Readers Guide


By robin nettles

August 2
August 1
July 2
July 1

August 2 

Roseann Sdoia is a survivor of the 2013 Boston Marathon.  Sdoia passionately recalls the events leading up to and immediately following the terrorist attack in “Perfect Strangers” (NF 363.325). She describes it as a day that “went from being pure celebration to desperate survival.” This is a book about recovery and an unlikely but enduring friendship that grew out of the tragedy of Boston’s worst day.

Maria Hummel’s new page-turning novel, “Still Lives” (F), is set against a culture that often fetishizes violence.  Kim Lord is an avant-garde figure, feminist icon, and agent provocateur in the L.A. art scene. Her groundbreaking new exhibition is comprised of self-portraits depicting herself as famous, murdered women?the Black Dahlia, Chandra Levy, Nicole Brown Simpson, among many others?and the works are as compelling as they are disturbing, implicating a culture that is too accustomed to violence against women. This is a whip-smart mystery and a moving meditation on the consumption of female bodies all rolled into one." ?Kirkus Reviews 

Since the park’s founding in 1872, Yellowstone has stood for wilderness, ecological science, and natural beauty. “Wonderlandscap”e (NF 978.752), by John Clayton, blends together history and nature writing to present a new perspective on America’s premier park, revealing an evolving significance through the stories of ten fascinating characters. “Energetic and insightful.” – Washington Post 

“There There” (F), the highly recommended debut novel by Tommy Orange, is a story of twelve unforgettable characters, living in Oakland, California, who converge and collide on one fateful day. This kaleidoscopic look at Native American life is “a chronicle of domestic violence, alcoholism, addiction, and pain. The book reveals the perseverance and spirit of the characters with unflinching candor.” – Library Journal 

Tanzania, East Africa has a population of forty-two million but only three brain surgeons.  Haydom Lutheran Hospital lacks the most basic tools, not even a saw to open a patient’s skull.  People with head injuries or brain tumors heal on their own or die.  A Surgeon in the Village” (NF 617.480), by Tony Bartelme, is the incredible and riveting account of a gifted American neurosurgeon, Dilan Ellegala, and his push to “train forward”, changing the way we approach aid and medical training. “A lyrical, inspirational and altogether rewarding account of first- and third-world surgeons working together to perform neurosurgery miracles in the heart of Africa.” – Tom Brokaw 

Dan Fesperman’s gripping new work of suspense is utterly spellbinding. “Safe Houses” (F) is the story of a young woman who discovers a nefarious truth at the heart of the CIA's operations in postwar Berlin and goes on the run for her life; years later she's gruesomely murdered along with her husband, and her daughter begins to chase down these startling secrets from her past. "One of the great espionage novels of our time." – Lee Child

Also at the Library:
     Line of Sight (F) by Mike Maden
     Harry’s Trees (F) by Jon Cohen
     Clock Dance (F) by Anne Tyler
     A Death in the Islands (NF 3453.969) by Mike Farris
     River of Time (NF 781.642) by Naomi Judd

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August 1 

The Library shelves are bursting with cookbooks! Whet your appetite with one of these new titles:

Check out “How to Grill Everything” (NF 641.760) by acclaimed author Mark Bittman. From perfect steaks to cedar-plank salmon to pizza, all explained in Bittman’s straightforward style.

Try your hand at Michael Symon’s “Playing with Fire” (NF 641.760) for BBQ and more from the grill, the smoker, and the fireplace.

“At My Table” (NF 641.500), by Nigella Lawson, is a celebration of home cooking containing hundreds of recipes that are inspiring, achievable, and always delicious. 

If you are looking for a collection of recipes for gathering, or you would like to discover new ways to make meals uniquely yours, look no further than Joanna Gaines’ new book, “Magnolia Table” (NF 641.597).

Perhaps you are interested in the practical art of making more for less? “The Minimalist Kitchen” (NF 641.55), by Melissa Coleman, is a refreshingly simple approach to cooking with wholesome recipes, essential kitchen tools, and efficient techniques.

There is no doubt nutrition affects mental health. Leslie Korn’s “The Good Mood Kitchen” (NF 641.563) is filled with simple recipes and nutrition tips for emotional balance.

Wesley Avila’s, ‘Guerrilla Tacos” (NF 641.840) is more than a collection of recipes, it is a tribute to his Mexican heritage, as well as his years in front of the stove in Los Angeles top kitchens.

Set off on a culinary journey with Chef Asha Gomez in “My Two Souths: blending the flavors of India into a southern kitchen’ (NF 641.595). From her small village in the Kerala region of southern India to her celebrated restaurants in Atlanta, her recipes are rooted in her love of Deep-South cooking, as well as the Southern Indian flavors of her childhood home.

A generation ago, home cooks had all day to prepare a meal, but most folks want convenient, fast recipes with fresh ingredients. “Add a Pinch” (NF 641.597), by Robyn Stone, is just the cookbook for easier, faster, and fresher Southern classics.

Damaris Phillips bridges the gap between cooking with meat and vegetarian cooking.  Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy” (NF 641.563) is a cookbook chock full of down-home classics for vegetarians (and the meat eaters who love them) and a cookbook that meets people exactly where they are on their culinary journey. 

Pound cake is proof that something old can be made new again.  From heirloom recipes to current variations, the ‘Ultimate Pound Cake: Classic Recipe Collection’ (NF 641.865), by Phyllis Hoffman Depiano, will give you a treasure trove of over 100 recipes to choose from.  Pound cakes have become the highlight of holidays and entertaining, and make fabulous gifts. 

Forget all the pots, pans, and baking dishes. With just one or two baking sheets, and the recipes found in “One Sheet Eats” (NF 641.820), you can make delicious food for any occasion, from a complete diner to simple side dishes, crowd-pleasing appetizers, and more.

But, don’t forget the young chef in your life.  New Favorites for New Cooks” (JNF 641.500), by Carolyn Federman, is chock full of tips and tricks for the new chef in the kitchen. This primer will have kids cooking like a pro any day of the week.  

Also at the Library:
     Mad Genius Tips: over 90 expert hacks + 100 delicious recipes (NF 641.500) by Justin Chapple
     Dining In: highly cookable recipes (NF 641.500) by Alison Roman
     Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less (NF 641.563) by Colette Heimowitz 

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July 2 

When Nazi soldiers plundered Europe’s libraries and bookshops, the books they stole were not burned. Instead, the Nazi Party began to compile a library of their own that they could use to wage an intellectual war on literature and history. Anders Rydell tells the untold story of the Nazi book theft, as he himself joins the effort to return the stolen books to their rightful owners. With extensive new research, including records saved by the Monuments Men themselves, Rydell uncovers a great literary crime in, “The Book Thieves” (NF 027.040).

Ruth Ware’s highly anticipated fourth novel, “The Death of Mrs. Westaway” (F), is a dark and dramatic thriller. Harriet Westaway has received notice of a mysterious letter naming her beneficiary of her grandmother’s estate. Surely there has been a mistake; her grandparents have been dead for more than twenty years. Down on her luck and nearly penniless, Harriet escapes to the English countryside hoping her tarot card reading skills might help her solve the mysterious bequest and help her claim the money. Bestselling author A.J. Finn calls this one, “part murder mystery, part family drama, but altogether riveting.” 

“Storm in a Teacup” (NF 530.000), by Helen Czerski, is an inviting look at the world of physics through the author’s eyes. Czerski provides the tools to alter the way we see everything around us while explaining the daily phenomena from the mundane to the magisterial. Jordan Ellenberg, author of How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking states, “Czerski has a remarkable knack for finding scientific wonders under every rock, alongside every raindrop, and inside every grain of sand.”

When Miranda Brooks’ beloved Uncle Billy has a falling out with her mother, he disappears from their lives. Sixteen years later she learns Billy is dead, but he has left her his struggling bookstore, along with a mysterious book and letter. “The Bookshop of Yesterdays” (F), by debut novelist Amy Meyerson, is a lyrical story of family, love, and the healing power of community. It’s a love letter to reading and bookstores, and a testament to how our histories shape who we become. “Meyerson brings readers on a scavenger hunt full of literary clues and family secrets.” – Publishers Weekly 

Andrew McCarron, academic and poet, uses psychological tools to examine three major turning points in Bob Dylan's life: the aftermath of his 1966 motorcycle "accident", his Born Again conversion in 1978; and his recommitment to songwriting and performing in 1987. With fascinating insight, McCarron’s “Light Comes Shining” (NF 782.421), reveals how a common script undergirds Dylan's self-explanations of these changes and, at the heart of this script, illuminates a fascinating story of spiritual death and rebirth that has captivated us all for generations. "McCarron successfully makes a mysterious figure a touch less mysterious."--Kirkus 

“Social Creature” (F), by Tara Isabella Burton, is a dark, propulsive, and addictive thriller that explores identity in the modern world, splashed with the glitz and glimmer of New York City. Burton’s debut into long-form fiction, according to Kirkus, “is a thrilling and provocation crime novel, a devastating exploration of female insecurity, and a scathing indictment of society’s obsession with social media.” 

Also at the Library:
     Educated: a Memoir (NF 370.130) by Tara Westover
     More Deadly than War (NF 614.548) by Kenneth C. Davis
     Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare (NF 940.548) by Giles Milton
     Liar, Liar, Liar (F) by Lisa Jackson
     Still Lives (F) by Maria Hummel
     Cottage by the Sea (F) Debbie Macomber

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July 1

On the eve of the Civil War, three American businessmen launched a plan that would transform communications across the hostile territory between the nation’s two coasts. The legendary experiment lasted just nineteen months, yet the relay system created one of the most enduring icons of the American West.  West Like Lightning (NF 383.143), by Jim DeFelice, is the first comprehensive history of the Pony Express. "One can hear horse hooves pounding across the prairie and sense the fear and courage and excitement." —Tom Clavin, author of Dodge City

A woman’s body is found buried in a shallow grave in the woods.  There is evidence she has recently given birth, but there is no child found. Hired to shadow the investigation and find the missing child, PI Charlie Parker chillingly discovers he is not alone in the search. Another edition to a popular series, The Woman in the Woods (F), by John Connolly, combines crime, supernatural horror, and a cast of colorful characters to create what Publishers Weekly is calling, “Connolly’s masterpiece.” 

Legendary actor Nick Nolte’s intimate memoir, Rebel (NF 791.430), is a tale of art, passion, commitment, addiction, and the quest for personal enlightenment. The Hollywood icon has shaped hundreds of roles over five decades, despite the ups and downs, Nolte has remained true to the craft he loves.  Never one to play by Hollywood’s rules, Nolte is a rebel who defies expectations. This untold story, with never before seen photos, gives readers a close-up look at the man and the life. “Better than the usual run of actor memoirs and plenty of fun to boot.” – Kirkus 

Margaret Jacobsen is afraid of flying. When her pilot-in-training boyfriend, Chip, asks her to take a flight, she is very hesitant. Chip proposes mid-air, and now Margaret feels she has everything: an MBA, a great job lined up, and the fiancé of her dreams. But her biggest fear comes true when their plane crashes. Faced with a devastating injury and a future that is unlike any she ever imagined, How to Walk Away (F), by Katherine Center, is a heartbreakingly honest, yet funny, story that explores the limits of hope and love.  

 All Time Best Sunday Suppers (NF 641.500) will likely conjure thoughts of family traditions, rituals, and fond memories with family and friends. Cook’s Illustrated has carefully curated seventy-five recipes for Sunday cooking. America’s most trusted kitchen guarantees perfect results from classic old-world favorite, like Baked Manicotti to modern favorites such as Flank Steak Peperonata. Complete with side dishes, appetizers, recipe times, and make-ahead instructions, this cookbook has everything you need to make the ultimate weekend meal. 

Kevin Powers follow-up to The Yellow Birds is a searing look at the ravages of war. Alternating between the Civil War era and the mid-twentieth century, A Shout in the Ruins (F) examines the fates of those living on a Richmond, Virginia plantation, both white and black. This impressive novel explores America’s brutal legacy of slavery and “how history is never really confined to the past.” – NPR  

Also at the Library:
     The Perfect Couple (F) by Elin Hilderbrand
     The Pharaoh Key (F) by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
     The Island of the Mad (M) by Laurie R. King
     American Treasures (NF 973.000) by Stephen Puleo
     Tip of the Iceberg (NF 917.980) by Mark Adams
     Finding Reliable Information Online (NF 025.042) by Leslie F. Stebbins

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