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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: 05/21/2024

You Like It Darker by Stephen King

“You like it darker? Fine, so do I,” writes Stephen King in the afterword to this magnificent new collection of twelve stories that delve into the darker part of life—both metaphorical and literal. King has, for half a century, been a master of the form, and these stories, about fate, mortality, luck, and the folds in reality where anything can happen, are as rich and riveting as his novels, both weighty in theme and a huge pleasure to read. King writes to feel “the exhilaration of leaving ordinary day-to-day life behind,” and in You Like It Darker, readers will feel that exhilaration too, again and again.

King’s ability to surprise, amaze, and bring us both terror and solace remains unsurpassed. Each of these stories holds its own thrills, joys, and mysteries; each feels iconic. You like it darker? You got it.

Mind Games by Nora Roberts

As they do each June, the Foxes have driven the winding roads of Appalachia to drop off their children for a two-week stay at their grandmother’s. Here, twelve-year-old Thea can run free and breathe in the smells of pine and fresh bread and Grammie’s handmade candles. But as her parents head back to suburban Virginia, they have no idea they’re about to cross paths with a ticking time bomb.

Back in Kentucky, Thea and her grandmother Lucy both awaken from the same nightmare. And though the two have never discussed the special kind of sight they share, they know as soon as their tearful eyes meet that something terrible has happened.

The kids will be staying with Grammie now in Redbud Hollow, and thanks to Thea’s vision, their parents’ killer will spend his life in supermax. Over time, Thea will make friends, build a career, find love. But that ability to see into minds and souls still lurks within her, and though Grammie calls it a gift, it feels more like a curse—because the inmate who shattered her childhood has the same ability. Thea can hear his twisted thoughts and witness his evil acts from miles away. He knows it, and hungers for vengeance. A long, silent battle will be waged between them—and eventually bring them face to face, and head to head…

Exhibit by R.O. Kwon

At a lavish party in the hills outside of San Francisco, Jin Han meets Lidija Jung and nothing will ever be the same for either woman. A brilliant young photographer, Jin is at a crossroads in her work, in her marriage to her college love Philip, and in who she is and who she wants to be. Lidija is an alluring, injured world-class ballerina on hiatus from her ballet company under mysterious circumstances. Drawn to each other by their intense artistic drives, the two women talk all night.

Cracked open, Jin finds herself telling Lidija about a old familial curse, breaking a lifelong promise. She’s been told that if she doesn’t keep the curse a secret, she risks losing everything; death and ruin could lie ahead. As Jin and Lidija become more entangled, they realize they share more than the ferocity of their ambition, and begin to explore hidden desires. Something is ignited in Jin: her art, her body, and her sense of self irrevocably changed. But can she avoid the specter of the curse? Vital, bold, powerful, and deeply moving, Exhibit asks: how brightly can you burn before you light your life on fire?

One Perfect Couple by Ruth Ware

Lyla is in a bit of a rut. Her post-doctoral research has fizzled out, she’s pretty sure they won’t extend her contract, and things with her boyfriend, Nico, an aspiring actor, aren’t going great. When the opportunity arises for Nico to join the cast of a new reality TV show, One Perfect Couple, she decides to try out with him. A whirlwind audition process later, Lyla find herself whisked off to a tropical paradise with Nico, boating through the Indian Ocean towards Ever After Island, where the two of them will compete against four other couples—Bayer and Angel, Dan and Santana, Joel and Romi, and Conor and Zana—in order to win a cash prize.

But not long after they arrive on the deserted island, things start to go wrong. After the first challenge leaves everyone rattled and angry, an overnight storm takes matters from bad to worse. Cut off from the mainland by miles of ocean, deprived of their phones, and unable to contact the crew that brought them there, the group must band together for survival. As tensions run high and fresh water runs low, Lyla finds that this game show is all too real—and the stakes are life or death.

Goddess of the River by Vaishnavi Patel

Ganga, joyful goddess of the river, serves as caretaker to the mischievous godlings who roam her banks. But when their antics incur the wrath of a powerful sage, Ganga is cursed to become mortal, bound to her human form until she fulfills the obligations of the curse.

Though she knows nothing of mortal life, Ganga weds King Shantanu and becomes a queen, determined to regain her freedom no matter the cost. But in a cruel turn of fate, just as she is freed of her binding, she is forced to leave her infant son behind.

Her son, prince Devavrata, unwittingly carries the legacy of Ganga’s curse. And when he makes an oath that he will never claim his father’s throne, he sets in motion a chain of events that will end in a terrible and tragic war.

As the years unfold, Ganga and Devavrata are drawn together again and again, each confluence another step on a path that has been written in the stars, in this deeply moving and masterful tale of duty, destiny, and the unwavering bond between mother and son.

The Guncle Abroad by Steven Rowley

Patrick O’Hara is back.

It’s been five years since his summer as his niece Maisie and nephew Grant’s caretaker after their mother’s passing. The kids are back in Connecticut with their dad, and Patrick has relocated to New York to remain close by and relaunch his dormant acting career. After the run of his second successful sit-com comes to a close, Patrick feels on top of the world . . . professionally. But some things have had to take a back seat. Looking down both barrels at fifty, Patrick is single again after breaking things off with Emory. But at least he has a family to lean on. Until that family needs to again lean on him.

When his brother Greg announces he’s getting remarried in Italy, Maisie and Grant are not thrilled. Patrick feels drawn to take the two back under his wing. As they travel through Europe on their way to the wedding, Patrick tries his best to help them understand love, much as he once helped them comprehend grief. But when they arrive in Italy, Patrick is overextended managing a groom with cold feet, his sister Clara flirting with guests left and right, a growing rivalry with the kids’ charming soon-to-be-launt (lesbian aunt), and two moody young teens trying to adjust to a new normal, all culminating in a disastrous rehearsal dinner.

The Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton

Outside the island there is nothing: the world was destroyed by a fog that swept the planet, killing anyone it touched.

On the island: it is idyllic. One hundred and twenty-two villagers and three scientists, living in peaceful harmony. The villagers are content to fish, farm and feast, to obey their nightly curfew, to do what they’re told by the scientists.

Until, to the horror of the islanders, one of their beloved scientists is found brutally stabbed to death. And then they learn that the murder has triggered a lowering of the security system around the island, the only thing that was keeping the fog at bay. If the murder isn’t solved within 107 hours, the fog will smother the island – and everyone on it.

But the security system has also wiped everyone’s memories of exactly what happened the night before, which means that someone on the island is a murderer – and they don’t even know it.

And the clock is ticking.

A Gentleman from Japan: The Untold Story of an Incredible Journey from Asia to Queen Elizabeth’s Court
by Thomas Lockley

On November 12th 1588, five young Asian men, led by a twenty-one-year-old called Christopher traveled up the River Thames to meet Queen Elizabeth I. Christopher’s epic sea voyage had spanned from Japan, via the Philippines, New Spain (Mexico), Java, and Southern Africa. On the way he had already become the first recorded Japanese person in North America. Now Christopher was the first ever Japanese visitor to England, and no other would leave such a legacy for centuries to come.

The story of Christopher is almost utterly forgotten, and has never been fully told before.

A Gentleman from Japan is a fast-paced, historical narrative of adventure, cross-cultural endeavor, intellectual exchange, perseverance, espionage, and conflict in the Age of Exploration.

A Northern Light in Provence by Elizabeth Birkelund

Ilse Erlund is a translator who lives in a house on stilts along the west coast of Greenland. Isolated and restless in her world by the sea, she convinces her publisher to pay for a trip to the country she has never visited but whose language she speaks fluently: France. Her mission is to translate the verses of Geoffrey “Po” Labaye, a charismatic poet known as “the last living troubadour of Provence.”

Upon arrival in the medieval hilltop village of Belle Rivière, Ilse falls under the spell of the Provençal way of life, captivated by the air, the sun, the vibrant spring colors, and the dulcet sounds of the dialect. Soon enough, Ilse is captivated by the poet, too, and she and Po develop a daily rhythm and warm camaraderie—which is disrupted by the arrival of the poet’s son, Frey. Though he has a fiancée back in Paris, Frey turns his attentions to Ilse, and suddenly she is forced to learn another language, one her translation skills have not prepared her to decode. Where—and with whom—does her future lie?

I Hope This Finds You Well by Natalie Sue

As far as Jolene is concerned, her interactions with her colleagues should start and end with her official duties as an admin for Supershops, Inc. Unfortunately, her irritating, incompetent coworkers don’t seem to understand the importance of boundaries. Her secret to survival? She vents her grievances in petty email postscripts, then changes the text color to white so no one can see. That is until one of her secret messages is exposed. Her punishment: sensitivity training (led by the suspiciously friendly HR guy, Cliff) and rigorous email restrictions.

When an IT mix-up grants her access to her entire department’s private emails and DMs, Jolene knows she should report it, but who could resist reading what their coworkers are really saying? And when she discovers layoffs are coming, she realizes this might just be the key to saving her job. The plan is simple: gain her boss’s favor, convince HR she’s Supershops material, and beat out the competition.

But as Jolene is drawn further into her coworker’s private worlds and realizes they are each keeping secrets, her carefully constructed walls begin to crumble—especially around Cliff, who she definitely cannot have feelings for. Eventually she will need to decide if she’s ready to leave the comfort of her cubicle, even if that means coming clean to her colleagues.

Kittentits by Holly Wilson

It’s 1992, and ten-year-old Molly is tired of living in the fire-rotted, nun-haunted House of Friends: a Semi-Cooperative Living Community of Peace Faith(s) in Action with her formerly blind dad and their grieving housemate Evelyn. But when twenty-three-year-old Jeanie, a dirt bike–riding ex-con with a questionable past, moves in, she quickly becomes the object of Molly’s adoration. She might treat Molly terribly, but they both have dead moms and potty mouths, so naturally Molly can’t seem to leave Jeanie alone.

When Jeanie fakes her own death in a hot-air balloon accident, Molly runs away to Chicago with just a stolen credit card and a sweet pair of LA Gear Heatwaves to meet her pen pal Demarcus and hunt down Jeanie. What follows is a race to New Year’s Eve, as Molly and Demarcus plan a séance to reunite with their lost moms in front of a live audience at the World’s Fair.

Lies and Weddings by Kevin Kwan

Rufus Leung Gresham, future Earl of Greshambury and son of a former Hong Kong supermodel has a problem: the legendary Gresham Trust has been depleted by decades of profligate spending, and behind all the magazine covers and Instagram stories of manors and yachts lies nothing more than a gargantuan mountain of debt. The only solution, put forth by Rufus’s scheming mother, is for Rufus to attend his sister’s wedding on the Big Island of Hawaii, a veritable who’s-who of sultans, barons, and oligarchs, and seduce a woman with money.

Should he marry Solène de Courcy, a French hotel heiress with honey blond tresses and a royal bloodline? Should he pursue Martha Dung, the tattooed venture capital genius who passes out billions like lollipops? Or should he follow his heart, betray his family, squander his legacy, and finally confess his love to the literal girl next door, the humble daughter of a doctor, Eden Tong? When a volcanic eruption burns through the nuptials and a hot mic exposes a secret tryst, the Gresham family plans—and their reputation—go up in flames. Can the once-great dukedom rise from the ashes? Or will a secret tragedy, hidden for two decades, reveal a shocking twist?

Lost Ark Dreaming by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

Off the coast of West Africa, decades after the dangerous rise of the Atlantic Ocean, the region’s survivors live inside five partially submerged, kilometers-high towers originally created as a playground for the wealthy. Now the towers’ most affluent rule from their lofty perch at the top while the rest are crammed into the dark, fetid floors below sea level.

There are also those who were left for dead in the Atlantic, only to be reawakened by an ancient power, and who seek vengeance on those who offered them up to the waves.

Three lives within the towers are pulled to the fore of this conflict: Yekini, an earnest, mid-level rookie analyst; Tuoyo, an undersea mechanic mourning a tremendous loss; and Ngozi, an egotistical bureaucrat from the highest levels of governance. They will need to work together if there is to be any hope of a future that is worth living―for everyone.

Shae by Mesha Maren

When sixteen-year-old Shae meets Cam, who is new to their small town in West Virginia, she thinks she has found someone who is everything she has ever wanted in a companion. The two become fast friends, and then more. And when Shae ends up pregnant, Cam begins a different transition—trying on clothes that Shae can no longer fit into and using female pronouns. Shae tries to be fully supportive as Cam becomes the person she wants and needs to be.

After a traumatic C-section and the birth of their daughter, Eva, Shae is given opioids to manage the intense pain. During the first year of Eva’s life, Shae’s dependence shifts from pain management to addiction, and her days begin to revolve around getting more pills. In the heart of West Virginia, opioids are dispensed as freely as candy, and Shae is just one of many to fall victim to addiction. Meanwhile, as Cam continues to transition, she embraces new relationships and faces the reality of being a trans woman in rural America.

Swiped by L.M. Chilton

Gwen Turner has made a bloody mess of her life. She recently broke up with the best man she’s ever known for reasons even she can’t admit to herself and quit a lucrative job to open her own coffee shop. To top it all off, her best friend is getting married and leaving her behind in singlehood.

Along with too much cheap wine and bad reality TV, Gwen turns to a dating app to help fill the void in her life. Swiping through the few eligible bachelors left in town, she spends her evenings out on one disastrous date after another. But when a string of murders suddenly occurs in her small coastal English city, she’s shocked by the connection between each of the victims—they’ve all been on a date with her.

Before she knows what’s happening, Gwen finds herself the main suspect in a serial killer’s murderous spree, and the only way she can clear her name is to track down her former dates (even those that have ghosted her) and unmask a killer before it’s too late.

The Main Character by Jaclyn Goldis

Reclusive, mysterious author Ginevra Ex is famous for her unusual approach to crafting her big bestselling thrillers: she hires real people and conducts intensive interviews, then fictionalizes them. Her latest main character, Rory, is thrilled when Ginevra presents her with an extravagant bonus—a lavish trip along Italy’s Mediterranean coast on the famed, newly renovated Orient Express. But when Rory boards the train, she’s stunned to discover that her brother, her best friend, and even her ex-fiancé are passengers, as well. All invited by Ginevra, all hiding secrets.

With each stop, from Cinque Terre to Rome to Positano, it becomes increasingly clear that Ginevra has masterminded the ultimate real life twisty plot with Rory as her main character. And as Ginevra’s deceptions mount, and the lies and machinations of Rory’s travel companions pile up, Rory begins to fear that her trip will culminate like one of Ginevra’s books: with a murder or two. In the opulent compartments of the iconic train, Rory must untangle the shocking reasons why Ginevra wanted them all aboard—and to what deadly end.

Trust and Safety by Laura Blackett and Eve Gleichman

Newlywed Rosie has grown disenchanted with NYC. Inspired by Instagram ads, she starts thirsting for a rural life upstate—one full of beauty and authenticity. She just needs to convince her tech-bro husband, Jordan, of her vision for the future. Willing to do anything for Rosie’s happiness, Jordan signs on, and they offer—well above asking price—on a beautiful, historic fixer-upper in the Hudson Valley.

But when Jordan suddenly loses his job, the couple is forced to rent out the property’s dilapidated outbuilding. There’s no heat, it’s overrun with mold, and nothing works.

Enter Dylan and Lark: an incredibly attractive and handy queer couple who offer to rent the outbuilding and help Rosie and Jordan with repairs. They also happen to be living the life Rosie had envisioned for herself: hand-built furniture, herbal tinctures, guinea hens, and hand-dyed linens. Rosie grows increasingly infatuated with their new tenants, especially with model-esque, charismatic Dylan—to Jordan’s increasing distress.

Wait by Gabriella Burnham

Elise is out dancing the night before her college graduation when her younger sister, Sophie, calls to tell her that their mom is nowhere to be found. Elise leaves on the next flight back to her childhood home, Nantucket Island, for the first time in nearly four years.

The sisters soon learn that their mother was stopped by police on her way home from work and deported to São Paulo, Brazil. Intent on bringing her mother back, Elise stays and secures the same job she had in high school: monitoring endangered birds. Meanwhile, her best friend from college, Sheba—a gregarious socialite and heir to a famed children’s toy company—reveals that she has inherited her grandfather’s summer mansion on Nantucket. Elise’s worlds collide as she confronts the emotional and material conditions that have fractured her family, as well as the life in Brazil that her mother has had to leave behind.

When We Were Silent by Fiona McPhillips

Louise Manson is the newest student at Highfield Manor, Dublin’s most exclusive private school. Behind its granite walls are high-arched alcoves, an oak-lined library…and the dark secret Lou has come to expose.

Lou’s working-class status makes her the consummate outsider, until she is befriended by some of her beautiful and wealthy classmates. But after Lou attempts to bring the school’s secret to light, her time at Highfield ends with a lifeless body sprawled at her feet.

Thirty years later, Lou gets a shocking phone call. A high-profile lawyer is bringing a lawsuit against the school—and he needs Lou to testify. Lou will have to confront her past and discover, once and for all, what really happened at Highfield. Powerful and compelling, When We Were Silent is a thrilling story of exploitation, privilege, and retribution.

Sailing Alone: A Surprising History of Isolation and Survival at Sea by Richard J. King

Sailing by yourself, out of sight of land, can be invigorating and terrifying, compelling and tedious – and sometimes all of the above in one morning. But it is also a wide expanse of time in which to think. Sailing Alone tells the story of some of the remarkable people who, over the last four centuries, have spent weeks and months, moving slowly over the world’s largest laboratory: a capricious and startling place in which to observe oneself, the weather, the stars, and countless sea creatures, from the tiniest to the most massive and threatening.

Richard J. King profiles characters famous, diverse, international, and obscure, from Joshua Slocum of 1898 to modern teenagers daring to take the challenge. They see strange hallucinations, lie to us (and themselves) on their travel logs, encounter sharks, befriend birds, and experience ESP, all part of the unnerving reality of extended isolation. And some disappear altogether. Sailing Alone also recounts the author’s own nearly catastrophic solo crossing of the Atlantic, and the mystery of his inexplicable survival one sunny afternoon.

Categories: Adults, Blog, and New Adult Books.

New Books: 05/21/2024

You Like It Darker by Stephen King

“You like it darker? Fine, so do I,” writes Stephen King in the afterword to this magnificent new collection of twelve stories that delve into the darker part of life—both metaphorical and literal. King has, for half a century, been a master of the form, and these stories, about fate, mortality, luck, and the folds in reality where anything can happen, are as rich and riveting as his novels, both weighty in theme and a huge pleasure to read. King writes to feel “the exhilaration of leaving ordinary day-to-day life behind,” and in You Like It Darker, readers will feel that exhilaration too, again and again.

King’s ability to surprise, amaze, and bring us both terror and solace remains unsurpassed. Each of these stories holds its own thrills, joys, and mysteries; each feels iconic. You like it darker? You got it.

Mind Games by Nora Roberts

As they do each June, the Foxes have driven the winding roads of Appalachia to drop off their children for a two-week stay at their grandmother’s. Here, twelve-year-old Thea can run free and breathe in the smells of pine and fresh bread and Grammie’s handmade candles. But as her parents head back to suburban Virginia, they have no idea they’re about to cross paths with a ticking time bomb.

Back in Kentucky, Thea and her grandmother Lucy both awaken from the same nightmare. And though the two have never discussed the special kind of sight they share, they know as soon as their tearful eyes meet that something terrible has happened.

The kids will be staying with Grammie now in Redbud Hollow, and thanks to Thea’s vision, their parents’ killer will spend his life in supermax. Over time, Thea will make friends, build a career, find love. But that ability to see into minds and souls still lurks within her, and though Grammie calls it a gift, it feels more like a curse—because the inmate who shattered her childhood has the same ability. Thea can hear his twisted thoughts and witness his evil acts from miles away. He knows it, and hungers for vengeance. A long, silent battle will be waged between them—and eventually bring them face to face, and head to head…

Exhibit by R.O. Kwon

At a lavish party in the hills outside of San Francisco, Jin Han meets Lidija Jung and nothing will ever be the same for either woman. A brilliant young photographer, Jin is at a crossroads in her work, in her marriage to her college love Philip, and in who she is and who she wants to be. Lidija is an alluring, injured world-class ballerina on hiatus from her ballet company under mysterious circumstances. Drawn to each other by their intense artistic drives, the two women talk all night.

Cracked open, Jin finds herself telling Lidija about a old familial curse, breaking a lifelong promise. She’s been told that if she doesn’t keep the curse a secret, she risks losing everything; death and ruin could lie ahead. As Jin and Lidija become more entangled, they realize they share more than the ferocity of their ambition, and begin to explore hidden desires. Something is ignited in Jin: her art, her body, and her sense of self irrevocably changed. But can she avoid the specter of the curse? Vital, bold, powerful, and deeply moving, Exhibit asks: how brightly can you burn before you light your life on fire?

One Perfect Couple by Ruth Ware

Lyla is in a bit of a rut. Her post-doctoral research has fizzled out, she’s pretty sure they won’t extend her contract, and things with her boyfriend, Nico, an aspiring actor, aren’t going great. When the opportunity arises for Nico to join the cast of a new reality TV show, One Perfect Couple, she decides to try out with him. A whirlwind audition process later, Lyla find herself whisked off to a tropical paradise with Nico, boating through the Indian Ocean towards Ever After Island, where the two of them will compete against four other couples—Bayer and Angel, Dan and Santana, Joel and Romi, and Conor and Zana—in order to win a cash prize.

But not long after they arrive on the deserted island, things start to go wrong. After the first challenge leaves everyone rattled and angry, an overnight storm takes matters from bad to worse. Cut off from the mainland by miles of ocean, deprived of their phones, and unable to contact the crew that brought them there, the group must band together for survival. As tensions run high and fresh water runs low, Lyla finds that this game show is all too real—and the stakes are life or death.

Goddess of the River by Vaishnavi Patel

Ganga, joyful goddess of the river, serves as caretaker to the mischievous godlings who roam her banks. But when their antics incur the wrath of a powerful sage, Ganga is cursed to become mortal, bound to her human form until she fulfills the obligations of the curse.

Though she knows nothing of mortal life, Ganga weds King Shantanu and becomes a queen, determined to regain her freedom no matter the cost. But in a cruel turn of fate, just as she is freed of her binding, she is forced to leave her infant son behind.

Her son, prince Devavrata, unwittingly carries the legacy of Ganga’s curse. And when he makes an oath that he will never claim his father’s throne, he sets in motion a chain of events that will end in a terrible and tragic war.

As the years unfold, Ganga and Devavrata are drawn together again and again, each confluence another step on a path that has been written in the stars, in this deeply moving and masterful tale of duty, destiny, and the unwavering bond between mother and son.

The Guncle Abroad by Steven Rowley

Patrick O’Hara is back.

It’s been five years since his summer as his niece Maisie and nephew Grant’s caretaker after their mother’s passing. The kids are back in Connecticut with their dad, and Patrick has relocated to New York to remain close by and relaunch his dormant acting career. After the run of his second successful sit-com comes to a close, Patrick feels on top of the world . . . professionally. But some things have had to take a back seat. Looking down both barrels at fifty, Patrick is single again after breaking things off with Emory. But at least he has a family to lean on. Until that family needs to again lean on him.

When his brother Greg announces he’s getting remarried in Italy, Maisie and Grant are not thrilled. Patrick feels drawn to take the two back under his wing. As they travel through Europe on their way to the wedding, Patrick tries his best to help them understand love, much as he once helped them comprehend grief. But when they arrive in Italy, Patrick is overextended managing a groom with cold feet, his sister Clara flirting with guests left and right, a growing rivalry with the kids’ charming soon-to-be-launt (lesbian aunt), and two moody young teens trying to adjust to a new normal, all culminating in a disastrous rehearsal dinner.

The Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton

Outside the island there is nothing: the world was destroyed by a fog that swept the planet, killing anyone it touched.

On the island: it is idyllic. One hundred and twenty-two villagers and three scientists, living in peaceful harmony. The villagers are content to fish, farm and feast, to obey their nightly curfew, to do what they’re told by the scientists.

Until, to the horror of the islanders, one of their beloved scientists is found brutally stabbed to death. And then they learn that the murder has triggered a lowering of the security system around the island, the only thing that was keeping the fog at bay. If the murder isn’t solved within 107 hours, the fog will smother the island – and everyone on it.

But the security system has also wiped everyone’s memories of exactly what happened the night before, which means that someone on the island is a murderer – and they don’t even know it.

And the clock is ticking.

A Gentleman from Japan: The Untold Story of an Incredible Journey from Asia to Queen Elizabeth’s Court
by Thomas Lockley

On November 12th 1588, five young Asian men, led by a twenty-one-year-old called Christopher traveled up the River Thames to meet Queen Elizabeth I. Christopher’s epic sea voyage had spanned from Japan, via the Philippines, New Spain (Mexico), Java, and Southern Africa. On the way he had already become the first recorded Japanese person in North America. Now Christopher was the first ever Japanese visitor to England, and no other would leave such a legacy for centuries to come.

The story of Christopher is almost utterly forgotten, and has never been fully told before.

A Gentleman from Japan is a fast-paced, historical narrative of adventure, cross-cultural endeavor, intellectual exchange, perseverance, espionage, and conflict in the Age of Exploration.

A Northern Light in Provence by Elizabeth Birkelund

Ilse Erlund is a translator who lives in a house on stilts along the west coast of Greenland. Isolated and restless in her world by the sea, she convinces her publisher to pay for a trip to the country she has never visited but whose language she speaks fluently: France. Her mission is to translate the verses of Geoffrey “Po” Labaye, a charismatic poet known as “the last living troubadour of Provence.”

Upon arrival in the medieval hilltop village of Belle Rivière, Ilse falls under the spell of the Provençal way of life, captivated by the air, the sun, the vibrant spring colors, and the dulcet sounds of the dialect. Soon enough, Ilse is captivated by the poet, too, and she and Po develop a daily rhythm and warm camaraderie—which is disrupted by the arrival of the poet’s son, Frey. Though he has a fiancée back in Paris, Frey turns his attentions to Ilse, and suddenly she is forced to learn another language, one her translation skills have not prepared her to decode. Where—and with whom—does her future lie?

I Hope This Finds You Well by Natalie Sue

As far as Jolene is concerned, her interactions with her colleagues should start and end with her official duties as an admin for Supershops, Inc. Unfortunately, her irritating, incompetent coworkers don’t seem to understand the importance of boundaries. Her secret to survival? She vents her grievances in petty email postscripts, then changes the text color to white so no one can see. That is until one of her secret messages is exposed. Her punishment: sensitivity training (led by the suspiciously friendly HR guy, Cliff) and rigorous email restrictions.

When an IT mix-up grants her access to her entire department’s private emails and DMs, Jolene knows she should report it, but who could resist reading what their coworkers are really saying? And when she discovers layoffs are coming, she realizes this might just be the key to saving her job. The plan is simple: gain her boss’s favor, convince HR she’s Supershops material, and beat out the competition.

But as Jolene is drawn further into her coworker’s private worlds and realizes they are each keeping secrets, her carefully constructed walls begin to crumble—especially around Cliff, who she definitely cannot have feelings for. Eventually she will need to decide if she’s ready to leave the comfort of her cubicle, even if that means coming clean to her colleagues.

Kittentits by Holly Wilson

It’s 1992, and ten-year-old Molly is tired of living in the fire-rotted, nun-haunted House of Friends: a Semi-Cooperative Living Community of Peace Faith(s) in Action with her formerly blind dad and their grieving housemate Evelyn. But when twenty-three-year-old Jeanie, a dirt bike–riding ex-con with a questionable past, moves in, she quickly becomes the object of Molly’s adoration. She might treat Molly terribly, but they both have dead moms and potty mouths, so naturally Molly can’t seem to leave Jeanie alone.

When Jeanie fakes her own death in a hot-air balloon accident, Molly runs away to Chicago with just a stolen credit card and a sweet pair of LA Gear Heatwaves to meet her pen pal Demarcus and hunt down Jeanie. What follows is a race to New Year’s Eve, as Molly and Demarcus plan a séance to reunite with their lost moms in front of a live audience at the World’s Fair.

Lies and Weddings by Kevin Kwan

Rufus Leung Gresham, future Earl of Greshambury and son of a former Hong Kong supermodel has a problem: the legendary Gresham Trust has been depleted by decades of profligate spending, and behind all the magazine covers and Instagram stories of manors and yachts lies nothing more than a gargantuan mountain of debt. The only solution, put forth by Rufus’s scheming mother, is for Rufus to attend his sister’s wedding on the Big Island of Hawaii, a veritable who’s-who of sultans, barons, and oligarchs, and seduce a woman with money.

Should he marry Solène de Courcy, a French hotel heiress with honey blond tresses and a royal bloodline? Should he pursue Martha Dung, the tattooed venture capital genius who passes out billions like lollipops? Or should he follow his heart, betray his family, squander his legacy, and finally confess his love to the literal girl next door, the humble daughter of a doctor, Eden Tong? When a volcanic eruption burns through the nuptials and a hot mic exposes a secret tryst, the Gresham family plans—and their reputation—go up in flames. Can the once-great dukedom rise from the ashes? Or will a secret tragedy, hidden for two decades, reveal a shocking twist?

Lost Ark Dreaming by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

Off the coast of West Africa, decades after the dangerous rise of the Atlantic Ocean, the region’s survivors live inside five partially submerged, kilometers-high towers originally created as a playground for the wealthy. Now the towers’ most affluent rule from their lofty perch at the top while the rest are crammed into the dark, fetid floors below sea level.

There are also those who were left for dead in the Atlantic, only to be reawakened by an ancient power, and who seek vengeance on those who offered them up to the waves.

Three lives within the towers are pulled to the fore of this conflict: Yekini, an earnest, mid-level rookie analyst; Tuoyo, an undersea mechanic mourning a tremendous loss; and Ngozi, an egotistical bureaucrat from the highest levels of governance. They will need to work together if there is to be any hope of a future that is worth living―for everyone.

Shae by Mesha Maren

When sixteen-year-old Shae meets Cam, who is new to their small town in West Virginia, she thinks she has found someone who is everything she has ever wanted in a companion. The two become fast friends, and then more. And when Shae ends up pregnant, Cam begins a different transition—trying on clothes that Shae can no longer fit into and using female pronouns. Shae tries to be fully supportive as Cam becomes the person she wants and needs to be.

After a traumatic C-section and the birth of their daughter, Eva, Shae is given opioids to manage the intense pain. During the first year of Eva’s life, Shae’s dependence shifts from pain management to addiction, and her days begin to revolve around getting more pills. In the heart of West Virginia, opioids are dispensed as freely as candy, and Shae is just one of many to fall victim to addiction. Meanwhile, as Cam continues to transition, she embraces new relationships and faces the reality of being a trans woman in rural America.

Swiped by L.M. Chilton

Gwen Turner has made a bloody mess of her life. She recently broke up with the best man she’s ever known for reasons even she can’t admit to herself and quit a lucrative job to open her own coffee shop. To top it all off, her best friend is getting married and leaving her behind in singlehood.

Along with too much cheap wine and bad reality TV, Gwen turns to a dating app to help fill the void in her life. Swiping through the few eligible bachelors left in town, she spends her evenings out on one disastrous date after another. But when a string of murders suddenly occurs in her small coastal English city, she’s shocked by the connection between each of the victims—they’ve all been on a date with her.

Before she knows what’s happening, Gwen finds herself the main suspect in a serial killer’s murderous spree, and the only way she can clear her name is to track down her former dates (even those that have ghosted her) and unmask a killer before it’s too late.

The Main Character by Jaclyn Goldis

Reclusive, mysterious author Ginevra Ex is famous for her unusual approach to crafting her big bestselling thrillers: she hires real people and conducts intensive interviews, then fictionalizes them. Her latest main character, Rory, is thrilled when Ginevra presents her with an extravagant bonus—a lavish trip along Italy’s Mediterranean coast on the famed, newly renovated Orient Express. But when Rory boards the train, she’s stunned to discover that her brother, her best friend, and even her ex-fiancé are passengers, as well. All invited by Ginevra, all hiding secrets.

With each stop, from Cinque Terre to Rome to Positano, it becomes increasingly clear that Ginevra has masterminded the ultimate real life twisty plot with Rory as her main character. And as Ginevra’s deceptions mount, and the lies and machinations of Rory’s travel companions pile up, Rory begins to fear that her trip will culminate like one of Ginevra’s books: with a murder or two. In the opulent compartments of the iconic train, Rory must untangle the shocking reasons why Ginevra wanted them all aboard—and to what deadly end.

Trust and Safety by Laura Blackett and Eve Gleichman

Newlywed Rosie has grown disenchanted with NYC. Inspired by Instagram ads, she starts thirsting for a rural life upstate—one full of beauty and authenticity. She just needs to convince her tech-bro husband, Jordan, of her vision for the future. Willing to do anything for Rosie’s happiness, Jordan signs on, and they offer—well above asking price—on a beautiful, historic fixer-upper in the Hudson Valley.

But when Jordan suddenly loses his job, the couple is forced to rent out the property’s dilapidated outbuilding. There’s no heat, it’s overrun with mold, and nothing works.

Enter Dylan and Lark: an incredibly attractive and handy queer couple who offer to rent the outbuilding and help Rosie and Jordan with repairs. They also happen to be living the life Rosie had envisioned for herself: hand-built furniture, herbal tinctures, guinea hens, and hand-dyed linens. Rosie grows increasingly infatuated with their new tenants, especially with model-esque, charismatic Dylan—to Jordan’s increasing distress.

Wait by Gabriella Burnham

Elise is out dancing the night before her college graduation when her younger sister, Sophie, calls to tell her that their mom is nowhere to be found. Elise leaves on the next flight back to her childhood home, Nantucket Island, for the first time in nearly four years.

The sisters soon learn that their mother was stopped by police on her way home from work and deported to São Paulo, Brazil. Intent on bringing her mother back, Elise stays and secures the same job she had in high school: monitoring endangered birds. Meanwhile, her best friend from college, Sheba—a gregarious socialite and heir to a famed children’s toy company—reveals that she has inherited her grandfather’s summer mansion on Nantucket. Elise’s worlds collide as she confronts the emotional and material conditions that have fractured her family, as well as the life in Brazil that her mother has had to leave behind.

When We Were Silent by Fiona McPhillips

Louise Manson is the newest student at Highfield Manor, Dublin’s most exclusive private school. Behind its granite walls are high-arched alcoves, an oak-lined library…and the dark secret Lou has come to expose.

Lou’s working-class status makes her the consummate outsider, until she is befriended by some of her beautiful and wealthy classmates. But after Lou attempts to bring the school’s secret to light, her time at Highfield ends with a lifeless body sprawled at her feet.

Thirty years later, Lou gets a shocking phone call. A high-profile lawyer is bringing a lawsuit against the school—and he needs Lou to testify. Lou will have to confront her past and discover, once and for all, what really happened at Highfield. Powerful and compelling, When We Were Silent is a thrilling story of exploitation, privilege, and retribution.

Sailing Alone: A Surprising History of Isolation and Survival at Sea by Richard J. King

Sailing by yourself, out of sight of land, can be invigorating and terrifying, compelling and tedious – and sometimes all of the above in one morning. But it is also a wide expanse of time in which to think. Sailing Alone tells the story of some of the remarkable people who, over the last four centuries, have spent weeks and months, moving slowly over the world’s largest laboratory: a capricious and startling place in which to observe oneself, the weather, the stars, and countless sea creatures, from the tiniest to the most massive and threatening.

Richard J. King profiles characters famous, diverse, international, and obscure, from Joshua Slocum of 1898 to modern teenagers daring to take the challenge. They see strange hallucinations, lie to us (and themselves) on their travel logs, encounter sharks, befriend birds, and experience ESP, all part of the unnerving reality of extended isolation. And some disappear altogether. Sailing Alone also recounts the author’s own nearly catastrophic solo crossing of the Atlantic, and the mystery of his inexplicable survival one sunny afternoon.

Categories: Adults, Blog, and New Adult Books.