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New Books Spotlight: Summer Reading Part One

Featuring Howe Library’s newest fiction books, perfect for some late summer reading. Check out our new books shelf for this display in the Howe Library lobby.

 

All the sinners bleed by S.A. Cosby

After years of working as an FBI agent, Titus Crown returns home to Charon County, land of moonshine and cornbread, fist fights and honeysuckle. Seeing his hometown struggling with a bigoted police force inspires him to run for sheriff. He wins, and becomes the first Black sheriff in the history of the county. Then a year to the day after his election, a young Black man is fatally shot by Titus's deputies. Titus pledges to follow the truth wherever it leads. But no one expected he would unearth a serial killer who has been hiding in plain sight, haunting the dirt lanes and woodland clearings of Charon. Now, Titus must pull off the impossible: stay true to his instincts, prevent outright panic, and investigate a shocking crime in a small town where everyone knows everyone yet secrets flourish. All while also breaking up backroads bar fights and being forced to protect racist Confederate pride marchers. For a Black man wearing a police uniform in the American South, that's no easy feat. But Charon is Titus's home and his heart, and he won't let the darkness overtake it. Even as it threatens to consume him.

 

The apartment : a novel by Ana Menéndez

The Helena is an art deco apartment building that has witnessed the changing face of South Miami Beach for seventy years, observing the lives housed within. Among those who have called apartment 2B home across the decades are a Cuban concert pianist who performs in a nursing home; the widow of an intelligence officer raising her young daughter alone; a man waiting on a green card marriage to run its course so that he can divorce his wife and marry his lover, all of whom live together; a Tajik building manager with a secret identity; and a troubled young refugee named Lenin. Each tenant imbues 2B with energy that will either heal or overwhelm its latest resident, Lana, a mysterious woman struggling with her own past.

 

August blue by Deborah Levy

At the height of her career, piano virtuoso Elsa M. Anderson walks off the stage in Vienna, mid-performance. Now she is in Athens, watching a woman purchase a pair of mechanical dancing horses in at flea market. Elsa wants the horses, too, but there are no more for sale. She travels across Europe, shadowed by the elusive woman who seems to be her double.

 

Bad summer people by Emma Rosenblum

Emma Rosenblum's Bad Summer People is a whip-smart, propulsive debut about infidelity, backstabbing, and murderous intrigue, set against an exclusive summer haven on Fire Island. None of them would claim to be a particularly good person. But who among them is actually capable of murder? Jen Weinstein and Lauren Parker rule the town of Salcombe, Fire Island every summer. They hold sway on the beach and the tennis court, and are adept at manipulating people to get what they want. Their husbands, Sam and Jason, have summered together on the island since childhood, despite lifelong grudges and numerous secrets. Their one single friend, Rachel Woolf, is looking to meet her match, whether he's the tennis pro-or someone else's husband. But even with plenty to gossip about, this season starts out as quietly as any other. Until a body is discovered, face down, off the side of the boardwalk. Stylish, subversive, and darkly comedic, this is a story of what's lurking under the surface of picture-perfect lives in a place where everyone has something to hide.

 

Banyan Moon : a novel by Thao Thai

Three Vietnamese American women mourning the death of the family matriarch recount their lives and childhoods at a crumbling, gothic manor called Banyan House, where the secrets of her grandmother's past come to light.

 

Be mine by Richard Ford

From Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Ford: the final novel in the world of Frank Bascombe, one of the most indelible characters in American literature Over the course of four celebrated works of fiction and almost forty years, Richard Ford has crafted an ambitious, incisive, and singular view of American life as lived. Unconstrained, astute, provocative, often laugh-out-loud funny, Frank Bascombe is once more our guide to the great American midway. Now in the twilight of life, a man who has occupied many colorful lives-sportswriter, father, husband, ex-husband, friend, real estate agent-Bascombe finds himself in the most sorrowing role of all: caregiver to his son, Paul, diagnosed with ALS. On a shared winter odyssey to Mount Rushmore, Frank, in typical Bascombe fashion, faces down the mortality that is assured each of us, and in doing so confronts what happiness might signify at the end of days. In this memorable novel, Richard Ford puts on displays the prose, wit, and intelligence that make him one of our most acclaimed living writers. Be Mine is a profound, funny, poignant love letter to our beleaguered world.

 

Deep as the sky, red as the sea : a novel by Rita Chang-Eppig

When Shek Yeung sees a Portuguese sailor slay her husband, a feared pirate, she knows she must act swiftly or die. Instead of mourning, Shek Yeung launches a new plan: immediately marrying her husband's second-in-command, and agreeing to bear him a son and heir, in order to retain power over her half of the fleet. But as Shek Yeung vies for control over the army she knows she was born to lead, larger threats loom. The Chinese Emperor has charged a brutal, crafty nobleman with ridding the South China Seas of pirates, and the Europeans--tired of losing ships, men, and money to Shek Yeung's alliance--have new plans for the area. Even worse, Shek Yeung's cutthroat retributions create problems all their own. As Shek Yeung navigates new motherhood and the crises of leadership, she must decide how long she is willing to fight, and at what price, or risk losing her fleet, her new family, and even her life.

 

The Elissas : three girls, one fate, and the deadly secrets of Suburbia by Samantha Leach

In the tradition of Three Women, Bustle editor and writer Samantha Leach traces the lives of a trio of girls who met in the Troubled Teen Industry and went on to share the same tragic fate. Samantha and her best friend Elissa were typical privileged, rebellious, suburban girls. But after Elissa was kicked out of their private school, she soon disappeared. At fifteen years old, her parents quietly flew her from Providence, Rhode Island to a $10,000/month therapeutic boarding school in Nebraska. Ponca Pines Academy was part of the Troubled Teen Industry, a network of programs meant to reform wealthy, wayward teens. There she met two girls uncannily named Alissa and Alyssa, who had similar backgrounds and similar vices. In The Elissas, Samantha channels her personal grief and utilizes years of immersive research combined with her biting prose to reveal the cultural forces and systemic failings that contributed to the deaths of all three girls. In 2011, less than a year after graduating from Ponca Pines Academy, Elissa died of encephalitis. Four years later, Alyssa died of a heroin overdose. Another four years after that, Alissa died while battling an opioid addiction. Samantha endeavors to tell each of their stories, expanding on what shaped these young women before, during, and after their time in the Troubled Teen Industry. Based on interviews with other survivors, friends and family of the girls, educators, experts, and comprehensive reporting, The Elissas will challenge what you know about the opioid epidemic and the Troubled Teen Industry - and in doing so, will ultimately offer a window into the secret lives of young suburban women.

 

Everything's fine : a novel by Cecilia Rabess

On Jess's first day at Goldman Sachs, she's less than thrilled to learn she'll be on the same team as Josh, her white, conservative sparring partner from college. Josh loves playing the devil's advocate and is just ... the worst. But when Jess finds herself the sole Black woman on the floor, overlooked and underestimated, it's Josh who shows up for her in surprising--if imperfect--ways. Before long, an unlikely friendship--one tinged with undeniable chemistry--forms between the two. A friendship that gradually, and then suddenly, turns into an electrifying romance that shocks them both. Despite their differences, the force of their attraction propels the relationship forward, and Jess begins to question whether it's more important to be happy than right. But then it's 2016, and the cultural and political landscape shifts underneath them. And Jess, who is just beginning to discover who she is and who she has the right to be, is forced to ask herself what she's willing to compromise for love and whether, in fact, everything's fine.

 

The five-star weekend by Elin Hilderbrand

Hollis Shaw's life seems picture-perfect. She's the creator of the popular food blog Hungry with Hollis and is married to Matthew, a dreamy heart surgeon. But after she and Matthew get into a heated argument one snowy morning, he leaves for the airport and is killed in a car accident. The cracks in Hollis's perfect life--her strained marriage and her complicated relationship with her daughter, Caroline--grow deeper. So when Hollis hears about something called the 'Five-Star Weekend'--one woman organizes a trip for her best friend from each phase of her life: her teenage years, her twenties, her thirties, and mid-life--she decides to host her own Five-Star Weekend on Nantucket. But her weekend doesn't turn out to be a joyful Hallmark movie. The husband of Hollis's childhood friend Tatum arranges for Hollis's first love, Jack Finigan, to spend time with them, stirring up old feelings. Meanwhile, Tatum is forced to play nice with abrasive and elitist Dru-Ann, Hollis's best friend from UNC-Chapel Hill. Dru-Ann's career as a prominent Chicago sports agent is in jeopardy after her comments about a client's mental health issues are misconstrued online. Brooke, Hollis's friend from their thirties, has just discovered that her husband is having an inappropriate relationship with a woman at work. Again! And then there's Gigi, a stranger to everyone (including Hollis) who reached out to Hollis on her blog. Gigi embodies an unusual grace and, as it happens, has many secrets ... It will be a weekend like no other.

 

The guest : a novel by Emma Cline

Summer is coming to a close on the East End of Long Island, and Alex is no longer welcome. A misstep at a dinner party, and the older man she's been staying with dismisses her with a ride to the train station and a ticket back to the city. With few resources and a waterlogged phone, but gifted with an ability to navigate the desires of others, Alex stays on Long Island and drifts like a ghost through the hedged lanes, gated driveways, and sun-blasted dunes of a rarified world that is, at first, closed to her. Propelled by desperation and a mutable sense of morality, she spends the week leading up to Labor Day moving from one place to the next, a cipher leaving destruction in her wake. Taut, propulsive, and impossible to look away from, Emma Cline's The Guest is a spellbinding literary achievement.

 

I am homeless if this is not my home by Lorrie Moore

From 'one of the most acute and lasting writers of her generation' (Caryn James, The New York Times) -- a daring novel, her first in more than a decade, about love and death and what lies before and after. A ghost story set in the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries, an elegiac consideration of grief, devotion (filial and romantic), and the vanishing and persistence of all things -- seen and unseen. A teacher visiting his dying brother in the Bronx. A mysterious journal from the nineteenth century stolen from a boarding house. A therapy clown and an assassin, both presumed dead, but perhaps not dead at all... With her distinctive, irresistible wordplay and singular wry humor and wisdom, Lorrie Moore has given us a magic box of longing and surprise as she writes about love and rebirth and the pull towards life. Bold, meditative, theatrical, this new novel is an inventive, poetic portrait of lovers and siblings as it questions the stories we have been told which may or may not be true. I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home takes us through a trap door, into a windswept, imagined journey to the tragic-comic landscape that is, unmistakably, the world of Lorrie Moore.

 

Ink blood sister scribe : a novel by Emma Törzs

For generations the Kalotay family has guarded a collection of ancient and rare books. Books that let a person walk through walls or manipulate the elements-- books of magic that half-sisters Joanna and Esther have been raised to revere and protect. The magic comes with a price: Esther fled to a remote base in Antarctica to escape the fate that killed her own mother, and Joanna's isolated herself in their family home in Vermont, devoting her life to the study of the cherished volumes. When their father dies suddenly while reading a book Joanna has never seen before, the sisters must reunite to preserve their family legacy. They uncover a world of magic far bigger and more dangerous than they ever imagined-- and secrets that span centuries, continents, and even other libraries.

 

The late Americans by Brandon Taylor

In the shared and private spaces of Iowa City, a loose circle of lovers and friends encounter, confront, and provoke one another in a volatile year of self-discovery. At the group's center are Seamus, a frustrated young poet; Ivan, a dancer turned aspiring banker who dabbles in amateur pornography; Fatima, whose independence and work ethic complicates her relationships with friends and a trusted mentor; and Noah, who "didn't seek sex out so much as it came up to him like an anxious dog in need of affection." As each prepares for an uncertain future, the group heads to a cabin to bid goodbye to their former lives--- a moment of reckoning that leaves each of them irrevocably altered.

 

Loot by Tania James

Abbas is just seventeen years old when he leaves his family to serve in the court of Tipu Sultan, a volatile and unpredictable ruler. An inspired woodcarver, Abbas is apprenticed to a master toy maker in order to build a massive tiger automaton, a gift to celebrate the return of the Sultan's sons from British captivity. Working alongside the legendary French clockmaker Monsieur du Leze, Abbas hones his craft and learns to read French and then meets Jehane, the daughter of one of du Leze's fellow expatriats. When du Leze is finally permitted to return home to Paris, he begs Abbas to accompany him. But by the time Abbas travels to Europe, the palace has been looted by British forces, and the tiger automaton disappears. To prove himself and make a livelihood in Paris-with the lovely Jehane at his side-Abbas must retrieve the tiger from an estate in the English countryside, where it is displayed in a collection of plundered Moorish and Oriental Art.