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: 04/02/2024

Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez

Justin has a curse, and thanks to a Reddit thread, it’s now all over the internet. Every woman he dates goes on to find their soul mate the second they break up. When a woman slides into his DMs with the same problem, they come up with a plan: They’ll date each other and break up. Their curses will cancel each other’s out, and they’ll both go on to find the love of their lives. It’s a bonkers idea… and it just might work.

Emma hadn’t planned that her next assignment as a traveling nurse would be in Minnesota, but she and her best friend agree that dating Justin is too good of an opportunity to pass up, especially when they get to rent an adorable cottage on a private island on Lake Minnetonka.

It’s supposed to be a quick fling, just for the summer. But when Emma’s toxic mother shows up and Justin has to assume guardianship of his three siblings, they’re suddenly navigating a lot more than they expected–including catching real feelings for each other. What if this time Fate has actually brought the perfect pair together?

Rebel Rising: A Memoir by Rebel Wilson

From the scene-stealing star of Pitch Perfect and Bridesmaids comes a refreshingly candid, hilarious, and inspiring book about her unconventional journey to Hollywood success and loving herself.

For decades, Rebel Wilson had single-mindedly focused on her career, making a name for herself through her iconic roles in Pitch Perfect, Bridesmaids, and Isn’t It Romantic. Now, she’s ready to chronicle the emotional and physical lessons she learned, as well as her most embarrassing experiences. A malaria-induced hallucination? An all-style martial arts fighting tournament? Junior handling at dog shows? And this was all BEFORE she moved to Hollywood!

Rebel Rising follows Rebel Wilson’s incredible journey of “making it,” constantly questioning, “Am I good enough? Will I ever find love? Will I ever change and become healthy?” Rebel writes for the first time about the most personal and important moments in her life—from fertility issues, weight gain and loss, sexuality, overcoming shyness, rejections, and, well…okay there’s at least one story thrown in about Brad Pitt! It’s all here. This memoir shows us how to love ourselves while making us laugh uncontrollably.

She’s Not Sorry by Mary Kubica

Meghan Michaels is trying to find balance between being a single mom to a teenage daughter and working as a full time nurse. While on duty at the hospital one day, a patient named Caitlin arrives in a coma with a traumatic brain injury, having jumped from a bridge and plunging over twenty feet to the train tracks below.

But when a witness comes forward with shocking details about the fall, it calls everything they know into question. Was Caitlin pushed and if so, by whom and why?

Meghan has always tried to stay emotionally detached from her patients, but this time, she mistakenly lets herself get too close until she’s deeply entangled in Caitlin’s and her family’s lives. Only when it’s too late, does she realize that she and her daughter could be the next victims.

The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians by James Patterson and Matt Eversmann

Step inside The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians and enter a world where you can feed your curiosities, discover new voices, find whatever you want or require. This place has the magic of rainbows and unicorns, but it’s also a business. The book business.

Meet the smart and talented people who live between the pages—and who can’t wait to help you find your next favorite book.

Table for Two: Fictions by Amor Towles

Millions of Amor Towles fans are in for a treat as he shares some of his shorter fiction: six stories based in New York City and a novella set in Golden Age Hollywood.

The New York stories, most of which take place around the year 2000, consider the fateful consequences that can spring from brief encounters and the delicate mechanics of compromise that operate at the heart of modern marriages.

In Towles’s novel Rules of Civility, the indomitable Evelyn Ross leaves New York City in September 1938 with the intention of returning home to Indiana. But as her train pulls into Chicago, where her parents are waiting, she instead extends her ticket to Los Angeles. Told from seven points of view, “Eve in Hollywood” describes how Eve crafts a new future for herself—and others—in a noirish tale that takes us through the movie sets, bungalows, and dive bars of Los Angeles.

The Cemetery of Untold Stories by Julia Alvarez

Celebrated writer, Alma Cruz, doesn’t want to end up like her friend, a novelist who fought so long and hard to finish a book that it threatened her sanity. So when Alma inherits a small plot of land in the Dominican Republic, her homeland, she has the beautiful idea of turning it into a place to bury her untold stories—literally. She creates a graveyard for the manuscript drafts and revisions, and the characters whose lives she tried and failed to bring to life and who still haunt her.

Alma wants her characters to rest in peace. But they have other ideas, and the cemetery becomes a mysterious sanctuary for their true narratives. Filomena, a local woman hired as the groundskeeper, becomes a sympathetic listener as Alma’s characters unspool their secret tales. Among them: Bienvenida, the abandoned second wife of dictator Rafael Trujillo, consigned to oblivion by history, and Manuel Cruz, a doctor who fought in the Dominican underground and escaped to the United States.

A Good Happy Girl by Marissa Higgins

Helen, a jittery attorney with a self-destructive streak, is secretly reeling from a disturbing crime of neglect that her parents recently committed. Historically happy to compartmentalize—distracting herself by hooking up with lesbian couples, doting on her grandmother, and flirting with a young administrative assistant—Helen finally meets her match with Catherine and Katrina, a married couple who startle and intrigue her with their ever-increasing sexual and emotional intensity.

Perceptive and attentive, Catherine and Katrina prod at Helen’s life, revealing a childhood tragedy she’s been repressing. When her father begs her yet again for help getting parole, she realizes that she has a bargaining chip to get answers to her past.

All We Were Promised by Ashton Lattimore

Philadelphia, 1837. After Charlotte escaped from the crumbling White Oaks plantation down South, she’d expected freedom to feel different from her former life as an enslaved housemaid. After all, Philadelphia is supposed to be the birthplace of American liberty. Instead, she’s locked away playing servant to her white-passing father, as they both attempt to hide their identities from slavecatchers who would destroy their new lives.

Longing to break away, Charlotte befriends Nell, a budding abolitionist from one of Philadelphia’s wealthiest Black families. Just as Charlotte starts to envision a future, a familiar face from her past reappears: Evie, her friend from White Oaks, has been brought to the city by the plantation mistress, and she’s desperate to escape. But as Charlotte and Nell conspire to rescue her, in a city engulfed by race riots and attacks on abolitionists, they soon discover that fighting for Evie’s freedom may cost them their own.

Begin Again by Helly Acton

Despite living firmly in her comfort zone, Frankie McKenzie feels unsettled. She can’t help feeling something’s missing. Is it a home to call her own? Travel? A more rewarding job? A relationship? Before she can work it out, she dies in a freak kebab-related accident after what she sees as yet another dud of a first date.

But life isn’t over for Frankie. Instead, she is miraculously offered a second chance: Frankie can revisit key moments from her past to see if different choices will lead her to the fulfilling life she’s always dreamt of.

And there are so many opportunities! Should she decide to languidly lounge by warm Mexican waters with sexy Raphael? Or say yes to the proposal of earnestly reliable university-sweetheart Toby? Perhaps a worry-free gilded cage with Callum is the solution! Or what about that high-powered media career she thought that she wanted?

Soon, Frankie will see what her life would have been if only she’d caught that one-way flight, accepted the marriage proposal, or attended the intimidating job interview. Will she finally find her Mr. Right? Or discover she already had? Which way should she turn? And over and over she asks herself the question… What would she change if she could begin again?

Choice by Neel Mukherjee

“How ought one to live?” This is the question that obsesses London-based publisher Ayush, driving him to question every act of consumption. He embarks on a radical experiment in his own life and the lives of those connected to him: his practical economist husband; their twins; and even the authors he edits and publishes. One of those authors, a mysterious M. N. Opie, writes a story about a young academic involved in a car accident that causes her life to veer in an unexpected direction. Another author, an economist, describes how the gift of a cow to an impoverished family on the West Bengal–Bangladesh border sets them on a startling path to tragedy.

Clear by Carys Davies

John, an impoverished Scottish minister, has accepted a job evicting the lone remaining occupant of an island north of Scotland—Ivar, who has been living alone for decades, with only the animals and the sea for company. Though his wife, Mary, has serious misgivings about the errand, he decides to go anyway, setting in motion a chain of events that neither he nor Mary could have predicted.

Shortly after John reaches the island, he falls down a cliff and is found, unconscious and badly injured, by Ivar who takes him home and tends to his wounds. The two men do not speak a common language, but as John builds a dictionary of Ivar’s world, they learn to communicate and, as Ivar sees himself for the first time in decades reflected through the eyes of another person, they build a fragile, unusual connection.

Habitations by Sheila Sundar

Vega Gopalan is adrift. Still reeling from the death of her sister years earlier, she leaves South India to attend graduate school at Columbia University. In New York, Vega straddles many different worlds, eventually moving in and out of a series of relationships that take her through the striving world of academia, the intellectual isolation of the immigrant suburbs, and, ultimately, the loneliness of single motherhood. But it is the birth of Vega’s daughter that forces the novel’s central question: What does it mean to make a home?

Hell Put to Shame: The 1921 Murder Farm Massacre and the Horror of America’s Second Slavery by Earl Swift

On a Sunday morning in the spring of 1921, a small boy made a grim discovery as he played on a riverbank in the cotton country of rural Georgia: the bodies of two drowned men, bound together with wire and chain and weighted with a hundred-pound sack of rocks. Within days a third body turned up in another, nearby river, and in the weeks that followed, eight others. And with them, a deeper horror: all eleven had been kept in virtual slavery before their deaths. In fact, as America was shocked to learn, the dead were among thousands of Black men enslaved throughout the South, in conditions nearly as dire as those before the Civil War.

Hell Put to Shame tells the forgotten story of that mass killing, and of the revelations about peonage, or debt slavery, that it placed before a public self-satisfied that involuntary servitude had ended at Appomattox more than fifty years before.

Sociopath: A Memoir by Patric Gagne Ph.D.

Patric Gagne realized she made others uncomfortable before she started kindergarten. Something about her caused people to react in a way she didn’t understand. She suspected it was because she didn’t feel things the way other kids did. Emotions like fear, guilt, and empathy eluded her. For the most part, she felt nothing. And she didn’t like the way that “nothing” felt.

She did her best to pretend she was like everyone else, but the constant pressure to conform to a society she knew rejected anyone like her was unbearable. So Patric stole. She lied. She was occasionally violent. She became an expert lock-picker and home-invader. All with the goal of replacing the nothingness with…something.

In college, Patric finally confirmed what she’d long suspected. She was a sociopath. But even though it was the very first personality disorder identified—well over 200 years ago—sociopathy had been neglected by mental health professionals for decades. She was told there was no treatment, no hope for a normal life. She found herself haunted by sociopaths in pop culture, madmen and evil villains who are considered monsters. Her future looked grim.

But when Patricreconnects with an old flame, she gets a glimpse of a future beyond her diagnosis. If she’s capable of love, it must mean that she isn’t a monster.

Someone You Can Build a Nest In by John Wiswell

Shesheshen has made a mistake fatal to all monsters: she’s fallen in love.

Shesheshen is a shapeshifter, who happily resides as an amorphous lump at the bottom of a ruined manor. When her rest is interrupted by hunters intent on murdering her, she constructs a body from the remains of past meals: a metal chain for a backbone, borrowed bones for limbs, and a bear trap as an extra mouth.

However, the hunters chase Shesheshen out of her home and off a cliff. Badly hurt, she’s found and nursed back to health by Homily, a warm-hearted human, who has mistaken Shesheshen as a fellow human. Homily is kind and nurturing and would make an excellent co-parent: an ideal place to lay Shesheshen’s eggs so their young could devour Homily from the inside out. But as they grow close, she realizes humans don’t think about love that way.

Shesheshen hates keeping her identity secret from Homily, but just as she’s about to confess, Homily reveals why she’s in the area: she’s hunting a shapeshifting monster that supposedly cursed her family. Has Shesheshen seen it anywhere?

The Husbands by Holly Gramazio

When Lauren returns home to her flat in London late one night, she is greeted at the door by her husband, Michael. There’s only one problem—she’s not married. She’s never seen this man before in her life. But according to her friends, her much-improved decor, and the photos on her phone, they’ve been together for years.

As Lauren tries to puzzle out how she could be married to someone she can’t remember meeting, Michael goes to the attic to change a lightbulb and abruptly disappears. In his place, a new man emerges, and a new, slightly altered life re-forms around her. Realizing that her attic is creating an infinite supply of husbands, Lauren confronts the question: If swapping lives is as easy as changing a lightbulb, how do you know you’ve taken the right path? When do you stop trying to do better and start actually living?

The Murder of Mr. Ma by John Shen Yen Nee and SJ Rozan

London, 1924. When shy academic Lao She meets larger-than-life Judge Dee Ren Jie, his life abruptly turns from books and lectures to daring chases and narrow escapes. Dee has come to London to investigate the murder of a man he’d known during World War I when serving with the Chinese Labour Corps. No sooner has Dee interviewed the grieving widow than another dead body turns up. Then another. All stabbed to death with a butterfly sword. Will Dee and Lao be able to connect the threads of the murders—or are they next in line as victims?

The Rule Book by Sarah Adams

Nora Mackenzie’s entire career lies in the hands of famous NFL tight end Derek Pender, who also happens to be her extremely hot college ex-boyfriend. Nora didn’t end things as gracefully as she could have back then, and now it has come back to haunt her. Derek is her first client as an official full-time sports agent and he’s holding a grudge.

Derek has set his sights on a little friendly revenge. If Nora Mackenzie, the first girl to ever break his heart, wants to be his agent, oh, he’ll let her be his agent. The plan is simple: make Nora’s life absolutely miserable. But if Derek knows anything about the woman he once loved—she won’t quit easily.

Instead of giving in, Nora starts a scheme of her own. But then a wild night in Vegas leads to Nora and Derek in bed the next morning married. With their rule book out the window, could this new relationship save their careers or spark the romance of a lifetime?

The Stone Home by Crystal Hana Kim

In 2011, Eunju Oh opens her door to greet a stranger: a young Korean American woman holding a familiar-looking knife—a knife Eunju hasn’t seen in thirty years, and that connects her to a place she’d desperately hoped to leave behind forever.

In South Korea in the 1980s, young Eunju and her mother are homeless on the street. After being captured by the police, they’re sent to live within the walls of a state-sanctioned reformatory center that claims to rehabilitate the nation’s citizens but hides a darker, more violent reality. While Eunju and her mother form a tight-knit community with the other women in the kitchen, two teenage brothers, Sangchul and Youngchul, are compelled to labor in the workshops and make increasingly desperate decisions—and all are forced down a path of survival, the repercussions of which will echo for decades to come.

The Titanic Survivors Book Club by Timothy Schaffert

For weeks after the sinking of the Titanic, Yorick spots his own name among the list of those lost at sea. As an apprentice librarian for the White Star Line, his job was to curate the ship’s second-class library. But the day the Titanic set sail he was left stranded at the dock.

After the ship’s sinking, Yorick takes this twist of fate as a sign to follow his lifelong dream of owning a bookshop in Paris. Soon after, he receives an invitation to a secret society of survivors where he encounters other ticket-holders who didn’t board the ship. Haunted by their good fortune, they decide to form a book society, where they can grapple with their own anxieties through heated discussions of The Awakening or The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Of this ragtag group, Yorick finds himself particularly drawn to the glamorous Zinnia and the mysterious Haze, and a tangled triangle of love and friendship forms among them. Yet with the Great War on the horizon and the unexpected death of one of their own, the surviving book club members are left wondering what fate might have in store.

Village Weavers by Myriam JA Chancy

In 1940s’ Port-au-Prince, Gertie and Sisi become fast childhood friends, despite being on opposite ends of the social and economic ladder. As young girls, they build their unlikely friendship―until a deathbed revelation ripples through their families and tears them apart. After François Duvalier’s rule turns deadly in the 1950s, Sisi moves to Paris, while Gertie marries into a wealthy Dominican family. Across decades and continents, through personal success and failures, they are parted and reunited, slowly learning the truth of their singular relationship. Finally, six decades later, with both women in the United States, a sudden phone call brings them back together once more to reckon with and―perhaps―forgive the past.

We Loved It All by Lydia Millet

Acclaimed novelist Lydia Millet’s first work of nonfiction, We Loved It All, is a genre-defying tour de force that makes an impassioned argument for people to see their emotional and spiritual lives as infinitely dependent on the lives of nonhuman beings. Drawing on a quarter-century of experience as an advocate for endangered species at the Center for Biological Diversity, Millet offers intimate portraits of what she calls “the others”―the extraordinary animals with whom we still share the world, along with those already lost. Humans, too, fill this book, as Millet touches on the lives of her world-traveling parents, fascinating partners and friends, and colorful relatives, from diplomats to nut farmers―all figures in the complex tapestry each of us weaves with the surrounding world. 

Categories: Adults, Blog, and New Adult Books.

New Books: 04/02/2024

Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez

Justin has a curse, and thanks to a Reddit thread, it’s now all over the internet. Every woman he dates goes on to find their soul mate the second they break up. When a woman slides into his DMs with the same problem, they come up with a plan: They’ll date each other and break up. Their curses will cancel each other’s out, and they’ll both go on to find the love of their lives. It’s a bonkers idea… and it just might work.

Emma hadn’t planned that her next assignment as a traveling nurse would be in Minnesota, but she and her best friend agree that dating Justin is too good of an opportunity to pass up, especially when they get to rent an adorable cottage on a private island on Lake Minnetonka.

It’s supposed to be a quick fling, just for the summer. But when Emma’s toxic mother shows up and Justin has to assume guardianship of his three siblings, they’re suddenly navigating a lot more than they expected–including catching real feelings for each other. What if this time Fate has actually brought the perfect pair together?

Rebel Rising: A Memoir by Rebel Wilson

From the scene-stealing star of Pitch Perfect and Bridesmaids comes a refreshingly candid, hilarious, and inspiring book about her unconventional journey to Hollywood success and loving herself.

For decades, Rebel Wilson had single-mindedly focused on her career, making a name for herself through her iconic roles in Pitch Perfect, Bridesmaids, and Isn’t It Romantic. Now, she’s ready to chronicle the emotional and physical lessons she learned, as well as her most embarrassing experiences. A malaria-induced hallucination? An all-style martial arts fighting tournament? Junior handling at dog shows? And this was all BEFORE she moved to Hollywood!

Rebel Rising follows Rebel Wilson’s incredible journey of “making it,” constantly questioning, “Am I good enough? Will I ever find love? Will I ever change and become healthy?” Rebel writes for the first time about the most personal and important moments in her life—from fertility issues, weight gain and loss, sexuality, overcoming shyness, rejections, and, well…okay there’s at least one story thrown in about Brad Pitt! It’s all here. This memoir shows us how to love ourselves while making us laugh uncontrollably.

She’s Not Sorry by Mary Kubica

Meghan Michaels is trying to find balance between being a single mom to a teenage daughter and working as a full time nurse. While on duty at the hospital one day, a patient named Caitlin arrives in a coma with a traumatic brain injury, having jumped from a bridge and plunging over twenty feet to the train tracks below.

But when a witness comes forward with shocking details about the fall, it calls everything they know into question. Was Caitlin pushed and if so, by whom and why?

Meghan has always tried to stay emotionally detached from her patients, but this time, she mistakenly lets herself get too close until she’s deeply entangled in Caitlin’s and her family’s lives. Only when it’s too late, does she realize that she and her daughter could be the next victims.

The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians by James Patterson and Matt Eversmann

Step inside The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians and enter a world where you can feed your curiosities, discover new voices, find whatever you want or require. This place has the magic of rainbows and unicorns, but it’s also a business. The book business.

Meet the smart and talented people who live between the pages—and who can’t wait to help you find your next favorite book.

Table for Two: Fictions by Amor Towles

Millions of Amor Towles fans are in for a treat as he shares some of his shorter fiction: six stories based in New York City and a novella set in Golden Age Hollywood.

The New York stories, most of which take place around the year 2000, consider the fateful consequences that can spring from brief encounters and the delicate mechanics of compromise that operate at the heart of modern marriages.

In Towles’s novel Rules of Civility, the indomitable Evelyn Ross leaves New York City in September 1938 with the intention of returning home to Indiana. But as her train pulls into Chicago, where her parents are waiting, she instead extends her ticket to Los Angeles. Told from seven points of view, “Eve in Hollywood” describes how Eve crafts a new future for herself—and others—in a noirish tale that takes us through the movie sets, bungalows, and dive bars of Los Angeles.

The Cemetery of Untold Stories by Julia Alvarez

Celebrated writer, Alma Cruz, doesn’t want to end up like her friend, a novelist who fought so long and hard to finish a book that it threatened her sanity. So when Alma inherits a small plot of land in the Dominican Republic, her homeland, she has the beautiful idea of turning it into a place to bury her untold stories—literally. She creates a graveyard for the manuscript drafts and revisions, and the characters whose lives she tried and failed to bring to life and who still haunt her.

Alma wants her characters to rest in peace. But they have other ideas, and the cemetery becomes a mysterious sanctuary for their true narratives. Filomena, a local woman hired as the groundskeeper, becomes a sympathetic listener as Alma’s characters unspool their secret tales. Among them: Bienvenida, the abandoned second wife of dictator Rafael Trujillo, consigned to oblivion by history, and Manuel Cruz, a doctor who fought in the Dominican underground and escaped to the United States.

A Good Happy Girl by Marissa Higgins

Helen, a jittery attorney with a self-destructive streak, is secretly reeling from a disturbing crime of neglect that her parents recently committed. Historically happy to compartmentalize—distracting herself by hooking up with lesbian couples, doting on her grandmother, and flirting with a young administrative assistant—Helen finally meets her match with Catherine and Katrina, a married couple who startle and intrigue her with their ever-increasing sexual and emotional intensity.

Perceptive and attentive, Catherine and Katrina prod at Helen’s life, revealing a childhood tragedy she’s been repressing. When her father begs her yet again for help getting parole, she realizes that she has a bargaining chip to get answers to her past.

All We Were Promised by Ashton Lattimore

Philadelphia, 1837. After Charlotte escaped from the crumbling White Oaks plantation down South, she’d expected freedom to feel different from her former life as an enslaved housemaid. After all, Philadelphia is supposed to be the birthplace of American liberty. Instead, she’s locked away playing servant to her white-passing father, as they both attempt to hide their identities from slavecatchers who would destroy their new lives.

Longing to break away, Charlotte befriends Nell, a budding abolitionist from one of Philadelphia’s wealthiest Black families. Just as Charlotte starts to envision a future, a familiar face from her past reappears: Evie, her friend from White Oaks, has been brought to the city by the plantation mistress, and she’s desperate to escape. But as Charlotte and Nell conspire to rescue her, in a city engulfed by race riots and attacks on abolitionists, they soon discover that fighting for Evie’s freedom may cost them their own.

Begin Again by Helly Acton

Despite living firmly in her comfort zone, Frankie McKenzie feels unsettled. She can’t help feeling something’s missing. Is it a home to call her own? Travel? A more rewarding job? A relationship? Before she can work it out, she dies in a freak kebab-related accident after what she sees as yet another dud of a first date.

But life isn’t over for Frankie. Instead, she is miraculously offered a second chance: Frankie can revisit key moments from her past to see if different choices will lead her to the fulfilling life she’s always dreamt of.

And there are so many opportunities! Should she decide to languidly lounge by warm Mexican waters with sexy Raphael? Or say yes to the proposal of earnestly reliable university-sweetheart Toby? Perhaps a worry-free gilded cage with Callum is the solution! Or what about that high-powered media career she thought that she wanted?

Soon, Frankie will see what her life would have been if only she’d caught that one-way flight, accepted the marriage proposal, or attended the intimidating job interview. Will she finally find her Mr. Right? Or discover she already had? Which way should she turn? And over and over she asks herself the question… What would she change if she could begin again?

Choice by Neel Mukherjee

“How ought one to live?” This is the question that obsesses London-based publisher Ayush, driving him to question every act of consumption. He embarks on a radical experiment in his own life and the lives of those connected to him: his practical economist husband; their twins; and even the authors he edits and publishes. One of those authors, a mysterious M. N. Opie, writes a story about a young academic involved in a car accident that causes her life to veer in an unexpected direction. Another author, an economist, describes how the gift of a cow to an impoverished family on the West Bengal–Bangladesh border sets them on a startling path to tragedy.

Clear by Carys Davies

John, an impoverished Scottish minister, has accepted a job evicting the lone remaining occupant of an island north of Scotland—Ivar, who has been living alone for decades, with only the animals and the sea for company. Though his wife, Mary, has serious misgivings about the errand, he decides to go anyway, setting in motion a chain of events that neither he nor Mary could have predicted.

Shortly after John reaches the island, he falls down a cliff and is found, unconscious and badly injured, by Ivar who takes him home and tends to his wounds. The two men do not speak a common language, but as John builds a dictionary of Ivar’s world, they learn to communicate and, as Ivar sees himself for the first time in decades reflected through the eyes of another person, they build a fragile, unusual connection.

Habitations by Sheila Sundar

Vega Gopalan is adrift. Still reeling from the death of her sister years earlier, she leaves South India to attend graduate school at Columbia University. In New York, Vega straddles many different worlds, eventually moving in and out of a series of relationships that take her through the striving world of academia, the intellectual isolation of the immigrant suburbs, and, ultimately, the loneliness of single motherhood. But it is the birth of Vega’s daughter that forces the novel’s central question: What does it mean to make a home?

Hell Put to Shame: The 1921 Murder Farm Massacre and the Horror of America’s Second Slavery by Earl Swift

On a Sunday morning in the spring of 1921, a small boy made a grim discovery as he played on a riverbank in the cotton country of rural Georgia: the bodies of two drowned men, bound together with wire and chain and weighted with a hundred-pound sack of rocks. Within days a third body turned up in another, nearby river, and in the weeks that followed, eight others. And with them, a deeper horror: all eleven had been kept in virtual slavery before their deaths. In fact, as America was shocked to learn, the dead were among thousands of Black men enslaved throughout the South, in conditions nearly as dire as those before the Civil War.

Hell Put to Shame tells the forgotten story of that mass killing, and of the revelations about peonage, or debt slavery, that it placed before a public self-satisfied that involuntary servitude had ended at Appomattox more than fifty years before.

Sociopath: A Memoir by Patric Gagne Ph.D.

Patric Gagne realized she made others uncomfortable before she started kindergarten. Something about her caused people to react in a way she didn’t understand. She suspected it was because she didn’t feel things the way other kids did. Emotions like fear, guilt, and empathy eluded her. For the most part, she felt nothing. And she didn’t like the way that “nothing” felt.

She did her best to pretend she was like everyone else, but the constant pressure to conform to a society she knew rejected anyone like her was unbearable. So Patric stole. She lied. She was occasionally violent. She became an expert lock-picker and home-invader. All with the goal of replacing the nothingness with…something.

In college, Patric finally confirmed what she’d long suspected. She was a sociopath. But even though it was the very first personality disorder identified—well over 200 years ago—sociopathy had been neglected by mental health professionals for decades. She was told there was no treatment, no hope for a normal life. She found herself haunted by sociopaths in pop culture, madmen and evil villains who are considered monsters. Her future looked grim.

But when Patricreconnects with an old flame, she gets a glimpse of a future beyond her diagnosis. If she’s capable of love, it must mean that she isn’t a monster.

Someone You Can Build a Nest In by John Wiswell

Shesheshen has made a mistake fatal to all monsters: she’s fallen in love.

Shesheshen is a shapeshifter, who happily resides as an amorphous lump at the bottom of a ruined manor. When her rest is interrupted by hunters intent on murdering her, she constructs a body from the remains of past meals: a metal chain for a backbone, borrowed bones for limbs, and a bear trap as an extra mouth.

However, the hunters chase Shesheshen out of her home and off a cliff. Badly hurt, she’s found and nursed back to health by Homily, a warm-hearted human, who has mistaken Shesheshen as a fellow human. Homily is kind and nurturing and would make an excellent co-parent: an ideal place to lay Shesheshen’s eggs so their young could devour Homily from the inside out. But as they grow close, she realizes humans don’t think about love that way.

Shesheshen hates keeping her identity secret from Homily, but just as she’s about to confess, Homily reveals why she’s in the area: she’s hunting a shapeshifting monster that supposedly cursed her family. Has Shesheshen seen it anywhere?

The Husbands by Holly Gramazio

When Lauren returns home to her flat in London late one night, she is greeted at the door by her husband, Michael. There’s only one problem—she’s not married. She’s never seen this man before in her life. But according to her friends, her much-improved decor, and the photos on her phone, they’ve been together for years.

As Lauren tries to puzzle out how she could be married to someone she can’t remember meeting, Michael goes to the attic to change a lightbulb and abruptly disappears. In his place, a new man emerges, and a new, slightly altered life re-forms around her. Realizing that her attic is creating an infinite supply of husbands, Lauren confronts the question: If swapping lives is as easy as changing a lightbulb, how do you know you’ve taken the right path? When do you stop trying to do better and start actually living?

The Murder of Mr. Ma by John Shen Yen Nee and SJ Rozan

London, 1924. When shy academic Lao She meets larger-than-life Judge Dee Ren Jie, his life abruptly turns from books and lectures to daring chases and narrow escapes. Dee has come to London to investigate the murder of a man he’d known during World War I when serving with the Chinese Labour Corps. No sooner has Dee interviewed the grieving widow than another dead body turns up. Then another. All stabbed to death with a butterfly sword. Will Dee and Lao be able to connect the threads of the murders—or are they next in line as victims?

The Rule Book by Sarah Adams

Nora Mackenzie’s entire career lies in the hands of famous NFL tight end Derek Pender, who also happens to be her extremely hot college ex-boyfriend. Nora didn’t end things as gracefully as she could have back then, and now it has come back to haunt her. Derek is her first client as an official full-time sports agent and he’s holding a grudge.

Derek has set his sights on a little friendly revenge. If Nora Mackenzie, the first girl to ever break his heart, wants to be his agent, oh, he’ll let her be his agent. The plan is simple: make Nora’s life absolutely miserable. But if Derek knows anything about the woman he once loved—she won’t quit easily.

Instead of giving in, Nora starts a scheme of her own. But then a wild night in Vegas leads to Nora and Derek in bed the next morning married. With their rule book out the window, could this new relationship save their careers or spark the romance of a lifetime?

The Stone Home by Crystal Hana Kim

In 2011, Eunju Oh opens her door to greet a stranger: a young Korean American woman holding a familiar-looking knife—a knife Eunju hasn’t seen in thirty years, and that connects her to a place she’d desperately hoped to leave behind forever.

In South Korea in the 1980s, young Eunju and her mother are homeless on the street. After being captured by the police, they’re sent to live within the walls of a state-sanctioned reformatory center that claims to rehabilitate the nation’s citizens but hides a darker, more violent reality. While Eunju and her mother form a tight-knit community with the other women in the kitchen, two teenage brothers, Sangchul and Youngchul, are compelled to labor in the workshops and make increasingly desperate decisions—and all are forced down a path of survival, the repercussions of which will echo for decades to come.

The Titanic Survivors Book Club by Timothy Schaffert

For weeks after the sinking of the Titanic, Yorick spots his own name among the list of those lost at sea. As an apprentice librarian for the White Star Line, his job was to curate the ship’s second-class library. But the day the Titanic set sail he was left stranded at the dock.

After the ship’s sinking, Yorick takes this twist of fate as a sign to follow his lifelong dream of owning a bookshop in Paris. Soon after, he receives an invitation to a secret society of survivors where he encounters other ticket-holders who didn’t board the ship. Haunted by their good fortune, they decide to form a book society, where they can grapple with their own anxieties through heated discussions of The Awakening or The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Of this ragtag group, Yorick finds himself particularly drawn to the glamorous Zinnia and the mysterious Haze, and a tangled triangle of love and friendship forms among them. Yet with the Great War on the horizon and the unexpected death of one of their own, the surviving book club members are left wondering what fate might have in store.

Village Weavers by Myriam JA Chancy

In 1940s’ Port-au-Prince, Gertie and Sisi become fast childhood friends, despite being on opposite ends of the social and economic ladder. As young girls, they build their unlikely friendship―until a deathbed revelation ripples through their families and tears them apart. After François Duvalier’s rule turns deadly in the 1950s, Sisi moves to Paris, while Gertie marries into a wealthy Dominican family. Across decades and continents, through personal success and failures, they are parted and reunited, slowly learning the truth of their singular relationship. Finally, six decades later, with both women in the United States, a sudden phone call brings them back together once more to reckon with and―perhaps―forgive the past.

We Loved It All by Lydia Millet

Acclaimed novelist Lydia Millet’s first work of nonfiction, We Loved It All, is a genre-defying tour de force that makes an impassioned argument for people to see their emotional and spiritual lives as infinitely dependent on the lives of nonhuman beings. Drawing on a quarter-century of experience as an advocate for endangered species at the Center for Biological Diversity, Millet offers intimate portraits of what she calls “the others”―the extraordinary animals with whom we still share the world, along with those already lost. Humans, too, fill this book, as Millet touches on the lives of her world-traveling parents, fascinating partners and friends, and colorful relatives, from diplomats to nut farmers―all figures in the complex tapestry each of us weaves with the surrounding world. 

Categories: Adults, Blog, and New Adult Books.