Staff Book Picks: March 2021

"This official tie-in to the highly acclaimed film, The Birth of a Nation, surveys the history and legacy of Nat Turner, the leader of one of the most renowned slave rebellions on American soil, while also exploring Turner's relevance to contemporary dialogues on race relations. Beautifully illustrated with stills from the movie and original illustrations, the book also features an essay by writer/director, Nate Parker, contributions by members of the cast and crew, and commentary by educator Brian Favors and historians Erica Armstrong Dunbar and Daina Ramey Berry who place Nat Turner and the rebellion he led into historical context."-- Provided by publisher.

Kimono showcases a magnificent range of kimonos from the Khalili Collection, which comprises more than 200 garments and spans almost 300 years of Japanese textile artistry. Gorgeously illustrated and written by an international team of experts, the book surveys kimono of the imperial court, samurai aristocracy, and affluent merchant classes of the Edo period (1603-1868); the shifting styles and new color palette of Meiji period dress (1868-1912); and the bold and dazzling kimono of the Taisho (1912-26) and early Showa (1926-89) periods, when designers used innovative new techniques and fused traditional looks with inspiration from the modernist aesthetic then sweeping the world.

Besora, Max, author.

"Joan Orpí (Piera, 1593 - New Barcelona, 1645) is one of the most unknown characters in Spanish history. In this torrential book we are told the odyssey that brought him first to Barcelona, later to Sevilla and finally to America, where he would experience all kinds of outlandish situations. Using historical facts as raw material, and with stellar appearances of characters such as Miguel de Cervantes or the brigand Serrallonga among others, Besora converses with the satirical tradition of works such as Gargantua and Pantagruel, Gulliver's Travels or Don Quixote, to paint a fresco of Catalonia in the seventeenth century and the Golden Age of the Spanish empire, creating a novel, fresh, sharp and bursting with exuberant adventures. A triumphant, playful masterpiece brought into a unique style of English thanks to the triumphant creativity of translator Mara Faye Lethem."--Provided by publisher.

Bethencourt, Kahran, author.

"From Kahran and Regis Bethencourt, the dynamite husband and wife duo behind CreativeSoul Photography, comes GLORY, a photography book that shatters the conventional standards of beauty for Black children. Featuring a foreword by Amanda Seales With stunning images of natural hair and gorgeous, inventive visual storytelling, GLORY puts Black beauty front and center with more than 100 breathtaking photographs and a collection of powerful essays about the children. At its heart, it is a recognition and celebration of the versatility and innate beauty of black hair, and black beauty. The glorious coffee-table book pays homage to the story of our royal past, celebrates the glory of the here and now, and even dares to forecast the future. It brings to life past, present, and future visions of black culture and showcases the power and beauty of recognizing and celebrating oneself. Beauty as an expression of who you are is power. When we define our own standards of beauty, we take back that power. GLORY encourages children around the world to feel that power and harness it"-- Provided by publisher.

Bilyeau, Nancy, author.

The year is 1911 when twenty-year-old heiress Peggy Batternberg is invited to spend the summer in America's Playground. The invitation to Coney Island is unwelcome. Despite hailing from one of America's richest families, Peggy would much rather spend the summer working at the Moonrise Bookstore than keeping up appearances with New York City socialites and her snobbish, controlling family. But soon it transpires that the hedonism of Coney Island affords Peggy the freedom she has been yearning for, and it's not long before she finds herself in love with a troubled pier-side artist of humble means, whom the Batternberg patriarchs would surely disapprove of. Disapprove they may, but hidden behind their pomposity lurks a web of deceit, betrayal, and deadly secrets. And as bodies begin to mount up amidst the sweltering clamor of Coney Island, it seems the powerful Batternbergs can get away with anything... even murder.

Blow, Charles M., 1970- author.

"Columnist and author Charles Blow never wanted to write a "race book." But as violence against Black people--both physical and psychological--seemed only to increase in recent years, culminating in the historic pandemic and protests of the summer of 2020, he felt compelled to write a new story for Black Americans. He envisioned a succinct, counterintuitive, and impassioned corrective to the myths that have for too long governed our thinking about race and geography in America. Drawing on both political observations and personal experience as a Black son of the South, Charles set out to offer a call to action by which Black people can finally achieve equality, on their own terms"--adapted from book jacket.

Bonidan, Cathy, author.

"Cathy Bonidan's The Lost Manuscript is a charming epistolary novel about the love of books and magical ability they have to bring people together. Sometimes a book has the power to change your life... When Anne-Lise Briard books a room at the Beau Rivage Hotel for her vacation on the Brittany coast, she has no idea this trip will start her on the path to unearthing a mystery. In search of something to read, she opens up her bedside table drawer in her hotel room, and inside she finds an abandoned manuscript. Halfway through the pages, an address is written. She sends pages to the address, in hopes of potentially hearing a response from the unknown author. But not before she reads the story and falls in love with it. The response, which she receives a few days later, astonishes her... Not only does the author write back, but he confesses that he lost the manuscript 30 years prior on a flight to Montreal. And then he reveals something even more shocking-that he was not the author of the second half of the book. Anne-Lise can't rest until she discovers who this second mystery author is, and in doing so tracks down every person who has held this manuscript in their hands. Through the letters exchanged by the people whose lives the manuscript has touched, she discovers long-lost love stories and intimate secrets. Romances blossom and new friends are made. Everyone's lives are made better by this book-and isn't that the point of reading? And finally, with a plot twist you don't see coming, she uncovers the astonishing identity of the author who finished the story"-- Provided by publisher.

Brookner, Anita.

Recounts the holiday of Edith Hope, meek, unmarried, and thirty-nine, who, on the mend from a disastrous love affair, becomes intimately involved with her fellow guests at the Swiss Hotel du Lac.

Clark, P. Djèlí, author.

"In this dark fantasy historical novella that gives a supernatural twist to the Ku Klux Klan's reign of terror, The Birth of a Nation cast a spell across America, swelling the Klan's ranks and drinking deep from the darkest thoughts of white folk. All across the nation they ride, spreading fear and violence among the vulnerable. They plan to bring Hell to Earth. Standing in their way is Maryse Boudreaux and her fellow resistance fighters, a foul-mouthed sharpshooter and a Harlem Hellfighter. Armed with blade, bullet, and bomb, they hunt their hunters and send the Klan's demons straight to Hell. But something awful's brewing in Macon, and the war on Hell is about to heat up. Can Maryse stop the Klan before it ends the world?"-- Publisher's description.

Cole, Alyssa, author.

"When Shanti Mohapi weds the king of Njaza, her dream of becoming a queen finally comes true. But it's nothing like she imagined. Shanti and her husband may share an immediate and powerful attraction, but her subjects see her as an outsider, and everything she was taught about being the perfect wife goes disastrously wrong. A king must rule with an iron fist, and newly crowned King Sanyu was born perfectly fitted for the gauntlet, even if he wishes he weren't. He agrees to take a wife as is required of him, though he doesn't expect to actually fall in love. Even more vexing? His beguiling new queen seems to have the answers to his country's problems--except no one will listen to her. By day, they lead separate lives. By night, she wears the crown, and he bows to her demands in matters of politics and passion. When turmoil erupts in their kingdom and their marriage, Shanti goes on the run, and Sanyu must learn whether he has what it takes both to lead his people and to catch his queen."--Provided by publisher.

De León, Aya, author.

Since childhood, Yolanda Vance has forged her desire to escape poverty into a laser-like focus that took her through prep school and Harvard Law. So when her prestigious New York law firm is raided by the FBI, Yolanda turns in her corrupt bosses to save her career--and goes to work for the Bureau. Soon she's sent undercover at Red, Black, and Green--an African-American extremist activist group back in her California college town. They claim a biotech corporation fueled by Pentagon funding is exploiting the neighborhood. But Yolanda is determined to put this assignment in her win column, head back to corporate law, and regain her comfortable life... Until an unexpected romance opens her heart--and a suspicious death opens her eyes. Menacing dark money forces will do anything to bury Yolanda and the movement. Fueled by memories of who she once was--and what once really mattered most--how can she tell those who've come to trust her that she's been spying? As the stakes escalate, and one misstep could cost her life, Yolanda will have to choose between betraying the cause of her people or invoking the wrath of the country's most powerful law enforcement agency.

Enger, Lin, author.

"Radically personal and quintessentially American, an intimate drama at the heart of an apocalyptic vision"-- Provided by publisher.

Greeley, Molly, author.

"As a fussy baby, Anne de Bourgh's doctor prescribed laudanum to quiet her, and now the young woman must take the opium-heavy tincture every day. Growing up sheltered and confined, removed from sunshine and fresh air, the pale and overly slender Anne grew up with few companions except her cousins, including Fitzwilliam Darcy. Throughout their childhoods, it was understood that Darcy and Anne would marry and combine their vast estates of Pemberley and Rosings. But Darcy does not love Anne or want her. After her father dies unexpectedly, leaving her his vast fortune, Anne has a moment of clarity: what if her life of fragility and illness isn't truly real? What if she could free herself from the medicine that clouds her sharp mind and leaves her body weak and lethargic? Might there be a better life without the medicine she has been told she cannot live without? In a frenzy of desperation, Anne discards her laudanum and flees to the London home of her cousin, Colonel John Fitzwilliam, who helps her through her painful recovery. Yet once she returns to health, new challenges await. Shy and utterly inexperienced, the wealthy heiress must forge a new identity for herself, learning to navigate a "season" in society and the complexities of love and passion. The once wan, passive Anne gives way to a braver woman with a keen edge--leading to a powerful reckoning with the domineering mother determined to control Anne's fortune . . . and her life"-- Provided by publisher.

Hammonds Reed, Christina, author.

With the Rodney King riots closing in on high school senior Ashley and her family, the privileged bubble she has enjoyed, protecting her from the difficult realities most black people face, begins to crumble.

Harrison, Jim, 1937-2016

Cliff, a sixty-something man, divorced and robbed of his farm by a late-blooming real estate shark of an ex-wife, takes a road trip across America, armed with a childhood puzzle of the United States and a mission to rename all the states and state birds to overcome the banal names men have given them. Cliff's adventures take him through a whirlwind affair with a former student from his high school-teacher days twenty-some years before, to a "snake farm" in Arizona owned by an old classmate; and to the high-octane existence of his son, a big-time movie producer in San Francisco.

Hermans, Anaële, 1982- author.

"The graphic novel collaboration and true story of two sisters. Anaële, a writer, leaves for Palestine volunteering in an aid program, swinging between her Palestinian friends and her Israeli friends. Delphine is an artist, left behind in Liège, Belgium. From their different sides of the world, they exchange letters. Green Almonds: Letters from Palestine is a personal look into a complex reality, through the prism of the experience of a young woman writing letters to her sister about her feelings and adventures in the occupied territories" -- provided by publisher.

Hjorth, Vigdis, author.

"A colleague's suicide prompts a media consultant to work with a postal workers' union struggling for survival. To her surprise, the new assignment brings hope at a time of personal desperation"-- Provided by publisher.

Jenner, Natalie, author.

""Fans of The Chilbury Ladies' Choir and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will adore The Jane Austen Society... A charming and memorable debut, which reminds us of the universal language of literature and the power of books to unite and heal." -Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable. One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England's finest novelists. Now it's home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen's legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen's home and her legacy. These people-a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others-could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society. A powerful and moving novel that explores the tragedies and triumphs of life, both large and small, and the universal humanity in us all, Natalie Jenner's The Jane Austen Society is destined to resonate with readers for years to come"-- Provided by publisher.

Kowal, Mary Robinette, 1969- author.
Laing, Olivia, author.

""One of the finest writers of the new non-fiction" (Harper's Bazaar) explores the role of art in the tumultuous twenty-first century. In the age of Trump and Brexit, every crisis is instantly overridden by the next. The turbulent political weather of the twenty- first century generates anxiety and makes it difficult to know how to react. Olivia Laing makes a brilliant, inspiring case for why art matters more than ever, as a force of both resistance and repair. Art, she argues, changes how we see the world. It gives us X-ray vision. It reveals inequalities and offers fertile new ways of living. Funny Weather brings together a career's worth of Laing's writing about art and culture, and their role in our political and emotional lives. She profiles Jean-Michel Basquiat and Georgia O'Keeffe, interviews Hilary Mantel and Ali Smith, writes love letters to David Bowie and Wolfgang Tillmans, and explores loneliness and technology, women and alcohol, sex and the body. With characteristic originality and compassion, Funny Weather celebrates art as an antidote to a terrifying political moment"-- Provided by publisher.

Lam, Laura, 1988- author.
Loskutoff, Maxim, author.

"In this haunting parable of the American west, a young woman faces the violent past of a remote Montana valley. In Montana's Bitterroot Valley, a young Ruthie Fear sees an apparition: a strange, headless creature near a canyon creek. Raised in a trailer by her stubborn, bowhunting father, Ruthie develops a powerful connection with the natural world but struggles to find her place in a society shaped by men. As she comes of age , her small community fractures in the face of class tension and encroaching natural disaster, and the creature she saw long ago reappears. An entirely new kind of Western and the first novel from one of this generation's most "wildly imaginative" (NPR) writers, RUTHIE FEAR captures the destruction and rebirth of the modern American West with warmth, urgency, and grandeur. Loskutoff presents this place as balanced on a knife's edge, at war with itself, but still unbearably beautiful and full of love"-- Provided by publisher.

Markoosie, author.

"Published fifty years ago under the title Harpoon of the Hunter, Markoosie Patsauq's novel helped establish the genre of Indigenous fiction in Canada. This new English translation unfolds the story of Kamik, a young hero who comes to manhood while on a perilous hunt for a wounded polar bear. In this astonishing tale of a people struggling for survival in a brutal environment, Patsauq describes a life in the Canadian Arctic as one that is reliant on cooperation and vigilance. In collaboration with the author, Valerie Henitiuk and Marc-Antoine Mahieu return to the original Inuktitut text to provide English readers with a more accurate translation. With a preface by Patsauq, an introduction from the translators, and an afterword by throat singer and filmmaker Evie Mark, this edition offers a fresh and contextualized interpretation of a cultural milestone. Whether revisiting this classic or discovering it for the first time, readers will find in Hunter with Harpoon a sophisticated coming-of-age tale illustrating a way of life not as it appeared to southerners, but as it has survived in the memory of the Inuit themselves."-- Provided by publisher.

Martine, Arkady, author.

"During a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court, Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn't an accident--or that Mahit might be next to die. Now Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan's unceasing expansion--all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret--one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life--or rescue it from annihilation"--From publisher.

McLean, Polly E. Bugros (Polly Elise Bugros), author.

"The University of Colorado erroneously recognized Dr. Ruth Cave Flowers as its first Black graduate. In 1918--six years before Flowers's graduation--Lucile Berkeley Buchanan Jones received her bachelor's degree. McLean introduces this woman who lived through an extraordinary time and rectifies the omission from institutional history"--Provided by publisher.

Momaday, N. Scott, 1934- author.

"In Earth Keeper: Reflections on an American Land, Momaday reflects on his native ground and its influence on his people. "When I think about my life and the lives of my ancestors, I am inevitably led to the conviction that I, and they, belong to the American land. This is a declaration of belonging. And it is an offering to the earth." he writes. Earth Keeper is a story of attachment, rooted in oral tradition. Momaday recalls stories of his childhood that have been passed down through generations, stories that reveal a profound and sacred connection to the American landscape and a reverence for the natural world. In this moving work, he offers an homage and a warning. Momaday reminds us that the Earth is a sacred place of wonder and beauty; a source of strength and healing that must be protected before it's too late. As he so eloquently yet simply reminds us, we must all be keepers of the Earth"-- Provided by publisher.

Oliveira, Robin.
Passmore, Ben, author.
Reid, Iain, 1981- author.
Rubio, Salva, 1978- author.

"This is a dramatic retelling of true events in the life of Francisco Boix, a Spanish press photographer and communist who fled to France at the beginning of World War II. Through an odd turn of events, Boix finds himself the confidant of an SS officer who is documenting prisoner deaths at the camp. Boix realizes that he has a chance to prove Nazi war crimes by stealing the negatives of these perverse photos--but only at the risk of his own life, that of a young Spanish boy he has sworn to protect, and, indeed, that of every prisoner in the camp"-- Provided by publisher.

Sandler, Lauren, author.

"More than forty-five million Americans attempt to survive under the poverty line, day by day. Nearly 60,000 people sleep in New York City-run shelters every night--forty percent of them children. This Is All I Got makes this issue deeply personal, vividly depicting one woman's hope and despair and her steadfast determination to improve her situation, despite the myriad setbacks she encounters. Camila is a twenty-two-year-old new mother. She has no family to rely on, no partner, and no home. Despite her intelligence and determination, the odds are firmly stacked against her. Award-winning journalist Lauren Sandler tells the story of a year in Camila's life--from the birth of her son to his first birthday--as she navigates the labyrinth of poverty and homelessness in America. As Camila attempts to secure a college education and a safe place to raise her son, she copes with dashed dreams, failed relationships, and miles of red tape with grit, grace, and resilience. This Is All I Got is a dramatic story of survival and powerful indictment of a broken system, but it is also a revealing and candid depiction of the relationship between an embedded reporter and her subject and the tricky boundaries to navigate when it's impossible to remain a dispassionate observer"-- Provided by publisher.

Schweblin, Samanta, 1978- author.

"A visionary novel about the collision of technology and play, horror and humanity, from a master of the spine-tingling tale. They've infiltrated homes in Hong Kong, shops in Vancouver, the streets of Senegal, town squares of Oaxaca, schools in Tel Aviv, bedrooms in Ohio. They're following you. They're everywhere now. They're us. In Samanta Schweblin's wildly imaginative new novel, Little Eyes, "kentukis" have gone viral across the globe. They're little mechanical stuffed animals that have cameras for eyes, wheels for feet, and are connected to an anonymous global server. Owners of kentukis have the eyes of a stranger in their home and a cute squeaking pet following them; or you can be the kentuki and voyeuristically spend time in someone else's life, controlling the creature with a few keystrokes. Through kentukis, a jaded Croatian hustler stumbles into a massive criminal enterprise and saves a life in Brazil, a lonely old woman in Peru becomes fascinated with a young woman and her louche lover in Germany, and a kid with no mother in Antigua finds a new virtual family and experiences snow for the first time in Norway. These creatures can reveal the beauty of connection between farflung souls - but they also expose the ugly humanity of our increasingly linked world. Trusting strangers can lead to unexpected love and marvelous adventure, but what happens when the kentukis pave the way for unimaginable terror?"-- Provided by publisher.

Shouoto, Aya, 1977- author.
Simone, Francina, author.

Challenging herself to overcome long-held insecurities at the beginning of her junior year, Liv lands an unexpected role in her high school's hip-hopera production of Othello that helps launch her journey of self-empowerment.

Smith, Danez, author.

"Homie is Danez Smith's magnificent anthem about the saving grace of friendship. Rooted in the loss of one of Smith's close friends, this book comes out of the search for joy and intimacy within a nation where both can seem scarce and getting scarcer. In poems of rare power and generosity, Smith acknowledges that in a country overrun by violence, xenophobia, and disparity, and in a body defined by race, queerness, and diagnosis, it can be hard to survive, even harder to remember reasons for living. But then the phone lights up, or a shout comes up to the window, and family--blood and chosen--arrives with just the right food and some redemption. Part friendship diary, part bright elegy, part war cry, Homie is the exuberant new book written for Danez and for Danez's friends and for you and for yours."--Provided by publisher.

Smith, Zadie, author.

"Deeply personal and powerfully moving, a short and timely series of reflective essays by one of the most clear-sighted and essential writers of our time. Written during the early months of lockdown, Intimations explores ideas and questions prompted by an unprecedented situation. What does it mean to submit to a new reality--or to resist it? How do we compare relative sufferings? What is the relationship between time and work? In our isolation, what do other people mean to us? How do we think about them? What is the ratio of contempt to compassion in a crisis? When an unfamiliar world arrives, what does it reveal about the world that came before it? Suffused with a profound intimacy and tenderness in response to these extraordinary times, Intimations is a slim, suggestive volume with a wide scope, in which Zadie Smith clears a generous space for thought, open enough for each reader to reflect on what has happened--and what should come next"-- Provided by publisher.

Stradal, J. Ryan, author.

"When Lars Thorvald's wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine--and a dashing sommelier--he's left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own. He's determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter--starting with puréed pork shoulder. As Eva grows, she finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. From Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros, each ingredient represents one part of Eva's journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that's a testament to her spirit and resilience. Each chapter in J. Ryan Stradal's startlingly original debut tells the story of a single dish and character, at once capturing the zeitgeist of the Midwest, the rise of foodie culture, and delving into the ways food creates community and a sense of identity" --Publisher description.

Tanabe, Karin, author.

"An evocative historical novel set in 1930's Indochine, about the American wife of a Michelin heir who journeys to the French colony in the name of family fortune, and the glamorous, tumultuous world she finds herself in-and the truth she may be running from. On a humid afternoon in 1933, American Jessie Lesage steps off a boat from Paris and onto the shores of Vietnam. Accompanying her French husband Victor, an heir to the Michelin rubber fortune, she's certain that their new life is full of promise, for while the rest of the world is sinking into economic depression, Indochine is gold for the Michelins. Jessie knows that their vast plantations near Saigon are the key to the family's prosperity, and while they have been marred in scandal, she needs them to succeed for her husband's sake-and to ensure that her trail of secrets stays hidden in the past. Jessie dives into the glamorous colonial world, where money is king and morals are brushed aside, and meets Marcelle de Fabry, a spellbinding French woman with a moneyed Indochinese lover, the silk tycoon Khoi Nguyen. Descending on Jessie's world like a hurricane, Marcelle proves to be an exuberant guide to ex-pat life. But hidden beneath her vivacious exterior is a fierce desire to put the colony back in the hands of its people, starting with the Michelin plantations, fueled by a terrible wrong committed against her and Khoi's loved ones in Paris. Yet it doesn't take long for the sun-drenched days and champagne-soaked nights to catch up with Jessie. With an increasingly fractured mind, her affection for Indochine falters. And as a fiery political struggle builds around her, Jessie begins to wonder what's real in a friendship that she suspects may be nothing but a house of cards. Motivated by love, driven by ambition, and seeking self-preservation at all costs, Jessie and Marcelle each toe the line between friend and foe, ethics and excess. Cast against the stylish backdrop of 1930s Indochine, in a time and place defined by contrasts and convictions, A Hundred Suns is historical fiction at its lush, suspenseful best"-- Provided by publisher.

Thomas, Angie, author.

Maverick feels strongly about family ties, making choices he feels necessary to help support his mom while his King father serves time, and leave him literally holding his son in a doctor's waiting room after he gets paternity test results back and his babymomma ghosts. Now the child he's raising is impacting the lives of his family and his girlfriend, and the gang life he led to support them all financially could leave them all bearing his responsibilities since it endangers his life. It looks like he may have been offered a chance to go straight, but leaving the King Lords won't be easy, and a "real" job has high demand for low return.

Tokarczuk, Olga, 1962- author.

Finalist for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize. A deeply satisfying thriller cum fairy tale, Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead is a provocative exploration of the murky borderland between sanity and madness, justice and tradition, and autonomy and fate. In a remote Polish village, Janina devotes the dark winter days to studying astrology, translating the poetry of William Blake, and taking care of the summer homes of wealthy Warsaw residents. Her reputation as a crank and a recluse is amplified by her not-so-secret preference for the company of animals over humans. Then a neighbor, Big Foot, turns up dead. Soon other bodies are discovered, in increasingly strange circumstances. As suspicions mount, Janina inserts herself into the investigation, certain that she knows whodunit. If only anyone would pay her mind . . .

Tomine, Adrian, 1974- author.

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."--Amazon.

Vo, Nghi, author.

"A young royal from the far north, is sent south for a political marriage in an empire reminiscent of imperial China. Her brothers are dead, her armies and their war mammoths long defeated and caged behind their borders. Alone and sometimes reviled, she must choose her allies carefully. Rabbit, a handmaiden, sold by her parents to the palace for the lack of five baskets of dye, befriends the emperor's lonely new wife and gets more than she bargained for."--Provided by publisher.

Waggoner, C. M., author.

"A charming historical fantasy with a tender love story at its core, from the author of Unnatural Magic. Hard-drinking petty thief Dellaria Wells is down on her luck in the city of Leiscourt--again. Then she sees a want ad for a female bodyguard, and she fast-talks her way into the high-paying job. Along with a team of other women, she's meant to protect a rich young lady from mysterious assassins. At first Delly thinks the danger is exaggerated, but a series of attacks shows there's much to fear. Then she begins to fall for Winn, one of the other bodyguards, and the women team up against a mysterious, magical foe who seems to have allies everywhere"-- Provided by publisher.

Walschots, Natalie Zina, 1983- author.

Anna does boring things for terrible people because even criminals need office help and she needs a job. As a temp, she's just a cog in the machine. But when she finally gets a promising assignment, everything goes very wrong, and an encounter with the so-called 'hero' leaves her badly injured. So, of course, then she gets laid off. With no money and no mobility, with only her anger and internet research acumen, she discovers her suffering at the hands of a hero is far from unique. When people start listening to the story that her data tells, she realizes she might not be as powerless as she thinks. Because the key to everything is data: knowing how to collate it, how to manipulate it, and how to weaponize it.

Ward, Clarissa, 1980- author.

"The recipient of multiple Peabody and Murrow awards, Clarissa Ward is a world-renowned conflict reporter. In this strange age of crisis where there really is no front line, she has moved from one hot zone to the next. With multiple assignments in Syria, Egypt, and Afghanistan, Ward, who speaks seven languages, has been based in Baghdad, Beirut, Beijing, and Moscow. She has seen and documented the violent remaking of the world at close range. With her deep empathy, Ward finds a way to tell the hardest stories. On All Fronts is the riveting account of Ward's singular career and of journalism in this age of extremism. Following a privileged but lonely childhood, Ward found her calling as an international war correspondent in the aftermath of 9/11. From her early days in the field, she was embedding with marines at the height of the Iraq War and was soon on assignment all over the globe. But nowhere does Ward make her mark more than in war-torn Syria, which she has covered extensively with courage and compassion. From her multiple stints entrenched with Syrian rebels to her deep investigations into the Western extremists who are drawn to ISIS, Ward has covered Bashar al-Assad's reign of terror without fear. In 2018, Ward rose to new heights at CNN and had a son. Suddenly, she was doing this hardest of jobs with a whole new perspective"-- Provided by publisher.