New Adult Books, Fiction Edition

It’s June 21st, the first day of summer and the longest day of the year! Here’s another look at some of the best adult books we’ve added to the library collection recently, this time highlighting fiction titles — perfect for summer reading!

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing: A Novel by Hank Green — In his much-anticipated debut novel, Hank Green — cocreator of Crash Course, Vlogbrothers, and SciShow — spins a sweeping, cinematic tale about a young woman who becomes an overnight celebrity before realizing she’s part of something bigger, and stranger, than anyone could have possibly imagined. “Led by an earnestly flawed, bisexual heroine with direction and commitment issues, coupled with an abundant generosity of spirit, this read is timely and sorely needed…highly recommended” (Library Journal starred review).

All The Beautiful Strangers: A Novel by Elizabeth Klehfoth — A young woman haunted by a family tragedy is caught up in a dangerous web of lies and deception involving a secret society in this highly charged, addictive psychological thriller that combines the dishy gamesmanship of Gossip Girl with the murky atmosphere of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. “Fans of thrillers will have difficulty putting down this excellently plotted, gripping novel” (School Library Journal starred review).

The Ash Family: A Novel by Molly Dektar — Drawn by a mysterious stranger to a remote farming community that lives off the fertile mountain lands, a North Carolina teen is seduced by their high ideals before new friends begin to disappear. “Dektar’s powerful tale of the human desire for purpose and acceptance takes many twists and turns on a roller-coaster ride to the thrilling, unpredictable conclusion” (Library Journal).

Elevation by Stephen King — The latest from legendary master storyteller Stephen King, a riveting, extraordinarily eerie, and moving story about a man whose mysterious affliction brings a small town together. A timely, upbeat tale about finding common ground despite deep-rooted differences. “King’s tender story is perfect for any fan of small towns, magic, and the joys and challenges of doing the right thing” (Publishers Weekly).

The Handmaid’s Tale: The Graphic Novel by Margaret Atwood, art and adapted by Renée Nault — With this stunning graphic novel adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s modern classic, beautifully realized by artist Renee Nault, the terrifying reality of Gilead has been brought to vivid life like never before. “A must-read; fans of Atwood, graphic novels, and the TV show adaptation will be particularly invested” (School Library Journal starred review).

Home After Dark: A Novel by David Small — Small’s long-awaited graphic novel is a savage portrayal of male adolescence gone awry like no other work of recent fiction or film. Thirteen-year-old Russell Pruitt, abandoned by his mother, follows his father to dilapidated 1950s Marshfield, California where he is forced to fend for himself against a ring of malicious bullies. “The illustrations, limited to pen, ink, and washes done in a simple, loosely sketched style, convey the nuanced range of emotion of all things left unsaid. Spare and powerful, this is not to be missed” (Booklist starred review).

Horse: A Novel by Talley English — When Teagan’s father abruptly abandons his family and his farm, Teagan finds herself wading through the wreckage of what was once an idyllic life, searching for something — or someone — to hold on to. What she finds is Ian, short for Obsidian: the magnificent but dangerously headstrong horse her father left behind. “A shining debut for coming-of-age collections focusing on promising young authors. Recommended for serious readers and animal lovers alike” (School Library Journal starred review).

Inspection: A Novel by Josh Malerman — Boys are being trained at one school for geniuses, girls at another. Neither knows the other exists–until now. The New York Times bestselling author of Bird Box invites you into a world of secrets and chills in a coming-of-age story like no other. “Inspection feels effortless; the story flows easily and at a compelling pace: think Shirley Jackson writing Lord of the Flies…for fans of Margaret Atwood or Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro” (Booklist starred review).

The King’s Witch: A Novel by Tracy Borman — In 1603 England, Frances has learned to use flowers and herbs to become a healer, but the King’s court sees witchcraft punishable by death. Forcibly brought to the castle to help nurse the dying Queen Elizabeth, Francis is surrounded by danger with a dark campaign gathering to destroy Parliament. “A captivating work that brims with action and romance. For historical fiction fans” (School Library Journal starred review).

My Brother’s Husband, Volumes 1 and 2 by Gengoroh Tagame, translated from the Japanese by Anne Ishii — The story of Yaichi, his daughter Kana, and how their meeting Mike Flanagan — Yaichi’s brother-in-law — changes their lives and their perceptions of acceptance of homosexuality in their contemporary Japanese culture. “Readers will want tissues in hand for the final, bittersweet pages of this remarkable [graphic novel] series” (Kirkus starred review).

She Lies In Wait: A Novel by Gytha Lodge — One night during the scorching summer of 1983, a group of teenagers go camping in the forest. In the morning, the youngest in the group, Aurora, has disappeared. An exhaustive investigation is launched but no trace of the teenager is found. Thirty years later Aurora’s body is unearthed and Jonah Sheens is the detective put in charge of solving the long-cold case. “Despite the small list of suspects, the mystery intrigues and twists, offering enough red herrings and moments of police procedural to please fans of the genre” (Kirkus starred review).

A Spark of Light: A Novel by Jodi Picoult — The warm fall day starts like any other at the Center, a women’s reproductive health services clinic. Then a desperate and distraught gunman bursts in and opens fire, taking all inside hostage. Told in a daring and enthralling narrative structure that counts backward through the hours of the standoff, this is a story that traces its way back to what brought several very different individuals to the same place on this fateful day. “Picoult explores both sides of the abortion debate in this carefully crafted, utterly gripping tale, which acknowledges that there are no easy answers” (Booklist starred review).

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik — A fresh and imaginative retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin fairytale. Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father is not a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has left his family on the edge of poverty–until Miryem intercedes. Hardening her heart, she sets out to retrieve what is owed, and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold. “Recommended for teens who love fairy tales and readers who appreciate complex, character-driven narratives that build slowly to a satisfying conclusion” (School Library Journal starred review).

Tell The Machine Goodnight: A Novel by Katie Williams — Pearl’s job is to make people happy. As a technician for the Apricity Corporation, with its patented happiness machine, she provides customers with personalized recommendations for greater contentment. She’s good at her job, her office manager tells her, successful. But how does one measure an emotion? “With its clever, compelling vision of the future, deeply human characters, and delightfully unpredictable story, this novel is itself a recipe for contentment” (Kirkus starred review).



New Adult Books, Nonfiction Edition

As we prepare to shut down the library for summer, we want to remind everyone that most of the collection is available for summer loans! Here are some of the latest nonfiction titles we’ve added recently…

1,000 Books To Read: A Life-Changing List Before You Die by James Mustich — Encompassing fiction, poetry, science and science fiction, memoir, travel writing, biography, children’s books, history, and more, 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die moves across cultures and through time to present an eclectic collection of titles, each described with the special enthusiasm readers summon when recommending a book to a friend. “Mustich’s informed appraisals will drive readers to the books they’ve yet to read, and stimulate discussion of those they have” (Publishers Weekly starred review).

The American Revolution: A World War, edited by David K. Allison and Larrie D. Ferreiro — An illustrated collection of essays that explores the international dimensions of the American Revolution and its legacies in both America and around the world. “A fresh look at the Revolutionary War from an international perspective…a fine corrective to the traditional David-vs-Goliath account of our War of Independence, and a thoroughly entertaining read” (Kirkus starred review).

Autism in Heels: The Untold Story of a Female Life on the Spectrum by Jennifer O’Toole — At the age of thirty-five, O’Toole was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, and for the first time in her life, things made sense. Now, she exposes the constant struggle between carefully crafted persona and authentic existence, editing the autism script with wit, candor, passion, and power. “This insightful, candid book, filled with memories from own her life and the stories of others, will be a lifesaver for anyone facing similar challenges and those close to them” (Booklist starred review).

Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt — Unblinking about the tragic consequences of prejudice, Eberhardt addresses how racial bias is not the fault of nor restricted to a few “bad apples,” but is present at all levels of society in media, education, and business. “Compelling and provocative, this is a game-changing book about how unconscious racial bias impacts our society and what each of us can do about it” (Kirkus starred review).

Call Me American: A Memoir by Abdi Nor Iftin — As a child in Somalia, Abdi Nor Iftin learned English by listening to American pop artists like Michael Jackson and watching films starring action heroes like Arnold Schwarzenegger. But when the radical Islamist group al-Shabaab rose to power in 2006, it suddenly became dangerous to celebrate Western culture. Desperate to make a living, Abdi used his language skills to post secret dispatches to NPR and the Internet, which found an audience of worldwide listeners. As life in Somalia grew more dangerous, Abdi was left with no choice but to flee to Kenya as a refugee. “A harrowing success story of escaping terrorism, overcoming government bureaucracy, and experiencing pure luck, this insightful debut yields an inside look at a largely forgotten conflict that continues to rage” (Library Journal starred review).

D-Day Girls: The Spies Who Armed The Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis, and Helped Win World War II by Sarah Rose — Rose draws on recently declassified files, diaries, and oral histories to tell the thrilling story of three remarkable women recruited to spy for England during World War II. “Rose smoothly integrates developing events with biographical details and glimpses into French wartime society, creating a digestible and easy-to-follow story” (Booklist starred review).

Geek Girls Don’t Cry: Real-Life Lessons From Fictional Female Characters by Andrea Towers — Using examples from both real life and pop culture, entertainment writer Andrea Towers provides powerful tips on how women can overcome obstacles. “Even readers unfamiliar with one of the characters can still personalize and engage with Towers’ interpretation of her story…an enjoyable read for anyone interested in pop culture” (Booklist starred review).

Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan For Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis — Lifestyle author Hollis urges women to stop feeling self-conscious about their ambitions and to start pursuing their dreams with confidence. “Hollis’s writing is beautifully blunt, and she humbly thanks her fans for her success. Her actionable ideas and captivating voice will encourage women to believe in themselves” (Publishers Weekly starred review).

Losing Earth: A Recent History by Nathaniel Rich — Rich tells the human story of climate change in rich, intimate terms, revealing in previously unreported detail the birth of climate denialism and the genesis of the fossil fuel industry’s coordinated effort to thwart climate policy through misinformation propaganda and political influence. “By taking readers into the meetings and among the players, Rich shines a necessary light on the predominant issue of our time. Losing Earth is eloquent, devastating, and crucial” (Booklist starred review).

Parkland: Birth of a Movement by Dave Cullen — An account of the teenage survivors of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting who became activists and pushed back against the NRA and Congressional leaders, inspiring millions of America to join their grassroots #neveragain movement. “Chronicling how the mostly middle- or upper-class Parkland students eventually expanded their crusade to address other issues related to guns, Cullen memorably captures many of the interests they share with often stereotyped inner-city teenagers from violent neighborhoods” (Kirkus starred review).

Sissy: A Coming-Of-Gender Story by Jacob Tobia — A heart-wrenching, eye-opening, and giggle-inducing memoir about what it’s like to grow up not sure if you’re (a) a boy, (b) a girl, (c) something in between, or (d) all of the above. “Always thoughtful, Tobia writes extremely well, with insight, lucidity, occasional anger, and, when things get too serious, wit. The result is, hands down, one of the best trans narratives available; it deserves a place in every library” (Booklist starred review).



New Starred Books

Whenever I read collections of book reviews, I pay close attention to books that receive starred reviews, considered the best of the lot. Here are some of the titles we’ve added to the library collection recently that received multiple starred reviews from Booklist, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews and other review sources; I expect many of them to be on the Best Books of 2019 lists in December…

With The Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo — Teen mother Emoni Santiago struggles with the challenges of finishing high school and her dream of working as a chef. “Acevedo compassionately challenges her readers with a wide variety of topics, including cultural and personal identity and the needs and desires of older women, something that is so often forgotten. This sophomore novel is simply stunning” (Booklist starred review).

Internment by Samira Ahmed — A terrifying, futuristic United Sates where Muslim-Americans are forced into internment camps, and seventeen-year-old Layla Amin must lead a revolution against complicit silence. “Teens who finish Ahmed’s captivating work won’t soon overlook the ugly truths stamped into our nation’s history” (School Library Journal starred review).

Lovely War by Julie Berry — The Greek goddess Aphrodite recounts two tales of tragic love during WWI to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, in a luxe Manhattan hotel room at the height of World War II. “An unforgettable romance so Olympian in scope, human at its core, and lyrical in its prose that it must be divinely inspired” (Kirkus starred review).

Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta — Resets the Arthurian legend in outer space, with King Arthur reincarnated as seventeen-year-old Ari, a female king whose quest is to stop a tyrranical corporate government, aided by a teenaged Merlin. “A stimulating retelling that is adapted from T.H. White’s The Once and Future King. Recommended to fans of Avalon High by Meg Cabot and Damar by Robin McKinley” (School Library Journal starred review).

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi — Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Severin Montagnet-Alarie. “Chokshi shines as a master storyteller in her newest novel; the setting, world building, plot, and conflict are all staggering. However, the elements that perhaps shine the most are the history, riddles, mysteries, and science, woven together in a world brimming with power and magic” (Booklist starred review).

Spin by L.R. Giles — When DJ ParSec, rising star of the local music scene, is found dead over her turntables, the two girls who found her, Kya (her pre-fame best friend) and Fuse (her current chief groupie) are torn between grief for Paris and hatred for each other–but when the police seem to lose interest in the case, the two girls unite, determined to find out who murdered their friend. “This is genre fiction at its best: a taut mystery with rich characterization and a strong sense of place. The depiction of the grassroots music scene that feeds hip-hop and keeps it cutting edge is seamlessly woven into the narrative” (Kirkus starred review).

The Weight Of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf — Amidst the Chinese-Malay conflict in Kuala Lumpur in 1969, sixteen-year-old Melati must overcome prejudice, violence, and her own OCD to find her way back to her mother. “A powerful and raw exploration of mental illness, Malaysian history, and rising above prejudice and hate” (School Library Journal starred review).

Dig by A.S. King — Only a generation removed from being simple Pennsylvania potato farmers, Gottfried and Marla Hemmings now sit atop a seven-figure bank account, wealth they’ve declined to pass on to their adult children or their teenage grand children. Now the five teenagers are lost in a tangled maze of family secrets. “This visceral examination of humanity’s flaws and complexity, especially where the adult characters are concerned, cultivates hope in a younger generation that’s wiser and stronger than its predecessors” (Booklist starred review).

The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg — Seventeen-year-old Maximo offers to help a Jordan, a fellow student in high school, with the food truck that belonged to Jordan’s deceased father, and which may be the only thing standing between homelessness for Jordan and his mom. “Like David Levithan and Adam Silvera, Konigsberg portrays gay teen relationships in a way that is consistently authentic, compassionate, hopeful, and empowering; and this story, which also touches on issues of masculinity, homophobia, and rape, is no exception” (Horn Book).

Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers — When Sybella discovers there is another trained assassin from St. Mortain’s convent deep undercover in the French court, she must use every skill in her arsenal to navigate the deadly royal politics and find her sister-in-arms before her time–and that of the newly crowned queen–runs out. “This rich tapestry of intrigue, betrayal, trauma, protection, old religion, and historically based politics resurrects the urgency and depth of the His Fair Assassin series. Sharp and breathless, full of anger and strength” (Kirkus starred review).

Fear Of Missing Out by Kate McGovern — When Astrid learns that her cancer has returned, she hears about a radical technology called cryopreservation that may allow her to have her body frozen until a future time when–and if–a cure is available. “McGovern’s impeccable writing carries readers through an incredible journey of self-exploration. A compelling and heartrending read that should not be missed” (School Library Journal starred review).

We Set The Dark On Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia — Dani must question everything she’s worked for as she learns about the corruption of the Median government. “With its achingly slow-burn romance and incisive examination of power structures, this is a masterfully constructed novel. This timely examination of how women move through the world is potent and precise, and readers will be eager for the sequel” (Booklist starred review).

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas — Sixteen-year-old Bri hopes to become a great rapper, and after her first song goes viral for all the wrong reasons, must decide whether to sell out or face eviction with her widowed mother. “The rawness of Bri’s narrative demonstrates Thomas’ undeniable storytelling prowess as she tells truths that are neither pretty nor necessarily universally relatable” (Kirkus starred review).

Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America, edited by Ibi Zoboi — A collection of coming-of-age short stories that reflect on the African American teenage experience in America. “The teens in these tales are dealing with mental health issues, complicated family dynamics, sexuality and gender constraints, and being part of a marginalized group…the entries offer a rich tableau of the black teen diaspora in an accessible way” (School Library Journal starred review).