Mon – Thur: 9AM to 9PM | Fri – Sat: 9AM to 5PM | Sun: 1PM to 5PM
4613 N Oketo Ave, Harwood Heights, IL 60706 | 708-867-7828
Mon – Thur: 9AM to 9PM
Fri – Sat: 9AM to 5PM
Sun: 1PM to 5PM
4613 N Oketo Ave
Harwood Heights, IL 60706
708-867-7828

4613 N Oketo Ave, Harwood Heights, IL 60706 708-867-7828

Mon – Thur: 9AM to 9PM | Fri – Sat: 9AM to 5PM | Sun: 1PM to 5PM

New Books: 03/12/2024

Until August by Gabriel García Márquez

The extraordinary rediscovered novel from the Nobel Prize–winning author of Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Sitting alone beside the languorous blue waters of the lagoon, Ana Magdalena Bach contemplates the men at the hotel bar. She has been happily married for twenty-seven years and has no reason to escape the life she has made with her husband and children. And yet, every August, she travels by ferry here to the island where her mother is buried, and for one night takes a new lover.

Across sultry Caribbean evenings full of salsa and boleros, lotharios and conmen, Ana journeys further each year into the hinterland of her desire and the fear hidden in her heart.

After Annie by Anna Quindlen

When Annie Brown dies suddenly, her husband, her children, and her closest friend are left to find a way forward without the woman who has been the lynchpin of all their lives. Bill is overwhelmed without his beloved wife, and Annemarie wrestles with the bad habits her best friend had helped her overcome. And Ali, the eldest of Annie’s children, has to grow up overnight, to care for her younger brothers and even her father and to puzzle out for herself many of the mysteries of adult life.

Over the course of the next year what saves them all is Annie, ever-present in their minds, loving but not sentimental, caring but nobody’s fool, a voice in their heads that is funny and sharp and remarkably clear. The power she has given to those who loved her is the power to go on without her. The lesson they learn is that no one beloved is ever truly gone.

Reading Genesis by Marilynne Robinson

For generations, the book of Genesis has been treated by scholars as a collection of documents, by various hands, expressing different factional interests, with borrowings from other ancient literatures that mark the text as derivative. In other words, academic interpretation of Genesis has centered on the question of its basic coherency, just as fundamentalist interpretation has centered on the question of the appropriateness of reading it as literally true.

Both of these approaches preclude an appreciation of its greatness as literature, its rich articulation and exploration of themes that resonate through the whole of Scripture. Marilynne Robinson’s Reading Genesis, which includes the original text, is a powerful consideration of the profound meanings and promise of God’s enduring covenant with humanity. This magisterial book radiates gratitude for the constancy and benevolence of God’s abiding faith in Creation.

All Our Yesterdays by Joel H. Morris

Scotland, the 11th Century. Born in a noble household and granddaughter of a forgotten Scottish king, a young girl carries the guilt of her mother’s death and the weight of an unknowable prophecy. When she is married, at fifteen, to the Mormaer of Moray, she experiences firsthand the violence of a sadistic husband and a kingdom constantly at war. To survive with her young son in a superstitious realm, she must rely on her own cunning and wit, especially when her husband’s downfall inadvertently sets them free.

Suspicious of the dark devices that may have led to his father’s death, her son watches as his mother falls in love with the enigmatic thane Macbeth. Now a woman of stature, Lady Macbeth confronts a world of masculine power and secures the protection of her family. But the coronation of King Duncan and the political maneuvering of her cousin Macduff set her on a tragic course, one where her own success might mean embracing the very curse that haunts her and risking the child she loves.

Blessed Water: A Sister Holiday Mystery by Margot Douaihy

Tattooed from her neck to her toes and sporting a gold tooth as sharp as her wisecracks, Sister Holiday struggles to stay on the righteous path. Never one to make things easy for herself, she’s committed to taking her permanent vows with the Sisters of the Sublime Blood and joining former fire inspector Magnolia Riveaux’s latest venture, Redemption Detective Agency―both in service of satisfying her eternal quest for answers.

When Sister Holiday and Riveaux set out to bust a philandering husband, they instead find the body of a priest floating in the swollen Mississippi River, and with it, Redemption’s next case. It’s significantly more gruesome than their orig­inal mission, but Sister Holiday feels called on by God to hunt down the murderer and keep her community safe.

As a torrential rainstorm drowns New Orleans for three harrowing days over Easter weekend, Sister Holiday and Riveaux follow the clues. With the stakes rising alongside the relentless floodwaters, our favorite punk nun-sleuth throws herself into the deep end yet again.

Great Expectations by Vinson Cunningham

When David first hears the Senator from Illinois speak, he feels deep ambivalence. Intrigued by the Senator’s idealistic rhetoric, David also wonders how he’ll balance the fervent belief and inevitable compromises it will take to become the United States’ first Black president.

Great Expectations is about David’s eighteen months working for the Senator’s presidential campaign. Along the way David meets a myriad of people who raise a set of questions—questions of history, art, race, religion, and fatherhood—that force David to look at his own life anew and come to terms with his identity as a young Black man and father in America.

Happily Never After by Lynn Painter

When Sophie Steinbeck finds out just before her nuptials that her fiancé has cheated yet again, she desperately wants to call it off. But because her future father-in-law is her dad’s cutthroat boss, she doesn’t want to be the one to do it. Her savior comes in the form of a professional objector, whose purpose is to show up at weddings and proclaim the words no couple (usually) wants to hear at their ceremony: “I object!”

During anti-wedding festivities that night, Sophie learns more about Max the Objector’s job. It makes perfect sense to her: he saves people from wasting their lives, from hurting each other. He’s a modern-day hero. And Sophie wants in.

The two love cynics start working together, going from wedding to wedding, and Sophie’s having more fun than she’s had in ages. She looks forward to every nerve-racking ceremony saving the lovesick souls of the betrothed masses. As Sophie and Max spend more time together, however, they realize that their physical chemistry is off the charts, leading them to dabble in a little hookup session or two—but it’s totally fine, because they definitely do not have feelings for each other. Love doesn’t exist, after all.

And then everything changes. A groom-to-be hires Sophie to object, but his fiancée is the woman who broke Max’s heart. As Max wrestles with whether he can be a party to his ex’s getting hurt, Sophie grapples with the sudden realization that she may have fallen hard for her partner in crime.

Headshot by Rita Bullwinkel

An unexpected tragedy at a community pool. A family’s unrelenting expectation of victory. The desire to gain or lose control; to make time speed up or stop; to be frighteningly, undeniably good at something. Each of the eight teenage girl boxers in this blistering debut novel has her own reasons for the sacrifices she has made to come to Reno, Nevada, to compete to be named the best in the country. Through a series of face-offs that are raw, ecstatic, and punctuated by flashes of humor and tenderness, prizewinning writer Rita Bullwinkel animates the competitors’ pasts and futures as they summon the emotion, imagination, and force of will required to win.

Little Underworld by Chris Harding Thornton

Omaha, 1930. When ex-cop-turned-PI Jim Beely murders the man who assaulted his fourteen-year-old daughter, the last person he wants to see is local crooked cop Frank Tvrdik. Luckily, Frank isn’t interested in the lifeless body in Jim’s car. Frank has a proposition: he’ll make the dead man disappear if Jim helps take down Elmer Kobb, who is vying for city commissioner and willing to backstab anyone who gets in his way.

Soon, Jim and Frank are sucked into a seedy world of crime and corruption, where no one is safe and nothing is what it seems. Then Jim is violently attacked and one of his operatives turns up dead within the span of twelve hours, and his search for the truth yields a web of lies and a mounting death toll. As he and Frank are pulled deeper into the city’s dark underbelly and its absurd political machinations, Jim begins to question everything he knows about Omaha and his place in it.

Not Your China Doll: The Wild and Shimmering Life of Anna May Wong by Katie Gee Salisbury

Before Constance Wu, Sandra Oh, Awkwafina, or Lucy Liu, there was Anna May Wong. In her time, she was a legendary beauty, witty conversationalist, and fashion icon. Plucked from her family’s laundry business in Los Angeles, Anna May Wong rose to stardom in Douglas Fairbanks’s blockbuster The Thief of Bagdad. Fans and the press clamored to see more of this unlikely actress, but when Hollywood repeatedly cast her in stereotypical roles, she headed abroad in protest.

Anna May starred in acclaimed films in Berlin, Paris, and London. She dazzled royalty and heads of state across several nations, leaving trails of suitors in her wake. She returned to challenge Hollywood at its own game by speaking out about the industry’s blatant racism. She used her new stature to move away from her typecasting as the China doll or dragon lady, and worked to reshape Asian American representation in film.

Filled with stories of capricious directors and admiring costars, glamorous parties and far-flung love affairs, Not Your China Doll showcases the vibrant, radical life of a groundbreaking artist.

Pride and Joy by Louisa Onomé

Joy Okafor is overwhelmed. Recently divorced, a life coach whose phone won’t stop ringing, and ever the dutiful Nigerian daughter, Joy has planned every aspect of her mother’s seventieth birthday weekend on her own.

As the Okafors slowly begin to arrive, Mama Mary goes to take a nap. But when the grandkids go to wake her, they find that she isn’t sleeping after all. Refusing to believe that her sister is gone-gone, Auntie Nancy declares that she has had a premonition that Mama Mary will rise again like Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.

Desperate to believe that they’re about to witness a miracle, the family overhauls their birthday plans to welcome the Nigerian Canadian community, effectively spreading the word that Mama Mary is coming back. But skeptical Joy is struggling with the loss of her mother and not allowing herself to mourn just yet while going through the motions of planning a funeral that her aunt refuses to allow.

The Funeral Ladies of Ellerie County by Claire Swinarski

Esther Larson has been cooking for funerals in the Northwoods of Wisconsin for seventy years. Known locally as the “funeral ladies,” she and her cohort have worked hard to keep the mourners of Ellerie County fed—it is her firm belief that there is very little a warm casserole and a piece of cherry pie can’t fix. But, after falling for an internet scam that puts her home at risk, the proud Larson family matriarch is the one in need of help these days.

Iris, Esther’s whip-smart Gen Z granddaughter, would do anything for her family and her community. As she watches her friends and family move out of their lakeside town onto bigger and better things, Iris wonders why she feels so left behind in the place she is desperate to make her home. But when Cooper Welsh shows up, she finally starts to feel like she’s found the missing piece of her puzzle.

Cooper is dealing with becoming a legal guardian to his younger half-sister after his beloved stepmother dies. While their celebrity-chef father is focused on his booming career and top-ranked television show, Cooper is still hurting from a public tragedy he witnessed last year as a paramedic and finding it hard to cope. With Iris in the gorgeous Ellerie County, though, he hopes he might finally find the home he’s been looking for.

It doesn’t seem like a community cookbook could possibly solve their problems, especially one where casseroles have their own section and cream of chicken soup mix is the most frequently used ingredient. But when you mix the can-do spirit of Midwestern grandmothers with the stubborn hope of a boy raised by food plus a dash of long-awaited forgiveness—things might just turn out okay.

The Swan’s Nest by Laura McNeal

On a bleak January day in 1845, a poet who had been confined to her room for four years by recurrent illness received a letter from a writer she secretly idolized but had never seen. “I love your verses with all my heart, dear Miss Barrett,” Robert Browning wrote, “and I love you too.”

Elizabeth Barrett was ecstatic. She was famous for her poetry but completely cut off from the kind of international travel that Browning used to fuel his obscure, unsuccessful, innovative poems, one of which was written from a murderer’s point of view. They began an affectionate correspondence, but Elizabeth kept delaying a visit. What would happen when he saw her in person? What was Robert really like? Could she persuade her father and brothers that he was honorable, even though she had never met his family? And what would happen if she gave in to Robert’s wild proposal that they go to Italy and see if the sun could cure her?

Those Beyond the Wall by Micaiah Johnson

In Ashtown, a rough-and-tumble desert community, the Emperor rules with poisoned claws and an iron fist. He can’t show any sign of weakness, as the neighboring Wiley City has spent lifetimes beating down the people of Ashtown and would love nothing more than its downfall. There’s only one person in the desert the Emperor can fully trust—and her name is Scales.

Scales is the best at what she does: keeping everyone and everything in line. As a skilled mechanic—and an even more skilled fighter, when she needs to be—Scales is a respected member of the Emperor’s crew, who’s able to keep things running smoothly. But the fragile peace Scales helps to maintain is fractured when a woman is mangled and killed before her eyes. Even more incomprehensible: There doesn’t seem to be a murderer.

When more bodies start to turn up, both in Ashtown and in the wealthier, walled-off Wiley City, Scales is tasked with finding the cause—and putting an end to it by any means necessary. To protect the people she loves, she teams up with a frustratingly by-the-books partner from Ashtown and a brusque-but-brilliant scientist from the City, delving into both worlds to track down an invisible killer.

But the answers Scales finds are bigger than she ever could have imagined, leading her into the brutal heart beneath Wiley City’s pristine façade and dredging up secrets from her own past that she would rather keep hidden. If she wants to save the world from the earth-shattering truths she uncovers, she can no longer remain silent—even if speaking up costs her everything.

Twelve Trees: The Deep Roots of Our Future by Daniel Lewis

The world today is undergoing the most rapid environmental transformation in human history—from climate change to deforestation. Scientists, ethnobotanists, indigenous peoples, and collectives of all kinds are closely studying trees and their biology to understand how and why trees function individually and collectively in the ways they do. In Twelve Trees, Daniel Lewis, curator and historian at one of the world’s most renowned research libraries, travels the world to learn about these trees in their habitats.

Lewis takes us on a sweeping journey to plant breeding labs, botanical gardens, research facilities, deep inside museum collections, to the tops of tall trees, underwater, and around the Earth, journeying into the deserts of the American west and the deep jungles of Peru, to offer a globe-spanning perspective on the crucial impact trees have on our entire planet. When a once-common tree goes extinct in the wild but survives in a botanical garden, what happens next? How can scientists reconstruct lost genomes and habitats? How does a tree store thousands of gallons of water, or offer up perfectly preserved insects from millions of years ago, or root itself in muddy swamps and remain standing? How does a 5,000-year-old tree manage to live, and what can we learn from it? And how can science account for the survival of one species at the expense of others? To study the science of trees is to study not just the present, but the story of the world, its past, and its future.

Victim by Andrew Boryga

Javier Perez is a hustler from a family of hustlers. He learns from an early age how to play the game to his own advantage, how his background—murdered drug dealer dad, single cash-strapped mom, best friend serving time for gang activity—can be a key to doors he didn’t even know existed. This kind of story, molded in the right way, is just what college admissions committees are looking for, and a full academic scholarship to a prestigious university brings Javi one step closer to his dream of becoming a famous writer.

As a college student, Javi embellishes his life story until there’s not even a kernel of truth left. The only real connection to his past is the occasional letter he trades with his childhood best friend, Gio, who doesn’t seem to care about Javi’s newfound awareness of white privilege or the school-to-prison pipeline. Soon after Javi graduates, a viral essay transforms him from a writer on the rise to a journalist at a legendary magazine where the editors applaud his “unique perspective.” But Gio more than anyone knows who Javi really is, and sees through his game. Once Gio’s released from prison and Javi offers to cut him in on the deal, will he play along with Javi’s charade, or will it all come crumbling down?

Watch Where They Hide by Tamron Hall

After dropping her child off at preschool, Marla Hancock, a stay-at-home mother, disappears. She had recently left her verbally abusive husband in rural Indiana and moved in with her sister, Shelly, who simply can’t believe that her sister would ever willingly vanish without her children. But with limited support from the town’s police department or media resources, Shelly fears that Marla’s disappearance won’t get the attention it deserves, or worse, will go unsolved. So, several weeks after filing a missing person’s report, she reaches out to TV journalist Jordan Manning for help.

After her investigative and reporting skills helped solve multiple murders, Jordan Manning’s career in the newsroom is on the rise. She has gained a reputation as more than your typical news reporter: a “fixer” with a vigilante edge, dogged and undeterred to seek the truth. But even with this new status, Jordan still feels pressure to prove herself as a young Black professional. When Shelly reaches out, she feels compelled to do all she can to find Marla.

Jordan’s search twists and turns in ways she could never have imagined, illuminating scandals and secrets that place her own life in grave danger.

Categories: Adults, Blog, and New Adult Books.

New Books: 03/12/2024

Until August by Gabriel García Márquez

The extraordinary rediscovered novel from the Nobel Prize–winning author of Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Sitting alone beside the languorous blue waters of the lagoon, Ana Magdalena Bach contemplates the men at the hotel bar. She has been happily married for twenty-seven years and has no reason to escape the life she has made with her husband and children. And yet, every August, she travels by ferry here to the island where her mother is buried, and for one night takes a new lover.

Across sultry Caribbean evenings full of salsa and boleros, lotharios and conmen, Ana journeys further each year into the hinterland of her desire and the fear hidden in her heart.

After Annie by Anna Quindlen

When Annie Brown dies suddenly, her husband, her children, and her closest friend are left to find a way forward without the woman who has been the lynchpin of all their lives. Bill is overwhelmed without his beloved wife, and Annemarie wrestles with the bad habits her best friend had helped her overcome. And Ali, the eldest of Annie’s children, has to grow up overnight, to care for her younger brothers and even her father and to puzzle out for herself many of the mysteries of adult life.

Over the course of the next year what saves them all is Annie, ever-present in their minds, loving but not sentimental, caring but nobody’s fool, a voice in their heads that is funny and sharp and remarkably clear. The power she has given to those who loved her is the power to go on without her. The lesson they learn is that no one beloved is ever truly gone.

Reading Genesis by Marilynne Robinson

For generations, the book of Genesis has been treated by scholars as a collection of documents, by various hands, expressing different factional interests, with borrowings from other ancient literatures that mark the text as derivative. In other words, academic interpretation of Genesis has centered on the question of its basic coherency, just as fundamentalist interpretation has centered on the question of the appropriateness of reading it as literally true.

Both of these approaches preclude an appreciation of its greatness as literature, its rich articulation and exploration of themes that resonate through the whole of Scripture. Marilynne Robinson’s Reading Genesis, which includes the original text, is a powerful consideration of the profound meanings and promise of God’s enduring covenant with humanity. This magisterial book radiates gratitude for the constancy and benevolence of God’s abiding faith in Creation.

All Our Yesterdays by Joel H. Morris

Scotland, the 11th Century. Born in a noble household and granddaughter of a forgotten Scottish king, a young girl carries the guilt of her mother’s death and the weight of an unknowable prophecy. When she is married, at fifteen, to the Mormaer of Moray, she experiences firsthand the violence of a sadistic husband and a kingdom constantly at war. To survive with her young son in a superstitious realm, she must rely on her own cunning and wit, especially when her husband’s downfall inadvertently sets them free.

Suspicious of the dark devices that may have led to his father’s death, her son watches as his mother falls in love with the enigmatic thane Macbeth. Now a woman of stature, Lady Macbeth confronts a world of masculine power and secures the protection of her family. But the coronation of King Duncan and the political maneuvering of her cousin Macduff set her on a tragic course, one where her own success might mean embracing the very curse that haunts her and risking the child she loves.

Blessed Water: A Sister Holiday Mystery by Margot Douaihy

Tattooed from her neck to her toes and sporting a gold tooth as sharp as her wisecracks, Sister Holiday struggles to stay on the righteous path. Never one to make things easy for herself, she’s committed to taking her permanent vows with the Sisters of the Sublime Blood and joining former fire inspector Magnolia Riveaux’s latest venture, Redemption Detective Agency―both in service of satisfying her eternal quest for answers.

When Sister Holiday and Riveaux set out to bust a philandering husband, they instead find the body of a priest floating in the swollen Mississippi River, and with it, Redemption’s next case. It’s significantly more gruesome than their orig­inal mission, but Sister Holiday feels called on by God to hunt down the murderer and keep her community safe.

As a torrential rainstorm drowns New Orleans for three harrowing days over Easter weekend, Sister Holiday and Riveaux follow the clues. With the stakes rising alongside the relentless floodwaters, our favorite punk nun-sleuth throws herself into the deep end yet again.

Great Expectations by Vinson Cunningham

When David first hears the Senator from Illinois speak, he feels deep ambivalence. Intrigued by the Senator’s idealistic rhetoric, David also wonders how he’ll balance the fervent belief and inevitable compromises it will take to become the United States’ first Black president.

Great Expectations is about David’s eighteen months working for the Senator’s presidential campaign. Along the way David meets a myriad of people who raise a set of questions—questions of history, art, race, religion, and fatherhood—that force David to look at his own life anew and come to terms with his identity as a young Black man and father in America.

Happily Never After by Lynn Painter

When Sophie Steinbeck finds out just before her nuptials that her fiancé has cheated yet again, she desperately wants to call it off. But because her future father-in-law is her dad’s cutthroat boss, she doesn’t want to be the one to do it. Her savior comes in the form of a professional objector, whose purpose is to show up at weddings and proclaim the words no couple (usually) wants to hear at their ceremony: “I object!”

During anti-wedding festivities that night, Sophie learns more about Max the Objector’s job. It makes perfect sense to her: he saves people from wasting their lives, from hurting each other. He’s a modern-day hero. And Sophie wants in.

The two love cynics start working together, going from wedding to wedding, and Sophie’s having more fun than she’s had in ages. She looks forward to every nerve-racking ceremony saving the lovesick souls of the betrothed masses. As Sophie and Max spend more time together, however, they realize that their physical chemistry is off the charts, leading them to dabble in a little hookup session or two—but it’s totally fine, because they definitely do not have feelings for each other. Love doesn’t exist, after all.

And then everything changes. A groom-to-be hires Sophie to object, but his fiancée is the woman who broke Max’s heart. As Max wrestles with whether he can be a party to his ex’s getting hurt, Sophie grapples with the sudden realization that she may have fallen hard for her partner in crime.

Headshot by Rita Bullwinkel

An unexpected tragedy at a community pool. A family’s unrelenting expectation of victory. The desire to gain or lose control; to make time speed up or stop; to be frighteningly, undeniably good at something. Each of the eight teenage girl boxers in this blistering debut novel has her own reasons for the sacrifices she has made to come to Reno, Nevada, to compete to be named the best in the country. Through a series of face-offs that are raw, ecstatic, and punctuated by flashes of humor and tenderness, prizewinning writer Rita Bullwinkel animates the competitors’ pasts and futures as they summon the emotion, imagination, and force of will required to win.

Little Underworld by Chris Harding Thornton

Omaha, 1930. When ex-cop-turned-PI Jim Beely murders the man who assaulted his fourteen-year-old daughter, the last person he wants to see is local crooked cop Frank Tvrdik. Luckily, Frank isn’t interested in the lifeless body in Jim’s car. Frank has a proposition: he’ll make the dead man disappear if Jim helps take down Elmer Kobb, who is vying for city commissioner and willing to backstab anyone who gets in his way.

Soon, Jim and Frank are sucked into a seedy world of crime and corruption, where no one is safe and nothing is what it seems. Then Jim is violently attacked and one of his operatives turns up dead within the span of twelve hours, and his search for the truth yields a web of lies and a mounting death toll. As he and Frank are pulled deeper into the city’s dark underbelly and its absurd political machinations, Jim begins to question everything he knows about Omaha and his place in it.

Not Your China Doll: The Wild and Shimmering Life of Anna May Wong by Katie Gee Salisbury

Before Constance Wu, Sandra Oh, Awkwafina, or Lucy Liu, there was Anna May Wong. In her time, she was a legendary beauty, witty conversationalist, and fashion icon. Plucked from her family’s laundry business in Los Angeles, Anna May Wong rose to stardom in Douglas Fairbanks’s blockbuster The Thief of Bagdad. Fans and the press clamored to see more of this unlikely actress, but when Hollywood repeatedly cast her in stereotypical roles, she headed abroad in protest.

Anna May starred in acclaimed films in Berlin, Paris, and London. She dazzled royalty and heads of state across several nations, leaving trails of suitors in her wake. She returned to challenge Hollywood at its own game by speaking out about the industry’s blatant racism. She used her new stature to move away from her typecasting as the China doll or dragon lady, and worked to reshape Asian American representation in film.

Filled with stories of capricious directors and admiring costars, glamorous parties and far-flung love affairs, Not Your China Doll showcases the vibrant, radical life of a groundbreaking artist.

Pride and Joy by Louisa Onomé

Joy Okafor is overwhelmed. Recently divorced, a life coach whose phone won’t stop ringing, and ever the dutiful Nigerian daughter, Joy has planned every aspect of her mother’s seventieth birthday weekend on her own.

As the Okafors slowly begin to arrive, Mama Mary goes to take a nap. But when the grandkids go to wake her, they find that she isn’t sleeping after all. Refusing to believe that her sister is gone-gone, Auntie Nancy declares that she has had a premonition that Mama Mary will rise again like Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.

Desperate to believe that they’re about to witness a miracle, the family overhauls their birthday plans to welcome the Nigerian Canadian community, effectively spreading the word that Mama Mary is coming back. But skeptical Joy is struggling with the loss of her mother and not allowing herself to mourn just yet while going through the motions of planning a funeral that her aunt refuses to allow.

The Funeral Ladies of Ellerie County by Claire Swinarski

Esther Larson has been cooking for funerals in the Northwoods of Wisconsin for seventy years. Known locally as the “funeral ladies,” she and her cohort have worked hard to keep the mourners of Ellerie County fed—it is her firm belief that there is very little a warm casserole and a piece of cherry pie can’t fix. But, after falling for an internet scam that puts her home at risk, the proud Larson family matriarch is the one in need of help these days.

Iris, Esther’s whip-smart Gen Z granddaughter, would do anything for her family and her community. As she watches her friends and family move out of their lakeside town onto bigger and better things, Iris wonders why she feels so left behind in the place she is desperate to make her home. But when Cooper Welsh shows up, she finally starts to feel like she’s found the missing piece of her puzzle.

Cooper is dealing with becoming a legal guardian to his younger half-sister after his beloved stepmother dies. While their celebrity-chef father is focused on his booming career and top-ranked television show, Cooper is still hurting from a public tragedy he witnessed last year as a paramedic and finding it hard to cope. With Iris in the gorgeous Ellerie County, though, he hopes he might finally find the home he’s been looking for.

It doesn’t seem like a community cookbook could possibly solve their problems, especially one where casseroles have their own section and cream of chicken soup mix is the most frequently used ingredient. But when you mix the can-do spirit of Midwestern grandmothers with the stubborn hope of a boy raised by food plus a dash of long-awaited forgiveness—things might just turn out okay.

The Swan’s Nest by Laura McNeal

On a bleak January day in 1845, a poet who had been confined to her room for four years by recurrent illness received a letter from a writer she secretly idolized but had never seen. “I love your verses with all my heart, dear Miss Barrett,” Robert Browning wrote, “and I love you too.”

Elizabeth Barrett was ecstatic. She was famous for her poetry but completely cut off from the kind of international travel that Browning used to fuel his obscure, unsuccessful, innovative poems, one of which was written from a murderer’s point of view. They began an affectionate correspondence, but Elizabeth kept delaying a visit. What would happen when he saw her in person? What was Robert really like? Could she persuade her father and brothers that he was honorable, even though she had never met his family? And what would happen if she gave in to Robert’s wild proposal that they go to Italy and see if the sun could cure her?

Those Beyond the Wall by Micaiah Johnson

In Ashtown, a rough-and-tumble desert community, the Emperor rules with poisoned claws and an iron fist. He can’t show any sign of weakness, as the neighboring Wiley City has spent lifetimes beating down the people of Ashtown and would love nothing more than its downfall. There’s only one person in the desert the Emperor can fully trust—and her name is Scales.

Scales is the best at what she does: keeping everyone and everything in line. As a skilled mechanic—and an even more skilled fighter, when she needs to be—Scales is a respected member of the Emperor’s crew, who’s able to keep things running smoothly. But the fragile peace Scales helps to maintain is fractured when a woman is mangled and killed before her eyes. Even more incomprehensible: There doesn’t seem to be a murderer.

When more bodies start to turn up, both in Ashtown and in the wealthier, walled-off Wiley City, Scales is tasked with finding the cause—and putting an end to it by any means necessary. To protect the people she loves, she teams up with a frustratingly by-the-books partner from Ashtown and a brusque-but-brilliant scientist from the City, delving into both worlds to track down an invisible killer.

But the answers Scales finds are bigger than she ever could have imagined, leading her into the brutal heart beneath Wiley City’s pristine façade and dredging up secrets from her own past that she would rather keep hidden. If she wants to save the world from the earth-shattering truths she uncovers, she can no longer remain silent—even if speaking up costs her everything.

Twelve Trees: The Deep Roots of Our Future by Daniel Lewis

The world today is undergoing the most rapid environmental transformation in human history—from climate change to deforestation. Scientists, ethnobotanists, indigenous peoples, and collectives of all kinds are closely studying trees and their biology to understand how and why trees function individually and collectively in the ways they do. In Twelve Trees, Daniel Lewis, curator and historian at one of the world’s most renowned research libraries, travels the world to learn about these trees in their habitats.

Lewis takes us on a sweeping journey to plant breeding labs, botanical gardens, research facilities, deep inside museum collections, to the tops of tall trees, underwater, and around the Earth, journeying into the deserts of the American west and the deep jungles of Peru, to offer a globe-spanning perspective on the crucial impact trees have on our entire planet. When a once-common tree goes extinct in the wild but survives in a botanical garden, what happens next? How can scientists reconstruct lost genomes and habitats? How does a tree store thousands of gallons of water, or offer up perfectly preserved insects from millions of years ago, or root itself in muddy swamps and remain standing? How does a 5,000-year-old tree manage to live, and what can we learn from it? And how can science account for the survival of one species at the expense of others? To study the science of trees is to study not just the present, but the story of the world, its past, and its future.

Victim by Andrew Boryga

Javier Perez is a hustler from a family of hustlers. He learns from an early age how to play the game to his own advantage, how his background—murdered drug dealer dad, single cash-strapped mom, best friend serving time for gang activity—can be a key to doors he didn’t even know existed. This kind of story, molded in the right way, is just what college admissions committees are looking for, and a full academic scholarship to a prestigious university brings Javi one step closer to his dream of becoming a famous writer.

As a college student, Javi embellishes his life story until there’s not even a kernel of truth left. The only real connection to his past is the occasional letter he trades with his childhood best friend, Gio, who doesn’t seem to care about Javi’s newfound awareness of white privilege or the school-to-prison pipeline. Soon after Javi graduates, a viral essay transforms him from a writer on the rise to a journalist at a legendary magazine where the editors applaud his “unique perspective.” But Gio more than anyone knows who Javi really is, and sees through his game. Once Gio’s released from prison and Javi offers to cut him in on the deal, will he play along with Javi’s charade, or will it all come crumbling down?

Watch Where They Hide by Tamron Hall

After dropping her child off at preschool, Marla Hancock, a stay-at-home mother, disappears. She had recently left her verbally abusive husband in rural Indiana and moved in with her sister, Shelly, who simply can’t believe that her sister would ever willingly vanish without her children. But with limited support from the town’s police department or media resources, Shelly fears that Marla’s disappearance won’t get the attention it deserves, or worse, will go unsolved. So, several weeks after filing a missing person’s report, she reaches out to TV journalist Jordan Manning for help.

After her investigative and reporting skills helped solve multiple murders, Jordan Manning’s career in the newsroom is on the rise. She has gained a reputation as more than your typical news reporter: a “fixer” with a vigilante edge, dogged and undeterred to seek the truth. But even with this new status, Jordan still feels pressure to prove herself as a young Black professional. When Shelly reaches out, she feels compelled to do all she can to find Marla.

Jordan’s search twists and turns in ways she could never have imagined, illuminating scandals and secrets that place her own life in grave danger.

Categories: Adults, Blog, and New Adult Books.