength."--inside jacket

A registry of my passage upon the earth : stories by Daniel (Daniel Philippe) Mason

Collects nine of the author's tales, including National Magazine Award- and Pushcart Prize-winning stories

I hold a wolf by the ears : stories by Laura Van den Berg

"A dislocating collection of short stories from the author of "The Third Hotel""--

The undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

"Traveling across the country, journalist Karla Cornejo Villavicencio risked arrest at every turn to report the extraordinary stories of her fellow undocumented Americans. Her subjects have every reason to be wary around reporters, but Cornejo Villavicencio has unmatched access to their stories. Her work culminates in a stunning, essential read for our times. Born in Ecuador and brought to the United States when she was five years old, Cornejo Villavicencio has lived the American Dream. Raised on her father's deliveryman income, she later became one of the first undocumented students admitted into Harvard. She is now a doctoral candidate at Yale University and has written for The New York Times. She weaves her own story among those of the eleven million undocumented who have been thrust into the national conversation today as never before. Looking well beyond the flashpoints of the border or the activism of the DREAMERS, Cornejo Villavicencio explores the lives of the undocumented as rarely seen in our daily headlines. In New York, we meet the undocumented workers who were recruited in the federally funded Ground Zero cleanup after 9/11. In Miami we enter the hidden botanicas, which offer witchcraft and homeopathy to those whose status blocks them from any other healthcare options. In Flint, Michigan, we witness how many live in fear as the government issues raids at grocery stores and demands identification before offering life-saving clean water. In her book, Undocumented America, Cornejo Villavicenciopowerfully reveals the hidden corners of our nation of immigrants. She brings to light remarkable stories of hope and resilience, and through them we come to understand what it truly means to be American"--

The second chance club : hardship and hope after prison by Jason Matthew Hardy

"A former parole officer shines a bright light on a huge yet hidden part of our justice system through the intertwining stories of seven parolees striving to survive the chaos that awaits them after prison in this illuminating and dramatic book"--

After the last border : two families and the story of refuge in America by Jessica Goudeau

"The story of two refugee families and their hope and resilience as they fight to survive and belong in America The welcoming and acceptance of immigrants and refugees has been central to America's identity for centuries--yet America has periodically turned its back at the times of greatest humanitarian need. After the Last Border is an intimate look at the lives of two women as they struggle for the twenty-first century American dream, having won the "golden ticket" to settle as refugees in Austin, Texas. Mu Naw, a Christian from Myanmar struggling to put down roots with her family, was accepted after decades in a refugee camp at a time when America was at its most open to displaced families; and Hasna, a Muslim from Syria, agrees to relocate as a last resort for the safety of her family--only to be cruelly separated from her children by a sudden ban on refugees from Muslim countries. Writer and activist Jessica Goudeau tracks the human impacts of America's ever-shifting refugee policy as both women narrowly escape from their home countries and begin the arduous but lifesaving process of resettling in Austin, Texas--a city that would show them the best and worst of what America has to offer. After the Last Border situates a dramatic, character-driven story within a larger history--the evolution of modern refugee resettlement in the United States, beginning with World War II and ending with current closed-door policies--revealing not just how America's changing attitudes toward refugees has influenced policies and laws, but also the profound effect on human lives"--

Show them you're good : a portrait of boys in the City of Angels the year before college by Jeff Hobbs

Traces the academic pursuits of four Los Angeles high school boys with very different backgrounds and resources who navigate challenges in class, race, expectations, cultural divides and luck to attend college.

Race against time : a reporter reopens the unsolved murder cases of the civil rights era by Jerry Mitchell

"An award-winning investigative reporter shares the real-life detective story of how Klansmen came to justice in notorious unsolved civil rights cold cases--decades after they had gotten away with murder"--

Agent Sonya : Moscow's most daring wartime spy by Ben Macintyre

"In 1942, in a quiet village in the leafy English Cotswolds, a thin, elegant woman lived in a small cottage with her three children and her husband, who worked as a machinist nearby. Ursula Burton was friendly but reserved, and spoke English with a slight foreign accent. By all accounts, she seemed to be living a simple, unassuming life. Her neighbors in the village knew little about her. They didn’t know that she was a high-ranking Soviet intelligence officer. They didn’t know that her husband was also a spy, or that she was running powerful agents across Europe. Behind the facade of her picturesque life, Burton was a dedicated Communist, a Soviet colonel, and a veteran agent, gathering the scientific secrets that would enable the Soviet Union to build the bomb. This true-life spy story is a masterpiece about the woman code-named “Sonya.” Over the course of her career, she was hunted by the Chinese, the Japanese, the Nazis, MI5, MI6, and the FBI—and she evaded them all. Her story reflects the great ideological clash of the twentieth century—between Communism, Fascism, and Western democracy—and casts new light on the spy battles and shifting allegiances of our own times."--publisher's website

Five days : the fiery reckoning of an American city by Wes Moore

"When Freddie Gray was arrested for possessing an 'illegal knife' in April 2015, he was, by eyewitness accounts that video evidence later confirmed, treated 'roughly' as police loaded him into a vehicle. By the end of his trip in the police van, Gray was in a coma he would never recover from. In the wake of a long history of police abuse in Baltimore, this killing felt like a final straw--it led to a week of protests and then five days described alternately as a riot or an uprising that set the entire city on edge, and caught the nation's attention. Wes Moore is one of Baltimore's most famous sons--a Rhodes Scholar, bestselling author, decorated combat veteran, White House fellow, and current President of the Robin Hood Foundation. While attending Gray's funeral, he saw every strata of the city come together: grieving mothers; members of the city's wealthy elite; activists; and the long-suffering citizens of Baltimore--all looking to comfort each other, but also looking for answers. Knowing that when they left the church, these factions would spread out to their own corners, but that the answers they were all looking for could only be found in the city as a whole, Moore--along with Pulitzer-winning coauthor Erica Green--tells the story of the Baltimore uprising. Through both his own observations, and through the eyes of other Baltimoreans: Partee, a conflicted black captain of the Baltimore Police Department; Jenny, a young white public defender who's drawn into the violent center of the uprising herself; Tawanda, a young black woman who'd spent a lonely year protesting the killing of her own brother by police; and John DeAngelo, scion of the city's most powerful family and owner of the Baltimore Orioles, who has to make choices of conscience he'd never before confronted. Each shifting point of view contributes to an engrossing, cacophonous account of one of the most consequential moments in our recent history--but also an essential cri de coeur about the deeper causes of the violence and the small seeds of hope planted in its aftermath"--

Down along with that devil's bones : a reckoning with monuments, memory, and the legacy of white supremacy by Connor Towne O'Neill

"A journalist's memoir-plus-reporting about modern-day conflicts over Southern monuments to Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate hero and original leader of the Ku Klux Klan, as well as a personal examination of the legacy of white supremacy through theUS today, tracing the throughline from Appomattox to Charlottesville"--

Caste : the origins of our discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

""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 America life today"--

Our riches by Kaouther Adimi

"Our Riches celebrates quixotic devotion and the love of books in the person of Edmond Charlot, who at the age of twenty founded Les Vraies Richesses (Our True Wealth), the famous Algerian bookstore/publishing house/lending library. He more than fulfilled its motto "by the young, for the young," discovering the twenty-four-year-old Albert Camus in 1937. His entire archive was twice destroyed by the French colonial forces, but despite financial difficulties (he was hopelessly generous) and the vicissitudes of wars and revolutions, Charlot (often compared to the legendary bookseller Sylvia Beach) carried forward Les Vraies Richesses as a cultural hub of Algiers. Our Riches interweaves Charlot's story with that of another twenty-year-old, Ryad (dispatched in 2017 to empty the old shop and repaint it). Ryad's no booklover, but old Abdallah, the bookshop's self-appointed, nearly illiterate guardian, opens the young man's mind. Cutting brilliantly from Charlot to Ryad, from the 1930s to current times, from WWII to the bloody 1961 Free Algeria demonstrations in Paris, Adimi delicately packs a monumental history of intense political drama into her swift and poignant novel. But most of all, it's a hymn to the book and to the love of books"--

Tropic of violence : a novel by Nathacha Appanah-Mouriquand

Marie, a nurse in Mayotte, a far-flung, tropical department of France in the Indian Ocean, adopts a baby abandoned at birth by his mother, a refugee from Comoros. She names him Moïse and raises him as her own--and she avoids his increasing questions about his origins as he grows up. When Marie suddenly dies, thirteen-year-old Moïse is left completely alone, plunged into uncertainty and turmoil. In a state of panic, he runs away from home, and sets himself on a collision course with the gangs of Gaza, the largest and most infamous slum on the island

Enlightenment of the greengage tree by Shokoofeh Azar

Set in Iran in the decade following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, this moving, richly imagined novel is narrated by the ghost of Bahar, a thirteen-year-old girl, whose family is compelled to flee their home in Tehran for a new life in a small village, hoping in this way to preserve both their intellectual freedom and their lives. But they soon find themselves caught up in the post-revolutionary chaos that sweeps across their ancient land. Bahar's mother, after a tragic loss, will embark on a long, eventful journey in search of meaning in a world swept up in the post-revolutionary madness

At night all blood is black by David Diop

Haunted for refusing to kill an injured comrade who begged to be spared an agonizing death, a World War I soldier from Senegal begins killing enemy soldiers as penance, earning a sinister reputation.

Tokyo Ueno Station by Miri Yū

"A surreal, devastating story of a homeless ghost who haunts one of Tokyo's busiest train stations. Kazu is dead. Born in Fukushima in 1933, the same year as the Japanese Emperor, his life is tied by a series of coincidences to the Imperial family and hasbeen shaped at every turn by modern Japanese history. But his life story is also marked by bad luck, and now, in death, he is unable to rest, doomed to haunt the park near Ueno Station in Tokyo. Kazu's life in the city began and ended in that park; he arrived there to work as a laborer in the preparations for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and ended his days living in the vast homeless village in the park, traumatized by the destruction of the 2011 tsunami and shattered by the announcement of the 2020 Olympics.Through Kazu's eyes, we see daily life in Tokyo buzz around him and learn the intimate details of his personal story, how loss and society's inequalities and constrictions spiraled towards this ghostly fate, with moments of beauty and grace just out of reach. A powerful masterwork from one of Japan's most brilliant outsider writers, Tokyo Ueno Station is a book for our times and a look into a marginalized existence in a shiny global megapolis"--

Echo on the bay by Masatsugu Ono

"Tells the story of a small fishing village in Japan-with the untreated wounds of the town's history in the foreground"--

Friend : a novel from North Korea by Nam-nyong Paek

"A tale of marital intrigue, abuse, and divorce in North Korea. A woman in her thirties comes to a courthouse petitioning for a divorce. As the judge who hears her statement begins to investigate the case, the story unfolds into a broader consideration oflove and marriage. The novel delves into its protagonists' past, describing how the couple first fell in love and then how their marriage deteriorated over the years. It chronicles the toll their acrimony takes on their son and their careers alongside the story of the judge's own marital troubles. A best-seller in North Korea, where Paek continues to live and write, Friend illuminates a side of life in the DPRK that Western readers have never before encountered. Far from being a propagandistic screed inpraise of the Great Leader, Friend describes the lives of people who struggle with everyday problems such as marital woes and workplace conflicts. Instead of socialist-realist stock figures, Paek depicts complex characters who wrestle with universal questions of individual identity, the split between public and private selves, the unpredictability of existence, and the never-ending labor of maintaining a relationship. This groundbreaking translation of one of North Korea's most popular writers offers English-language readers a page-turner full of psychological tension as well as a revealing portrait of a society that is typically seen as closed to the outside world"--
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National Medal Recipient of the National Medal, the nation's highest honor for libraries.