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New Books Spotlight: Summer Reading Part Two

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.

Mrs. S by K. Patrick

In an elite English boarding school where the girls kiss the marble statue of the famous dead author who used to walk the halls, a butch antipodean outsider arrives to take up the antiquated role of matron." Within this landscape of immense privilege, where difference is met with hostility, the matron finds herself unsure of her role, her accent and her body. That is until she meets Mrs. S, the headmaster's wife, a woman who is her polar opposite--an assured, authoritative paragon of femininity. Over the course of a long, restless summer, their unspoken yearning blooms into an illicit affair of electric intensity. But, as the summer fades, a choice must be made.

 

My Murder by Katie Williams

A tautly paced novel in which a young mother who was cloned and brought back to life following her own murder comes to suspect that there is more to the story of her life and death than anyone is telling her. What if the murder you had to solve was your own? Lou is a happily married mother of an adorable toddler. She's also the clone of the original Louise who, along with four other victims of a local serial killer, has been brought back to life by a government project to return the women to their grieving families. But as the new Lou re-adapts to her old life, questions remain about what exactly preceded her death, and how much to trust those around her. Understanding the truth may determine what comes next for Lou. Darkly comic and lightly speculative, My Murder offers an exploration of ideas about personal identity, domestic life, and reinvention, within a thrilling, surprising, and entertaining mystery.

 

The Mythmakers : a novel by Keziah Weir

Sal Cannon's relationship is crumbling, and her career in journalism hits a low point after it's revealed that her profile of a playwright is full of inaccuracies. When she reads a short story by Martin Keller-- a much older author she met at a literary event years ago-- she discovers the story is about her and the moment they met. When Sal learns the story is excerpted from his unpublished novel, she reaches out to the story's editor, and learns that Martin is deceased. Desperate to leave her crumbling life behind and to read the manuscript from which the story was excerpted, Sal contacts Martin's widow, Moira. As she inserts herself into Moira's life, Sal sifts through Martin's papers. Who owns a story? And who is the one left to tell it?

 

The Only One Left : a novel by Riley Sager

At seventeen, Lenora Hope / Hung her sister with a rope. Now reduced to a schoolyard chant, the Hope family murders shocked the Maine coast one bloody night in 1929. While most people assume seventeen-year-old Lenora was responsible, the police were never able to prove it. Other than her denial after the killings, she has never spoken publicly about that night, nor has she set foot outside Hope's End, the cliffside mansion where the massacre occurred. Stabbed her father with a knife / Took her mother's happy life. It's now 1983, and home-health aide Kit McDeere arrives at a decaying Hope's End to care for Lenora after her previous nurse fled in the middle of the night. In her seventies and confined to a wheelchair, Lenora was rendered mute by a series of strokes and can only communicate with Kit by tapping out sentences on an old typewriter. One night, Lenora uses it to make a tantalizing offer--I want to tell you everything. It wasn't me," Lenora said / But she's the only one not dead. As Kit helps Lenora write about the events leading to the Hope family massacre, it becomes clear there's more to the tale than people know. But when new details about her predecessor's departure come to light, Kit starts to suspect Lenora might not be telling the complete truth--and that the seemingly harmless woman in her care could be far more dangerous than she first thought.

 

Open Throat by Henry Hoke

A queer and dangerously hungry mountain lion lives in the drought-devastated land under the Hollywood sign. Lonely and fascinated by humanity's foibles, the lion spends their days protecting a nearby homeless encampment, observing hikers complain about their trauma, and, in quiet moments, grappling with the complexities of their gender identity, memories of a vicious father, and the indignities of sentience. When a man-made fire engulfs the encampment, the lion is forced from the hills down into the city the hikers call "ellay." As the lion confronts a carousel of temptations and threats, they take us on a tour that spans the cruel inequalities of Los Angeles and the toll of climate grief. But even when salvation finally seems within reach, they are forced to face down the ultimate question: Do they want to eat a person, or become one?

 

The Quiet Tenant by Clémence Michallon

A psychological thriller about trauma, power, and survival, which follows a young woman who has been captured and confined by a serial killer--who is a father, widower, former Marine, and lineman for the local electric company--as he hides the true nature of his double life from his daughter, neighbors, and the local bartender who could be his next victim, unless his captive manages to stop him.

 

The Rachel Incident by Caroline O'Donoghue

Rachel is a student working at a bookstore when she meets James, and it's love at first sight. Effervescent and insistently heterosexual, James soon invites Rachel to be his roommate and the two begin a friendship that changes the course of both their lives forever. Together, they run riot through the streets of Cork city, trying to maintain a bohemian existence while the threat of the financial crash looms before them. When Rachel falls in love with her married professor, Dr. Fred Byrne, James helps her devise a reading at their local bookstore, with the goal that she might seduce him afterwards. But Fred has other desires. So begins a series of secrets and compromises that intertwine the fates of James, Rachel, Fred, and Fred's glamorous, well-connected, bourgeois wife.

 

Raw Dog : The Naked Truth about Hot Dogs by Jamie Loftus

Part travelogue, part culinary history, all capitalist critique-comedian Jamie Loftus's debut, Raw Dog, will take you on a cross-country road trip in the summer of 2021, and reveal what the creation, culture, and class influence of hot dogs says about America now. Hot dogs. Poor people created them. Rich people found a way to charge fifteen dollars for them. They're high culture, they're low culture, they're sports food, they're kids' food, they're hangover food, and they're deeply American, despite having no basis whatsoever in America's Indigenous traditions. You can love them, you can hate them, but you can't avoid the great American hot dog. Raw Dog: The Naked Truth About Hot Dogs is part investigation into the cultural and culinary significance of hot dogs and part travelog documenting a cross-country road trip researching them as they're served today. From avocado and spice in the West to ass-shattering chili in the East to an entire salad on a slice of meat in Chicago, Loftus, her pets, and her ex eat their way across the country during the strange summer of 2021. It's a brief window into the year between waves of a plague that the American government has the resources to temper, but not the interest. So grab a dog, lay out your picnic blanket, and dig into the delicious and inevitable product of centuries of violence, poverty, and ambition, now rolling around at your local 7-Eleven.

 

Rogue Justice : a thriller by Stacey Abrams

Avery Keene is back, trying to get her feet on solid ground after unraveling a conspiracy that took down the President of the United States. But as the sparks of impeachment hearings and political skirmishes swirl around her, Avery is approached at a legal conference by Preston Davies, an unassuming young man and fellow law clerk to a federal judge in Idaho. Davies believes his boss, Judge Francesca Whitner, was being blackmailed in the days before she recently took her own life, and he gives Avery a file, a burner phone, and a fearful warning that there are highly dangerous people involved. Moments later, Avery is shocked when she witnesses Davies being murdered. After breaking the encrypted file Davies gave to her, Avery reveals a list of names-all federal judges-and, alarmingly, all judges on the FISA Court (the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court), also known as America's secret court." It is this body that grants permission to the government to wiretap American individuals or corporations suspected of terrorism. Avery knows Judge Whitner had been extorted, but as she investigates the names and cases associated with other judges on the list she begins to see a frightening pattern-and she worries that something far more sinister may be unfolding. Drawing from today's headlines and weaving them together with her unique insider perspective, Stacey Abrams combines twisting plotlines, wry wit, and clever puzzles to create another immensely entertaining suspense novel.

 

Romantic Comedy : a novel by Curtis Sittenfeld

Sally Milz is a sketch writer for The Night Owls, the late night live comedy show that airs each Saturday. With a couple of heartbreaks under her belt, she's long abandoned the search for love, settling instead for the occasional hook-up, career success, and a close relationship with her stepfather to round out a satisfying life. But when Sally's friend and fellow writer Danny Horst begins dating Annabel, a glamorous actress who guest-hosted the show, he joins the not-so-exclusive group of talented but average-looking and even dorky men at the show--and in society at large--who've gotten romantically involved with incredibly beautiful and accomplished women. Sally channels her annoyance into a sketch called the Danny Horst Rule, poking fun at this phenomenon while underscoring how unlikely it is that the reverse would ever happen for a woman. Enter Noah Brewster, a pop music sensation with a reputation for dating models, who signed on as both host and musical guest for this week's show. Dazzled by his charms, Sally hits it off with Noah instantly, and as they collaborate on one sketch after another, she begins to wonder if there might actually be sparks flying. But this isn't a romantic comedy--it's real life. And in real life, someone like him would never date someone like her... right?

 

Save What's Left by Elizabeth Castellano

When Kathleen Deane's husband, Tom, tells her he's no longer happy with his life and their marriage, Kathleen is confused. Who said anything about being happy? They live in Kansas, for goodness sake! But with Tom off finding himself, Kathleen starts to think about what she wants. And her thoughts lead her to a small beach community on the east coast, a town that has always looked lovely in the Christmas cards her childhood friend Josie sends every year. It turns out that life in Whitbey is nothing like Josie's Christmas cards. Kathleen's new neighbor, Rosemary, is cantankerous and the town's supervisor won't return Kathleen's emails, but worst of all is the Sugar Cube, the monstrosity masquerading as a holiday home that Kathleen's absentee neighbors are building next door to her quaint (read: tiny) cottage. As Kathleen gets more and more involved in the fight against the Sugar Cube and town politics overall, she realizes that Whitbey may not be a fairytale, but it just might be just what she needed.

 

Sing Her Down by Ivy Pochoda

Florence "Florida" Baum is not the hapless innocent she claims to be when she arrives at the Arizona women's prison. Her ex-cellmate, Diosmary Sandoval, knows the truth about Florida's crimes, understands the truth that Florence hides even from herself. Dios knows that darkness lives in women too, despite the world's refusal to see it-- and is determined to open Florida's eyes. When an unexpected reprieve gives both women their freedom, Dios's fixation on Florida turns into a dangerous obsession.

 

The Three of Us : a novel by Ore Agbaje-Williams

What if your two favorite people hated each other with a passion? The wife has it all. A big house in a nice neighborhood, a ride-or-die snarky best friend, Temi, with whom to laugh about facile men, and a devoted husband who loves her above all else--even his distaste for Temi. On a seemingly normal day, Temi comes over to spend a lazy afternoon with the wife: drinking wine, eating snacks, and laughing caustically about the husband's shortcomings. But when the husband comes home and a series of confessions are made, the wife's two confidantes are suddenly forced to jockey for their positions, throwing everyone's integrity into question--and their long-drawn-out territorial dance, carefully constructed over years, into utter chaos. Told in three taut, mesmerizing parts--the wife, the husband, the best friend--over the course of one day, The Three of Us is a subversively comical, wildly astute, and painfully compulsive triptych of domestic life that explores cultural truths, what it means to defy them, and the fine line between compromise and betrayal when it comes to ourselves and the people we're meant to love.

 

Titanium Noir : a novel by Nick Harkaway

Cal Sounder is a detective working for the police on certain very sensitive cases. So when he's called in to investigate a homicide at a local apartment, he is surprised at first to see that the victim appears to be a rather typical, milquetoast techie. But on closer inspection, he finds the victim is over seven feet tall. And even though he doesn't look a day over thirty, he is actually ninety years old. Clearly, he is a Titan-one of this dystopian, near-future society's genetically-altered elites. There are only a few thousand Titans worldwide, all thanks to Stefan Tonfamecasca's discovery of the controversial T7 genetic therapy, which elevated his family to near godlike status. A dead Titan is big news . . . a murdered Titan is unimaginable. But Titans are Cal's specialty. In fact, his ex-girlfriend, Athena, is a Titan. And not just any Titan-she's Stefan's daughter, heir to the Tonfamecasca empire. As Cal digs deeper into the murder investigation, he begins to unweave the complicated threads of what should have been a straightforward case, and it soon becomes clear he's on the trail of a crime whose roots run deep into the dark heart of the world. Titanium Noir is a tightly woven, intricate tale of murder, betrayal, and vengeance.

 

The Wind Knows My Name : a novel by Isabel Allende ; translated from the Spanish by Frances Riddle

This powerful and moving novel from the New York Times bestselling author of A Long Petal of the Sea weaves together past and present, tracing the ripple effects of war and immigration on one child in Europe in 1938 and another in the United States in 2019. Vienna, 1938. Samuel Adler was six years old when his father disappeared during Kristallnacht--the night their family lost everything. Samuel's mother secured a spot for him on the last Kindertransport train out of Nazi-occupied Austria to the United Kingdom, which he boarded alone, carrying nothing but a change of clothes and his violin. Arizona, 2019. Eight decades later, Anita Diaz, a blind seven-year-old girl, and her mother board another train, fleeing looming danger in El Salvador and seeking refuge in the United States. However, their arrival coincides with the new family separation policy, and Anita finds herself alone at a camp in Nogales. She escapes through her trips to Azabahar, a magical world of the imagination she created with her sister back home. Anita's case is assigned to Selena Durán, a young social worker who enlists the help of a promising lawyer from one of San Francisco's top law firms. Together they discover that Anita has another family member in the United States: Leticia Cordero, who is employed at the home of now eighty-six-year-old Samuel Adler, linking these two lives. Spanning time and place, The Wind Knows My Name is both a testament to the sacrifices that parents make and a love letter to the children who survive the most unfathomable dangers--and never stop dreaming.

 

Zero Days by Ruth Ware

Hired by companies to break into buildings and hack security systems, Jack and her husband, Gabe, are the best penetration specialists in the business. But after a routine assignment goes horribly wrong, Jack arrives home to find her husband dead. To add to her horror, the police are closing in on their suspect--her. Suddenly on the run and quickly running out of options, Jack must decide who she can trust as she circles closer to the real killer in this unputdownable and heart-pounding mystery from an author whose propulsive prose keeps readers on the hook and refuses to let anyone off until all has been revealed.