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Here's a list of books for summer reading, recommended by the UST Libraries staff. See our Leisure Reading collection for additional choices. Enjoy your summer!
(Libraries staff & student workers, if you have titles to add, please send title & blurb/commentary to John Heintz).
Diamond Patrick, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library
The Song of Achilles by
Publication Date: 2012-03-06
A retelling of Homer’s Iliad from the point of view of Patroclus, I loved this book to bits. I couldn’t put it down from the beginning and cried when it ended.
“Achilles, ‘the best of all the Greeks,’ son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus, is strong, swift, and beautiful, irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods' wrath.”
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by
Publication Date: 1994-01-11
This book was recommended to me a couple years ago and it remains one of my favorites. It is a semi-autobiographical account that follows the coming-of-age story of a young girl named Jeanette who must navigate her identity as a lesbian within her religious upbringing.
“This is the story of Jeanette, adopted and brought up by her mother as one of God's elect. Zealous and passionate, she seems destined for life as a missionary, but then she falls for one of her converts. At sixteen, Jeanette decides to leave the church, her home and her family, for the young woman she loves. Innovative, punchy and tender, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a few days ride into the bizarre outposts of religious excess and human obsession.”
Don't Call Us Dead by
Publication Date: 2017-09-05
Danez Smith is a Minnesota native and an award-winning poet. This collection of poetry is searing, potent, and absolutely essential. In the four years since it was published, I am still often thinking about this work.
“Don't Call Us Dead opens with a heartrending sequence that imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police, a place where suspicion, violence, and grief are forgotten and replaced with the safety, love, and longevity they deserved here on earth. Smith turns then to desire, mortality the dangers experienced in skin and body and blood and a diagnosis of HIV positive. ‘Some of us are killed / in pieces,’ Smith writes, ‘some of us all at once.’ Don't Call Us Dead is an astonishing and ambitious collection, one that confronts, praises, and rebukes America -- ‘Dear White America’ -- where every day is too often a funeral and not often enough a miracle.”
The Chosen and the Beautiful by
Publication Date: 2021-06-01
This novel focuses on the character Jordan Baker from The Great Gatsby and adds elements of fantasy to Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age novel. Vo reimagines Jordan Baker as a queer Asian woman navigating American society in this coming-of-age story.
“Jordan Baker grows up in the most rarefied circles of 1920s American society—she has money, education, a killer golf handicap, and invitations to some of the most exclusive parties of the Jazz Age. She’s also queer, Asian, adopted, and treated as an exotic attraction by her peers, while the most important doors remain closed to her. But the world is full of wonders: infernal pacts and dazzling illusions, lost ghosts and elemental mysteries. In all paper is fire, and Jordan can burn the cut paper heart out of a man. She just has to learn how.”
Hola Papi by
Publication Date: 2021-06-08
Maybe you already know of John Paul Brammer from Twitter --- that’s how I first came across him, at least. Then, I discovered his advice column and became an immediate fan. His writing is hilarious and heartwarming, like facetiming a close friend for hours that feel like minutes.
“In ¡Hola Papi!, JP shares his story of growing up biracial and in the closet in America’s heartland, while attempting to answer some of life’s toughest questions: How do I let go of the past? How do I become the person I want to be? Is there such a thing as being too gay? Should I hook up with my grade school bully now that he’s out of the closet? Questions we’ve all asked ourselves, surely.”
Price of Salt by
Publication Date: 2004-03-17
Another favorite of mine, you might be familiar with the movie featuring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. While I enjoyed the movie, I loved the book so much more. This novel absolutely captivated my heart.
“The Price of Salt is the story of Therese Belivet, a stage designer trapped in a department-store day job, whose salvation arrives one day in the form of Carol Aird, an alluring suburban housewife in the throes of a divorce. They fall in love and set out across the United States, pursued by a private investigator who eventually blackmails Carol into a choice between her daughter and her lover.”
Talia Nadir, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library
The Lost Daughter by
Call Number: PQ4879.T345 C6613 2021
Publication Date: 2008-03-01
"When Leda's daughters leave home to be with their father, she decides to take a trip to a small coastal town in Italy, but soon after she arrives memories from her unsettled past come back to haunt her. "
If you're a Ferrante fan, I highly recommend reading the novel before seeing the film adaptation.
Call Number: PQ4879.T345 C6613 2021
Publication Date: 2021-11-09
“Acclaimed Italian novelist and National Book Award finalist Starnone’s newest novel explores vulnerability, relationships, and the gulf between our public and private selves.”—The Millions
Readable and good, though I like some of his previous novels better. I would likely read any novel written by Starnone.
Breasts and Eggs by
Call Number: PL872.5.A89 N3813 2020
Publication Date: 2020-04-07
"Breasts and Eggs paints a portrait of contemporary womanhood in Japan and recounts the intimate journeys of three women as they confront oppressive mores and their own uncertainties on the road to finding peace and futures they can truly call their own."
An unusual read and a new look into Japanese culture for me.
Speak No Evil by
Publication Date: 2018-03-06
“The classic coming-out narrative describes how the central character makes a leap from one identity to another, into a different, freer life, while the classic immigrant novel depicts what it’s like to straddle two worlds, old and new, with a foothold in each. Speak No Evil is both and neither.... The soul of Speak No Evil is the tortuous, exquisitely rendered relationship between Niru and his father.” -- The New Yorker
There's something very haunting about this novel that stays me even months after reading it.
Call Number: PS3611.I877 I58 2021
Publication Date: 2021-07-20
"Intimacies is both sleekly gorgeous — those sentences — and psychologically unnerving. She’s an absolutely brilliant writer." —Julie Otsuka, New York Times Book Review
“A strange and mesmerizing tale about language, understanding, and the role of strangers in our most intimate moments.” —Bookriot
I'm a fan of her writing but not everyone would be.
Under the Udala Trees by
Call Number: PS3615.K73 U53 2016
Publication Date: 2016-09-20
"Ijeoma, a young Nigerian girl displaced during her country's civil war, begins a powerful love affair with another refugee girl from a different ethnic community. When the pair are discovered, she must learn the cost of living a lie amidst taboos and prejudices. Even as her nation contends with and recovers from the effects of war and division, Ijeoma seeks a glimmer of hope for a future where a woman might just be able to shape her life around truth and love."
Captivating. Another novel that illustrates my fascination with Nigerian writers. Very good read.
The Girl with the Louding Voice by
Call Number: PR6104 .A83298 G57 2020
Publication Date: 2020-02-04
“I'm excited about this debut novel from Nigerian author Abi Daré. . . . In Nigeria, and around the world, girls are fighting for their right to learn. I'm grateful to Abi for showing the challenges Nigerian girls face and showcasing the power of their voices.”—Malala Yousafzai
One of the most captivating novels I read this year. Powerful, intense, and inspiring in so many ways. Highly recommended.
The Gin Closet by
Call Number: PS3610.A485 G86 2010
Publication Date: 2011-05-03
Thirty years after Tilly leaves home her niece, Stella, shows up at her door, and after the two very different women begin to bond, they move to San Francisco together to live with Abe, Tilly's elusive son."
A very well written, brutally realistic novel, this isn't an "enjoyable" read per se. Reading it for me felt as if I was on the journey which at times felt utterly exhausting. Powerful.
Butter Honey Pig Bread by
Call Number: PR9387.9.E34554 B88 2020
Publication Date: 2020-11-03
"For readers of African diasporic authors such as Teju Cole and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Butter Honey Pig Bread is a story of choices and their consequences, of motherhood, of the malleable line between the spirit and the mind, of finding new homes and mending old ones, of voracious appetites, of queer love, of friendship, faith, and above all, family." (Amazon)
A bit "uneven" in parts, I nonetheless enjoyed reading it. Another Nigerian novel added to my growing list and fascination with Nigerian authors.
John Heintz, Charles J. Keffer Library
The Cellist by
Call Number: PS3619.I5443 C45 2021
Publication Date: 2021-07-13
#21 in the Gabriel Allon spy thriller series. "The pace of "The Cellist" never slackens as its action volleys from Zurich to Tel Aviv to Paris and beyond. Elegant and sophisticated, provocative and daring, The Cellist explores one of the preeminent threats facing the West today—the corrupting influence of dirty money wielded by a revanchist and reckless Russia. It is at once a novel of hope and a stark warning about the fragile state of democracy."
What We Become by
Publication Date: 2016-06-07
"Arturo Pérez-Reverte delivers an epic historical tale following the dangerous and passionate love affair between a beautiful high society woman and an elegant thief. A story of romance, adventure, and espionage. En route from Lisbon to Buenos Aires in 1928, Max and Mecha meet aboard a luxurious transatlantic cruise ship. There Max teaches the stunning stranger and her erudite husband to dance the tango. A steamy affair ignites at sea and continues as the seedy decadence of Buenos Aires envelops the secret lovers. Nice, 1937. Still drawn to one another a decade later, Max and Mecha rekindle their dalliance. In the wake of a perilous mission gone awry, Mecha looks after her charming paramour until a deadly encounter with a Spanish spy forces him to flee. Sorrento, 1966. Max once again runs into trouble--and Mecha. She offers him temporary shelter from the KGB agents on his trail, but their undeniable attraction offers only a small glimmer of hope that their paths will ever cross again."
The Keep by
Call Number: PS3555.G292 K44 2006
Publication Date: 2006-08-01
"Two cousins, irreversibly damaged by a childhood prank whose devastating consequences changed both their lives, reunite twenty years later to renovate a medieval castle in Eastern Europe, a castle steeped in blood lore and family pride. Built over a secret system of caves and tunnels, the castle and its violent history invoke and subvert all the elements of a gothic past: twins, a pool, an old baroness, a fearsome tower. In an environment of extreme paranoia, cut off from the outside world, the men reenact the signal event of their youth, with even more catastrophic results. And as the full horror of their predicament unfolds, a prisoner, in jail for an unnamed crime, recounts an unforgettable story -- a story about two cousins who unite to renovate a castle -- that brings the crimes of the past and present into piercing relation."
Publication Date: 2014-01-21
"In the autumn of 1938 Germany's Reichsführer, Heinrich Himmler, is growing frustrated at the British using their regional power in India to block passage of an SS expedition to Tibet. Determined to spite them, he plots to steal something the British hold dear and have failed for the seventh time that spring to achieve - a first summit of Mount Everest. Seventy years later, seasoned mountain guide Neil Quinn's ninth visit to the top of the world's highest mountain in the charge of the sixteen-year old son of a Long Island billionaire begins to unravel. As a desperate fight for their lives begins in the freezing air high above Tibet, Quinn stumbles across a clue to a story that questions everything he thinks he knows about the great mountain. When the bitter aftermath of Quinn's disastrous climb turns to violent tragedy in Kathmandu, his discovery pushes him into a relentless journey that takes him from the dangerous heights of Everest to the equally treacherous margins of a new Europe where history hungers to repeat itself. Amidst a rich and diverse cast of characters, each with their own reason to possess the mystery of his discovery, Neil Quinn has to fight, increasingly desperately, for order and the truth. In doing so, he reveals an older story of man and mountain to its shocking conclusion."
Cathy Lutz, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library
The Thursday Murder Club by
Publication Date: 2020-09-22
Publishers Weekly: “British TV celebrity Osman mixes mirth and murder in his exceptional debut, a series launch featuring the four members of the Thursday Murder Club, residents of the Coopers Chase Retirement Village in Kent. Despite their different backgrounds, Elizabeth, Ibrahim, Joyce, and Ron share an interest in solving mysteries. When 26-year-old Donna De Freitas, a police constable who dreams of pursuing serial killers, visits the home to talk to the pensioners about "Practical Tips for Home Security," the club members arrange for Donna to be assigned to a homicide case they have a connection to by manipulating her boss, so that they can get access to the investigation through a grateful Donna. . . Osman's witty prose (labor activist Ron's "picture was rarely in the papers without the caption 'Talks between the two sides collapsed late last night'") is a highlight.”
The Man Who Died Twice by
Publication Date: 2021-09-28
Publishers Weekly: “In Thriller Award--finalist Osman's riveting sequel to 2020's The Thursday Murder Club, Elizabeth Best, one of four members of a crime-solving club at Coopers Chase, a retirement residence in Kent, England, receives an SOS written by a feckless secret agent from her past who's supposed to be dead. The man is at the center of a long-ago clandestine operation and the theft of a large cache of diamonds that interest MI5, the Mafia, and other parties. Soon murders occur, and Elizabeth and club pals Joyce, Ron, and Ibrahim, and their associates must finger the perpetrator, decipher cryptic messages, and embark on a convoluted hunt for the diamonds amid considerable danger. . . Those who prefer their mysteries with touches of spycraft, humor, and eccentricity will be well pleased.”
The Rose Code by
Call Number: PS3617.U578 R67 2021
Publication Date: 2021-03-09
Publishers Weekly: "Quinn (The Huntress) returns to WWII and the secretive world of Bletchley Park in this immersive saga. Debutant Osla Kendall meets fellow Bletchley Park recruit and London East End resident Mab Churt on the train in 1940. While working at Bletchley, they share a room at the home of Beth Finch, a young woman beaten down by her demanding mother. After discovering Beth's talent for solving crosswords, Osla helps Beth get a job interview at Bletchley Park. Though Beth is shy and reclusive, she shines in her work on breaking codes. But when she discovers someone at Bletchley is likely a traitor, no one believes her. Soon, she she winds up the suspected traitor and is committed at Clockwell Sanitarium after having a mental breakdown. In 1947, almost four years later, Beth contacts Osla and Mab, who help Beth escape from Clockwell. Together, the women work to crack a code that will help them find the traitor." Also check out Quinn’s Alice network (2017) and The diamond eye (2022), both set during WWII and featuring strong women characters based on historical persons and events.
A Desolation Called Peace by
Publication Date: 2021-03-02
Publishers Weekly: “Martine spins a dizzying, exhilarating story of diplomacy, conspiracy, and first contact in the powerhouse sequel to her Hugo Award--winning debut, A Memory Called Empire. Mahit Dzmare has returned home to Lsel station after a brief, eventful stint as ambassador to the empire of Teixcalaan, but now Teixcalaanli warships are moving into formation against the terrifying aliens that live beyond a nearby jumpgate. When Nine Hibiscus, the leader of the warships, requests a trained diplomat to aid in alien relations and avoid conflict, Mahit's former liaison and love interest, Three Seagrass, assigns herself the job--and drags Mahit along with her. But there are factions on Lsel and in Teixcalaan who would benefit from an endless war and who work to undermine their negotiations. Martine effortlessly balances several points of view--including the idealistic 11-year-old imperial heir, Eight Antidote--to provide a vivid window into a struggle over the question of who gets to be counted as a person. Martine's aliens are viscerally unsettling and utterly believable, and she deploys them masterfully to underscore themes of colonization, assimilation, and cultural violence. This complex, stunning space opera promises to reshape the genre.”
Fevered Star by
Publication Date: 2022
Library Journal: "Picking up not long after the events in Black Sun, Tova is in ruins as clan leaders are dead or regrouping, and the sun itself is caught in eclipse. Prophecy insists upon more death and the rise of a new ruler--and the question of who drives the story. Serapio is drawn further out of humanity as his power grows, but not everyone within the Carrion Crow believes he is their future. Naranpa finds that her tests will continue as she discovers her path as a living avatar. The Golden Eagles continue to try to take power. The former sea captain Xiala tumbles through the changes like the waves of the sea, and she not only discovers a possible ally in Iktan, the former Priest of Knives, but finds that former enemies are gathering, including her Teek Matriarchs and others who also seek their own power. VERDICT Roanhorse's pre-Columbian-inspired Meridian is an amazingly complex world of magic, gods, and power plays. With exquisite details and characters on tremendous journeys, readers will be anticipating the next book as soon as they turn the last page."
Janice Kragness, Charles J. Keffer Library
Gone to the Woods by
Call Number: PS3566.A834 Z46 2021
Publication Date: 2021-01-12
"A mesmerizing memoir from a literary legend, giving readers a new perspective on the origins of Hatchet and other famed survival stories."
The Bright Ages by
Publication Date: 2021-12-07
A re-interpretation of the supposed Dark Ages by two medieval historians, written for the rest of us.
State of Terror by
Publication Date: 2021-10-12
Combines the behind-the-scenes political knowledge of Clinton with the masterful crime writing of Penney.
Elizabeth Hadden-Peck, Schoenecker Law Library
Rivers of London (#1) by
Publication Date: 2011
I highly recommend the audiobook version of this series!
Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.
Gideon the Ninth by
Publication Date: 2019-09-10
Winner of the 2020 Locus Award and Crawford Award. Finalist for the 2020 Hugo, Nebula, Dragon, and World Fantasy Awards.
From the New York Times review: “Everything I read about “Gideon the Ninth” before publication seemed to suggest it would be a lighthearted wacky adventure, with much made of the tagline “lesbian necromancers in space” — but I experienced the book as meticulous and moody, full of anguish, haunted by difficult and complex feelings in a wasted universe. Muir marshals a gorgeous cast of characters to delirious effect in a perfectly paced haunted house murder mystery, but it’s less gonzo than it is Agatha Christie writing Gormenghast. Muir is fantastic at both humor and horror, not to mention moving me to tears. I should also note that “Gideon the Ninth” is not a romance, though queer longing abounds; it’s deft, tense and atmospheric, compellingly immersive and wildly original. It’s honestly perfect as both a satisfying stand-alone and the launch of a trilogy, and I can’t wait until the sequel lands next year.”
The Invisible Library by
Publication Date: 2016-06-14
From the Publisher’s Weekly starred review: The first entry in Cogman’s debut fantasy series follows the adventures of feisty spy Irene. She’s employed by the mysterious organization known as the Library, which exists across space and time, to find unique works of fiction across alternate realities and store them for posterity. Her latest mission is to find a tome in a version of London populated with vampires, werewolves, and Fair Folk while training one of the Library’s newest recruits, the enigmatic Kai. She gets more than she bargains for when the book is stolen and she’s thrust into a dangerous underworld where magic and intrigue meet. Cogman writes with a vivacity and wittiness that breathes new life into the genre. Marrying political and academic intrigue with high-stakes battle scenes, the plot moves at a fair clip, with a captivating cast of characters. The relationship between Irene and Kai omits clichéd romantic tension, and the banter they share is quite refreshing. Reminiscent of the works of Diana Wynne Jones and Neil Gaiman, Cogman’s novel is a true treat to read.
Paladin's Grace by
Publication Date: 2020-04-28
I believe the author said about this book something like, “I tried to write a fluffy romance but my reviewers said the severed head count was too high.” (Or something along those lines.)
Stephen's god died on the longest day of the year…
Three years later, Stephen is a broken paladin, living only for the chance to be useful before he dies. But all that changes when he encounters a fugitive named Grace in an alley and witnesses an assassination attempt gone wrong. Now the pair must navigate a web of treachery, beset on all sides by spies and poisoners, while a cryptic killer stalks one step behind…
From the Hugo and Nebula Award winning author of Swordheart and The Twisted Ones comes a saga of murder, magic, and love on the far side of despair.
Ann Kenne, OSF Special Collections & Archives
The Lincoln Highway by
Call Number: PS3620.O945 L56 2021
Publication Date: 2021-10-05
In June 1954, Emmet Watson arrives home in Nebraska from the juvenile work farm where he has just served a term for involuntary manslaughter. His father is deceased, his mother is long gone, and the family farm has been foreclosed upon by the bank. He makes plans to take his eight-year-old brother, Billy, to start a new life in California. But before they can leave their trip, Emmett discovers two friends from the work farm have escaped and have other plans for Emmett and Billy.
A Song for the Dark Times by
Publication Date: 2020-10-13
Former police Inspector John Rebus is settling into retirement. When his daughter calls in the middle of the night to tell him her husband has been missing for two days, Rebus knows it is not good news. His instincts tell him his daughter will be the prime suspect. He wasn’t the best father - the job always came first - but now his daughter needs him more than ever. But is he going as a father or a detective? As he leaves at dawn to drive to the windswept coast - and a small town with big secrets - he wonders whether this might be the first time in his life where the truth is the one thing he doesn’t want to find. . .
The Thursday Murder Club by
Publication Date: 2020-09-22
In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves the Thursday Murder Club. When a local developer is found dead with a mysterious photograph left next to the body, the Thursday Murder Club suddenly find themselves in the middle of their first live case. As the bodies begin to pile up, can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it's too late?
Marianne Hageman, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library
The Angel of the Crows by
Publication Date: 2020-06-23
Dr. J.H. Doyle faced the Fallen during the war in Afghanistan and survived. Physically and spectrally injured, Doyle is released from the Armed Forces and sent back to London. When a colleague arranges a meeting with a potential flatmate, Doyle is surprised to meet the angel Crow—who is not Fallen, but also not tied to any physical location, as are most angels. Even more intriguing is Crow's passion, investigating dark and mysterious crimes with the local police, especially the latest list of Whitechapel murders of prostitutes. Doyle is drawn into Crow and Inspector Lestrade's investigations, finding camaraderie. Yet Doyle has secrets—not the least of which is being a hell-hound—and Crow is as challenging as he is charming, leading to numerous close calls. A twisting, surprising Sherlock bend in a world of angels, hell-hounds, and other supernatural beings. Readers may know the names and the stories, but here is an original tale. Addison (The Goblin Emperor) enthralls readers with her character-driven action, intriguing expressions of identity and sexuality, and a world set in an alternate 1880s London that captures the imagination. —Kristi Chadwick, Library Journal
The Beatryce Prophecy by
Publication Date: 2021-09-28
In this medieval fable by Newbery medalist DiCamillo, a prophecy tells of a girl who will one day unseat a king. When Beatryce appears at a monastery, she knows only her name, her stories, and how to read and write (despite laws that forbid this for girls.) Knowing she is hunted by the king, the brothers of the monastery send her off with an adoring though ill-tempered goat and she begins a journey to find her past, her future, and to fulfill her destiny. A … tender and riveting exploration of the only thing that can change the world. —Ashley Young, Booklist
Call Number: PS3613.I5445 C57 2018b
Publication Date: 2018-04-10
"Monsters are a boon for gods. Imagine all the prayers." So says Circe, a sly, petulant, and finally commanding voice that narrates the entirety of Miller's dazzling second novel. The writer returns to Homer, the wellspring that led her to an Orange Prize for The Song of Achilles (2012.) This time, she dips into The Odyssey for the legend of Circe, a nymph who turns Odysseus' crew of men into pigs. The novel, with its distinctive feminist tang, starts with the sentence: "When I was born, the name for what I was did not exist." Readers will relish following the puzzle of this unpromising daughter of the sun god Helios and his wife, Perse, who had negligible use for their child. It takes banishment to the island Aeaea for Circe to sense her calling as a sorceress: "I will not be like a bird bred in a cage, I thought, too dull to fly even when the door stands open. I stepped into those woods and my life began…." Circe's fascination with mortals becomes the book's marrow and delivers its thrilling ending. All the while, the supernatural sits intriguingly alongside "the tonic of ordinary things." - Kirkus Reviews
Code Girls by
Call Number: D810.C88 M86 2017
Publication Date: 2017-10-10
In Code Girls, Liza Mundy has brought to live a story of American courage, service, and science. Recruited from small Southern towns and posh New England colleges, 10,000 American women served the U.S. Army and Navy as code breakers during World War II. While their brothers and husbands took up arms, these women moved to Washington and, under strict vows of secrecy, learned the meticulous work of breaking German and Japanese military codes. Their code-breaking triumphs shortened the war, saved countless lives, and gave them access to careers previously denied to them. – From the publisher
Phantom Lady by
Publication Date: 2020-02-04
In 1933, Joan Harrison was a 26-year-old former salesgirl with a dream of escaping both her stodgy London suburb and the dreadful prospect of settling down with one of the local boys. A few short years later, she was Alfred Hitchcock’s confidante and one of the Oscar-nominated screenwriters of his first American film, Rebecca. Harrison had quickly grown from being the worst secretary Hitchcock ever had to one of his closest collaborators, critically shaping his brand as the “Master of Suspense….” Author Christina Lane shows how this stylish, stunning woman became Hollywood’s most powerful female writer-producer – one whom history has since overlooked. – From the publisher
A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking by
Publication Date: 2020-07-21
14-year-old Mona isn’t like the wizards charged with defending the city. She can’t control lightning or speak to water. Her familiar is a sourdough starter, and her magic only works on bread. She has a comfortable life in her aunt’s bakery making gingerbread men dance. But Mona’s life is turned upside down when she finds a dead body on the bakery floor. An assassin is stalking the streets of Mona’s city, preying on magic folk, and it appears that Mona is his next target. And in an embattled city suddenly bereft of wizards, the assassin may be the least of Mona’s worries. – From the publisher
Anna Nungester, student worker, Charles J. Keffer Library
The Grace Year by
Publication Date: 2019-10-08
"A visceral, darkly haunting fever dream of a novel and an absolute page-turner. Liggett's deeply suspenseful book brilliantly explores the high cost of a misogynistic world that denies women power and does it with a heart-in-your-throat, action-driven story that's equal parts horror-laden fairy tale, survival story, romance, and resistance manifesto. I couldn't stop reading." - Libba Bray, New York Times bestselling author
The Woods by
Publication Date: 2007-04-17
"Twenty years ago, four teenagers at summer camp walked into the woods at night. Two were found murdered, and the others were never seen again. Four families had their lives changed forever. Now, two decades later, they are about to change again."
The Sanatorium by
Publication Date: 2021-02-02
"Half-hidden by forest and overshadowed by threatening peaks, Le Sommet has always been a sinister place. Long plagued by troubling rumors, the former abandoned sanatorium has since been renovated into a five-star minimalist hotel. An imposing, isolated getaway spot high up in the Swiss Alps is the last place Elin Warner wants to be. But Elin's taken time off from her job as a detective, so when her estranged brother, Isaac, and his fiancée, Laure, invite her to celebrate their engagement at the hotel, Elin really has no reason not to accept. Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm, Elin immediately feels on edge--there's something about the hotel that makes her nervous. And when they wake the following morning to discover Laure is missing, Elin must trust her instincts if they hope to find her. With the storm closing off all access to the hotel, the longer Laure stays missing, the more the remaining guests start to panic. Elin is under pressure to find Laure, but no one has realized yet that another woman has gone missing. And she's the only one who could have warned them just how much danger they are all in. . ."
The Alice Network by
Publication Date: 2017-06-06
"Both funny and heartbreaking, this epic journey of two courageous women is an unforgettable tale of little-known wartime glory and sacrifice. Quinn knocks it out of the park with this spectacular book!"--Stephanie Dray, New York Times bestselling author of America's First Daughter
Brian Hill, Innovation Technology Services
Call Number: F614.F7 S65 2021
Publication Date: 2021-09-28
Fort Snelling, a foundational place in the story of Minnesota, was built 200 years ago at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, an area known to the Dakota people as Bdote. For millennia, Bdote has been a vital and sacred place for the native peoples of the region. It is also the "birthplace of Minnesota," the site where citizens of the United States first lived in what is now Minnesota. In this book, historian Hampton Smith delves into Fort Snelling's long and complicated story: its construction as an improbably enormous structure, the daily lives of its inhabitants and those who lived nearby, the shift in its function when speculators and land-hungry immigrants flooded the territory, its role as a military outpost in the westward expansion of the United States, its participation in wresting the land from the Dakota, its evolution as two cities grew up around it, its roles in two world wars--up to the reinterpretation of the fort as Minnesotans mark its 200th anniversary.
Andrea Koeppe, Charles J. Keffer Library
Publication Date: 2021-09-21
I have an unfortunate fascination with the scandals and drama of wealthy dynasties played out over generations. I regard it as studying history through the lens of supermarket tabloids, and the history of the Vanderbilt family does not disappoint. Cornelius 'Commodore' Vanderbilt built a fortune in the steamboat and railroad industries, and by the time of his death in 1877 his estate had an estimated value of 100 million dollars. However, his descendants managed to squander most of that fortune just a few generations later. There are fascinating characters, funny stories, and examples of breathtaking extravagance that kept me interested. But on a not-so-happy note, there are scattered reminders throughout the book of the poverty and dire situations many Americans experienced while the Vanderbilts were blowing through their wealth. It makes you glad that this was all very much in the past and how things are very different now.
The Twenty Days of Turin by
Publication Date: 2017-02-07
I heard about this book from a podcast about Twitter and the toxic ramifications of social media and was absolutely amazed. Why you ask? Because it was written in 1977 and describes a town in which the youths set up a 'library' where people leave their personal diaries for all to read, and readers can in turn respond to the authors. The idea being that sharing thoughts and interacting with other like-minded residents would build community. What can possibly go wrong? Conversations devolve into macabre confessions, hatred, paranoia, and ultimately a spasm of horrible violence and death that forever changes the town for the worse. I have since learned that De Maria wrote Turin during a time of political violence in Italy with fascism still a recent memory. The book the terror and uncertainty of his period, as well as the uncertainty of our contemporary time.
Truly, Madly by
Publication Date: 2022-03-22
I am a fan of both actors, I knew they were both larger than life, and their long relationship could be described as tempestuous at best. That was the outline, and this book filled in the gaps. The most poignant was the decline of Leigh's mental health throughout her life, and the sad but not too shocking revelations of how poorly Olivier and their friends treated her disease. But overall the book is far from depressing. It portrays both actors fairly and gives lots of fun details about their movies and theater projects. It's probably a book only an old movie geek could love, but since I am an old movie geek, I loved it.
Peggy Guggenheim by
Publication Date: 2015-09-29
I was passingly familiar with Peggy Guggenheim from reading about predominant modern artists of the 20th century. Her passion and advocacy for art that was shunned by traditional critics and museum curators was nothing short of amazing. Her father Benjamin Guggenheim went down on the Titanic with his mistress, leaving her with an inheritance at a young age. Peggy was enamored with the bohemian the artist community of New York, and her personal life was as unconventional as the artists she supported. As much as I love the juicy tidbits of Peggy's life and dalliances, I really liked this book because she was accomplished in her own right, and so much more than the company she kept.
Lizabeth Gockel, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library
A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by
Publication Date: 2019-04-23
“Since the Gelding rendered most humans infertile, the global population has dwindled to a mere few thousand. Griz has never had neighbors or been in a crowd, though he and siblings Ferg and Bar are familiar with the concepts from photographs, homeschooling, and handed-down stories. Griz directly addresses readers about his family, his dreams, and life on an island, somewhere near what might have once been England. "In my whole life, I haven't met enough people to make up two teams for a game of football," says Griz, who scavenges and explores on land and sea. When a stranger steals Jess, one of Griz's beloved dogs, what's to be done but go after them? Griz is comfortable taking care of himself, though he is grateful to encounter John Dark, who speaks a different language and helps Griz after a nasty encounter with a boar. Action builds as Griz closes in on Jess, the stranger, and other "Baby Bust" survivors. While not as tightly crafted as Cormac McCarthy's The Road, this tale may gain traction with similar readers. Griz's casual acceptance of a depopulated world makes the plot believable, though the pacing early on may feel slow to some readers.” – Library School Journal.
The River by
Call Number: PS3608.E454 R58 2019
Publication Date: 2019-03-05
“Wynn and Jack have been best friends since college orientation, bonded by their shared love of mountains, books, and fishing. Wynn is a gentle giant, a Vermont kid never happier than when his feet are in the water. Jack is more rugged, raised on a ranch in Colorado where sleeping under the stars and cooking on a fire came as naturally to him as breathing. When they decide to canoe the Maskwa River in northern Canada, they anticipate long days of leisurely paddling and picking blueberries, and nights of stargazing and reading paperback Westerns. But a wildfire making its way across the forest adds unexpected urgency to the journey. One night, with the fire advancing, they hear a man and woman arguing on the fog-shrouded riverbank; the next day, a man appears on the river, paddling alone. Is this the same man they heard? And if he is, where is the woman? From this charged beginning, master storyteller Peter Heller unspools a headlong, heart-pounding story of desperate wilderness survival.” - Amazon
The Stranger Diaries by
Publication Date: 2019-03-05
“Dour detective Harbinder Kaur is dealing with a full plate even before the murders begin. She’s a thirty-five year old closeted gay Sikh living with her parents who want nothing more than for her to find the right man, marry, and start producing grandchildren. When an English teacher at her former high school is brutally murdered, she has a faculty full of suspects, volumes full of literary references, and a short story that seems to be providing the murderer inspiration. A charming and fun read for all and especially for the mid-Victorian lit nerd.” – Amazon review
Force of Nature by
Publication Date: 2018-02-06
“Five women go on a hike. Only four return. Jane Harper, the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry, asks: How well do you really know the people you work with? When five colleagues are forced to go on a corporate retreat in the wilderness, they reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking down the muddy path. But one of the women doesn’t come out of the woods. And each of her companions tells a slightly different story about what happened. Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing hiker. In an investigation that takes him deep into isolated forest, Falk discovers secrets lurking in the mountains, and a tangled web of personal and professional friendship, suspicion, and betrayal among the hikers. But did that lead to murder?” -Amazon
Lady in the Lake by
Publication Date: 2019-07-23
“In 1966, Baltimore is a city of secrets that everyone seems to know—everyone, that is, except Madeline “Maddie” Schwartz. Last year, she was a happy, even pampered housewife. This year, she’s bolted from her marriage of almost twenty years, determined to make good on her youthful ambitions to live a passionate, meaningful life. Maddie wants to matter, to leave her mark on a swiftly changing world. Drawing on her own secrets, she helps Baltimore police find a murdered girl—assistance that leads to a job at the city’s afternoon newspaper, the Star. Working at the newspaper offers Maddie the opportunity to make her name, and she has found just the story to do it: Cleo Sherwood, a missing woman whose body was discovered in the fountain of a city park lake. If Cleo were white, every reporter in Baltimore would be clamoring to tell her story. Instead, her mysterious death receives only cursory mention in the daily newspapers, and no one cares when Maddie starts poking around in a young Black woman's life—except for Cleo's ghost, who is determined to keep her secrets and her dignity. Cleo scolds the ambitious Maddie: You're interested in my death, not my life. They're not the same thing.” - Amazon
Magpie Murders by
Publication Date: 2017-06-06
“From the Globe and Mail–bestselling author of Moriarty, this “spectacularly impressive” (Washington Post) and riveting thriller weaves a classic whodunit worthy of Agatha Christie into a chilling, ingeniously original modern-day mystery. Editor Susan Ryeland has worked with bestselling crime writer Alan Conway for years, so she has no reason to think his latest novel will be much different from his others. Readers love his detective, Atticus Pünd, a celebrated solver of crimes in the sleepy English villages of the 1950s. But Conway’s latest tale of murder at Pye Hall is not quite what it seems. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but hidden in the pages of the manuscript lies another story: a tale written between the very words on the page, telling of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition and murder. Masterful, clever and relentlessly suspenseful, Magpie Murders is a “doubly devilish” (People) take on vintage English crime fiction, in which the reader becomes the detective” –from the back cover