Staff Book Picks November '21

Acho, Emmanuel

For awkward questions white and non-black parents don't know how to answer, this is an essential guide to help support communication on how to dismantle racism amongst the youngest generation.

Awad, Mona

Samantha Heather Mackey couldn't be more of an outsider in her small, highly selective MFA program at New England's Warren University. A scholarship student who prefers the company of her dark imagination to that of most people, she is utterly repelled by the rest of her fiction writing cohort--a clique of unbearably twee rich girls who call each other "Bunny," and are often found entangled in a group hug so tight they become one. But everything changes when Samantha receives an invitation to the Bunnies' fabled "Smut Salon," and finds herself inexplicably drawn to their front door--ditching her only friend, Ava, a caustic art school dropout, in the process. As Samantha plunges deeper and deeper into the sinister yet saccharine world of the Bunny cult and starts to take part in their ritualistic off-campus "Workshop" where they magically conjure their monstrous creations, the edges of reality begin to blur, and her friendships with Ava and the Bunnies are brought into deadly collision.

Barclay, Linwood

Four people board an elevator in a Manhattan office tower, press the buttons for their floor. The elevator proceeds, non-stop... then plummets to the bottom of the shaft. It appears to be a horrific tragedy... until the next day it happens again, in a different skyscraper. The third day plunges the city into chaos. What does this sabotage have to do with the fingerless body found on the High Line? New York detectives and journalists race to find the answers before the city's newest, and tallest, residential tower has its ribbon-cutting on Thursday.

Berman, Sarah

Explores the shocking practices of NXIVM, a cult run by Keith Raniere and many enablers, detailing its rise as a personal development company, its ability to evade prosecution for decades, and the investigation that finally revealed its dark secrets to the world.

Bohjalian, Chris

Parallel stories of a woman who falls in love with an Armenian soldier during the Armenian Genocide and a modern-day New Yorker prompted to rediscover her Armenian past.

Cox, Karen L.

In 1932, the city of Natchez, Mississippi, reckoned with an unexpected influx of journalists and tourists as the lurid story of a local murder was splashed across headlines nationwide. Two eccentrics, Richard Dana and Octavia Dockery--known in the press as the "Wild Man" and the "Goat Woman"--enlisted an African American man named George Pearls to rob their reclusive neighbor, Jennie Merrill, at her estate. During the attempted robbery, Merrill was shot and killed. The crime drew national coverage when it came to light that Dana and Dockery, the alleged murderers, shared their huge, decaying antebellum mansion with their goats and other livestock, which prompted journalists to call the estate "Goat Castle." Pearls was killed by an Arkansas policeman in an unrelated incident before he could face trial. However, as was all too typical in the Jim Crow South, the white community demanded "justice," and an innocent black woman named Emily Burns was ultimately sent to prison for the murder of Merrill. Dana and Dockery not only avoided punishment but also lived to profit from the notoriety of the murder by opening their derelict home to tourists. Strange, fascinating, and sobering, Goat Castle tells the story of this local feud, killing, investigation, and trial, showing how a true crime tale of fallen southern grandeur and murder obscured an all too familiar story of racial injustice.

Dade, Olivia

Marcus Caster-Rupp has a secret. While the world knows him as Aeneas, the star of the biggest show on TV, Gods of the Gates, he's known to fanfiction readers as Book!AeneasWouldNever, an anonymous and popular poster. Marcus is able to get out his own frustrations with his character through his stories, especially the ones that feature the internet's favorite couple to ship, Aeneas and Lavinia. But if anyone ever found out about his online persona, he'd be fired. Immediately. April Whittier has secrets of her own. A hardcore Lavinia fan, she's hidden her fanfiction and cosplay hobby from her "real life" for years - but not anymore. When she decides to post her latest Lavinia creation on Twitter, her photo goes viral. Trolls and supporters alike are commenting on her plus-size take, but when Marcus, one half of her OTP, sees her pic and asks her out on a date to spite her critics, she realizes life is really stranger than fanfiction. Even though their first date is a disaster, Marcus quickly realizes that he wants much more from April than a one-time publicity stunt. And when he discovers she's actually Unapologetic Lavinia Stan, his closest fandom friend, he has one more huge secret to hide from her. With love and Marcus's career on the line, can the two of them stop hiding once and for all, or will a match made in fandom end up prematurely cancelled?

Egan, Sophie

A radically practical guide to making food choices that are good for you, others, and the planet. Is organic really worth it? Are eggs ok to eat? If so, which ones are best for you, and for the chicken--Cage-Free, Free-Range, Pasture-Raised? What about farmed salmon, soy milk, sugar, gluten, fermented foods, coconut oil, almonds? Thumbs-up, thumbs-down, or somewhere in between? Using three criteria--Is it good for me? Is it good for others? Is it good for the planet?--Sophie Egan helps us navigate the bewildering world of food so that we can all become conscious eaters. To eat consciously is not about diets, fads, or hard-and-fast rules. It's about having straightforward, accurate information to make smart, thoughtful choices amid the chaos of conflicting news and marketing hype. An expert on food's impact on human and environmental health, Egan organizes the book into four categories--stuff that comes from the ground, stuff that comes from animals, stuff that comes from factories, and stuff that's made in restaurant kitchens. This guide offers bottom-line answers to your most top-of-mind questions about what to eat.

Francis-Sharma, Lauren

In 1796 Trinidad, young Rosa Rendón quietly but purposefully rebels against the life others expect her to lead. Bright, competitive, and opinionated, Rosa sees no reason she should learn to cook and keep house, for it is obvious her talents lie in running the farm she, alone, views as her birthright. But when her homeland changes from Spanish to British rule, it becomes increasingly unclear whether its free black property owners -- Rosa's family among them -- will be allowed to keep their assets, their land, and ultimately, their freedom.

Gayle, Mikw

Life is waiting to happen to Hubert Bird. But first he has to open his front door and let it in. In weekly phone calls to his daughter in Australia, widower Hubert Bird paints a picture of the perfect retirement, packed with fun, friendship, and fulfilment. But he's lying. The truth is day after day drags by without him seeing a single soul. Until he receives some good news - good news that in one way turns out to be the worst news ever, news that will force him out again, into a world he has long since turned his back on. Now Hubert faces a seemingly impossible task: to make his real life resemble his fake life before the truth comes out. Along the way Hubert stumbles across a second chance at love, renews a cherished friendship, and finds himself roped into an audacious community scheme that seeks to end loneliness once and for all . . . Life is certainly beginning to happen to Hubert Bird. But with the origin of his earlier isolation always lurking in the shadows, will he ever get to live the life he's pretended to have for so long?"

Gunter, Jen

The only thing predictable about menopause is its unpredictability. Factor in widespread misinformation, a lack of research, and the culture of shame around women's bodies, and it's no wonder women are unsure what to expect during the menopause transition and beyond. Menopause is not a disease--it's a planned change, like puberty. And just like puberty, we should be educated on what's to come years in advance, rather than the current practice of leaving people on their own with bothersome symptoms and too much conflicting information. Knowing what is happening, why, and what to do about it is both empowering and reassuring. Filled with practical, reassuring information, this essential guide will revolutionize how women experience menopause--including how their lives can be even better for it!

Hamblin, James

The things we do every day to keep ourselves clean can have surprising and unintended effects, as this entertaining introduction to the new science of skin microbes and probiotics reveals Keeping skin healthy is a booming industry, and yet it seems like almost no one agrees on what actually works. What one person says is vital another says is toxic. We have not cured acne or eczema, allergies keep getting worse, and autoimmune conditions are becoming increasingly common. In Clean, doctor and journalist James Hamblin explores how we got here, examining the science and culture of how we care for our skin today. He talks to dermatologists, microbiologists, allergists, immunologists, aestheticians, bar-soap enthusiasts, venture capitalists, Amish people, theologians, and straight-up scam artists, trying to figure out what it really means to be clean. He even experiments with giving up showers entirely, and discovers that he is not alone. Along the way he realizes that most of our standards of cleanliness are less related to health than most people think. In fact, our overuse of soap, sanitizers, and untested, misleading skin-care products may be to blame for many problems. But a little-known area of science is shining light on our skin microbiome-the trillions of microbes that live on our skin and in our pores. These microbes influence everything from acne, eczema, and dry skin to how we smell. The new goal of skin care will be to cultivate a healthy biome-and to embrace the meaning of "clean" in the natural sense. This can mean doing much less, saving time, money, energy, water, and plastic bottles in the process. Lucid, accessible, and deeply researched, Clean explores the ongoing, radical change in the way we think about our skin, introducing readers to the emerging science that will be at the forefront of health and wellness conversations in coming years.

Headlee, Celeste Anne

We work feverishly to make ourselves happy. So why are we so miserable? Despite our constant search for new ways to "hack" our bodies and minds for peak performance, human beings are working more instead of less, living harder not smarter, and becoming more lonely and anxious. This manifesto helps us break free of our unhealthy devotion to efficiency and shows us how to reclaim our time and humanity with a little more leisure.

Hibbert, Talia

Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong--so she's given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It's time for Eve to grow up and prove herself even though she's not entirely sure how. Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner is on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car supposedly by accident. Yeah, right. Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help. Before long, she's infiltrated his work, his kitchen and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore and it's melting Jacob's frosty exterior.

Hibbert, Talia

Danika Brown knows what she wants: professional success, academic renown, and an occasional roll in the hay to relieve all that career-driven tension. But romance? Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt. Romantic partners, whatever their gender, are a distraction at best and a drain at worst. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits--someone who knows the score and knows their way around the bedroom. When big, brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, it's an obvious sign: PhD student Dani and former rugby player Zaf are destined to sleep together. But before she can explain that fact to him, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Suddenly, half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae--and Zaf is begging Dani to play along. Turns out his sports charity for kids could really use the publicity. Lying to help children? Who on earth would refuse?

Jobb, Dean

Framed around one salacious trial in 1891 London, a ... true-crime narrative about the hunt for one of the first known serial killers, whose poisoning spree in the US, Canada, and England coincided with the birth of forensic science as well as the public's growing appetite for crime fiction such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels.

Jones, Stephen Graham

A suburban town in Texas. Everyone's got an automatic garage door opener. All the kids jump off a perilous cliff into a shallow river as a rite of passage. The sheriff is a local celebrity. You know this town. You're from this town. Homecoming princess, Lindsay. She's just barely escaped death at the hands of a brutal, sadistic murderer in a Michael Jackson mask. Up on the cliff, she was rescued by a horse and bravely defeated the killer, alone, bra-less. Her story is already a legend. She's this town's heroic final girl, their virgin angel. Halloween masks floating down that same river the kids jump into. But just as one slaughter is not enough for Billie Jean, our masked killer, one victory is not enough for Lindsay. Her high school is full of final girls, and she's not the only one who knows the rules of the game. When Lindsay chooses a host of virgins, misfits, and former final girls to replace the slaughtered members of her original homecoming court, it's not just a fight for survival-it's a fight to become 'The Last Final Girl.

Kasulke, Calvin

A mid-level employee of a New York-based public relations firm finds his consciousness uploaded into the company's internal Slack channel.

Keefe, Patrick Radden

A narrative about a notorious killing that took place in Northern Ireland during The Troubles and its devastating repercussions to this day.

Kent State University Museum

Textures synthesizes research in history, fashion, art, and visual culture to reassess the "hair story" of peoples of African descent. Long a fraught topic for African Americans and others in the diaspora, Black hair is here addressed by artists, barbers, and activists in both its historical perceptions and its ramifications for self and society today. Combs, products, and implements from the collection of hair pioneer Willie Morrow are paired here with masterworks from artists like Sonya Clark, Lorna Simpson, Mickalene Thomas, and Alison Saar. Exploring topics such as the preferential treatment of straight hair, the social hierarchies of skin, and the power and politics of display, Textures is a landmark exploration of Black hair and its important, complicated place in the history of African American life and culture.

King, Stephen

When an 11-year-old boy is found murdered, forensic evidence and reliable eyewitnesses undeniably point to the town's popular Little League coach. But the jailed suspect, arrested in a public spectacle, has an alibi, and further research convinces Detective Ralph Anderson that the coach was indeed out of town. So how can he have been in two places at the same time?

Lansens, Lori

From New York Times bestselling author Lori Lansens comes a harrowing survival story about four strangers who spend five days lost in the mountain wilderness above Palm Springs. Four go up the mountain, but only three will come down... On the morning of Wolf Truly's eighteenth birthday, he boards the first cable car to head up the mountains just a few miles from his sun-bleached trailer home in the desert community outside of Palm Springs. Armed with nothing but the clothes on his back, Wolf's intention that morning was to give up on life--specifically at the mountain site of his best friend's tragic accident one year ago. But on that shaky ride up the mountain, fate intervenes and Wolf meets three women that will leave an indelible imprint on the rest of his life. Through a series of missteps, the four wind up lost and stranded among the forested cliffs--in sight of the desert city below, but unable to find a way down. As the days pass without rescue, we come to learn how each of them came to be on the mountain that morning. And as their situation shifts from misadventure to nightmare, the lost hikers forge an inextricable bond, pushing themselves, and each other, beyond their limits. Reminiscent of John Krakauer's modern classic Into the Wild and Cheryl Strayed's #1 bestselling Oprah-endorsed Wild, Lori Lansen's The Mountain Story is a deeply affecting novel that pays homage to the rugged beauty--and utterly unforgiving nature--of the wilderness, and considers the question: What price are you willing to pay not only for the ones you love, but for a complete stranger?

Laporte, Nicole

An exposé of the Varsity Blues scandal reveals how an unscrupulous college counselor named Rick Singer preyed on the desperation of wealthy, upper class, insecure parents who sought to have their children admitted to elite colleges to maintain their own social status.

Loren, Roni

Horror author and true-crime podcaster Andi Lockley has spent so long researching real-life horror stories, she's practically forgotten what dating is. But when a detective moves next door and provides new fodder for her podcast--and a sense of safety she hasn't felt in a long time--she starts to wonder if it's time to retire her trust-no-man mentality.

McLain, Paula

Anna Hart is a seasoned missing persons detective in San Francisco with far too much knowledge of the darkest side of human nature. When unspeakable tragedy strikes her personal life, Anna, desperate and numb, flees to the Northern California village of Mendocino. She spent summers there as a child with her beloved grandparents, and now she believes it might be the only place left for her to heal. Yet the day she arrives, she learns a local teenage girl has gone missing. Anna is in no condition to become involved with the search--until a childhood friend, now the village sheriff, pleads for her help.

Millar, Mark

Comics superstars Mark Millar and Frank Quitely reinvent the superhero epic for the 21st Century! 1932: Sheldon Sampson's dreams about a mysterious source of power lead him, his brother Walter, and a group of loyal followers on a quest around the world. What they discover sets them on a course that will wrench a family apart and alter the world's political stage! Decades after their journey, Sheldon and Walter are superpowered legends, world renowned for their heroism. But the offspring trained to live in their image have fallen desperately short. Rocked by one public scandal after another, Chloe and her brother Brandon are a dishonor to the generation before them. The rift reaches its breaking point when one branch of the family overthrows the government and struggles to rule at any cost - while the others must flee for their own safety. But when the failures of the corrupt leaders catch up to them, the world hovers on the brink of collapse - and the hidden heroes must emerge to take back their legacy!

Munier, Paula

Mercy and Elvis are back in The Hiding Place, the most enthralling entry yet in USA Today bestselling Paula Munier's award-winning Mercy Carr mystery series. When the man who killed her grandfather breaks out of prison and comes after her grandmother, Mercy must unearth the long-buried scandals that threaten to tear her family apart. And she may have to do it without her beloved canine partner Elvis, if his former handler has his way.... Some people take their secrets with them to the grave. Others leave them behind on their deathbeds, riddles for the survivors to solve. When her late grandfather's dying deputy calls Mercy to his side, she and Elvis inherit the cold case that haunted him-and may have killed him. But finding Beth Kilgore 20 years after she disappeared is more than a lost cause. It's a Pandora's box releasing a rain of evil on the very people Mercy and Elvis hold most dear. The timing couldn't be worse when the man who murdered her grandfather escapes from prison and a fellow Army vet turns up claiming that Elvis is his dog, not hers. With her grandmother Patience gone missing, and Elvis's future uncertain, Mercy faces the prospect of losing her most treasured allies, the only ones she believes truly love and understand her. She needs help, and that means forgiving Vermont Game Warden Troy Warner long enough to enlist his aid. With time running out for Patience, Mercy and Elvis must team up with Troy and his search-and-rescue dog Susie Bear to unravel the secrets of the past and save her grandmother-before it's too late. Once again, Paula Munier crafts a terrific mystery thriller filled with intrigue, action, resilient characters, the mountains of Vermont, and two amazing dogs.

Nash, Jennifer C.

In Birthing Black Mothers, Jennifer C. Nash narrates Black Lives Matter as a capacious social movement that has performed its radical political work by claiming that Black maternal lives matter. Through focus groups, interviews with Black doulas, as well as cultural critique, Nash discusses not only how the biopolitical state and Black feminists invoke Black mothers to gain political currency, but also how Black mothers themselves engage with the ways their images and lives are deployed. The project is an invitation for Black feminists to theorize, organize, and freedom-dream in ways that imagine Black motherhood apart from anticipated trauma, a vision that has positive material outcomes for Black mothers and which refuses to reproduce Black motherhood merely as a trauma category.

Nelson, Megan Kate

A dramatic, riveting, and deeply researched narrative account of the epic struggle for the West during the Civil War, revealing a little-known, vastly important episode in American history. In The Three-Cornered War Megan Kate Nelson reveals the fascinating history of the Civil War in the American West. Exploring the connections among the Civil War, the Indian wars, and western expansion, Nelson reframes the era as one of national conflict--involving not just the North and South, but also the West. Against the backdrop of this larger series of battles, Nelson introduces nine individuals: John R. Baylor, a Texas legislator who established the Confederate Territory of Arizona; Louisa Hawkins Canby, a Union Army wife who nursed Confederate soldiers back to health in Santa Fe; James Carleton, a professional soldier who engineered campaigns against Navajos and Apaches; Kit Carson, a famous frontiersman who led a regiment of volunteers against the Texans, Navajos, Kiowas, and Comanches; Juanita, a Navajo weaver who resisted Union campaigns against her people; Bill Davidson, a soldier who fought in all of the Confederacy's major battles in New Mexico; Alonzo Ickis, an Iowa-born gold miner who fought on the side of the Union; John Clark, a friend of Abraham Lincoln's who embraced the Republican vision for the West as New Mexico's surveyor-general; and Mangas Coloradas, a revered Chiricahua Apache chief who worked to expand Apache territory in Arizona. As we learn how these nine charismatic individuals fought for self-determination and control of the region, we also see the importance of individual actions in the midst of a larger military conflict. The Three-Cornered War is a captivating history--based on letters and diaries, military records and oral histories, and photographs and maps from the time--that sheds light on a forgotten chapter of American history.

O'Donnell, Paraic

London, 1893: high up in a house on a dark, snowy night, a lone seamstress stands by a window. So begins the swirling, serpentine world of Paraic O'Donnell's Victorian-inspired mystery, the story of a city cloaked in shadow, but burning with questions: why does the seamstress jump from the window? Why is a cryptic message stitched into her skin? And how is she connected to a rash of missing girls, all of whom seem to have disappeared under similar circumstances? On the case is Inspector Cutter, a detective as sharp and committed to his work as he is wryly hilarious. Gideon Bliss, a Cambridge dropout in love with one of the missing girls, stumbles into a role as Cutter's sidekick. And clever young journalist Octavia Hillingdon sees the case as a chance to tell a story that matters-despite her employer's preference that she stick to a women's society column. As Inspector Cutter peels back the mystery layer by layer, he leads them all, at last, to the secrets that lie hidden at the house on Vesper Sands.

Rosenfelt, David

Lawyer Andy Carpenter and his golden retriever, Tara, work to free a man who risked it all to help a dog in need Lawyer Andy Carpenter and his wife, Laurie, enjoy walking their dogs, Tara and Sebastian. By this point in their marriage, it's routine. When out for one of their strolls, their simple ritual isn't so simple anymore. Across the street, a man is mistreating his dog. Three things happen at once: Andy yells, Laurie runs to stop the abuse, and so does a closer passerby, who so thoroughly beats the owner that both are arrested when the cops arrive. Andy scoops up the dog and takes him to the Tara Foundation, the dog rescue organization that's always been his true passion. Meanwhile, at the police station, the passerby is identified as Matthew Jantzen, and he's wanted for murder. Andy and Laurie are struck by the fact that Jantzen, a man on the run, would nevertheless intervene to help a dog, and decide to find out more. Dog Eat Dog, the twenty-second installment in the Andy Carpenter series, features the charming cast of characters - old and new - that David Rosenfelt is known for and the dogs that accompany them.

Sanchez, Virginia

Sheds new light on political obstacles, cultural conflicts, and institutional racism experienced by Hispano legislators in the wake of legal establishment of the Territory of Colorado. Reexamines the transformation of some 7,000 Hispano settlers from citizens of New Mexico Territory to citizens of the newly formed Territory.

St. Clair, Scarlett

Persephone is the Goddess of Spring by title only. The truth is, since she was a little girl, flowers have shriveled at her touch. After moving to New Athens, she hopes to lead an unassuming life disguised as a mortal journalist. Hades, God of the Dead, has built a gambling empire in the mortal world and his favorite bets are rumored to be impossible. After a chance encounter with Hades, Persephone finds herself in a contract with the God of the Dead and the terms are impossible: Persephone must create life in the Underworld or lose her freedom forever. The bet does more than expose Persephone's failure as a Goddess, however. As she struggles to sow the seeds of her freedom, love for the God of the Dead grows--and it's forbidden.

St. James, Simone

The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls. Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn't right at the Sun Down, and before long she's determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden there. Upstate NY, 2017. Carly Kirk has always been fascinated by her aunt Viv who disappeared from the Sun Down before Carly was born. Using a small inheritance from when her mom dies, Carly leaves college to go to Fell to figure out what happened to her aunt thirty-five years ago. Soon, Carly is mirroring her aunt's life, working as the night clerk at the motel, which hasn't changed since 1982. The guest book is still handwritten, the rooms still have actual keys, and a haunting presence still lingers. Carly discovers that Viv had been trying to unravel mysteries of her own--including a possible serial killer working in Fell. If Carly can find the answers Viv was searching for, she might be able to solve the mystery that has haunted her family for years.

Stout, Glenn

A thrilling Jazz Age chronicle of America's first gangster couple, Margaret and Richard Whittemore.

Streeter, Leslie Gray

Leslie Gray Streeter is not cut out for widowhood. She's not ready for hushed rooms and pitying looks. She is not ready to stand graveside, dabbing her eyes in a classy black hat. If she had her way she'd wear her favorite curve-hugging leopard print dress to Scott's funeral; he loved her in that dress! But, here she is, having lost her soulmate to a sudden heart attack, totally unsure of how to navigate her new widow lifestyle. ("New widow lifestyle." Sounds like something you'd find products for on daytime TV, like comfy track suits and compression socks. Wait, is a widow even allowed to make jokes?) Looking at widowhood through the prism of race, mixed marriage, and aging, Black Widow redefines the stages of grief, from coffin shopping to day-drinking, to being a grown-ass woman crying for your mommy, to breaking up and making up with God, to facing the fact that life goes on even after the death of the person you were supposed to live it with. While she stumbles toward an uncertain future as a single mother raising a baby with her own widowed mother (plot twist!), Leslie looks back on her love story with Scott, recounting their journey through racism, religious differences, and persistent confusion about what kugel is. Will she find the strength to finish the most important thing that she and Scott started? Tender, true, and endearingly hilarious, Black Widow is a story about the power of love, and how the only guide book for recovery is the one you write yourself.

Wade, James

After an attempted horse theft goes tragically wrong, sixteen-year-old Caleb Bentley is on the run with his mean-spirited older brother across the American Southwest at the turn of the twentieth century. Caleb's moral compass and inner courage will be tested as they travel the harsh terrain and encounter those who have carved out a life there, for good or ill. Wealthy and bookish Randall Dawson, out of place in this rugged and violent country, is begrudgingly chasing after the Bentley brothers. With little sense of how to survive, much less how to take his revenge, Randall meets Charlotte, a woman experienced in the deadly ways of life in the West. Together they navigate the murky values of vigilante justice.

Ware, Ruth

When Rowan Caine stumbles across the ad, she's looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss--a live-in nanny post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when she arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten--by the luxurious 'smart' home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family. What she doesn't know is that she's stepping into a nightmare--one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder. Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unraveling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn't just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn't just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn't even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant. It was everything. She knows she's made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn't always ideal. She's not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she's not guilty--at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.