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New Books Spotlight: Summer Reading Part 1

Part one of our Summer Reading Spotlight! Check out the newest in popular fiction and non-fiction at UVM Libraries. Be sure to visit Howe Library Lobby for even more titles on display.   

The last murder at the end of the world : a novel by  Stuart Turton

"From the bestselling author of The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and The Devil and the Dark Water comes an inventive, high-concept murder mystery: an ingenious puzzle, an extraordinary backdrop, and an audacious solution. Solve the murder to save what's left of the world. Outside the island there is nothing: the world was destroyed by a fog that swept the planet, killing anyone it touched. On the island: it is idyllic. One hundred and twenty-two villagers and three scientists, living in peaceful harmony. The villagers are content to fish, farm and feast, to obey their nightly curfew, to do what they're told by the scientists. Until, to the horror of the islanders, one of their beloved scientists is found brutally stabbed to death. And then they learn that the murder has triggered a lowering of the security system around the island, the only thing that was keeping the fog at bay. If the murder isn't solved within 92 hours, the fog will smother the island--and everyone on it. But the security system has also wiped everyone's memories of exactly what happened the night before, which means that someone on the island is a murderer--and they don't even know it. And the clock is ticking"

Why has nobody told me this before? by Dr Julie Smith


"Filled with secrets from a therapist's toolkit, Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before teaches you how to fortify and maintain your mental health, even in the most trying of times. Dr Julie Smith's expert advice and powerful coping techniques will help you stay resilient, whether you want to manage anxiety, deal with criticism, cope with depression, build self-confidence, find motivation, or learn to forgive yourself. Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before tackles everyday issues and offers practical solutions in bite-sized, easy-to-digest entries which make it easy to quickly find specific information and guidance"

All systems red : the Murderbot diaries by Martha Wells


“A murderous android discovers itself in "All Systems Red", a tense science fiction adventure by Martha Wells that interrogates the roots of consciousness through Artificial intelligence. In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety. But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn't a primary concern. On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied 'droid -- a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as "Murderbot." Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is. But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.”

Les enfants endormis by Anthony Passeron

"Au tournant des années 1980, alors qu'une partie de la jeunesse sombre dans l'héroïne, un étrange syndrome fait son apparition dans les hôpitaux français et américains. Les Enfants endormis retrace cette double histoire, intime et collective. À travers un prisme inédit, Anthony Passeron rouvre les archives de la lutte contre le sida, entre roman familial et épopée scientifique."

translation: "At the turn of the 1980s, while some young people were falling into heroin addiction, a strange syndrome appeared in French and American hospitals. Sleeping Children traces this double history, intimate and collective. Through a prism unpublished, Anthony Passeron reopens the archives of the fight against AIDS, between family novel and scientific epic."

Nimm die Alpen weg by Ralph Tharayil

“Nimm die Alpen weg erzählt in Bildern die Geschichte einer Kindheit in der Schweiz. Da ist das namenlose Geschwisterpaar, das im Chor spricht. Da ist ein Zuhause mit Ma und Pa, die mit ihren vier Armen wie eine Gottheit erscheinen. Da ist die Geschwindigkeit der Velos, mit denen die Kinder hinaus zu ihren Spielen fahren: zur Telefonzelle, zur Müllhalde, ins Schilf. Und da kommt ein neues Kind in die Klasse und bahnt den Geschwistern einen Weg aus ihrem eigenen, inneren Gebirge.

In einer lyrisch-luziden Prosa entwickelt Ralph Tharayil in seinem Debüt eine unvergleichliche coming of age Geschichte, die von den Formen und Deformationen der Integrationserfahrung erzählt, und von der Sprache und den Körpern, die sich dieser Erfahrung widersetzen.”

translation: “Take the Alps away tells the story of a childhood in Switzerland in pictures. There is the unnamed brother and sister who speak in chorus. There is a home with Ma and Pa, who appear like a deity with their four arms. There is the speed of the bikes on which the children ride out to their games: to the telephone booth, to the garbage dump, into the reeds. And then a new child comes into the class and paves a way for the siblings out of their own inner mountains. In his debut, Ralph Tharayil develops an incomparable coming of age story in lyrical, lucid prose that tells of the forms and deformations of the integration experience, and of the language and bodies that resist this experience.”

Rednecks by Taylor Brown

"A historical drama based on the Battle of Blair Mountain, pitting a multi-ethnic army of 10,000 coal miners against mine owners, state militia, and the United States government in the largest labor uprising in American history. Rednecks is a tour de force, big canvas historical novel that dramatizes the 1920 to 1921 events of the West Virginia Mine Wars-from the Matewan Massacre through the Battle of Blair Mountain, the largest armed conflict on American soil since the Civil War, when some one million rounds were fired, bombs were dropped on Appalachia, and the term "redneck" would come to have an unexpected origin story. Brimming with the high stakes drama of America's buried history, Rednecks tells a powerful story of rebellion against oppression. In a land where the coal companies use violence and intimidation to keep miners from organizing, "Doc Moo" Muhanna, a Lebanese-American doctor (inspired by the author's own great-grandfather), toils amid the blood and injustice of the mining camps. When Frank Hugham, a Black World War One veteran and coal miner, takes dramatic steps to lead a miners' revolt with a band of fellow veterans, Doc Moo risks his life and career to treat sick and wounded miners, while Frank's grandmother, Beulah, fights her own battle to save her home and grandson. Real-life historical figures burn bright among the hills: the fiery Mother Jones, an Irish-born labor organizer once known as "The Most Dangerous Woman in America," struggles to maintain the ear of the miners ("her boys") amid the tide of rebellion, while the sharp-shooting police chief "Smilin" Sid Hatfield dares to stand up to the "gun thugs" of the coal companies, becoming a folk hero of the mine wars. Award-winning novelist Taylor Brown brings to life one of the most compelling events in 20th century American history, reminding us of the hard-won origins of today's unions. Rednecks is a propulsive, character-driven tale that's both a century old and blisteringly contemporary: a story of unexpected friendship, heroism in the face of injustice, and the power of love and community against all odds."

The Puerto Rican War : a graphic history by John Vasquez Mejias

“Rendered in gorgeously carved wood blocks and buffeted with historical supplemental material, John Vasquez Mejias's The Puerto Rican War tells the story of the the 1950 insurrection on the island that resulted in 38 deaths and a failed assassination attempt against President Harry S. Truman. Told as a fable, in which the leaders of the movement are visited by the ghosts of Michael Collins and Gandhi, this book showcases an important and often overlooked moment in American history and a historical touchstone for the Puerto Rican independence movement.”

You like it darker : stories by Stephen King

"You like it darker? Fine, so do I," writes Stephen King in the afterword to this magnificent new collection of twelve stories that delve into the darker part of life--both metaphorical and literal. King has, for half a century, been a master of the form, and these stories, about fate, mortality, luck, and the folds in reality where anything can happen, are as rich and riveting as his novels, both weighty in theme and a huge pleasure to read. King writes to feel "the exhilaration of leaving ordinary day-to-day life behind," and in You Like It Darker, readers will feel that exhilaration too, again and again. "Two Talented Bastids" explores the long-hidden secret of how the eponymous gentlemen got their skills. In "Danny Coughlin's Bad Dream," a brief and unprecedented psychic flash upends dozens of lives, Danny's most catastrophically. In "Rattlesnakes," a sequel to Cujo, a grieving widower travels to Florida for respite and instead receives an unexpected inheritance--with major strings attached. In "The Dreamers," a taciturn Vietnam vet answers a job ad and learns that there are some corners of the universe best left unexplored. "The Answer Man" asks if prescience is good luck or bad and reminds us that a life marked by unbearable tragedy can still be meaningful. King's ability to surprise, amaze, and bring us both terror and solace remains unsurpassed. Each of these stories holds its own thrills, joys, and mysteries; each feels iconic. You like it darker? You got it”

Чагин : роман by Евгений Водолазкин

Евгений Водолазкин -- автор романов "Лавр", "Авиатор", "Соловьёв и Ларионов", "Брисбэн", "Оправдание Острова", сборников короткой прозы "Идти бестрепетно" и "Инструмент языка", лауреат премий "Большая книга", "Ясная Поляна" и "Книга года". Исидор Чагин может запомнить текст любой сложности и хранить его в памяти как угодно долго. Феноменальные способности становятся для героя тяжким испытанием, ведь Чагин лишен простой человеческой радости -- забывать. Всё, к чему он ни прикасается, становится для него в буквальном смысле незабываемым. Всякий великий дар -- это нарушение гармонии. Памяти необходимо забвение, слову -- молчание, а вымыслу -- реальность. В жизни они сплетены так же туго, как трагическое и комическое в романах Евгения Водолазкина. Не является исключением и роман "Чагин". Среди его персонажей -- Генрих Шлиман и Даниель Дефо, тайные агенты, архивисты и конферансье, а также особый авторский стиль -- как и всегда, один из главных героев писателя.

translation: “Chagin” is a novel about memory, time and a person who is tormented by these forces beyond his control. Time and memory are Vodolazkin’s favorite themes: all of his novels, from “The Laurel” to “The Justification of the Island,” are devoted to them to one degree or another. In “Chagin” the writer reveals a new facet of this topic, personifying memory in the image of a person. Archivist and employee of the City Library of St. Petersburg Isidor Chagin has a unique gift as a mnemonist. His memory is like a camera: once he sees or hears a text, Chagin remembers it forever. He easily understands languages, large volumes of text and series of numbers, as well as facts and events - both those that actually happened to him and those described by someone else. The gift predetermines his role: he is a mediator between imperfect human nature and the elemental force of time, but at the same time a brave knight who is trying to win back events and names from oblivion and return them to the present. But even such talent has its downside. Isidore is not able to forget anything, cannot separate what really happened to him from fiction, and his own experience from someone else’s. How can a person who never forgets anything live in a world in which everything is doomed to oblivion? This is the question the author asks.”

Wait : a novel by Gabriella Burnham

"Elise is out dancing the night before her graduation from college, hundreds of miles from home, when her younger sister Sophie calls to tell her that their mother has gone missing. They soon discover that she was arrested on her way home from work and deported to São Paulo, Brazil. Elise decides to return to her childhood home, Nantucket Island, for the first time in nearly three years to be with her sister and figure out how to bring their mother home. Desperate for an affordable place to live, Elise learns that her best friend from college, Sheba -- a gregarious socialite and heir to the Play-Doh fortune -- has inherited her grandfather's summer mansion on-island. Sheba offers for Elise and Sophie to move into the mansion's guest house. Elise meanwhile secures the same job she had in high school, monitoring a species of endangered birds that have laid eggs on a remote beach. But she finds herself confronted with the emotional and material conditions that have led her family to this fractured state."

Butter : a novel of food and murder by Asako Yuzuki ; translated by Polly Barton

"The cult Japanese bestseller about a female gourmet cook and serial killer and the journalist intent on cracking her case, inspired by a true story. There are two things that I can simply not tolerate: feminists and margarine. Gourmet cook Manako Kajii sits in Tokyo Detention Center convicted of the serial murders of lonely businessmen, who she is said to have seduced with her delicious home cooking. The case has captured the nation's imagination but Kajii refuses to speak with the press, entertaining no visitors. That is, until journalist Rika Machida writes a letter asking for her recipe for beef stew and Kajii can't resist writing back. Rika, the only woman in her news office, works late each night, rarely cooking more than ramen. As the visits unfold between her and the steely Kajii, they are closer to a masterclass in food than journalistic research. Rika hopes this gastronomic exchange will help her soften Kajii but it seems that she might be the one changing. With each meal she eats, something is awakening in her body, might she and Kaji have more in common than she once thought? Inspired by the real case of the convicted con woman and serial killer, "The Konkatsu Killer," Asako Yuzuki's Butter is a vivid, unsettling exploration of misogyny, obsession, romance and the transgressive pleasures of food in Japan."

Just for the summer by Abby Jimenez

“Justin has a curse, and thanks to a Reddit thread, it's now all over the internet. Every woman he dates goes on to find their soul mate the second they break up. When a woman slides into his DMs with the same problem, they come up with a plan: They'll date each other and break up. Their curses will cancel each other's out, and they'll both go on to find the love of their lives. It's a bonkers idea... and it just might work. Emma hadn't planned that her next assignment as a traveling nurse would be in Minnesota, but she and her best friend agree that dating Justin is too good of an opportunity to pass up, especially when they get to rent an adorable cottage on a private island on Lake Minnetonka. It's supposed to be a quick fling, just for the summer. But when Emma's toxic mother shows up and Justin has to assume guardianship of his three siblings, they're suddenly navigating a lot more than they expected--including catching real feelings for each other. What if this time Fate has actually brought the perfect pair together?”

Kairos by Jenny Erpenbeck ; translated from the German by Michael Hofmann

"Jenny Erpenbeck (the author of Go, Went, Gone and Visitation) is an epic storyteller and arguably the most powerful voice in contemporary German literature. Erpenbeck's new novel Kairos--an unforgettably compelling masterpiece tells the story of the romance begun in East Berlin at the end of the 1980s when nineteen-year-old Katharina meets by chance a married writer in his fifties named Hans. Their passionate yet difficult long-running affair takes place against the background of the declining GDR, through the upheavals wrought by its dissolution in 1989 and then what comes after. In her unmistakable style and with enormous sweep, Erpenbeck describes the path of the two lovers, as Katharina grows up and tries to come to terms with a not always ideal romance, even as a whole world with its own ideology disappears. As the Times Literary Supplement writes: "The weight of history, the particular experiences of East and West, and the ways in which cultural and subjective memory shape individual identity has always been present in Erpenbeck's work. She knows that no one is all bad, no state all rotten, and she masterfully captures the existential bewilderment of this period between states and ideologies." In the opinion of her superbly gifted translator Michael Hofmann, Kairos is the great post-Unification novel. And, as The New Republic has commented on his work as a translator: "Hofmann's translation is invaluable--it achieves what translations are supposedly unable to do: it is at once 'loyal' and 'beautiful.'

Bite by bite : nourishments & jamborees by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

"In Bite by Bite, poet and essayist Aimee Nezhukumatathil explores the way food and drink evoke our associations and remembrances--a subtext or layering, a flavor tinged with joy, shame, exuberance, grief, desire, or nostalgia. Nezhukumatathil restores our astonishment and wonder about food through her encounters with a range of foods and food traditions. From shave ice to lumpia, mangoes to pecans, rambutan to vanilla, she investigates how food marks our experiences and identities and explores the boundaries between heritage and memory. Bite by Bite offers a rich and textured kaleidoscope of vignettes and visions into the world of food and nature, drawn together by intimate and humorous personal reflections, with Fumi Nakamura's gorgeous imagery and illustration"

This is the honey : an anthology of contemporary Black poets edited with an introduction by Kwame Alexander

In this comprehensive and vibrant poetry anthology, bestselling author and poet Kwame Alexander curates a collection of contemporary anthems at turns tender and piercing and deeply inspiring throughout. Featuring work from well-loved poets such as Rita Dove, Jericho Brown, Warsan Shire, Ross Gay, Tracy K. Smith, Terrance Hayes, Morgan Parker, and Nikki Giovanni, This Is the Honey is a rich and abundant offering of language from the poets giving voice to generations of resilient joy, "Beach incantation," as Mahogany L. Browne puts it in her titular poem, is "Ba jubilee of a people dreaming wildly." This essential collection, in the tradition of Dudley Randall's The Black Poets and E. Ethelbert Miller's In Search of Color Everywhere, contains poems exploring joy, love, origin, race, resistance, and praise. Jacqueline A. Trimble likens "Black woman joy" to indigo, tassels, foxes, and peacock plumes. Tyree Daye, Nate Marshall, and Elizabeth Acevedo reflect on the meaning of "home" through food, from Cuban rice and beans to fried chicken gizzards. Clint Smith and Cameron Awkward-Rich enfold us in their intimate musings on love and devotion. From a "jewel in the hand" (Patricia Spears Jones) to "butter melting in small pools" (Elizabeth Alexander), This Is the Honey drips with poignant and delightful imagery, music, and raised fists. Fresh, memorable, and deeply moving, this definitive collection a must-have for any lover of language and a gift for our time.

Wellness : a novel by Nathan Hill

"When Jack and Elizabeth meet as college students in the '90s, the two quickly join forces and hold on tight, each eager to claim a place in Chicago's thriving underground art scene with an appreciative kindred spirit. Fast-forward twenty years to married life, and alongside the challenges of parenting, they encounter cults disguised as mindfulness support groups, polyamorous would-be suitors, Facebook wars, and something called Love Potion Number Nine. For the first time, Jack and Elizabeth struggle to recognize each other, and the no-longer-youthful dreamers are forced to face their demons, from unfulfilled career ambitions to painful childhood memories of their own dysfunctional families. In the process, Jack and Elizabeth must undertake separate, personal excavations, or risk losing the best thing in their lives: each other"

Cómo no escribí nuestra historia by Elísabet Benavent

Porque a veces la verdad (no) es solo aquello que queremos creer. Elsa Benavides es una escritora de éxito con una crisis creativa y una obsesión: matar al personaje que la catapultó al éxito. Pero la solución a sus problemas no pasa por electrocutar a Valentina con un móvil en la bañera. Es la punta del iceberg de una herida más profunda. Decidida a huir para volver a abrazar la escritura, se topa con Darío, un músico recién llegado de París que además es su vecino. Empieza así una nueva historia en la que Elsa es la protagonista. ¿Será capaz de contarlo todo?

translation: “Because sometimes the truth is (not) just what we want to believe. Elsa Benavides is a successful writer with a creative crisis and an obsession: killing the character that catapulted her to success. But the solution to their problems is not to electrocute Valentina with a cell phone in the bathtub. It is the tip of the iceberg of a deeper wound. Deciding to flee to embrace writing again, she runs into Darío, a musician recently arrived from Paris who is also her neighbor. Thus begins a new story in which Elsa is the protagonist. Will he be able to tell it all?”

Dove non mi hai portata : mia madre, un caso di cronaca by Maria Grazia Calandrone

1965. Un uomo e una donna, dopo aver abbandonato nel parco di Villa Borghese la figlia di otto mesi, compiono un gesto estremo. 2021. Quella bambina abbandonata era Maria Grazia Calandrone. Decisa a scoprire la verità, torna nei luoghi in cui sua madre ha vissuto, sofferto, lavorato e amato. E indagando sul passato illumina di una luce nuova la sua vita. Dove non mi hai portata è un libro intimo eppure pubblico, profondamente emozionante e insieme lucidissimo. Attraversando lo specchio del tempo, racconta una scheggia di storia d'Italia e le vite interrotte delle donne. Ma è anche un'indagine sentimentale che non lascia scampo a nessuno, neppure a chi legge

translation: “1965. A man and a woman, after abandoning their eight-month-old daughter in the park of Villa Borghese, make an extreme gesture. 2021. That abandoned little girl was Maria Grazia Calandrone. Determined to discover the truth, she returns to the places where her mother lived, suffered, worked and loved. And investigating the past sheds a new light on his life. Where You Didn't Take Me is an intimate yet public book, deeply emotional and at the same time very lucid. Crossing the mirror of time, it tells a sliver of Italian history and the interrupted lives of women. But it is also a sentimental investigation that leaves no escape for anyone, not even the reader”