Check It Out Category: Lists

Summer Reading Category Spotlight: Read a Book that Colors True Events

reading colors your world

Looking for some interesting nonfiction reading for your summer reading category? Try a memoir or biography! Access a suggested list here, or read on for some of our favorites:

crying in h mart book cover

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

Michelle, the Japanese Breakfast indie pop star presents a full-length account of her viral New Yorker essay to share poignant reflections on her experiences of growing up Korean-American, becoming a professional musician and caring for her terminally ill mother.

“It felt like the world had divided into two different types of people, those who had felt pain and those who had yet to.”
― Michelle Zauner, Crying in H Mart

more myself book cover

More Myself: A Journey by Alicia Keys

The 15-time Grammy Award-winning music artist traces her journey from self-censorship to full expression, describing her complicated
relationship with her father, the people-pleasing nature that
characterized her early career and her struggles with gender expectations.

“Growth requires movement. And often, the only way forward is through an exit door.” Alicia Keys, More Myself

memorial drive book cover

Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir by Natasha Trethewey

The former U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author shares a chillingly personal memoir about the brutal murder of her mother at the hands of her former stepfather.

“I have always loved the feel of books, the way they give a literal weight to words and make of them a sacred object.”
― Natasha Trethewey, Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir

Sigh, Gone: A Misfit’s Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In book cover

Sigh, Gone: A Misfit’s Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In by Phuc Tran

In this coming-of-age memoir told through the themes of great books,  Tran navigates the push and pull of finding and accepting himself
despite the challenges of immigration, feelings of isolation, and teenage rebellion, all while attempting to meet the rigid expectations set by his immigrant parents.

“My father loved the library because it was a safe haven for him – no missed cultural cues, no bigoted insults from his coworkers, no glaring reminders of what was lost. All patrons of the library were pilgrims to the oracle all seeking the sake thing: knowledge. And in their pursuits of the same thing, they were all equals.”

― Phuc Tran, Sigh, Gone: A Misfit’s Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In

Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath book cover

Red Comet: The Short and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath by Heather Clark

A new biography of Sylvia Plath that focuses on her remarkable
literary and intellectual achievements, while restoring the woman
behind the long-held myths about her life and art.

“What other woman would dare to draw blood with a kiss?” ― Heather Clark, Red Comet

A Delayed Life: The True Story of the Librarian of Auschwitz by Dita Kraus

Dita Kraus grew up in Prague in an intellectual, middle-class Jewish family. She went to school, played with her friends, and never thought of herself as being different—until the advent of the Holocaust. Torn from her home, Dita was sent to Auschwitz with her family. Dita’s
powerful memoir sheds light on an incredible life—one that is delayed no longer.

“No longer do I wait till…till the war ends, till we are liberated, till I marry, till the child is born, till we have more money, till the school year ends, till peace comes…I need not delay anymore; I have caught up with my life.” ― Dita Kraus, A Delayed Life

New Fiction in July

New Fiction in July

Waves of new books have come in! Featured here is just a small selection. More titles may be found on the New Fiction in July list, or, if those don’t rock your reading boat, we offer personalized suggestions via this form, or feel free to give us a call at 847/590-4070!

razorblade tears book cover

Razorblade Tears by S.A. Crosby

When his son Isiah and Isiah’s white husband, Derek, are murdered, ex-con Ike Randolph bands together with Derek’s father, another ex-con, to rain down vengeance upon those who hurt their boys while confronting their own prejudices about each other and their own sons.

while we were dating book cover

While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory

Featuring Ben Stephens, Theo’s brother from The Wedding Party, this charming and hilarious new Romance finds Ben and a famous actress struggling to keep their working relationship strictly professional.


such a quiet place book cover

Such A Quiet Place by Megan Miranda

When the woman implicated in the murder of a couple in their formerly idyllic and close-knit neighborhood returns to Hollow’s Edge, suspicion spreads like a virus and it soon becomes apparent to Harper Nash that not everyone told the truth about the night of the murder.

china room book cover

China Room by Sunjeez Sahota

Mehar, a young bride in rural 1929 Punjab, is trying to discover the identity of her new husband. Married to three brothers in a single ceremony, she and her now-sisters spend their days hard at work in the family’s “china room,” sequestered from contact with the men – except when their domineering mother-in-law, Mai, summons them to a darkened chamber at night. As the early stirrings of the Indian independence movement rise around her, Mehar must weigh her own desires against the reality – and danger – of her situation.

a woman of intelligence book cover

A Woman of Intelligence by Karin Tanabe

A former translator at the United Nations who has become a bored 1950s housewife is asked to join the FBI as an informant after a man from her past has become a high-level Soviet spy.

the final girl support group book cover

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

A real-life “final girl”–the one girl always left standing at the end of a horror movie, Lynette Tarkington, who survived a massacre 22 years ago, along with five other final girls, works to overcome her past until someone becomes determined to take their lives apart again, piece by piece.

Summer Reading Bonus Category Spotlight: Choose Book by Cover

reading colors your world

Want to stretch your reading this summer? Adult Summer Reading offers bonus categories for this very goal, and one of the playful ways to start is to choose by book cover: Color your world by trying a Millennial Pink book. [Wondering what ‘millennial pink’ may be? Try here for a lighthearted explanation.] Following are a few of the eye-catching titles that have millennial pink covers. For more summer reading suggestions, email readers@mppl.org or find the links for each bonus category in Beanstack or in Lists & Suggestions.

severance book cover

Severance by Ling Ma

A survivor of an apocalyptic plague maintains a blog about a decimated Manhattan before joining a motley group of survivors to search for a place to rebuild, a goal that is complicated by an unscrupulous group leader.

Character-driven; Witty

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird book cover

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

A woman grieving the loss of her fiancé finds herself swapping back and forth between parallel lives, including one in which her first love has survived and another involving a new person who is asking her to move on.

Engaging; Thoughtful

gingerbread book cover

Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi

Draws on the classic fairy-tale element of gingerbread in the story of a British family whose surprising legacy and secret past are tied to a favorite recipe.

Compelling; Lyrical

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me book cover

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki

Laura Dean, the most popular girl in high school, was Frederica Riley’s dream girl, but Freddy is learning she is not the best girlfriend, so she seeks help from a mysterious medium and advice columnists to help her through being a teenager in love.

Angst-filled; Character-driven

lovely war book cover

Lovely War by Julie Berry

Meeting in a World War II-era Manhattan hotel for a forbidden tryst, immortals Ares and Aphrodite are caught by the latter’s jealous husband before she defends her actions by imparting the tale of four young humans who became connected during World War I.

Moving; Romantic

city of margins book cover

City of Margins by William Boyle

The lives of several lost souls intersect in gritty 1990s south Brooklyn, from a disgraced ex-cop with blood on his hands to the grieving mother of a suicide victim.

Compelling; Gritty

New Fiction in June

New fiction in June

Summer has arrived! New summer titles have arrived as well! As added bonus, all books you read in June count towards adult Summer Reading fun. Below is a sampling of new fiction titles that have been released this month, and for more new June fiction: click here. For personalized suggestions and more information on Summer Reading, give us a call at 847/590-4070 or email us at readers@mppl.org. May the sun shine on all your summer reading adventures!

one last stop book cover

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Cynical August starts to believe in the impossible when meets Jane on the subway, a mysterious punk rocker she forms a crush on, who is literally displaced in time from the 1970s and is trying to find her way back.

The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu book cover

The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin

Reimagines the classic Western through the eyes of a Chinese American assassin on a quest to rescue his kidnapped wife and exact his revenge on her abductors.



The Secret Keeper of Jaipur book cover

The Secret Keeper of Jaipur by Alka Joshi

Back in the Pink City where he was once a wily street urchin, Malik, assigned to help Samir Singh’s feckless son Ravi build the new public cinema, finds his livelihood, reputation and the people he loves most threatened after Ravi implicates him in a ruthless scandal.

to sir, with love book cover

To Sir, With Love by Lauren Layne

Follows two thirty-somethings who meet on a blind dating app—only to realize that their online chemistry is nothing compared to their offline rivalry.

our woman in Moscow book cover

Our Woman in Moscow by Beatriz Williams

To save her sister, who, along with her American diplomat husband and children, is trapped behind the Iron Curtain, Ruth Macallister embarks on a dangerous mission, and as the sisters race toward safety, a dogged Soviet agent forces them to make a heartbreaking choice.

the eagles claw book cover

The Eagle’s Claw: A Novel of the Battle of Midway by Jeff Shaara

A New York Times best-selling author recounts the Battle of Midway, one of World War II’s most pivotal moments, sharing the stories of all ranks and the unique sacrifices each man is compelled to bravely make for the sake of country, freedom, and honor.

the other black girl book cover

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books, 26-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel is hired until she after a string uncomfortable events, is elevated to Office Darling, leaving Nella in the dust.

New Fiction in May

New Fiction in May

Spring has sprung and so have new books! Peruse this collection of recent additions and find more, here. Rain or shine, a new book will surely put a spring in your step. Step to it and start browsing or if these titles aren’t your particular ray of sunshine, call Fiction/AV/Teen services at 847/590-4070 or fill out this form for some personalized suggestions!

The Guncle book cover

The Guncle by Steven Rowley

When Patrick, or Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP) for short, takes on the role of primary guardian for his young niece and nephew, he sets “Guncle Rules,” but soon learn that parenting isn’t solved with treats or jokes as his eyes are opened to a new sense of responsibility.

While Justice Sleeps book cover

While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams

Plunged into an explosive role she never anticipated, Avery Keene, now the legal guardian of power of attorney for the legendary Justice Howard Wynn, must unravel the clues he left behind in regards to a dangerous conspiracy that has infiltrated the highest power corridors of Washington.

Arsenic and Adobo book cover

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes—one that might just be killer….

Local Woman Missing book cover

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

When Delilah, who disappeared 11 years earlier when she was only 6 years old, shockingly returns, the residents of a quiet suburban neighborhood want to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they’ll find.


The Last Green Valley book cover

The Last Green Valley by Mark Sullivan

March 1944, as Stalin’s forces push into Ukraine, Emil and Adeline Martel must make a terrible decision: Do they wait for the Soviet bear’s intrusion and risk being sent to Siberia? Or do they reluctantly follow the wolves – murderous Nazi officers who have pledged to protect “pure-blood” Germans? The Martels are one of many families of German heritage whose ancestors have farmed in Ukraine for over a century. But after already living under Stalin’s regime, they decide they must run with the wolves they despise to escape the Soviets and go in search of freedom.

Swimming Back to Trout River book cover

Swimming Back to Trout River by Linda Rui Feng

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, this lyrical novel follows a father’s determination to reunite his family before his daughter Junie’s 12th birthday, even if it means bringing painful family secrets to light.

Black Water Sister book cover

Black Water Sister by Zen Cho

Jessamyn Teoh is closeted, broke and moving back to Malaysia, a country she left when she was a toddler. So when Jess starts hearing voices, she chalks it up to stress. But there’s only one voice in her head, and it claims to be the ghost of her estranged grandmother, Ah Ma. In life Ah Ma was a spirit medium, the avatar of a mysterious deity called the Black Water Sister. Now she’s determined to settle a score against a gang boss who has offended the god–and she’s decided Jess is going to help her do it.