Staff Picks: March 2022

"How to Love the World invites readers to use poetry as part of their daily gratitude practice to uncover the simple gifts of abundance and joy to be found everywhere"-- Provided by publisher.

"Inside Out: The Prints of Mary Cassatt examines Cassatt's printmaking from the perspective of the artist herself. It focuses on intersections between her prints and her personal concerns with identity and selfhood, family and child care, creativity and making."--Colby Museum of Art website.

""The goal with this anthology is to represent that full range of contemporary expressions of Islam, as well as a full range of genres-poetry, fiction, essay, memoir, political writing, cultural writing, and of course plenty of texts which mix and match and blur all of these modes . . . the trajectories between the pieces-like that of kismet-will be multiple, nonlinear, abstract. The Muslim community is plural and contradictory. This collection of voices ought to be symphony and cacophony at once, like the body of Muslims as they are today."-Kazim Ali"-- Provided by publisher.

Adeyemi, Tomi, author.

Zélie and Amari have succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha, but the ritual was more powerful than they could've imagined. It has reignited the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too. Now Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari's right to the throne. With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie must discover a way to bring the kingdom together--or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart. -- adapted from jacket

Akinmade-Akerström, Lola, author.

"Three Black women are linked in unexpected ways to the same influential white man in Stockholm as they build their new lives in the most open society run by the most private people. Successful marketing executive Kemi Adeyemi is lured from the U.S. to Sweden by Jonny von Lundin, CEO of the nation's largest marketing firm, to help fix a PR fiasco involving a racially tone-deaf campaign. A killer at work but a failure in love, Kemi's move is a last-ditch effort to reclaim her social life. A chance meeting with Jonny in business class en route to the U.S. propels former model-turned-flight-attendant Brittany-Rae Johnson into a life of wealth, luxury, and privilege-a life she's not sure she wants-as the object of his unhealthy obsession. And Somali refugee Muna Saheed, who lost her entire family, finds a job cleaning the toilets at Jonny's office as she works to establish her residency in Sweden and, more importantly, seeks connection and a place she can call home."--Publisher's description.

Ali, Wajahat, author.

"A rollercoaster ride of a memoir, by turns hilarious and heartbreaking, by the journalist, playwright, and political activist Wajahat Ali. "Go back to where you came from, you terrorist!" This is just one of the many warm, lovely, and helpful tips that Wajahat Ali and other children of immigrants receive on a daily basis. Go back where exactly? His hometown in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he can't afford rent? Awkward, left-handed, suffering from OCD, and wearing Husky pants, Ali grew up on the margins of the American mainstream, devoid of Brown superheroes, where people like him were portrayed as goofy sidekicks, shop owners with funny accents, sweaty terrorists, or aspiring sweaty terrorists. Driven by his desire to expand the American narrative to include protagonists who look like him, he became a writer, and in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks, an accidental activist and ambassador of all things Muslim-y. He uses his pen with turmeric-stained fingernails to fill in missing narratives, challenge the powerful, and booby trap racist stereotypes. In his bold, hopeful and hilarious memoir, Ali offers indispensable lessons and strategies to help cultivate a more compassionate America"-- Provided by publisher.

author. DiAngelo, Robin, 1956

"Nice Racism asserts that it is white progressives who are responsible for inflicting the most daily harm on people of color"-- Provided by publisher.

Beah, Ishmael, 1980- author.

"A powerful novel about five young people, struggling to replace the homes they have lost with the one they have created together, from the internationally bestselling author of A Long Way Gone. Hidden away from a harsh and chaotic outside world, five young people have cobbled together a home for themselves in an abandoned airplane, a relic of their country's tumult. At seventeen, Elimane, the bookworm, is as street-smart as he is wise: the group's father figure. Clever Khoudimata is mother by default, helping scheme how to keep the younger boys-athletic, pragmatic Ndevui and thoughtful Kpindi-and especially little Namsa, their newest and youngest member-safe and fed. When Elimane makes himself of service to the shadowy William Handkerchief, it seems as if the small group may be able to keep the world at bay and their ad hoc family intact. But when Khoudi comes under the spell of the "Beautiful People"-the fortunate sons and daughters of the powerful and corrupt-the desire to resume an interrupted coming of age and forge her own destiny proves impossible to resist. A profound and tender portrayal of the connections we forge to survive the fate we're dealt, Little Family marks the further blossoming of a unique global voice"-- Provided by publisher.

Blackburn, Lizzie Damilola, author.

"Meet Yinka: a 30-something, Oxford educated, British Nigerian woman with a well-paid job, good friends, and a mother whose constant refrain is "Yinka, where is your huzband?" Yinka's Nigerian aunties frequently pray for her delivery from singledom, her girlfriends think she's too traditional (she's saving herself for marriage!), her sister thinks she needs to get over her ex already, and the men in her life...well, that's a whole other story. But Yinka herself has always believed that true love will find her when the time is right. Still, when her cousin gets engaged, Yinka commences Operation Find A Date for Rachel's Wedding. Aided by a spreadsheet and her best friend, Yinka is determined to succeed. Will Yinka find herself a husband? And what if the thing she really needs to find is herself? With shades of Bridget Jones' Diary and Jane Austen herself, Yinka, Where is Your Huzband? brilliantly subverts the traditional romantic comedy with an unconventional heroine who bravely asks the questions we all have about love. Wry, acerbic, moving, this is an #OwnVoices love story that makes you smile but also makes you think--and explores what it means to find your way between two cultures, both of which are yours"-- Provided by publisher.

Brandt, Nick, 1966- photographer, writer of supplementary textual content.

"'The Day May Break' was photographed in Zimbabwe and Kenya in late 2020. It is the first part of a global series portraying people and animals that have been impacted by environmental degradation and destruction. The people in the photos have all been badly affected by climate change--some displaced by cyclones that destroyed their homes, others such as farmers displaced and impoverished by years-long severe droughts. The photographs were taken at five sanctuaries/conservancies. The animals are almost all long-term rescues, victims of everything from the poaching of their parents, to habitat destruction and poisoning. These animals can never be released back into the wild. As a result, they are habituated, and so it was safe for human strangers to be close to them, photographed so close to them, and photographed in the same frame at the same time. The fog is the unifying visual. We increasingly find ourselves in a kind of limbo, a once-recognizable world now fading from view. Created by fog machines on location, this often renders the animals almost a dream, or a memory of what the people once experienced in their lives. It is also an echo of the suffocating smoke from the wildfires, driven by climate change, devastating so much of the planet. However, in spite of their loss, these people and animals are the survivors. And therein lies possibility and hope."--Front jacket flap.

Broom, Sarah M., author.
Brown, Echo, author.

"A YA coming-of-age novel about a first-year, first-generation Blacack student at Dartmouth College"-- Provided by publisher.

Campbell, Bebe Moore, 1950-2006.

A fictionalization of the 1955 Emmett Till murder, in which a teenage boy from Chicago was lynched in Mississippi after speaking French in the presence of a young white girl. "Intriguing ... A thoughtful, intelligent work ... The novel traces the years from he '50s to the ate '80s, from Eisenhower to George Bush ... She writes with simple eloquence about small-town life in the South, right after the start of the great social upheaval of he civil rights movement ... Campbell has a strong creative voice."

Chokshi, Roshani, author.

Set in a darkly glamorous world The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence and dangerous but thrilling adventure. 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, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance. To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can't yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much. Together, they'll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.

Cisneros, Sandra, author.

"From the Chicago neighborhoods where she grew up and set her groundbreaking The House on Mango Street to her abode in Mexico, in a region where "my ancestors lived for centuries," the places Sandra Cisneros has lived have provided inspiration for her now-classic works of fiction and poetry. But a house of her own, where she could truly take root, has eluded her. With this collection--spanning nearly three decades, and including never-before-published work--Cisneros has come home at last."-- Provided by publisher.

Crompton, Abigail, author.

If anyone can teach us how to pursue the life and work of an artist, it is the artists in Truth Bomb. This compilation of pioneering and established women artists from around the world will motivate and empower you, challenge you to find solace in the shared human experiences of birth, death, love, anger, joy, sadness. Their sassiness will fire your spirit.Truth Bomb offers the very best commentary and insight into the incredible formation of diverse women artists while uncovering the power of taking a chance, pushing the envelope and ultimately not being shy when it comes to making a mark. It is a magical visual mash-up of images, memoirs, moments, interviews and inspirational beginnings as told by twenty-two leading women artists, including Beci Orpin, Mickalene Thomas, Kaylene Whiskey and Judy Chicago. Truth Bomb is an ode to art and artists and an attempt to decipher the mystery of creativity.

DeMeester, Kristi, author.

"A biting novel from an electrifying new voice, Kristi DeMeester's Such a Pretty Smile is a heart-stopping tour-de-force about powerful women, angry men, and all the ways in which girls fight against the forces that try to silence them. There's something out there that's killing. Known only as The Cur, he leaves no traces, save for the torn bodies of girls, on the verge of becoming women, who are known as trouble-makers; those who refuse to conform, to know their place. Girls who don't know when to shut up. 2019: Thirteen-year-old Lila Sawyer has secrets she can't share with anyone. Not the school psychologist she's seeing. Not her father, who has a new wife, and a new baby. And not her mother-the infamous Caroline Sawyer, a unique artist whose eerie sculptures, made from bent twigs and crimped leaves, have made her a local celebrity. But soon Lila feels haunted from within, terrorized by a delicious evil that shows her how to find her voice-until she is punished for using it. 2004: Caroline Sawyer hears dogs everywhere. Snarling, barking, teeth snapping that no one else seems to notice. At first, she blames the phantom sounds on her insomnia and her acute stress in caring for her ailing father. But then the delusions begin to take shape-both in her waking hours, and in the violent, visceral sculptures she creates while in a trance-like state. Her fiancé is convinced she needs help. Her new psychiatrist waives her "problem" away with pills. But Caroline's past is a dark cellar, filled with repressed memories and a lurking horror that the men around her can't understand. As past demons become a present threat, both Caroline and Lila must chase the source of this unrelenting, oppressive power to its malignant core. Brilliantly paced, unsettling to the bone, and unapologetically fierce, Such a Pretty Smile is a powerful allegory for what it can mean to be a woman, and an untamed rallying cry for anyone ever told to sit down, shut up, and smile pretty"-- Provided by publisher.

Diaz, Natalie, author.

"In When My Brother Was An Aztec, Natalie Diaz examines memory's role in human identity. Each section filters memory through specific individuals and settings. The first concentrates on a diabetic grandmother without legs and the landscape, tangible and intangible, of a Native American reservation. The second engages a brother's strife with drug-use and his unraveling of the family, the home. The third grapples with war as a character and its tattering of individuals, families, and communities. Bigotry against Native Americans is confronted throughout the collection, and the speaker's wrestling with identity is carefully woven into each poem. Faithfulness to and departure from tradition and culture are ever-present. Each poem is stitched into the reservation's landscape, while many consider Christian identity. Natalie Diaz experiments with form, from couplets to parts, lists to prose poems, and explores the terrain of poetic predecessors, yet strikes out into new territory, demonstrating her adventurous spirit."--Publisher's description.

Figueroa, Jamie, author.

"In the tourist town of Ciudad de Tres Hermanas, in the aftermath of their mother's passing, two siblings spend a final weekend together in their childhood home. Seeing her brother, Rafa, careening toward a place of no return, Rufina devises a bet: if they can make enough money performing for privileged tourists in the plaza over the course of the weekend to afford a plane ticket out, Rafa must commit to living. If not, Rufina will make her peace with Rafa's own plan for the future, however terrifying it may be. As the siblings reckon with generational and ancestral trauma, set against the indignities of present-day prejudice, other strange hauntings begin to stalk these pages: their mother's ghost kicks her heels against the walls; Rufina's vanished child creeps into her arms at night; and above all this, watching over the siblings, a genderless, flea-bitten angel remains hell-bent on saving what can be saved."--Publisher.

Gailey, Sarah, author.

In the early 20th Century, the United States government concocted a plan to import hippopotamuses into the marshlands of Louisiana to be bred and slaughtered as an alternative meat source. This is true. Other true things about hippos: they are savage, they are fast, and their jaws can snap a man in two. This was a terrible plan. Contained within this volume is an 1890s America that might have been: a bayou overrun by feral hippos and mercenary hippo wranglers from around the globe. It is the story of Winslow Houndstooth and his crew. It is the story of their fortunes. It is the story of his revenge.

Gless, Sharon, author.

"A deeply personal story about Gless's complicated family and her struggles with alcoholism and fear of romantic commitment and a juicy, hilarious tell-all about Hollywood and Sharon's encounters with some of the industry's biggest stars. Gless puts it all out on the page in the same way she has lived--never with moderation"-- Provided by publisher.

Hairston, Andrea, author.

"Award-winning author Andrea Hairston weaves together African folktales and postcolonial literature into unforgettable fantasy in Master of Poisons. The world is changing. Poison desert eats good farmland. Once-sweet water turns foul. The wind blows sand and sadness across the Empire. To get caught in a storm is death. To live and do nothing is death. There is magic in the world, but good conjure is hard to find. Djola, righthand man and spymaster of the lord of the Arkhysian Empire, is desperately trying to save his adopted homeland, even in exile. Awa, a young woman training to be a powerful griot, tests the limits of her knowledge and comes into her own in a world of sorcery, floating cities, kindly beasts, and uncertain men. Awash in the rhythms of folklore and storytelling and rich with Hairston's characteristic lush prose, Master of Poisons is epic fantasy that will bleed your mind with its turns of phrase and leave you aching for the world it burns into being."--Jacket flap.

Irby, Samantha, author.

With heartfelt candor and her usual side-splitting bite, humorist, essayist, and blogger at bitchesgottaeat.com Samantha Irby captures powerful emotional truths while chronicling the disaster that has been her life. An ill-fated pilgrimage and romantic vacation to Nashville to scatter her estranged father's ashes, awkward sexual encounters, a Bachelorette application gone awry, and more-- sometimes you just have to laugh, even when your life is a dumpster fire.

Kowal, Mary Robinette, 1969- author.

On a cold spring night in 1952, a huge meteorite fell to earth and obliterated much of the east coast of the United States, including Washington D.C. The ensuing climate cataclysm will soon render the earth inhospitable for humanity, as the last such meteorite did for the dinosaurs. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated effort to colonize space, and requires a much larger share of humanity to take part in the process. Elma York's experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition's attempts to put man on the moon, as a calculator. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn't take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can't go into space, too. Elma's drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions of society may not stand a chance against her.

Leilani, Raven, author.

"Sharp, comic, disruptive, tender, Raven Leilani's debut novel, Luster, sees a young black woman fall into art and someone else's open marriage."-- Provided by publisher.

Macfarlane, Robert, 1976- author.

"Since its publication in 2017, The Lost Words has enchanted readers with its poetry and illustrations of the natural world. Now, The Lost Spells, a book kindred in spirit and tone, continues to re-wild the lives of children and adults. The Lost Spells evokes the wonder of everyday nature, conjuring up red foxes, birch trees, jackdaws, and more in poems and illustrations that flow between the pages and into readers' minds. Robert Macfarlane's spell-poems and Jackie Morris's watercolour illustrations are musical and magical: these are summoning spells, words of recollection, charms of protection. To read The Lost Spells is to see anew the natural world within our grasp and to be reminded of what happens when we allow it to slip away."-- Provided by publisher.

Matthews, Mimi, author.

"London's daring new equestrienne finds love and an unexpected ally in her fight for independence in the strong arms of Victorian society's most sought after and devastatingly handsome half-Indian tailor. Evelyn Maltravers knows exactly how little she's worth on the marriage mart. As an incurable bluestocking from a family tumbling swiftly toward ruin, she knows she'll never make a match in a ballroom. Her only hope is to distinguish herself by making the biggest splash in the one sphere she excels: on horseback. In haute couture. But to truly capture London's attention she'll need a tailor who's not afraid to take risks with his designs-and with his heart. Half-Indian dressmaker Ahmad Malik has always had a talent for making women beautiful, inching his way toward recognition by designing riding habits for Rotten Row's infamous Pretty Horsebreakers-but no one compares to Evelyn. Her unbridled spirit enchants him, awakening a depth of feeling he never thought possible. But pushing boundaries comes at a cost and not everyone is pleased to welcome Evelyn and Ahmad into fashionable society. With obstacles spanning between them, the indomitable pair must decide which hurdles they can jump and what matters most: making their mark or following their hearts?"-- Provided by publisher.

May, Katherine, author.

In anticipation of her 38th birthday, Katherine May set out to walk the 630-mile South West Coast Path. She wanted time alone, in nature, to understand why she was having so much trouble coping with everyday life; why motherhood had been so overwhelming and isolating; and why the world felt full of expectations she couldn't meet. She was also reeling from a chance encounter with a voice on the radio that sparked her realization that she might be autistic. And so began a trek along the ruggedly beautiful path by the sea that takes readers through the alternatingly frustrating, funny, and enlightening experience of re-awakening to the world around us. This sees Katherine come to terms with what it would mean to be autistic, leading her to re-evaluate her life so far--with a much kinder, more forgiving eye. We bear witness as she forms a new understanding that finally allows her to be different rather than simply awkward, arrogant, or unfeeling. The physical and psychological journeys of this inspiring book become inextricably entwined, and as Katherine finds her way across the untamable coast, we learn alongside her how to find our way back to our own true selves. Provided by publisher.

McIntyre, Rick, author.

"From the renowned wolf researcher and author of The Rise of Wolf 8 and The Reign of Wolf 21 comes a stunning account of an unconventional alpha male. A lover, not a fighter. That was wolf 302. A renegade with an eye for the ladies, 302 was anything but Yellowstone's perfect alpha male. For starters, he fled from danger. He begged for food from other wolves, ditched females he'd gotten pregnant, and even napped during a heated battle with a rival pack! But this is not the story of 302's failures. This is the story of his dramatic transformation. And legendary wolf writer Rick McIntyre witnessed it all from the sidelines. As McIntyre closely observed with his spotting scope, wolf 302 began to mature, and, much to McIntyre's surprise, became the leader of a new pack in his old age. But in a year when game was scarce, could the aging wolf provide for his family? Had he changed enough to live up to the legacies of the great alpha males before him? Recounted in McIntyre's captivating storytelling voice and peppered with fascinating insights into wolf behavior, The Redemption of Wolf 302 is a powerful coming-of-age tale that will strike a chord with anyone who has struggled to make a change, big or small."-- Provided by publisher.

McQuiston, Casey, author.

"From the New York Times bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue comes a new romantic comedy that will stop readers in their tracks... "Dreamy, other worldly, smart, swoony, thoughtful, hilarious - all in all, exactly what you'd expect from Casey McQuiston!" - Jasmine Guillory, New York Times bestselling author of The Proposal and Party for Two Cynical twenty-three-year old August doesn't believe in much. She doesn't believe in psychics, or easily forged friendships, or finding the kind of love they make movies about. And she certainly doesn't believe her ragtag band of new roommates, her night shifts at a 24-hour pancake diner, or her daily subway commute full of electrical outages are going to change that. But then, there's Jane. Beautiful, impossible Jane. All hard edges with a soft smile and swoopy hair and saving August's day when she needed it most. The person August looks forward to seeing on the train every day. The one who makes her forget about the cities she lived in that never seemed to fit, and her fear of what happens when she finally graduates, and even her cold-case obsessed mother who won't quite let her go. And when August realizes her subway crush is impossible in more ways than one-namely, displaced in time from the 1970s-she thinks maybe it's time to start believing. Casey McQuiston's One Last Stop is a sexy, big-hearted romance where the impossible becomes possible as August does everything in her power to save the girl lost in time"-- Provided by publisher.

Molloy, Aimee, author.

"Newlyweds Sam Statler and Annie Potter are head over heels, and excited to say good-bye to New York and start a life together in Sam's sleepy hometown in upstate New York. Or, it turns out, a life where Annie spends most of her time alone while Sam, her therapist husband, works long hours in his downstairs office, tending to the egos of his (mostly female) clientele. Little does Sam know that through a vent in his ceiling, every word of his sessions can be heard from the room upstairs. The pharmacist's wife, contemplating a divorce. The well-known painter whose boyfriend doesn't satisfy her in bed. Who could resist listening? Everything is fine until the French girl in the green mini Cooper shows up, and Sam decides to go to work and not come home, throwing a wrench into Sam and Annie's happily ever after. Showcasing Molloy's deft ability to subvert norms and culminating in the kind of stunning twist that is becoming her trademark, Goodnight Beautiful is a thrilling tale of domestic suspense that not only questions assumptions but defies expectations"-- Provided by publisher.

Newland, Courttia, author.

"The Ark was built to save the lives of the many, but rapidly became a refuge for the elite, the entrance closed without warning. Years after the Ark was cut off from the world--a world much like our own, but in which slavery has never existed--a chance of survival within the Ark's confines is granted to a select few who can prove their worth. Among their number is Markriss Denny, whose path to future excellence is marred only by a closely guarded secret: without warning, his spirit leaves his body, allowing him to see and experience a world far beyond his physical limitations. Once inside the Ark, Denny learns of another with the same power, whose existence could spell catastrophe for humanity. He is forced into a desperate race to understand his abilities, and in doing so uncovers the truth about the Ark, himself, and the people he thought he once knew."--Publisher's page.

O'Farrell, Maggie, 1972- author.

We are never closer to life than when we brush up against the possibility of death. I Am, I Am, I Am is Maggie O'Farrell's astonishing memoir of the near-death experiences that have punctuated and defined her life. The childhood illness that left her bedridden for a year, which she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. An encounter with a disturbed man on a remote path. And, most terrifying of all, an ongoing, daily struggle to protect her daughter -- for whom this book was written -- from a condition that leaves her unimaginably vulnerable to life's myriad dangers. Seventeen discrete encounters with Maggie at different ages, in different locations, reveal a whole life in a series of tense, visceral snapshots. In taut prose that vibrates with electricity and restrained emotion, O'Farrell captures the perils running just beneath the surface, and illuminates the preciousness, beauty, and mysteries of life itself.

Rambo, Cat, author.

"Farscape meets The Great British Bake Off in this fantastic space opera ... Just when they thought they were out ... TwiceFar station is at the edge of the known universe, and that's just how Niko Larson, former Admiral in the Grand Military of the Hive Mind, likes it. Retired and finally free of the continual war of conquest, Niko and the remnants of her former unit are content to spend the rest of their days working at the restaurant they built together, The Last Chance. But, some wars can't ever be escaped, and unlike the Hive Mind, some enemies aren't content to let old soldiers go. Niko and her crew are forced onto a sentient ship convinced that it is being stolen and must survive the machinations of a sadistic pirate king if they even hope to keep the dream of The Last Chance alive"-- Provided by publisher.

Ryan, Donal, 1977- author.

"In 1973, twenty-year-old Moll Gladney takes a morning bus from her rural home in Ireland and disappears. Bewildered and distraught, Paddy and Kit must confront an unbearable prospect: that they will never see their daughter again. Five years later, Moll returns from London. What--and who--she brings with her will change the course of her family's life forever"-- Provided by publisher.

Stuart, Douglas, 1976- author.

Hugh "Shuggie" Bain spends his 1980s childhood in public housing in Glasgow, Scotland. Thatcher's war on heavy industry has put husbands and sons out of work, and the city's notorious drugs epidemic is waiting in the wings. His mother Agnes is Shuggie's guiding light but a burden for his siblings. Dreaming of a house with its own front door and ordering happiness on credit as her husband philanders, Agnes keeps her pride by looking good but finds solace in drink. As she swings between alcoholic binges and sobriety, Agnes's addiction has the power to eclipse everyone close to her-- especially her beloved Shuggie. -- adapted from jacket

Turnbull, Cadwell, 1987- author.

"One October morning, Laina gets the news that her brother was shot and killed by Boston cops. But what looks like a case of police brutality soon reveals something much stranger. Monsters are real. And they want everyone to know it. As creatures from myth and legend come out of the shadows, seeking safety through visibility, their emergence sets off a chain of seemingly unrelated events. Members of a local werewolf pack are threatened into silence. A professor follows a missing friend's trail of bread crumbs to a mysterious secret society. And a young boy with unique abilities seeks refuge in a pro-monster organization with secrets of its own. Meanwhile, more people start disappearing, suicides and hate crimes increase, and protests erupt globally, both for and against the monsters. At the center is a mystery no one thinks to ask: Why now? What has frightened the monsters out of the dark? The world will soon find out"--Dust jacket flap.

Valdes, Valerie, author.

"Captain Eva Innocente and the crew of La Sirena Negra cruise the galaxy delivering small cargo for even smaller profits. When her sister Mari is kidnapped by The Fridge, a shadowy syndicate that holds people hostage in cryostasis, Eva must undergo a series of unpleasant, dangerous missions to pay the ransom. But Eva may lose her mind before she can raise the money. The ship's hold is full of psychic cats, an amorous fish-faced emperor wants her dead after she rejects his advances, and her sweet engineer is giving her a pesky case of feelings. The worse things get, the more she lies, raising suspicions and testing her loyalty to her found family. To free her sister, Eva will risk everything: her crew, her ship, and the life she's built on the ashes of her past misdeeds. But when the dominoes start to fall and she finds the real threat is greater than she imagined, she must decide whether to play it cool or burn it all down."--Provided by publisher.

Vuong, Ocean, 1988- author.

"Brilliant, heartbreaking, tender, and highly original - poet Ocean Vuong's debut novel is a sweeping and shattering portrait of a family, and a testament to the redemptive power of storytelling. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family's history that began before he was born--a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam--and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity"-- Provided by publisher.

Walsh, S. Kirk, author.

"The Elephant of Belfast chronicles a seven-month period of time when the Germans unexpectedly bombed Belfast, Northern Ireland, also known as the Belfast Blitz. Through the lens of the Bellevue Zoo and one of its zookeepers, twenty-year-old Hettie Quin, the novel animates how the war irrevocably impacted-and shaped the lives of Belfast's citizens in broad and intimate ways. In October 1940, Hettie meets Violet, a three-year-old Asian elephant arriving at the Belfast docks from Ceylon. Soon, she becomes Violet's dedicated zookeeper at the Bellevue Zoo. At the same time, Hettie continues to experience the grief related to the recent loss of her beloved older sister, Anna, and the abandonment of her father, Thomas, who left her mother, Rose. On April 15th , 1941, Belfast is attacked for five hours, with 674 bombs falling, and almost a thousand civilians being killed. During the bombings and its aftermath, Hettie does all that she can to save her elephant, and survive the destruction and escalating sectarian unrest of the city. Even though Hettie is still only twenty years old by the novel's end, she's aged at least a decade, her life and perspective transforming in tragic and unexpected ways. Taken altogether, The Elephant of Belfast reflects a complicated portrait of loss, grief, love, and resilience, and how the zoo and the city of Belfast suffered during these catastrophic attacks. At the narrative's heart is a changing relationship between a young woman and an elephant: At first, it seems that Hettie saves Violet, but in the end, Violet saves her"-- Provided by publisher.

Ward, Catriona, author.

"In a boarded-up house on a dead-end street at the edge of the wild Washington woods lives a family of three. A teenage girl who isn't allowed outside, not after last time. A man who drinks alone in front of his TV, trying to ignore the gaps in his memory. And a house cat who loves napping and reading the Bible. An unspeakable secret binds them together, but when a new neighbor moves in next door, what is buried out among the birch trees may come back to haunt them all"-- Provided by publisher.

Wolitzer, Meg.