Lists and Suggestions
List: Staff Picks: 30 Reads for 2022
Seven Days in June
Williams, Tia, 1975- author.
Brooklynite Eva Mercy is a single mom and bestselling erotica writer, who is feeling pressed from a... More
Brooklynite Eva Mercy is a single mom and bestselling erotica writer, who is feeling pressed from all sides. Shane Hall is a reclusive, enigmatic, award-winning literary author who, to everyone's surprise, shows up in New York. When Shane and Eva meet unexpectedly at a literary event, sparks fly, raising not only their past buried traumas, but the eyebrows of New York's Black literati. What no one knows is that twenty years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love. They may be pretending that everything is fine now, but they can't deny their chemistry--or the fact that they've been secretly writing to each other in their books ever since. Over the next seven days in the middle of a steamy Brooklyn summer, Eva and Shane reconnect, but Eva's not sure how she can trust the man who broke her heart, and she needs to get him out of New York so that her life can return to normal. But before Shane disappears again, there are a few questions she needs answered. . . With its keen observations of Black life and the condition of modern motherhood, as well as the consequences of motherless-ness, Seven Days in June is by turns humorous, warm and deeply sensual. Less
Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law
Roach, Mary, author.
Join "America's funniest science writer" (Peter Carlson, Washington Post) Mary Roach... More
Join "America's funniest science writer" (Peter Carlson, Washington Post) Mary Roach on an irresistible investigation into the unpredictable world where wildlife and humans meet. What's to be done about a jaywalking moose? A grizzly bear caught breaking and entering? A murderous tree? As New York Times best-selling author Mary Roach discovers, the answers are best found not in jurisprudence but in science: the curious science of human-wildlife conflict, a discipline at the crossroads of human behavior and wildlife biology. Roach tags along with animal attack forensics investigators, human-elephant conflict specialists, bear managers, and "danger tree" faller-blasters. She travels from leopard-terrorized hamlets in the Indian Himalaya to St. Peter's Square in the early hours before the Pope arrives for Easter Mass, when vandal gulls swoop in to destroy the elaborate floral display. Along the way, Roach reveals as much about humanity as about nature's lawbreakers. Combining little- known forensic science and conservation genetics with a motley cast of laser scarecrows, langur impersonators, and mugging macaques, Fuzz offers hope for compassionate coexistence in our ever-expanding human habitat. Less
Priest, Cherie, author.
Meet Leda Foley; Devoted friend, struggling travel agent, sometime psychic. When Leda, proprietor o... More
Meet Leda Foley; Devoted friend, struggling travel agent, sometime psychic. When Leda, proprietor of Foley's Flights of Fancy, books Seattle PD Grady Merritt on a flight back from Orlando, she does not expect it to change her life. When Grady watches the plane he was set to travel on catch fire while he remains safely in the airport, he seeks out Leda, and despite her rather scattershot premonitions, he enlists her help in investigating a cold case he just can't crack. But Leda has her own reasons for helping: her fiancé Tod was murdered under mysterious circumstances several years ago. Her psychic abilities weren't good then, but now she's been honing them at her favorite bar's open-mic nights, where she draws a crowd klairvoyant karaoke-singing whatever song comes to mind after holding other patrons' personal effects. With a rag-tag group of bar patrons and friends, Leda and Grady set out to catch a killer-and find that the two cases that haunt them may have more in common than they think. Less
Groff, Lauren, author.
Cast out of the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine, deemed too coarse and rough-hewn for marriage ... More
Cast out of the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine, deemed too coarse and rough-hewn for marriage or courtly life, seventeen-year-old Marie de France is sent to England to be the new prioress of an impoverished abbey, its nuns on the brink of starvation and beset by disease. At first taken aback by the severity of her new life, Marie finds focus and love in collective life with her singular and mercurial sisters. In this crucible, Marie steadily supplants her desire for family, for her homeland, for the passions of her youth with something new to her: devotion to her sisters, and a conviction in her own divine visions. Marie, born the last in a long line of women warriors and crusaders, is determined to chart a bold new course for the women she now leads and protects. But in a world that is shifting and corroding in frightening ways, one that can never reconcile itself with her existence, will the sheer force of Marie's vision be bulwark enough? Equally alive to the sacred and the profane, Matrix gathers currents of violence, sensuality, and religious ecstasy in a mesmerizing portrait of consuming passion, aberrant faith, and a woman that history moves both through and around. Lauren Groff's new novel, her first since Fates and Furies, is a defiant and timely exploration of the raw power of female creativity in a corrupted world. Less
Project Hail Mary
Weir, Andy, author.
The sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission to save both humanity and the earth, Ryland G... More
The sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission to save both humanity and the earth, Ryland Grace is hurtled into the depths of space when he must conquer an extinction-level threat to our species. Less
Boulley, Angeline, author.
Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, either in her hometown or on the nearby Ojibwe reservation.... More
Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, either in her hometown or on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of college, but when her family is struck by tragedy she puts her future on hold to care for her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, a new recruit on her brother Levi's hockey team. When Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, she reluctantly agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source of a new drug. How far will she go to protect her community, if it threatens to tear apart the only world she's ever known? Less
Cosby, S. A., author.
A Black father. A white father. Two murdered sons. A quest for vengeance. Ike Randolph has been out... More
A Black father. A white father. Two murdered sons. A quest for vengeance. Ike Randolph has been out of jail for fifteen years, with not so much as a speeding ticket in all that time. But a Black man with cops at the door knows to be afraid. The last thing he expects to hear is that his son Isiah has been murdered, along with Isiah's white husband, Derek. Ike had never fully accepted his son but is devastated by his loss. Derek's father Buddy Lee was almost as ashamed of Derek for being gay as Derek was ashamed his father was a criminal. Buddy Lee still has contacts in the underworld, though, and he wants to know who killed his boy. Ike and Buddy Lee, two ex-cons with little else in common other than a criminal past and a love for their dead sons, band together in their desperate desire for revenge. In their quest to do better for their sons in death than they did in life, hardened men Ike and Buddy Lee will confront their own prejudices about their sons and each other, as they rain down vengeance upon those who hurt their boys. Provocative and fast-paced, S. A. Cosby's Razorblade Tears is a story of bloody retribution, heartfelt change - and maybe even redemption. Less
Under the Whispering Door
Klune, TJ, author.
A Man Called Ove meets The Good Place in Under the Whispering Door, a delightful queer love story f... More
A Man Called Ove meets The Good Place in Under the Whispering Door, a delightful queer love story from TJ Klune, author of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller The House in the Cerulean Sea. When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead. And when Hugo, the owner of a peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace decides he's definitely dead. But even in death he's not ready to abandon the life he barely lived, so when Wallace is given one week to cross over, he sets about living a lifetime in seven days. Hilarious, haunting, and kind, Under the Whispering Door is an uplifting story about a life spent at the office and a death spent building a home. Less
The Fastest Way to Fall
Williams, Denise, 1982- author.
Britta didn't plan on falling for her personal trainer, and Wes didn't plan on Britta. Pl... More
Britta didn't plan on falling for her personal trainer, and Wes didn't plan on Britta. Plans change and it's unclear if love, career, or both will meet them at the finish line. Britta Colby works for a lifestyle website, and when tasked to write about her experience with a hot new body-positive fitness app that includes personal coaching, she knows it's a major opportunity to prove she should write for the site full-time. As CEO of the FitMe app, Wes Lawson finally has the financial security he grew up without, but despite his success, his floundering love life and complicated family situation leaves him feeling isolated and unfulfilled. He decides to get back to what he loves--coaching. Britta's his first new client and they click immediately. As weeks pass, she's surprised at how much she enjoys experimenting with her exercise routine. He's surprised at how much he looks forward to talking to her every day. They convince themselves their attraction is harmless, but when they start working out in person, Wes and Britta find it increasingly challenging to deny their chemistry and maintain a professional distance. Wes isn't supposed to be training clients, much less meeting with them, and Britta's credibility will be sunk if the lifestyle site finds out she's practically dating the fitness coach she's reviewing. Walking away from each other is the smartest thing to do, but running side by side feels like the start of something big. Less
When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky
Verble, Margaret, author.
Louise Erdrich meets Karen Russell in this deliciously strange and daringly original novel from Pul... More
Louise Erdrich meets Karen Russell in this deliciously strange and daringly original novel from Pulitzer Prize finalist Margaret Verble. Set in 1926 Nashville, it follows a death-defying young Cherokee horse-diver who, with her companions from the Glendale Park Zoo, must get to the bottom of a mystery that spans centuries. Less
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist
Tomine, Adrian, 1974- author.
What happens when a childhood hobby grows into a lifelong career? The Loneliness of the Long-Distan... More
What happens when a childhood hobby grows into a lifelong career? The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist, Adrian Tomine's funniest and most revealing foray into autobiography, offers an array of unexpected answers. When a sudden medical incident lands Tomine in the emergency room, he begins to question if it was really all worthwhile: despite the accolades and opportunities of a seemingly charmed career, it's the gaffes, humiliations, slights, and insults he's experienced (or caused) within the industry that loom largest in his memory. Tomine illustrates the amusing absurdities of how we choose to spend our time, all the while mining his conflicted relationship with comics and comics culture. But in between chaotic book tours, disastrous interviews, and cringe-inducing interactions with other artists, life happens: he fumbles his way into marriage, parenthood, and an indisputably fulfilling existence. A richer emotional story emerges as his memories are delineated in excruciatingly hilarious detail. In a bold stylistic departure from his award-winning Killing and Dying, he distills his art to the loose, lively essentials of cartooning, each pen stroke economically imbued with human depth. Designed as a sketchbook complete with placeholder ribbon and an elastic band, The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist shows an acclaimed artist at the peak of his career."-- Less
Rowley, Steven, 1971- author.
Patrick, or Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP, for short), has always loved his niece, Maisie, and nephew, Gra... More
Patrick, or Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP, for short), has always loved his niece, Maisie, and nephew, Grant. That is, he loves spending time with them when they come out to Palm Springs for weeklong visits, or when he heads home to Connecticut for the holidays. But in terms of caretaking and relating to two children, no matter how adorable, Patrick is honestly a bit out of his league. So when tragedy strikes and Maisie and Grant lose their mother and Patrick's brother has a health crisis of his own, Patrick finds himself suddenly taking on the role of primary guardian. Despite having a set of "Guncle Rules" ready to go, Patrick has no idea what to expect, having spent years barely holding on after the loss of his great love, a somewhat-stalled career, and a lifestyle not-so-suited to a six- and a nine-year-old. Quickly realizing that parenting—even if temporary—isn't solved with treats and jokes, Patrick's eyes are opened to a new sense of responsibility, and the realization that, sometimes, even being larger than life means you're unfailingly human. With the humor and heart we've come to expect from bestselling author Steven Rowley, The Guncle is a moving tribute to the power of love, patience, and family in even the most trying of times. Less
One of the Good Ones
Moulite, Maika, author.
Although distraught, Happi is also unsettled by the way people have idealized the memory of her sis... More
Although distraught, Happi is also unsettled by the way people have idealized the memory of her sister who was killed after attending a social justice rally -- why do people have to be perfect in order to be missed? As a way to honor the memory, however, Happi and her other sister Genny go on a roadtrip using the original "Green Book" -- but the trip reveals secrets neither sister knew about the dead Kezi. Less
Backman, Fredrik, 1981- author.
Taken hostage by a failed bank robber while attending an open house, eight anxiety-prone strangers-... More
Taken hostage by a failed bank robber while attending an open house, eight anxiety-prone strangers--including a redemption-seeking bank director, two couples who would fix their marriages, and a plucky octogenarian--discover their unexpected common traits. Less
Hana Khan Carries On
Jalaluddin, Uzma, author.
A young woman juggles pursuing her dream job in radio while helping her family compete with the new... More
A young woman juggles pursuing her dream job in radio while helping her family compete with the new halal restaurant across the street, in this sparkling new rom-com by the author of Ayesha at Last. Sales are slow at Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, the only halal restaurant in the close-knit Golden Crescent neighborhood of Toronto. Hana waitresses there part time, but what she really wants is to tell stories on the radio. If she can just outshine her fellow intern at the city radio station, she may have a chance at landing a job. In the meantime, Hana pours her thoughts and dreams into a podcast, where she forms a lively relationship with one of her listeners. But soon she'll need all the support she can get: a new competing restaurant, a more upscale halal place, is about to open in the Golden Crescent, threatening her mother's restaurant. When her mysterious aunt and her teenage cousin arrive from India for a surprise visit, they draw Hana into a long-buried family secret. A hate-motivated attack on their neighborhood complicates the situation further, as does Hana's growing attraction for Aydin, the young owner of the rival restaurant-who might not be a complete stranger after all. As life on the Golden Crescent unravels, Hana must learn to use her voice, draw on the strength of her community and decide what her future should be. Less
Arsenic and Adobo
Manansala, Mia P., author.
"The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes-one th... More
"The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes-one that might just be killer.... When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She's tasked with saving her Tita Rosie's failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case. With the cops treating her like she's the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila's left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block..."-- Less
She Who Became the Sun
Parker-Chan, Shelley, author.
Mulan meets The Song of Achilles in Shelley Parker-Chan's She Who Became the Sun, a bold, quee... More
Mulan meets The Song of Achilles in Shelley Parker-Chan's She Who Became the Sun, a bold, queer, and lyrical reimagining of the rise of the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty from an amazing new voice in literary fantasy. To possess the Mandate of Heaven, the female monk Zhu will do anything "I refuse to be nothing..." In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two children are given two fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness... In 1345, China lies under harsh Mongol rule. For the starving peasants of the Central Plains, greatness is something found only in stories. When the Zhu family's eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a fate of greatness, everyone is mystified as to how it will come to pass. The fate of nothingness received by the family's clever and capable second daughter, on the other hand, is only as expected. When a bandit attack orphans the two children, though, it is Zhu Chongba who succumbs to despair and dies. Desperate to escape her own fated death, the girl uses her brother's identity to enter a monastery as a young male novice. There, propelled by her burning desire to survive, Zhu learns she is capable of doing whatever it takes, no matter how callous, to stay hidden from her fate. After her sanctuary is destroyed for supporting the rebellion against Mongol rule, Zhu takes the chance to claim another future altogether: her brother's abandoned greatness. Less
The Book of Form and Emptiness
Ozeki, Ruth, 1956- author.
A brilliantly inventive new novel about loss, growing up, and our relationship with things, by the ... More
A brilliantly inventive new novel about loss, growing up, and our relationship with things, by the Booker Prize finalist author of A Tale for the Time Being. After the tragic death his beloved musician father, fourteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house--a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn't understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are pleasant, a gentle hum or coo, but others are snide, angry and full of pain. When his mother, Annabelle, develops a hoarding problem, the voices grow more clamorous. At first, Benny tries to ignore them, but soon the voices follow him outside the house, onto the street and at school, driving him at last to seek refuge in the silence of a large public library, where objects are well-behaved and know to speak in whispers. There, Benny discovers a strange new world, where "things happen." He falls in love with a mesmerizing street artist with a smug pet ferret, who uses the library as her performance space. He meets a homeless philosopher-poet, who encourages him to ask important questions and find his own voice amongst the many. And he meets his very own Book--a talking thing--who narrates Benny's life and teaches him to listen to the things that truly matter. With its blend of sympathetic characters, riveting plot, and vibrant engagement with everything from jazz, to climate change, to our attachment to material possessions, The Book of Form and Emptiness is classic Ruth Ozeki-bold, wise, poignant, playful, humane and heartbreaking. Less
The Vanished Birds
Jimenez, Simon, 1989- author.
Nia Imani is a woman out of place and outside of time. Decades of travel through the stars are cond... More
Nia Imani is a woman out of place and outside of time. Decades of travel through the stars are condensed into mere months for her, though the years continue to march steadily onward for everyone she has ever known. Her friends and lovers have aged past her, and all she has left is work. Alone and adrift, she lives for only the next paycheck, until the day she meets a mysterious boy, fallen from the sky. A boy, broken by his past. The scarred child does not speak, his only form of communication the beautiful and haunting music he plays from an old wooden flute. Captured by his songs, and their strange, immediate connection, Nia decides to take the boy in. And over years of starlit travel, these two outsiders discover in one another the things they lacked. For him, a home, a place of love and safety. For her, an anchor to the world outside herself. For the both of them, a family. But Nia is not the only one who wants the boy. The past hungers for him, and when it catches up, it threatens to tear this makeshift family apart. Less
Shelf Life: Chronicles of a Cairo Bookseller
Wassef, Nadia, author.
The warm and winning story of starting a bookstore where there were none, Shelf Life recounts Nadia... More
The warm and winning story of starting a bookstore where there were none, Shelf Life recounts Nadia Wassef's troubles and triumphs as founder and manager of Cairo-based Diwan. Less
The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot
Cronin, Marianne, author.
An extraordinary friendship. A lifetime of stories. Seventeen-year-old Lenni Pettersson lives on th... More
An extraordinary friendship. A lifetime of stories. Seventeen-year-old Lenni Pettersson lives on the Terminal Ward at the Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital. Though the teenager has been told she's dying, she still has plenty of living to do. Joining the hospital's arts and crafts class, she meets the magnificent Margot, an 83-year-old, purple-pajama-wearing, fruitcake-eating rebel, who transforms Lenni in ways she never imagined. As their friendship blooms, a world of stories opens for these unlikely companions who, between them, have been alive for one hundred years. Though their days are dwindling, both are determined to leave their mark on the world. With the help of Lenni's doting palliative care nurse and Father Arthur, the hospital's patient chaplain, Lenni and Margot devise a plan to create one hundred paintings showcasing the stories of the century they have lived--stories of love and loss, of courage and kindness, of unexpected tenderness and pure joy. Though the end is near, life isn't quite done with these unforgettable women just yet. Delightfully funny and bittersweet, heartbreaking yet ultimately uplifting, The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot reminds us of the preciousness of life as it considers the legacy we choose to leave, how we influence the lives of others even after we're gone, and the wonder of a friendship that transcends time. Less
Webb, Brandon, author.
A ninety-thousand-ton aircraft carrier. Six thousand men onboard. A killer in their midst. And the ... More
A ninety-thousand-ton aircraft carrier. Six thousand men onboard. A killer in their midst. And the disgraced Navy SEAL who will track him down... The high-octane debut thriller from the New York Times bestselling writing team of former Navy SEAL Brandon Webb and John David Mann. When Navy SEAL sniper Finn steps on board the USS Abraham Lincoln, adrift in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, it's immediately clear something is wrong. It's been a long deployment for the crew. With poor leadership and a lengthy slog home ahead of them, morale is low. But then crew members start disappearing one by one, and what at first seems like a string of unfortunate coincidences reveals something much more sinister at play. There's a killer in their midst. Suspicion falls on Finn, the most recent addition to the ship. After all, he's being sent home in disgrace, recently recalled from the field under the dark cloud of a mission gone horribly wrong. He's also a lone wolf, haunted by gaps in his memory and the elusive feeling that something he missed contributed to civilian deaths on his last assignment. Finding the killer on board the Lincoln offers a chance at redemption -- as long as he can prove it isn't him. Less
Olga Dies Dreaming
Gonzalez, Xochitl, 1977- author.
In the wake of Hurricane Maria, Olga, the tony wedding planner for Manhattan's power brokers, ... More
In the wake of Hurricane Maria, Olga, the tony wedding planner for Manhattan's power brokers, must confront the effects of long-held family secrets when she falls in love with Matteo, while other family members must weather their own storms. Less
Serena Singh Flips the Script
Lalli, Sonya, author.
Serena Singh is tired of everyone telling her what she should want-and she is ready to prove to her... More
Serena Singh is tired of everyone telling her what she should want-and she is ready to prove to her mother, her sister, and the aunties in her community that a woman does not need domestic bliss to have a happy life. Things are going according to plan for Serena. She is smart, confident, and just got a kick-ass new job at a top advertising firm in Washington, D.C. Even before her younger sister got married in a big, traditional wedding, Serena knew her own dreams did not include marriage or children. But with her mother constantly encouraging her to be more like her sister, Serena can not understand why her parents refuse to recognize that she and her sister want completely different experiences out of life. A new friendship with her co-worker Ainsley comes as a breath of fresh air, challenging Serena's long-held beliefs about the importance of self-reliance. She has been so focused on career success that she has let all of her hobbies and close friendships fall by the wayside. As Serena reconnects with her family and friends-including her ex-boyfriend-she learns letting people in can make her happier than standing all on her own. Less
Velvet was the Night
Moreno-Garcia, Silvia, author.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Mexican Gothic comes a riveting noir about a daydream... More
From the New York Times bestselling author of Mexican Gothic comes a riveting noir about a daydreaming secretary, a lonesome thug, and the mystery of the missing woman that brings them together. 1970s Mexico City. Maite is a secretary who lives for one thing: the latest issue of Secret Romance. While student protests and political unrest consume the city, Maite escapes into stories of passion and danger. Her next-door neighbor, Leonora, a beautiful art student, seems to live a life of intrigue and romance that Maite envies. When Leonora disappears under suspicious circumstances, Maite finds herself searching for the missing woman--and journeying deeper into Leonora's secret life of student radicals and dissidents. Meanwhile, someone else is also looking for Leonora at the behest of his boss, a shadowy figure who commands goon squads dedicated to squashing political activists. Elvis is an eccentric thug who longs to escape his own life: He loathes violence and loves old movies and rock 'n' roll. But as Elvis searches for the missing woman, he comes to observe Maite from a distance--and grows more and more obsessed with this woman who shares his love of music, and the unspoken loneliness of his heart. Now as Maite and Elvis come closer to discovering the secrets behind Leonora's disappearance, they can no longer escape the danger that threatens to consume their lives, with hitmen, government agents, and Russian spies aiming to protect Leonora's secrets--at gunpoint. Less
The Lost Apothecary
Penner, Sarah, author.
Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual ki... More
Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientèle. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary's fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries. Meanwhile in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary's in a stunning twist of fate, and not everyone will survive. Less
The Violin Conspiracy
Slocumb, Brendan, author.
Ray McMillian loves playing the violin more than anything, and nothing will stop him from pursuing ... More
Ray McMillian loves playing the violin more than anything, and nothing will stop him from pursuing his dream of becoming a professional musician. Not his mother, who thinks he should get a real job, not the fact that he can't afford a high-caliber violin, not the racism inherent in the classical music world. And when he makes the startling discovery that his great-grandfather's fiddle is actually a priceless Stradivarius, his star begins to rise. Then with the international Tchaikovsky Competition-the Olympics of classical music-fast approaching, his prized family heirloom is stolen. Ray is determined to get it back. But now his family and the descendants of the man who once enslaved Ray's great-grandfather are each claiming that the violin belongs to them. With the odds stacked against him and the pressure mounting, will Ray ever see his beloved violin again? Less
The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
Jurczyk, Eva, author.
Liesl Weiss has been (mostly) happy working in the rare books department of a large university, man... More
Liesl Weiss has been (mostly) happy working in the rare books department of a large university, managing details and working behind the scenes to make the head of the department look good. But when her boss has a stroke and she's left to run things, she discovers that the library's most prized manuscript is missing. Liesl tries to sound the alarm and inform the police about the missing priceless book but is told repeatedly to keep quiet to keep the doors open and the donors happy. But then a librarian goes missing as well. Liesl must investigate both disappearances, unspooling her colleagues' pasts like the threads of a rare book binding as it becomes clear that someone in the department must be responsible for the theft. What Liesl discovers about the dusty manuscripts she has worked among for so long-and about the people who preserve and revere them-shakes the very foundation on which she has built her life. Less
Things We Lost to the Water
Nguyen, Eric, 1988- author.
When Huong arrives in New Orleans with her two young sons, she is jobless, homeless, and worried ab... More
When Huong arrives in New Orleans with her two young sons, she is jobless, homeless, and worried about her husband, Cong, who remains in Vietnam. As she and her boys begin to settle into life in America, she continues to send letters and tapes back to Cong, hopeful that they will be reunited and her children will grow up with a father. Over time, Huong realizes she will never see Cong again. While she copes with this loss, her sons, Tuan and Binh, grow up in their absent father's shadow, haunted by a man and a country trapped in their memory and imagination. As they push forward, the three adapt to life in America in different ways: Huong takes up with a Vietnamese car salesman who is also new in town; Tuan tries to connect with his heritage by joining a local Vietnamese gang; and Binh, now going by Ben, embraces his burgeoning sexuality. Their search for identity--as individuals and as a family--tears them apart, until disaster strikes and they must find a new way to come together and honor the ties that bind them. Less
Prose, Nita, author.
A charmingly eccentric hotel maid discovers a guest murdered in his bed, turning her once orderly w... More
A charmingly eccentric hotel maid discovers a guest murdered in his bed, turning her once orderly world upside down--and inspiring a motley crew of unexpected allies to band together to solve the mystery--in this utterly original debut. Molly Dunn is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and interprets people literally. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by. Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has had to navigate life's complexities all by herself. No matter--she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection. But Molly's orderly life is turned on its head the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself very dead in his bed. Before she knows what's happening, Molly's odd demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect and she finds herself in a web of subtext and nuance she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, a medley of friends she didn't realize she had refuses to let her be charged with murder--but will they be able to discover the real killer before it's too late? A Clue-like, locked-room mystery and a heartwarming journey of the spirit, The Maid explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and yet entirely different--and reveals that all mysteries can be solved through connection to the human heart. Less