Check It Out Category: New Arrivals

Nonfiction: American Eclipse by David Baron

Picture of Summer Reading House headerThere are 20 more days until the end of Summer Reading! Every day during our countdown we will be featuring slices of library life, books, and topics designed to help you out as you work through 2017 Summer Reading at Mount Prospect. Read more about how you can join in on this celebration of reading and enter to win prizes!

American Eclipse book cover

With the anticipated solar eclipse in August, now might be the perfect time to read what happened around a similar event in 1878. David Baron’s fascinating new history, American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World, delves into the facts to unearth an entertaining narrative with lots of tension and excitement.

Baron directs our attention to three notable observers of that phenomenon: Vassar astronomer Maria Mitchell, striving to prove women’s place in the sciences, James Craig Watson, a somewhat untrustworthy planet hunter, and aspiring inventor Thomas Edison. Their stories weave against the backdrop of the Wild West to illuminate the drama that led to America’s becoming a mover and shaker in the global scientific community and even to the creation of the first national weather service. If only our textbooks were this much fun…

Read this for Summer Reading!

For the DIY Designers…
This book is nonfiction and may count in that category.

For the Master Class Designers…
This may count as a book highlighted on the MPPL website.

Newer Books You Might Enjoy, Part Two

Does warmer weather make you thirsty for a new read? Whether looking to thrill your heart, excite your mind, lift your spirits, or escape to a different time or place, there’s a story for you — and we want to help you find it!  Below is a second set of hand-picked selections [part one is here] most likely to keep those pages turning during the hazy days of summer.

Picture of Jenny

Jenny says….

On the surface, recent releases Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig and The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman might not have a lot in common, however, both novels deftly balance talking about harder issues with light touches of humor and stunning grace.

Ginny Moon book cover

Meet Ginny Moon, a spunky, hilarious, and earnest 14-year-old girl who has everyone around her worried as she obsesses about the Baby Doll she left behind when she was saved from her birth mom five years ago. As Ginny shares her perspective as an adopted teenager with autism coming to terms with an abusive past, readers get to experience her joys and frustrations right along with her while she goes to extraordinary lengths to find her Baby Doll. Benjamin Ludwig will take you on a roller-coaster of emotion this summer with his debut Ginny Moon!

 

 

The Garden of Small Beginnings book cover

Filled with quirky characters, a chance of new love, and a strong family, The Garden of Small Beginnings is a ticket into a realistic slice of someone else’s life. It’s been almost five years since Lilli’s husband died and she was left to raise two young children with the help of her supportive sister. As Lilli and her family continue to work through their healing, a gardening class Lilli’s boss is making her sign up for holds an unexpected chance for a new beginning. For the reader looking for humor, heart, and healing, Abbi Waxman’s latest is a summer must.

 

 

Cathleen says….

He Said / She Said by Erin Kelly, expected in June, and New Boy by Tracy Chevalier, released last week, are two absorbing stories that turn dark motives into exciting storytelling.

He Said_She Said book cover

1999. In the afterglow of a total solar eclipse, Laura and her boyfriend Kit turn a corner to see what appears to be a violent assault. He said…it was consensual. She said…well, nothing out loud, but the look in her eyes tells Laura all she needs to know. The man is convicted because of Laura’s testimony, but sixteen years later it is Kit and Laura who live in hiding. With another eclipse expected, is this the time for harsh truths finally to be brought into the light? Find out in Erin Kelly’s debut He Said / She Said.

 

 

New Boy book cover

Transport the play Othello to an elementary school in 1970s Washington, D.C., and you have drama ripe for social commentary via sixth graders. In New Boy, a diplomat’s son is the first and only black student the school has ever enrolled. When he easily befriends popular girl Dee, it is too much for Ian, the class bully, who already feels threatened. The playground proves a ready-made setting for the jealousy and manipulation of Shakespeare’s classic, and you won’t want to miss how it ‘plays’ out.

Newer Books You Might Enjoy, Part One

Summer is on its way! To help you prepare for your reading-in-the-sunshine endeavors, we have dipped our toes in recent book releases, poured over top new release lists, and examined reviews just to land on stand-out titles that resonated with us that you would enjoy, too. We’ll be back next week for part two!

Cathleen says….

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, new this month, and Borne by Jeff VanderMeer, released in April, are two very different reads that make lasting impressions.

 

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine book coverWe love championing a debut, but I’ll be honest: this book pitch practically sells itself. A popular way to describe Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is as A Man Called Ove meets The Rosie Project, which right there tells you almost all you need to know. Eleanor is a prickly, solitary woman who (hilariously) speaks her mind and is just fine with avoiding all human interaction. When in a short time she meets a local musician, needs to call on her work’s IT guy, and helps an elderly gentleman who’s fallen, she finds herself being pulled into a world with other people. Take the time to get to know Eleanor. You’ll be very glad you did.

 

 

Borne book cover

“What did I just read?!?” This was my reaction to Jeff VanderMeer’s stupefying Southern Reach trilogy, so I thought I was prepared for his newest. Borne is something new altogether. We start with the discovery of a fist-sized purple blob caught in the fur of a gigantic flying bear our narrator is using to scavenge for biotech scraps, and it gets weirder from there. The plot may be impossible to summarize in a way that does it justice, but reviewers are comparing to Cormac McCarthy and Margaret Atwood. Smart, literate, and mind-blowing, it’s quite a ride.

 

 

 

Picture of Jenny

Jenny says….

Try What it Means When a Man Falls from the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah, released April 2017, and Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy, releasing in June 2017.

 

What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky book cover
I am obsessed with this story collection right now. Arimah covers a lot of ground as she plays with different genres and explores what it means to be a girl, family dynamics, and the relationships people have with the world around them. With sentences like “[the Mathematicians are] …calculating and subtracting emotions, drawing them from living bodies like poison from a wound,” this short story collection is something to be savored. My favorites ended up being “Light”, “Redemption”, “Wild”, and the title story. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you read them!

 

 

Do Not Become Alarmed book cover

The relaxing cruise trip cousins Liv and Nora have planned for their families takes a dark turn when their children go missing off of the coast of Central America leaving the parents to work out their feelings of guilt, fear and powerlessness. Best read under a hot sticky sun, Do Not Become Alarmed was something I finished in almost one sitting, as it begs you to keep turning the pages to figure out how everything can possibly end okay!

 

New Mystery Spotlight: The Hermit by Thomas Bydahl

The Hermit book coverThomas Bydahl narrows in on the life of Erhard, an older gentleman who left his child and wife to live a life as a hermit on the Spanish island of Fuerteventure. On that island Erhard becomes involved with a murder and is thrown into the technology adapted twenty-first century even though he has completely cut himself off from the modern world since he left his family twenty years ago.

This Danish crime is written in a distant third person narration, which positions readers as if they are sitting in a helicopter over the island, keenly observing Erhard as he slowly wades his way back into life. The Hermit is for the reader that likes an exotic setting, a fully developed character, and a slow burning plot.

New Audio Spotlight: Charcoal Joe by Walter Mosley

Charcoal Joe audiobook coverSometimes we’re looking to be dropped into a rich, moody world that doesn’t bear much resemblance to our everyday. A favorite escape is to the dark streets of mid-century Los Angeles, in the company of legendary detective Easy Rawlins. In Charcoal Joe, Rawlins is asked to aid a promising Stanford student charged with the race-related murder of a white man in the late 1960s. Author Walter Mosley, winner of the 2016 Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America, once again creates a door to history with gritty settings, lifelike characters, and velvet words.

Narrator Michael Boatman knows that the language of a Mosley story is its power, and he emphasizes the swagger and silk of the characters’ dialogue. Descriptions are spun with a cadence that makes them reality, and hard-boiled tension is equally earned. It’s a smooth performance, and one Easy himself would approve.

 

New Arrivals: The Lives of Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre  has captured many a heart with its classic heroine’s journey from crushing past to independence and love. We ache with her trials, admire her resilience, and cheer when she defiantly stands up for herself. Jane’s voice has inspired countless new works over the generations, and this season sees the trend in full flourish.

Jane Steele book coverJane Steele: A Confession
by Lyndsay Faye

There are many eerie similarities between Jane Steele’s life and that of her favorite literary character, but her own choices embrace the macabre in this even darker take on the gothic tale: “Reader, I murdered him.”

Reader I Married Him book coverReader, I Married Him
edited by Tracy Chevalier

This collection of 20 original stories by today’s finest women writers — including Tracy Chevalier, Elizabeth McCracken, Audrey Niffenegger, and more — takes inspiration from one of the most famous lines in Charlotte Brontë’s beloved novel.

Madwoman Upstairs book coverThe Madwoman Upstairs
by Catherine Lowell

The last remaining descendant of the Brontës discovers a believed-to-be-destroyed copy of Jane Eyre and embarks on a scavenger hunt for her ancestors’ legacy, one which has ties to events in the authors’ lives and to their classic stories.

 

Still can’t quit Jane? Reach back and try one of last year’s entries into this literary homage trend.

Bronte Plot book coverThe Brontë Plot
by Katherine Reay

More tribute than re-telling, this story centers on a bookseller who, while visiting famous author sites in England, discovers new revelations of truth in the moral dilemmas and relationship wisdom represented in her favorite novels.

Re Jane book coverRe Jane
by Patricia Park

A half-Korean, half-American orphan takes a position as an au pair for two Brooklyn academics and their daughter, but a brief sojourn in Seoul, where she reconnects with family, causes her to wonder if the man she loves is really the man for her.

 

Looking for new nonfiction? Head here for new and forthcoming titles.

New Book Spotlight: Historical Fiction Thrillers

Looking for a page-turner that will bring you back in time? Check out one of the newer releases below!


City of Secrets book coverCity of Secrets
by Stewart O’Nan

A moral thriller about the Jewish underground resistance in Jerusalem after World War II follows the experiences of Brand, a hunted refugee, who assumes a different identity and commits himself to the revolution while accepting increasingly dangerous missions.

The Letter Writer book coverThe Letter Writer
by Dan Fesperman

Taking a job with the NYPD four months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, a former small-town cop investigates the discovery of a body in the Hudson with the assistance of a mysterious, well-educated man who has uncanny knowledge of the city and its denizens.

High Dive book coverHigh Dive
by Jonathan Lee

A tale inspired by the 1984 Brighton Hotel bombing assassination attempt on the lives of Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet is told from the perspectives of an IRA bomb maker, a former star athlete-turned-hotel manager and the manager’s teenage daughter.

 

Email us as readers@mppl.org for more suggestions.
Head here for new and forthcoming nonfiction titles.
Summaries from Novelist.

New Music Spotlight: Salt as Wolves by Jeffrey Foucalt

Salt as Wolves album coverJeffrey Foucalt intertwines country and blues in his newest album, Salt as Wolves. The twelve songs are all sung by Foucalt and his even-toned voice, which mixed with repetitive lyrics culminates into a soothing exploration of life, death, and relationships. This 2015 album feels like the listener is stepping into a one way conversation, as Foucalt’s songs address various people and moments in his life: his mom in regards to their relationship falling apart, his friend on a death, and even the listener to say, “everything is going to work out.”

New Audio Spotlight: The Best of Pop Culture Happy Hour

Best of Pop Culture Happy Hour audiobook coverAre you craving sparkling conversation about movies, books, music, TV, celebrity, and all things considered? Treat yourself to The Best of Pop Culture Happy Hour, a sampler set of the greatest moments of NPR’s entertainment podcast. Anchored by the smart, informed, articulate, witty people you wish you could hang out with at parties, these roundtable discussions take on fiascos, movie trailers, the art of the mixtape, media depictions of the White House, and (our favorite) public radio voices.

Topics are focused and well-prepped, but there’s no predicting what happens once the give-and-take gets rolling – especially when one host’s mother is present to talk about nudity. Listen in, laugh along, and raise your pop culture quotient. Perhaps you’ll even find topics to impress at the next mixer you attend.

New Book Spotlight: False Positive by Andrew Grant

False Positive book coverLike Craig Johnson or James Lee Burke?
Try Andrew Grant.

Returning from a suspension, detective Cooper Devereaux is starting a new case looking for a missing seven-year-old boy in Alabama. In the process, Devereaux unexpectedly begins learning more about his past, which as an orphan has its own set of mysteries. Filled with surprise after surprise, Andrew Grant’s False Positive is an action-packed thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat. This is the first in the Detective Cooper Devereaux series.