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: 05/07/2024

Summers at the Saint by Mary Kay Andrews

Everyone refers to the St. Cecelia as “the Saint.” If you grew up coming here, you were “a Saint.” If you came from the wrong side of the river, you were “an Ain’t.” Traci Eddings was one of those outsiders whose family wasn’t rich enough or connected enough to vacation here. But she could work here. One fateful summer she did, and married the boss’s son. Now, she’s the widowed owner of the hotel, determined to see it return to its glory days, even as staff shortages and financial troubles threaten to ruin it. Plus, her greedy and unscrupulous brother-in-law wants to make sure she fails. Enlisting a motley crew of recently hired summer help—including the daughter of her estranged best friend—Traci has one summer season to turn it around. But new information about a long-ago drowning at the hotel threatens to come to light, and the tragic death of one of their own brings Traci to the brink of despair.

Traci Eddings has her back against the pink-painted wall of this beloved institution. And it will take all the wits and guts she has to see wrongs put to right, to see guilty parties put in their place, and maybe even to find a new romance along the way. 

I Will Ruin You by Linwood Barclay

It’s a question everyone asks themselves, but few have to face in real life. English teacher Richard Boyle certainly never thought he would find himself talking down a former student intent on harming others, but when Mark LeDrew shows up at Richard’s school with a bomb strapped to his chest, Richard immediately jumps into action. Thanks to some quick thinking, he averts a major tragedy and is hailed as a hero, but not all the attention focused on him is positive.

Richard’s brief moment in the spotlight puts him in the sights of a deranged blackmailer with a score to settle. The situation rapidly spirals out of control, drawing Richard into a fraught web of salacious accusations and deadly secrets. As he tries to uncover the truth he discovers that there’s something deeply wrong in the town—something that ties together Mark, the blackmailer, and a gang of ruthless drug dealers, and Richard has landed smack in the middle of it. He’s desperate to find a way out, but everyone in his life seems to be hiding something, and trusting the wrong person could cost him everything he loves.

You Never Know: A Memoir by Tom Selleck and Ellis Henican

There are many miles from the business school and basketball court at the University of Southern California to 50 million viewers for the final episode of a TV show called Magnum P.I. Tom Selleck has lived every one of those miles in his own iconoclastic and joyful way.

Frank, funny and open-hearted, You Never Know is an intimate memoir from one of the most beloved actors of our time, the highly personal story of a remarkable life and thoroughly accidental career. In his own voice and uniquely unpretentious style, the famed actor brings readers on his uncharted but serendipitous journey to the top in Hollywood, his temptations and distractions, his misfires and mistakes and, over time, his well-earned success. Along the way, he clears up an armload of misconceptions and shares dozens of never-told stories from all corners of his personal and professional life. His rambunctious California childhood. His clueless arrival as a good-looking college jock in Hollywood (from the Dating Game to the Fox New Talent Program to co-starring with Mae West and escorting her to black-tie social functions). What it was like to emerge as a mega-star in his mid-thirties and remain so for decades to come, an actor whose authenticity and ease in front of the camera connected with audiences worldwide while embodying and also redefining the clichés of onscreen manhood.

Chop Fry Watch Learn: Fu Pei-mei and the Making of Modern Chinese Food by Michelle T. King

In 1949, a young Chinese housewife arrived in Taiwan and transformed herself from a novice to a natural in the kitchen. She launched a career as a cookbook author and television cooking instructor that would last four decades. Years later, in America, flipping through her mother’s copies of Fu Pei-mei’s Chinese cookbooks, historian Michelle T. King discovered more than the recipes to meals of her childhood. She found, in Fu’s story and in her food, a vivid portal to another time, when a generation of middle-class, female home cooks navigated the tremendous postwar transformations taking place across the world.

In Chop Fry Watch Learn, King weaves together stories from her own family and contemporary oral history to present a remarkable argument for how understanding the story of Fu’s life enables us to see Chinese food as both an inheritance of tradition and a truly modern creation, influenced by the historical phenomena of the postwar era. These include a dramatic increase in the number of women working outside the home, a new proliferation of mass media, the arrival of innovative kitchen tools, and the shifting diplomatic fortunes of China and Taiwan. King reveals how and why, for audiences in Taiwan and around the world, Fu became the ultimate culinary touchstone: the figure against whom all other cooking authorities were measured.

Long Island by Colm Toibin

Eilis Lacey is Irish, married to Tony Fiorello, a plumber and one of four Italian American brothers, all of whom live in neighboring houses on a cul-de-sac in Lindenhurst, Long Island, with their wives and children and Tony’s parents, a huge extended family that lives and works, eats and plays together. It is the spring of 1976 and Eilis, now in her forties with two teenage children, has no one to rely on in this still-new country. Though her ties to Ireland remain stronger than those that hold her to her new land and home, she has not returned in decades.

One day, when Tony is at his job and Eilis is in her home office doing her accounting, an Irishman comes to the door asking for her by name. He tells her that his wife is pregnant with Tony’s child and that when the baby is born, he will not raise it but instead deposit it on Eilis’s doorstep. It is what Eilis does—and what she refuses to do—in response to this stunning news that makes Tóibín’s novel so riveting.

Bits and Pieces: My Mother, My Brother, and Me by Whoopi Goldberg

If it weren’t for Emma Johnson, Caryn Johnson would have never become Whoopi Goldberg. Emma gave her children the loving care and wisdom they needed to succeed in life, always encouraging them to be true to themselves. When Whoopi lost her mother in 2010—and then her older brother, Clyde, five years later—she felt deeply alone; the only people who truly knew her were gone.

Emma raised her children not just to survive, but to thrive. In this intimate and heartfelt memoir, Whoopi shares many of the deeply personal stories of their lives together for the first time. Growing up in the projects in New York City, there were trips to Coney Island, the Ice Capades, and museums, and every Christmas was a magical experience. To this day, she doesn’t know how her mother was able to give them such an enriching childhood, despite the struggles they faced—and it wasn’t until she was well into adulthood that Whoopi learned just how traumatic some of those struggles were.

Fans of personal memoirs such as Finding Me by Viola Davis and In Pieces by Sally Field will be touched by Bits and Pieces: a moving tribute from a daughter to her mother, and a beautiful portrait of three people who loved each other deeply.

Black Shield Maiden by Willow Smith and Jess Hendel

Lore, legend, and history tell us of the Vikings: of warrior-kings on epic journeys of conquest and plunder. But the stories we know are not the only stories to tell. There is another story, one that has been lost to the mists of time: the saga of the dark queen.

That saga begins with Yafeu, a defiant yet fiercely compassionate young warrior who is stolen from her home in the flourishing Ghanaian Empire and taken to a distant kingdom in the North. There she is thrust into a strange, cold world of savage shield maidens, tyrannical rulers, and mysterious gods.

And there she also finds something unexpected: a kindred spirit. She comes to serve Freydis, a shy princess who couldn’t be more different than the confident and self-possessed Yafeu.

But they both want the same thing: to forge their own fate. Yafeu inspires Freydis to dream of a future greater than the one that the king and queen have forced upon her. And with the princess at her side, Yafeu learns to navigate this new world and grows increasingly determined to become one of the legendary shield maidens. To fight not only for her freedom but for the freedom of others.

Can’t Spell Treason Without Tea by Rebecca Thorne

All Reyna and Kianthe want is to open a bookshop that serves tea. Worn wooden floors, plants on every table, firelight drifting between the rafters… all complemented by love and good company. Thing is, Reyna works as one of the Queen’s private guards, and Kianthe is the most powerful mage in existence. Leaving their lives isn’t so easy.

But after an assassin takes Reyna hostage, she decides she’s thoroughly done risking her life for a self-centered queen. Meanwhile, Kianthe has been waiting for a chance to flee responsibility–all the better that her girlfriend is on board. Together, they settle in Tawney, a town nestled in the icy tundra near dragon country, and open the shop of their dreams.

What follows is a cozy tale of mishaps, mysteries, and a murderous queen throwing the realm’s biggest temper tantrum. In a story brimming with hurt/comfort and quiet fireside conversations, these two women will discover just what they mean to each other… and the world.

Cinema Love by Jiaming Tang

For over thirty years, Old Second and his wife, Bao Mei, have cobbled together a meager existence in New York City’s Chinatown. But unlike other couples, these two aren’t in love. In rural China, before they emigrated, they frequented the Workers’ Cinema: a rundown theater where gay men cruised without fear for intimacy and conversation.

While classic war films played, Old Second and his countrymen found privacy—and love—in the screening rooms. In the box office, Bao Mei sold tickets to closeted men; guarding their secrets, guiding them in their relationships, and even finding her own happiness with the theater’s projectionist. But when Old Second’s passion for his lover is discovered, a series of haunting events unfold, propelling these characters toward an uncertain future in America.

Daughters of Shandong by Eve J. Chung

Daughters are the Ang family’s curse.

In 1948, civil war ravages the Chinese countryside, but in rural Shandong, the wealthy, landowning Angs are more concerned with their lack of an heir. Hai is the eldest of four girls and spends her days looking after her sisters. Headstrong Di, who is just a year younger, learns to hide in plain sight, and their mother—abused by the family for failing to birth a boy—finds her own small acts of rebellion in the kitchen. As the Communist army closes in on their town, the rest of the prosperous household flees, leaving behind the girls and their mother because they view them as useless mouths to feed.

Without an Ang male to punish, the land-seizing cadres choose Hai, as the eldest child, to stand trial for her family’s crimes. She barely survives their brutality. Realizing the worst is yet to come, the women plan their escape. Starving and penniless but resourceful, they forge travel permits and embark on a thousand-mile journey to confront the family that abandoned them.

Ella by Diane Richards

When fifteen-year-old Ella Fitzgerald’s mother dies at the height of the Depression in 1932, the teenager goes to work for the mob to support herself and her family. When the law finally catches up, the “ungovernable” adolescent is incarcerated in the New York Training School for Girls in upstate New York—a wicked prison infamous for its harsh treatment of inmates, especially Black ones. Determined to be free, Ella escapes and makes her way back to Harlem, where she is forced to dance for pennies on the street.

Looking for a break into show business, Ella draws straws to appear at the Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night on November 21, 1934. Rather than perform a dance routine directly after “The World Famous Edwards Sisters” number, the homeless Ella, wearing men’s galoshes a size too big, risks everything when she decides to sing Judy instead. Four years later, at barely twenty-one, Ella Fitzgerald has become the bestselling female vocalist in America.

Diane Richards’ Ella Fitzgerald is inspiring and intriguing—an emotionally rich, psychologically complex character, with deep emotional scars and trauma and battles racism, sexism, and colorism as she learns to find her voice on the stage. Ella takes us from the brothels, speakeasys, and streets of Depression-era New York City to backstage at The Ed Sullivan Show, where Ella, now older and wiser, looks back on her life and finally confronts the demons from childhood that torment her.

Hunted by Abir Mukherjee

In London, the police storm Heathrow Airport to bring in a father for questioning about his missing daughter.

In Florida, a mother makes a connection between her son and the bomber, fearing he has been radicalized.

And in Oregon, an unknown organization’s conspiracy to bring America to its knees unfolds…

On the run from the authorities, the two parents are thrown together in a race against time to stop a catastrophe that will derail the country’s future forever. But can they find their kids before it’s too late?

See Loss See Also Love by Yukiko Tominaga

Shortly after her husband Levi’s untimely death, Kyoko decides to raise their young son, Alex, in San Francisco, rather than return to Japan. Her nosy yet loving Jewish mother-in-law, Bubbe, encourages her to find new love and abandon frugality but her own mother wants Kyoko to celebrate her now husbandless life. Always beside her is Alex, who lives confidently, no matter the circumstance.

Four sections of vignettes reflect Kyoko’s fluctuating emotional states—sometimes ugly, other times funny, but always uniquely hers. While freshly mourning Levi, Kyoko and Alex confront another death—that of Alex’s pet betta fish. Kyoko and Bubbe take a road trip to a psychic and discover that Kyoko carries bad karma. On visits back to Japan, Kyoko and her mother clash over how best to connect Alex with his Japanese heritage, and as Alex enters his teenage years and brings his first girlfriend home, Kyoko lets her imagination run wild as she worries about teen pregnancy.

Shanghailanders by Juli Min

2040: Wealthy real estate investor Leo Yang—handsome, distinguished, a real Shanghai man—is on the train back to the city after seeing his family off at the airport. His sophisticated Japanese-French wife, Eko, and their two eldest children, Yumi and Yoko, are headed for Boston, though one daughter’s revelation will soon reroute them to Paris. 2039: Kiko, their youngest daughter and an aspiring actress, decides to pursue fame at any cost, like her icon Marilyn Monroe. 2038: Yumi comes to Yoko in need, after a college-dorm situation at Harvard goes disastrously wrong.

As the years rewind to 2014, Shanghailanders brings readers into the shared and separate lives of the Yang family parent by parent, daughter by daughter, and through the eyes of the people in their orbit—a nanny from the provinces, a private driver with a penchant for danger, and a grandmother whose memories of the past echo the present. We glimpse a future where the city’s waters rise and the specter of apocalypse is never far off. But in Juli Min’s hands, we also see that whatever may change, universal constants remain: love is complex, life is not fair, and family will always be stubbornly connected by blood, secrets, and longing.

Skin & Bones by Renée Watson

At 40, Lena Baker is at a steady and stable moment in life—between wine nights with her two best friends and her wedding just weeks away, she’s happy in love and in friendship until a confession on her wedding day shifts her world.

Unmoored and grieving a major loss, Lena finds herself trying to teach her daughter self-love while struggling to do so herself. Lena questions everything she’s learned about dating, friendship, and motherhood, and through it all, she works tirelessly to bring the oft-forgotten Black history of Oregon to the masses, sidestepping her well-meaning co-workers that don’t understand that their good intentions are often offensive and hurtful.

The Hazelbourne Ladies Motorcycle and Flying Club by Helen Simonson

It is the summer of 1919 and Constance Haverhill is without prospects. Now that all the men have returned from the front, she has been asked to give up her cottage and her job at the estate she helped to run during the war. While she looks for a position as a bookkeeper or (horror) a governess, she’s sent as a lady’s companion to an old family friend who is convalescing at a seaside hotel. Despite having only weeks to find a permanent home, Constance finds herself swept up in the social whirl of Hazelbourne-on-Sea after she rescues local baronet’s daughter, Poppy Wirrall, from a social faux pas.

Poppy wears trousers, operates a taxi and delivery service to employ local women, and runs a ladies’ motorcycle club (to which she plans to add flying lessons). She and her friends enthusiastically welcome Constance into their circle. And then there is Harris, Poppy’s recalcitrant but handsome brother—a fighter pilot recently wounded in battle—who warms in Constance’s presence. But things are more complicated than they seem in this sunny pocket of English high society. As the country prepares to celebrate its hard-won peace, Constance and the women of the club are forced to confront the fact that the freedoms they gained during the war are being revoked.

The Jazzmen: How Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Count Basie Transformed America by Larry Tye

This is the story of three revolutionary American musicians, the maestro jazzmen who orchestrated the chords that throb at the soul of twentieth-century America.

Duke Ellington, the grandson of slaves who was christened Edward Kennedy Ellington, was a man whose story is as layered and nuanced as his name suggests and whose music transcended category.

Louis Daniel Armstrong was born in a New Orleans slum so tough it was called The Battlefield and, at age seven, got his first musical instrument, a ten-cent tin horn that drew buyers to his rag-peddling wagon and set him on the road to elevating jazz into a pulsating force for spontaneity and freedom.

William James Basie, too, grew up in a world unfamiliar to white fans—the son of a coachman and laundress who dreamed of escaping every time the traveling carnival swept into town, and who finally engineered his getaway with help from Fats Waller.

What is far less known about these groundbreakers is that they were bound not just by their music or even the discrimination that they, like nearly all Black performers of their day, routinely encountered. Each defied and ultimately overcame racial boundaries by opening America’s eyes and souls to the magnificence of their music. In the process they wrote the soundtrack for the civil rights movement.

The Library Thief by Kuchenga Shenjé

1896. After he brought her home from Jamaica as a baby, Florence’s father had her hair hot-combed to make her look like the other girls. But as a young woman, Florence is not so easy to tame – and when she brings scandal to his door, the bookbinder throws her onto the streets of Manchester.

Intercepting her father’s latest commission, Florence talks her way into the remote, forbidding Rose Hall to restore its collection of rare books. Lord Francis Belfield’s library is old and full of secrets – but none so intriguing as the whispers about his late wife.

Then one night, the library is broken into. Strangely, all the priceless tomes remain untouched. Florence is puzzled, until she discovers a half-burned book in the fireplace. She realizes with horror that someone has found and set fire to the secret diary of Lord Belfield’s wife – which may hold the clue to her fate.

The Ministry of Time by Kaliane Bradley

In the near future, a civil servant is offered the salary of her dreams and is, shortly afterward, told what project she’ll be working on. A recently established government ministry is gathering “expats” from across history to establish whether time travel is feasible—for the body, but also for the fabric of space-time.

She is tasked with working as a “bridge”: living with, assisting, and monitoring the expat known as “1847” or Commander Graham Gore. As far as history is concerned, Commander Gore died on Sir John Franklin’s doomed 1845 expedition to the Arctic, so he’s a little disoriented to be living with an unmarried woman who regularly shows her calves, surrounded by outlandish concepts such as “washing machines,” “Spotify,” and “the collapse of the British Empire.” But with an appetite for discovery, a seven-a-day cigarette habit, and the support of a charming and chaotic cast of fellow expats, he soon adjusts.

Over the next year, what the bridge initially thought would be, at best, a horrifically uncomfortable roommate dynamic, evolves into something much deeper. By the time the true shape of the Ministry’s project comes to light, the bridge has fallen haphazardly, fervently in love, with consequences she never could have imagined. Forced to confront the choices that brought them together, the bridge must finally reckon with how—and whether she believes—what she does next can change the future.

The Return of Ellie Black by Emiko Jean

It’s been twenty years since Detective Chelsey Calhoun’s sister vanished when they were teenagers, and ever since she’s been searching: for signs, for closure, for other missing girls. But happy endings are rare in Chelsey’s line of work.

Then a glimmer: local teenager Ellie Black, who disappeared without a trace two years earlier, has been found alive in the woods of Washington State.

But something is not right with Ellie. She won’t say where she’s been, or who she’s protecting, and it’s up to Chelsey to find the answers. She needs to get to the bottom of what happened to Ellie: for herself, and for the memory of her sister, but mostly for the next girl who could be taken—and who, unlike Ellie, might never return.

The Summer Swap by Sarah Morgan

70 year old widow Cecilia Lapthorne can’t bear the prospect of a family party to celebrate her birthday and the memory of her husband, famous artist Cameron Lapthorne. They had a toxic marriage but stayed together for the children, and bound by a big secret. She runs away to the Cape Cod seashore cottage she owned with Cameron–it’s where they first fell in love–but she hasn’t returned since she discovered him cheating on her there (for the first time). No one in her family knows about it, so she will be perfectly, delightfully alone for the summer.

Except struggling artist Lily has been secretly crashing on the sofa of the seashore cottage for the last couple of weeks. Unable to make rent after dropping out of medical school to pursue her dreams of becoming an artist and working as a housekeeper in Cecilia’s Cape Cod enclave, she’s been illicitly camping at the cottage. Which isn’t a problem as it’s been unoccupied for years…until Cecilia unexpectedly shows up.

After the drama of discovering she has an unexpected house-guest has faded, Cecilia decides she’ll get along just fine with Lily for the summer. They form a tentative and powerful bond, based on shared love of art, but also the vulnerabilities they both share with each other. And when Todd, Cecilia’s beloved grandson (and the man who broke Lily’s heart in college) tracks her to the cottage, the three of them settle in for a summer of self-discovery, self-belief and second chances.

Their Divine Fires by Wendy Chen

In 1917, at the dawn of the Chinese Revolution, Yunhong grows up in the southern China countryside and falls deeply in love with the son of a wealthy landlord despite her brother’s objections. On the night of her wedding, her brother destroys the marriage before it has even lasted a day and irrevocably changes the shape of Yunhong’s family to come; her daughter Yuexin will never know her father. Haunted by a history that she will never fully understand, Yuexin passes those memories onto her daughters Hongxing and Yonghong, who come of age in the years following Mao’s death, battling the push and pull of political forces as they forge their own paths. Each generation guards its secrets, leaving Emily, great granddaughter of Yunhong and living in contemporary America, to piece together what actually happened between her mother, her sister, and the weight of their shared ancestry.

Drawing on the lives of her great-grandmother and her great-uncles—both of whom fought on the side of the Communists—as well as her mother’s experiences during the Cultural Revolution, Wendy Chen infuses Their Divine Fires with a passion that will transport the reader back to powerful moments in history while bringing us close to the women who persisted despite the forces all around them. Both brilliant and haunting, it’s a story about what our ancestors will, and won’t, tell us.

This Summer Will Be Different by Carley Fortune

Lucy is the tourist vacationing at a beach house on Prince Edward Island. Felix is the local who shows her a very good time. The only problem: Lucy doesn’t know he’s her best friend’s younger brother. Lucy and Felix’s chemistry is unreal, but the list of reasons why they need to stay away from each other is long, and they vow to never repeat that electric night again.

It’s easier said than done.

Each year, Lucy escapes to PEI for a big breath of coastal air, fresh oysters, and crisp vinho verde with her best friend, Bridget. Every visit begins with a long walk on the beach, beneath soaring red cliffs and a golden sun. And every visit Lucy promises herself she won’t wind up in Felix’s bed. Again.

If Lucy can’t help being drawn to Felix, at least she’s always kept her heart out of it.

Women and Children First by Alina Grabowski

Nashquitten, MA, is a decaying coastal enclave that not even tourist season can revive, full of locals who have run the town’s industries for generations. When a young woman dies at a house party, the circumstances around her death suspiciously unclear, the tight-knit community is shaken. As a mother grieves her daughter, a teacher her student, a best friend her confidante, the events around the tragedy become a lightning rod: blame is cast, secrets are buried deeper. Some are left to pick up the pieces, while others turn their backs, and all the while, a truth about that dreadful night begins to emerge.

Categories: Adults, Blog, and New Adult Books.

New Books: 05/07/2024

Summers at the Saint by Mary Kay Andrews

Everyone refers to the St. Cecelia as “the Saint.” If you grew up coming here, you were “a Saint.” If you came from the wrong side of the river, you were “an Ain’t.” Traci Eddings was one of those outsiders whose family wasn’t rich enough or connected enough to vacation here. But she could work here. One fateful summer she did, and married the boss’s son. Now, she’s the widowed owner of the hotel, determined to see it return to its glory days, even as staff shortages and financial troubles threaten to ruin it. Plus, her greedy and unscrupulous brother-in-law wants to make sure she fails. Enlisting a motley crew of recently hired summer help—including the daughter of her estranged best friend—Traci has one summer season to turn it around. But new information about a long-ago drowning at the hotel threatens to come to light, and the tragic death of one of their own brings Traci to the brink of despair.

Traci Eddings has her back against the pink-painted wall of this beloved institution. And it will take all the wits and guts she has to see wrongs put to right, to see guilty parties put in their place, and maybe even to find a new romance along the way. 

I Will Ruin You by Linwood Barclay

It’s a question everyone asks themselves, but few have to face in real life. English teacher Richard Boyle certainly never thought he would find himself talking down a former student intent on harming others, but when Mark LeDrew shows up at Richard’s school with a bomb strapped to his chest, Richard immediately jumps into action. Thanks to some quick thinking, he averts a major tragedy and is hailed as a hero, but not all the attention focused on him is positive.

Richard’s brief moment in the spotlight puts him in the sights of a deranged blackmailer with a score to settle. The situation rapidly spirals out of control, drawing Richard into a fraught web of salacious accusations and deadly secrets. As he tries to uncover the truth he discovers that there’s something deeply wrong in the town—something that ties together Mark, the blackmailer, and a gang of ruthless drug dealers, and Richard has landed smack in the middle of it. He’s desperate to find a way out, but everyone in his life seems to be hiding something, and trusting the wrong person could cost him everything he loves.

You Never Know: A Memoir by Tom Selleck and Ellis Henican

There are many miles from the business school and basketball court at the University of Southern California to 50 million viewers for the final episode of a TV show called Magnum P.I. Tom Selleck has lived every one of those miles in his own iconoclastic and joyful way.

Frank, funny and open-hearted, You Never Know is an intimate memoir from one of the most beloved actors of our time, the highly personal story of a remarkable life and thoroughly accidental career. In his own voice and uniquely unpretentious style, the famed actor brings readers on his uncharted but serendipitous journey to the top in Hollywood, his temptations and distractions, his misfires and mistakes and, over time, his well-earned success. Along the way, he clears up an armload of misconceptions and shares dozens of never-told stories from all corners of his personal and professional life. His rambunctious California childhood. His clueless arrival as a good-looking college jock in Hollywood (from the Dating Game to the Fox New Talent Program to co-starring with Mae West and escorting her to black-tie social functions). What it was like to emerge as a mega-star in his mid-thirties and remain so for decades to come, an actor whose authenticity and ease in front of the camera connected with audiences worldwide while embodying and also redefining the clichés of onscreen manhood.

Chop Fry Watch Learn: Fu Pei-mei and the Making of Modern Chinese Food by Michelle T. King

In 1949, a young Chinese housewife arrived in Taiwan and transformed herself from a novice to a natural in the kitchen. She launched a career as a cookbook author and television cooking instructor that would last four decades. Years later, in America, flipping through her mother’s copies of Fu Pei-mei’s Chinese cookbooks, historian Michelle T. King discovered more than the recipes to meals of her childhood. She found, in Fu’s story and in her food, a vivid portal to another time, when a generation of middle-class, female home cooks navigated the tremendous postwar transformations taking place across the world.

In Chop Fry Watch Learn, King weaves together stories from her own family and contemporary oral history to present a remarkable argument for how understanding the story of Fu’s life enables us to see Chinese food as both an inheritance of tradition and a truly modern creation, influenced by the historical phenomena of the postwar era. These include a dramatic increase in the number of women working outside the home, a new proliferation of mass media, the arrival of innovative kitchen tools, and the shifting diplomatic fortunes of China and Taiwan. King reveals how and why, for audiences in Taiwan and around the world, Fu became the ultimate culinary touchstone: the figure against whom all other cooking authorities were measured.

Long Island by Colm Toibin

Eilis Lacey is Irish, married to Tony Fiorello, a plumber and one of four Italian American brothers, all of whom live in neighboring houses on a cul-de-sac in Lindenhurst, Long Island, with their wives and children and Tony’s parents, a huge extended family that lives and works, eats and plays together. It is the spring of 1976 and Eilis, now in her forties with two teenage children, has no one to rely on in this still-new country. Though her ties to Ireland remain stronger than those that hold her to her new land and home, she has not returned in decades.

One day, when Tony is at his job and Eilis is in her home office doing her accounting, an Irishman comes to the door asking for her by name. He tells her that his wife is pregnant with Tony’s child and that when the baby is born, he will not raise it but instead deposit it on Eilis’s doorstep. It is what Eilis does—and what she refuses to do—in response to this stunning news that makes Tóibín’s novel so riveting.

Bits and Pieces: My Mother, My Brother, and Me by Whoopi Goldberg

If it weren’t for Emma Johnson, Caryn Johnson would have never become Whoopi Goldberg. Emma gave her children the loving care and wisdom they needed to succeed in life, always encouraging them to be true to themselves. When Whoopi lost her mother in 2010—and then her older brother, Clyde, five years later—she felt deeply alone; the only people who truly knew her were gone.

Emma raised her children not just to survive, but to thrive. In this intimate and heartfelt memoir, Whoopi shares many of the deeply personal stories of their lives together for the first time. Growing up in the projects in New York City, there were trips to Coney Island, the Ice Capades, and museums, and every Christmas was a magical experience. To this day, she doesn’t know how her mother was able to give them such an enriching childhood, despite the struggles they faced—and it wasn’t until she was well into adulthood that Whoopi learned just how traumatic some of those struggles were.

Fans of personal memoirs such as Finding Me by Viola Davis and In Pieces by Sally Field will be touched by Bits and Pieces: a moving tribute from a daughter to her mother, and a beautiful portrait of three people who loved each other deeply.

Black Shield Maiden by Willow Smith and Jess Hendel

Lore, legend, and history tell us of the Vikings: of warrior-kings on epic journeys of conquest and plunder. But the stories we know are not the only stories to tell. There is another story, one that has been lost to the mists of time: the saga of the dark queen.

That saga begins with Yafeu, a defiant yet fiercely compassionate young warrior who is stolen from her home in the flourishing Ghanaian Empire and taken to a distant kingdom in the North. There she is thrust into a strange, cold world of savage shield maidens, tyrannical rulers, and mysterious gods.

And there she also finds something unexpected: a kindred spirit. She comes to serve Freydis, a shy princess who couldn’t be more different than the confident and self-possessed Yafeu.

But they both want the same thing: to forge their own fate. Yafeu inspires Freydis to dream of a future greater than the one that the king and queen have forced upon her. And with the princess at her side, Yafeu learns to navigate this new world and grows increasingly determined to become one of the legendary shield maidens. To fight not only for her freedom but for the freedom of others.

Can’t Spell Treason Without Tea by Rebecca Thorne

All Reyna and Kianthe want is to open a bookshop that serves tea. Worn wooden floors, plants on every table, firelight drifting between the rafters… all complemented by love and good company. Thing is, Reyna works as one of the Queen’s private guards, and Kianthe is the most powerful mage in existence. Leaving their lives isn’t so easy.

But after an assassin takes Reyna hostage, she decides she’s thoroughly done risking her life for a self-centered queen. Meanwhile, Kianthe has been waiting for a chance to flee responsibility–all the better that her girlfriend is on board. Together, they settle in Tawney, a town nestled in the icy tundra near dragon country, and open the shop of their dreams.

What follows is a cozy tale of mishaps, mysteries, and a murderous queen throwing the realm’s biggest temper tantrum. In a story brimming with hurt/comfort and quiet fireside conversations, these two women will discover just what they mean to each other… and the world.

Cinema Love by Jiaming Tang

For over thirty years, Old Second and his wife, Bao Mei, have cobbled together a meager existence in New York City’s Chinatown. But unlike other couples, these two aren’t in love. In rural China, before they emigrated, they frequented the Workers’ Cinema: a rundown theater where gay men cruised without fear for intimacy and conversation.

While classic war films played, Old Second and his countrymen found privacy—and love—in the screening rooms. In the box office, Bao Mei sold tickets to closeted men; guarding their secrets, guiding them in their relationships, and even finding her own happiness with the theater’s projectionist. But when Old Second’s passion for his lover is discovered, a series of haunting events unfold, propelling these characters toward an uncertain future in America.

Daughters of Shandong by Eve J. Chung

Daughters are the Ang family’s curse.

In 1948, civil war ravages the Chinese countryside, but in rural Shandong, the wealthy, landowning Angs are more concerned with their lack of an heir. Hai is the eldest of four girls and spends her days looking after her sisters. Headstrong Di, who is just a year younger, learns to hide in plain sight, and their mother—abused by the family for failing to birth a boy—finds her own small acts of rebellion in the kitchen. As the Communist army closes in on their town, the rest of the prosperous household flees, leaving behind the girls and their mother because they view them as useless mouths to feed.

Without an Ang male to punish, the land-seizing cadres choose Hai, as the eldest child, to stand trial for her family’s crimes. She barely survives their brutality. Realizing the worst is yet to come, the women plan their escape. Starving and penniless but resourceful, they forge travel permits and embark on a thousand-mile journey to confront the family that abandoned them.

Ella by Diane Richards

When fifteen-year-old Ella Fitzgerald’s mother dies at the height of the Depression in 1932, the teenager goes to work for the mob to support herself and her family. When the law finally catches up, the “ungovernable” adolescent is incarcerated in the New York Training School for Girls in upstate New York—a wicked prison infamous for its harsh treatment of inmates, especially Black ones. Determined to be free, Ella escapes and makes her way back to Harlem, where she is forced to dance for pennies on the street.

Looking for a break into show business, Ella draws straws to appear at the Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night on November 21, 1934. Rather than perform a dance routine directly after “The World Famous Edwards Sisters” number, the homeless Ella, wearing men’s galoshes a size too big, risks everything when she decides to sing Judy instead. Four years later, at barely twenty-one, Ella Fitzgerald has become the bestselling female vocalist in America.

Diane Richards’ Ella Fitzgerald is inspiring and intriguing—an emotionally rich, psychologically complex character, with deep emotional scars and trauma and battles racism, sexism, and colorism as she learns to find her voice on the stage. Ella takes us from the brothels, speakeasys, and streets of Depression-era New York City to backstage at The Ed Sullivan Show, where Ella, now older and wiser, looks back on her life and finally confronts the demons from childhood that torment her.

Hunted by Abir Mukherjee

In London, the police storm Heathrow Airport to bring in a father for questioning about his missing daughter.

In Florida, a mother makes a connection between her son and the bomber, fearing he has been radicalized.

And in Oregon, an unknown organization’s conspiracy to bring America to its knees unfolds…

On the run from the authorities, the two parents are thrown together in a race against time to stop a catastrophe that will derail the country’s future forever. But can they find their kids before it’s too late?

See Loss See Also Love by Yukiko Tominaga

Shortly after her husband Levi’s untimely death, Kyoko decides to raise their young son, Alex, in San Francisco, rather than return to Japan. Her nosy yet loving Jewish mother-in-law, Bubbe, encourages her to find new love and abandon frugality but her own mother wants Kyoko to celebrate her now husbandless life. Always beside her is Alex, who lives confidently, no matter the circumstance.

Four sections of vignettes reflect Kyoko’s fluctuating emotional states—sometimes ugly, other times funny, but always uniquely hers. While freshly mourning Levi, Kyoko and Alex confront another death—that of Alex’s pet betta fish. Kyoko and Bubbe take a road trip to a psychic and discover that Kyoko carries bad karma. On visits back to Japan, Kyoko and her mother clash over how best to connect Alex with his Japanese heritage, and as Alex enters his teenage years and brings his first girlfriend home, Kyoko lets her imagination run wild as she worries about teen pregnancy.

Shanghailanders by Juli Min

2040: Wealthy real estate investor Leo Yang—handsome, distinguished, a real Shanghai man—is on the train back to the city after seeing his family off at the airport. His sophisticated Japanese-French wife, Eko, and their two eldest children, Yumi and Yoko, are headed for Boston, though one daughter’s revelation will soon reroute them to Paris. 2039: Kiko, their youngest daughter and an aspiring actress, decides to pursue fame at any cost, like her icon Marilyn Monroe. 2038: Yumi comes to Yoko in need, after a college-dorm situation at Harvard goes disastrously wrong.

As the years rewind to 2014, Shanghailanders brings readers into the shared and separate lives of the Yang family parent by parent, daughter by daughter, and through the eyes of the people in their orbit—a nanny from the provinces, a private driver with a penchant for danger, and a grandmother whose memories of the past echo the present. We glimpse a future where the city’s waters rise and the specter of apocalypse is never far off. But in Juli Min’s hands, we also see that whatever may change, universal constants remain: love is complex, life is not fair, and family will always be stubbornly connected by blood, secrets, and longing.

Skin & Bones by Renée Watson

At 40, Lena Baker is at a steady and stable moment in life—between wine nights with her two best friends and her wedding just weeks away, she’s happy in love and in friendship until a confession on her wedding day shifts her world.

Unmoored and grieving a major loss, Lena finds herself trying to teach her daughter self-love while struggling to do so herself. Lena questions everything she’s learned about dating, friendship, and motherhood, and through it all, she works tirelessly to bring the oft-forgotten Black history of Oregon to the masses, sidestepping her well-meaning co-workers that don’t understand that their good intentions are often offensive and hurtful.

The Hazelbourne Ladies Motorcycle and Flying Club by Helen Simonson

It is the summer of 1919 and Constance Haverhill is without prospects. Now that all the men have returned from the front, she has been asked to give up her cottage and her job at the estate she helped to run during the war. While she looks for a position as a bookkeeper or (horror) a governess, she’s sent as a lady’s companion to an old family friend who is convalescing at a seaside hotel. Despite having only weeks to find a permanent home, Constance finds herself swept up in the social whirl of Hazelbourne-on-Sea after she rescues local baronet’s daughter, Poppy Wirrall, from a social faux pas.

Poppy wears trousers, operates a taxi and delivery service to employ local women, and runs a ladies’ motorcycle club (to which she plans to add flying lessons). She and her friends enthusiastically welcome Constance into their circle. And then there is Harris, Poppy’s recalcitrant but handsome brother—a fighter pilot recently wounded in battle—who warms in Constance’s presence. But things are more complicated than they seem in this sunny pocket of English high society. As the country prepares to celebrate its hard-won peace, Constance and the women of the club are forced to confront the fact that the freedoms they gained during the war are being revoked.

The Jazzmen: How Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Count Basie Transformed America by Larry Tye

This is the story of three revolutionary American musicians, the maestro jazzmen who orchestrated the chords that throb at the soul of twentieth-century America.

Duke Ellington, the grandson of slaves who was christened Edward Kennedy Ellington, was a man whose story is as layered and nuanced as his name suggests and whose music transcended category.

Louis Daniel Armstrong was born in a New Orleans slum so tough it was called The Battlefield and, at age seven, got his first musical instrument, a ten-cent tin horn that drew buyers to his rag-peddling wagon and set him on the road to elevating jazz into a pulsating force for spontaneity and freedom.

William James Basie, too, grew up in a world unfamiliar to white fans—the son of a coachman and laundress who dreamed of escaping every time the traveling carnival swept into town, and who finally engineered his getaway with help from Fats Waller.

What is far less known about these groundbreakers is that they were bound not just by their music or even the discrimination that they, like nearly all Black performers of their day, routinely encountered. Each defied and ultimately overcame racial boundaries by opening America’s eyes and souls to the magnificence of their music. In the process they wrote the soundtrack for the civil rights movement.

The Library Thief by Kuchenga Shenjé

1896. After he brought her home from Jamaica as a baby, Florence’s father had her hair hot-combed to make her look like the other girls. But as a young woman, Florence is not so easy to tame – and when she brings scandal to his door, the bookbinder throws her onto the streets of Manchester.

Intercepting her father’s latest commission, Florence talks her way into the remote, forbidding Rose Hall to restore its collection of rare books. Lord Francis Belfield’s library is old and full of secrets – but none so intriguing as the whispers about his late wife.

Then one night, the library is broken into. Strangely, all the priceless tomes remain untouched. Florence is puzzled, until she discovers a half-burned book in the fireplace. She realizes with horror that someone has found and set fire to the secret diary of Lord Belfield’s wife – which may hold the clue to her fate.

The Ministry of Time by Kaliane Bradley

In the near future, a civil servant is offered the salary of her dreams and is, shortly afterward, told what project she’ll be working on. A recently established government ministry is gathering “expats” from across history to establish whether time travel is feasible—for the body, but also for the fabric of space-time.

She is tasked with working as a “bridge”: living with, assisting, and monitoring the expat known as “1847” or Commander Graham Gore. As far as history is concerned, Commander Gore died on Sir John Franklin’s doomed 1845 expedition to the Arctic, so he’s a little disoriented to be living with an unmarried woman who regularly shows her calves, surrounded by outlandish concepts such as “washing machines,” “Spotify,” and “the collapse of the British Empire.” But with an appetite for discovery, a seven-a-day cigarette habit, and the support of a charming and chaotic cast of fellow expats, he soon adjusts.

Over the next year, what the bridge initially thought would be, at best, a horrifically uncomfortable roommate dynamic, evolves into something much deeper. By the time the true shape of the Ministry’s project comes to light, the bridge has fallen haphazardly, fervently in love, with consequences she never could have imagined. Forced to confront the choices that brought them together, the bridge must finally reckon with how—and whether she believes—what she does next can change the future.

The Return of Ellie Black by Emiko Jean

It’s been twenty years since Detective Chelsey Calhoun’s sister vanished when they were teenagers, and ever since she’s been searching: for signs, for closure, for other missing girls. But happy endings are rare in Chelsey’s line of work.

Then a glimmer: local teenager Ellie Black, who disappeared without a trace two years earlier, has been found alive in the woods of Washington State.

But something is not right with Ellie. She won’t say where she’s been, or who she’s protecting, and it’s up to Chelsey to find the answers. She needs to get to the bottom of what happened to Ellie: for herself, and for the memory of her sister, but mostly for the next girl who could be taken—and who, unlike Ellie, might never return.

The Summer Swap by Sarah Morgan

70 year old widow Cecilia Lapthorne can’t bear the prospect of a family party to celebrate her birthday and the memory of her husband, famous artist Cameron Lapthorne. They had a toxic marriage but stayed together for the children, and bound by a big secret. She runs away to the Cape Cod seashore cottage she owned with Cameron–it’s where they first fell in love–but she hasn’t returned since she discovered him cheating on her there (for the first time). No one in her family knows about it, so she will be perfectly, delightfully alone for the summer.

Except struggling artist Lily has been secretly crashing on the sofa of the seashore cottage for the last couple of weeks. Unable to make rent after dropping out of medical school to pursue her dreams of becoming an artist and working as a housekeeper in Cecilia’s Cape Cod enclave, she’s been illicitly camping at the cottage. Which isn’t a problem as it’s been unoccupied for years…until Cecilia unexpectedly shows up.

After the drama of discovering she has an unexpected house-guest has faded, Cecilia decides she’ll get along just fine with Lily for the summer. They form a tentative and powerful bond, based on shared love of art, but also the vulnerabilities they both share with each other. And when Todd, Cecilia’s beloved grandson (and the man who broke Lily’s heart in college) tracks her to the cottage, the three of them settle in for a summer of self-discovery, self-belief and second chances.

Their Divine Fires by Wendy Chen

In 1917, at the dawn of the Chinese Revolution, Yunhong grows up in the southern China countryside and falls deeply in love with the son of a wealthy landlord despite her brother’s objections. On the night of her wedding, her brother destroys the marriage before it has even lasted a day and irrevocably changes the shape of Yunhong’s family to come; her daughter Yuexin will never know her father. Haunted by a history that she will never fully understand, Yuexin passes those memories onto her daughters Hongxing and Yonghong, who come of age in the years following Mao’s death, battling the push and pull of political forces as they forge their own paths. Each generation guards its secrets, leaving Emily, great granddaughter of Yunhong and living in contemporary America, to piece together what actually happened between her mother, her sister, and the weight of their shared ancestry.

Drawing on the lives of her great-grandmother and her great-uncles—both of whom fought on the side of the Communists—as well as her mother’s experiences during the Cultural Revolution, Wendy Chen infuses Their Divine Fires with a passion that will transport the reader back to powerful moments in history while bringing us close to the women who persisted despite the forces all around them. Both brilliant and haunting, it’s a story about what our ancestors will, and won’t, tell us.

This Summer Will Be Different by Carley Fortune

Lucy is the tourist vacationing at a beach house on Prince Edward Island. Felix is the local who shows her a very good time. The only problem: Lucy doesn’t know he’s her best friend’s younger brother. Lucy and Felix’s chemistry is unreal, but the list of reasons why they need to stay away from each other is long, and they vow to never repeat that electric night again.

It’s easier said than done.

Each year, Lucy escapes to PEI for a big breath of coastal air, fresh oysters, and crisp vinho verde with her best friend, Bridget. Every visit begins with a long walk on the beach, beneath soaring red cliffs and a golden sun. And every visit Lucy promises herself she won’t wind up in Felix’s bed. Again.

If Lucy can’t help being drawn to Felix, at least she’s always kept her heart out of it.

Women and Children First by Alina Grabowski

Nashquitten, MA, is a decaying coastal enclave that not even tourist season can revive, full of locals who have run the town’s industries for generations. When a young woman dies at a house party, the circumstances around her death suspiciously unclear, the tight-knit community is shaken. As a mother grieves her daughter, a teacher her student, a best friend her confidante, the events around the tragedy become a lightning rod: blame is cast, secrets are buried deeper. Some are left to pick up the pieces, while others turn their backs, and all the while, a truth about that dreadful night begins to emerge.

Categories: Adults, Blog, and New Adult Books.