Best New Books: Week of 4/2/2019

It’s a new month, and with it comes lots of great new books! With everything from topical dramas, to witty parables, to true crime, and even a cookbook, April is off to a great start! Scroll down to find out all about the best titles arriving at the library today and click the links below them to place yourself on hold!



FICTION



Women Talking by  Miriam Toews

women talkingOne evening, eight Mennonite women climb into a hay loft to conduct a secret meeting. For the past two years, each of these women, and more than a hundred other girls in their colony, has been repeatedly violated in the night by demons coming to punish them for their sins. Now that the women have learned they were in fact drugged and attacked by a group of men from their own community, they are determined to protect themselves and their daughters from future harm.

While the men of the colony are off in the city, attempting to raise enough money to bail out the rapists and bring them home, these women—all illiterate, without any knowledge of the world outside their community and unable even to speak the language of the country they live in—have very little time to make a choice: Should they stay in the only world they’ve ever known or should they dare to escape?

Based on real events and told through the “minutes” of the women’s all-female symposium, Toews’s masterful novel uses wry, politically engaged humor to relate this tale of women claiming their own power to decide.

Description from Goodreads.

“A painful, thought-provoking, strangely lovely gem rendered broadly relevant by our #MeToo moment….At the heart of Women Talking lies the question of how women can create a better world for themselves and for those they love amid a culture of male sexual violence, the continued power of patriarchy, their own differences, and the limits of language itself. It’s a question that resonates across the globe today, and in answering it, we could do much worse than to start with the manifesto of the women of Molotschna: “We want our children to be safe . . . We want to be steadfast in our faith. We want to think.” – The Boston Globe

“The book is a feminist manifesto that delicately unwraps the horror, but also bubbles with the love and wry humor that has endeared Toews to readers.” – The New York Times

“Sharp and devastating… a testament to the power of women’s collective voices.” – Buzzfeed

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook


A Wonderful Stroke of Luck by  Ann Beattie

wonderful stroke of luckAs a member of the Honor Society at Bailey Academy, one of the most prestigious boarding schools in the country, Ben falls under the tutelage of Pierre LaVerdere, a brilliant, enigmatic teacher who instructs his charges on how to discuss current events, how to think about art and literature, and how to form opinions for themselves. Ben develops close friendships with LaVerdere’s other disciples, and as the years go by the legacy of their teacher and his words remain strong. As Ben moves on, first to college and then to the turbulence of post-grad life in New York City, he comes to feel the pace of his life accelerating, his relationships a jumble, and his career plans in a constant state of flux. What did Bailey really teach him?

After his father dies, Ben develops a curiously close, yet strained intimacy with his stepmother and tries to salvage what he can of his relationship with his sister. A move upstate offers only temporary respite from his anxieties about work and romance and when LaVerdere returns to Ben’s life, everything Ben once thought he knew about the man–and about himself–is called into question. A twenty-first century comedy of manners, A Wonderful Stroke of Luck is a keenly observed work of fiction that shows one of the most iconic writers of our time, once again an astute chronicler of her generation’s ambivalence and sometimes strange ambitions.

Description from Goodreads.

“Even if you’re not old enough to remember the thrill of reading Beattie’s first-ever story to be published in The New Yorker, you’ll find that the short fiction master’s latest foray into long form is a marvel of wry wit and wisdom.” – O, The Oprah Magazine

“Given a week on a deserted island with a shelf of boarding-school novels, I’d start off with A Separate Peace, plow through Prep for the tenth time, and then end with A Wonderful Stroke of Luck, Beattie’s foray into the #MeToo movement, which asks how deeply we internalize the lessons of charismatic, if vaguely nefarious, teachers. . . . A master class.” – Vulture

“Gimlet-eyed Beattie has created a stunningly unnerving and provocative tale spiked with keen cultural allusions and drollery. This jarring dissection of privilege and anxiety, gender expectations, lust, ludicrous predicaments, defensive selfishness, moral confusion, and numbing loneliness projects a matrix of angst somewhat countered by the solace and sustenance found in a quiet life far from the grasping, hurried, hostile world. . . . Beattie’s literary reign continues apace, thanks to her stealthily eviscerating insights and disquieting wit.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

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Lost and Wanted by  Nell Freudenberger

lost and wanted“In the first few months after Charlie died, I began hearing from her much more frequently.”

Helen Clapp is a physics professor. She doesn’t believe in pseudo-science, or time travel and especially not in ghosts. So when she gets a missed call from Charlie, her closest friend from university with whom she hasn’t spoken in over a year, Helen thinks there must be some mistake. Because Charlie died two days ago.

Then when her young son, Jack, claims to have seen Charlie in their house just the other day, Helen begins to have doubts.

Through the grief of the husband and daughter Charlie left behind, Helen is drawn into the orbit of Charlie’s world, slotting in the missing pieces of her friend’s past. And, as she delves into the web of their shared history, Helen finds herself entangled in the forgotten threads of her own life.

Lost and Wanted is a searing novel from one of America’s most exciting writers about the sacred knottiness of female friendship, the forces which fuse us together and those which drive us apart.

Description from Goodreads.

“What do physics and grief have in common? How can a scientist reckon with the inexplicable, for instance, the appearance of a ghost? These are but two of the big questions that power this intellectually rich and soulfully deep novel by one of our most talented fiction writers.” – O, The Oprah Magazine

“[A] stunning portrayal of grief…. Freudenberger resists the impulse to use science solely as metaphor; indeed, readers will learn a great deal about the LIGO project and its Nobel Prize–winning work with cosmic gravitational waves. The integration of ideas from physics sparks in the reader new ways of thinking about the nature of time and existence as well as, on a less cosmic scale, about human relationships. [This] story is about grief not only at the loss of [a] friend but also at the demise of countless possible futures.  A beautiful and moving novel.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED & BOXED REVIEW

“Compelling, seductively poetic; deeply involving, suspenseful and psychologically lush. Freudenberger’s obvious pleasure in the heady realm of physics ensures that Helen is a mesmerizing narrator. Freudenberger is spellbinding in her imaginative use of particle physics as a mirror of human entanglement and uncertainty. She ventures into the curious alignments among physics, memory, sorrow and the fate of consciousness after deathWith daring, zest, insight, wit, and compassion, Lost and Wanted gracefully and thrillingly bridges the divide between science and art.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook | eAudiobook


Stay Up with Hugo Best by  Erin Somers

stay up with hugo bestJune Bloom is a broke, cynical twenty-nine-year-old writer’s assistant on the late-night comedy show, Stay Up with Hugo Best. Hugo Best is in his sixties, a beloved icon of TV and humor, and a notorious womanizer. After he unexpectedly retires and a party is held for his now unemployed staff, June ends up at a dive bar for an open-mic night and prepares for the sad return to the anonymous comedian lifestyle. What she’s not prepared for is a run-in with Hugo at that dive bar. Nor for the invitation that swiftly follows: Hugo asks June to come to his mansion in Greenwich for the long Memorial Day weekend. “No funny business,” he insists.

June, in need of a job and money, confident she can handle herself, but secretly harboring the remains of a childhood crush on the charming older comedian and former role model, accepts. The exact terms of the visit are never spelled out, but June is realistic and clear-eyed enough to guess. Even so, as the weekend unfolds and the enigmatic Hugo gradually reveals himself, their dynamic proves to be much more complicated and less predictable than she expected.

At once hilarious and poignant, brilliantly incisive and terrifically propulsive, Stay Up with Hugo Best is an incredibly timely exploration of sexual politics in the #MeToo age, and the unforgettable story of one young woman’s poignant stumbling into adulthood.

Description from Goodreads.

“A zippy debut…June’s quick wit keeps the banter flowing over a bizarre Memorial Day weekend…the millennial and the magnetic celebrity are surprisingly well suited, two sardonic souls who find themselves connecting…magnificent…a devilishly fun ride.” – Vogue

“On the surface, Somers’ debut is light and breezy, but the narrative is deft, controlled, and deadly smart. She mines depths out of Hollywood’s propensity to look the other way when beloved men behave badly without a hint of preachiness. Instead, she’s interested in complicity… What could be a straightforward novel about a young woman and an older man taking mutual advantage of one another is instead a brilliant study in how rarely we seize opportunities to grow and change for the better—especially if we’re lucky enough to get more than one. An outstanding comedic debut about the deeply unfunny trials of growing up in and out of the spotlight. Somers is a writer to watch.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Somers sidesteps the predictable path the reader might expect this weekend to take, instead meandering into subtle, surprising territory. Within the strict temporal boundaries she has set herself, Somers depicts two equally lost souls unable to connect on a deep level. This is a winning debut.” – Publishers Weekly

Available Formats:

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The Spectators by  Jennifer duBois

spectatorsTalk show host Matthew Miller has made his fame by shining a spotlight on the most unlikely and bizarre secrets of society, exposing them on live television in front of millions of gawking viewers. However, the man behind The Mattie M Show remains a mystery–both to his enormous audience and to those who work alongside him every day. But when the high school students responsible for a mass shooting are found to be devoted fans, Mattie is thrust into the glare of public scrutiny, seen as the wry, detached herald of a culture going downhill and going way too far. Soon, the secrets of Mattie’s past as a brilliant young politician in a crime-ridden New York City begin to push their way to the surface.

In her most daring and multidimensional novel yet, Jennifer duBois vividly portrays the heyday of gay liberation in the seventies and the grip of the AIDS crisis in the eighties, alongside a backstage view of nineties television in an age of moral panic. DuBois explores an enigmatic man’s downfall through the perspectives of two spectators–Cel, Mattie’s skeptical publicist, and Semi, the disillusioned lover from his past.

With wit, heart, and crackling intelligence, The Spectators examines the human capacity for reinvention–and forces us to ask ourselves what we choose to look at, and why.

Description from Goodreads.

The Spectators is a beautifully written, even aphoristic novel, but its greatest strength is its characterization. . . . Brilliantly conceived and . . . utterly unforgettable.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“Elegant, enigmatic, and haunting.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“…a powerful novel.” – Publishers Weekly

Available Formats:

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Lights All Night Long by  Lydia Fitzpatrick

lights all night longLights All Night Long is the stunning story of Ilya Alexandrovich Ekhlakov and his older brother, Vladimir. Two brothers who live in Berlozhniki, a refinery town on the edge of the arctic circle, where they spend their days watching bootleg American VHS tapes and their nights sleeping head-to-toe on the pull-out couch in their apartment. Ilya is a lingual prodigy; Vladimir the worst student at School #652 and an avid explorer of Berlozhniki’s seedier side. Still, the brothers are close, their love a careful balance of admiration and jealousy. When Ilya is tapped for an exchange program between Berlozhniki and an American refinery town, that balance is upset and Vladimir disappears into Berlozhniki’s underworld. 

That winter, Ilya’s last in Russia, a new drug called krokodil surfaces in Berlozhniki and three women are murdered. Just as Ilya is about to depart for America, Vladimir is charged with the murders. Ilya arrives in Effie, Louisiana heartbroken, and in no mood to assimilate. But with the help of his host parents’ daughter – a local girl with secrets of her own – he embarks on a mission to prove Vladimir’s innocence. Lights All Night Long is a thrilling story of the fierce love between brothers, the sacrifices we make for family, and the power the past holds over the future.

Description from Goodreads.

“This vivid coming-of-age novel spools out an engrossing mystery amid a tender story about family ties and adopted homes.” – Esquire

“Beyond the brothers’ crystalline characterizations, Fitzpatrick gifts her intriguing debut with elegant prose, affecting images, and rich settings.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“A glittering debut. . . . The murder mystery is intricate and well-crafted, but the highlight is the relationship between the two brothers—the shy brainiac and the charming addict—and in the smoldering, seething resentment felt by young people. This is a heartbreaking novel about the lengths to which people go to escape their own pain, and the prices people are willing to pay to alleviate the suffering of their loved ones.” – Publishers Weekly

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook


The Girl He Used to Know by  Tracey Garvis Graves

girl he used to knowAnnika Rose likes being alone.
She feels lost in social situations, saying the wrong thing or acting the wrong way – she just can’t read people. She prefers the quiet solitude of books or playing chess to being around others.

Apart from Jonathan. She liked being around him, but she hasn’t seen him for ten years. Until now that is. And she’s not sure he’ll want to see her again after what happened all those years ago.

Annika Rose likes being alone.
Except that, actually, she doesn’t like being alone at all.
 

Description from Goodreads.

“Careful to balance the emotional and intellectual power between Annika and Jonathan, Graves creates a believable love affair in which Annika is not infantilized but rather fully realized as simply different. And her differences become her strengths when catastrophe strikes, compelling Annika to take the lead for the first time in her life. A heartwarming, neurodiverse love story. ” – Kirkus Reviews

“Graves’s strong, autistic heroine fights for the love she once lost in this sensitive, affecting romance.” – Shelf Awareness

“It’s a great love story with two well-written characters that you want to make it together and have a life together.” – Red Carpet Crash

Available Formats:

Print Book | Playaway | eBook | eAudiobook


Boy Swallows Universe by  Trent Dalton

boy swallows universeThe mind can take you anywhere you want to go…

Eli Bell’s life is complicated. His father is lost, his mother is in jail, and his stepdad is a heroin dealer. The most steadfast adult in Eli’s life is Slim—a notorious felon and national record-holder for successful prison escapes—who watches over Eli and August, his silent genius of an older brother.

Exiled far from the rest of the world in Darra, a seedy suburb populated by Polish and Vietnamese refugees, this twelve-year-old boy with an old soul and an adult mind is just trying to follow his heart, learn what it takes to be a good man, and train for a glamorous career in journalism. Life, however, insists on throwing obstacles in Eli’s path—most notably Tytus Broz, Brisbane’s legendary drug dealer.

But the real trouble lies ahead. Eli is about to fall in love, face off against truly bad guys, and fight to save his mother from a certain doom—all before starting high school.

A story of brotherhood, true love, family, and the most unlikely of friendships, Boy Swallows Universe is the tale of an adolescent boy on the cusp of discovering the man he will be. Powerful and kinetic, Trent Dalton’s debut is sure to be one of the most heartbreaking, joyous and exhilarating novels you will experience.

Description from Goodreads.

“Dalton’s splashy, stellar debut makes the typical coming-of-age novel look bland by comparison…In less adept hands, these antics might descend into whimsy, but Dalton’s broadly observant eye, ability to temper pathos with humor, and thorough understanding of the mechanics of plot prevent the novel from breaking into sparkling pieces…This is an outstanding debut.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“Welcome to the weird and wonderful universe of Trent Dalton, whose first work of fiction is, without exaggeration, the best Australian novel I have read in more than a decade. . . . The last 100 pages of Boy Swallows Universe propel you like an express train to a conclusion that is profound and complex and unashamedly commercial. . . . The book is jam-packed with such witty and profound insights into what’s wrong and what’s right with Australia and the world. . . . I read it in two sittings and immediately want to read it again. In its deft integration of the sacred and the profane, of high ideals and low villainy, it somehow reminded me of a favorite French movie, Diva. A rollicking ride, rich in philosophy, wit, truth and pathos.” – Sydney Morning Herald

“A wonderful surprise: sharp as a drawer full of knives in terms of subject matter; unrepentantly joyous in its child’s-eye view of the world; the best literary debut in a month of Sundays.” – The Weekend Australian

Available Formats:

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HISTORICAL FICTION



The Damascus Road: A Novel of Saint Paul by  Jay Parini

damascus roadIn the years after Christ’s crucifixion, Paul of Tarsus, a prosperous tentmaker and Jewish scholar, took it upon himself to persecute the small groups of his followers that sprung up. But on the road to Damascus, he had some sort of blinding vision, a profound conversion experience that transformed Paul into the most effective and influential messenger Christianity has ever had.

In The Damascus Road novelist Jay Parini brings this fascinating and ever-controversial figure to full human life, capturing his visionary passions and vast contradictions. In relating Paul’s epic journeys, both geographical and spiritual, he unfolds a vivid panorama of the ancient world on the verge of epochal change. And in the alternating voice of the Gospel writer Luke, Paul’s travel companion, scribe, and ghostwriter, a cooler perspective on his actions and beliefs emerges — ironic but still filled with wonder at Paul’s unshakable commitment to the Christ and his divinity.

Description from Goodreads.

“Fantastic. . .Parini has produced a stellar novel that humanizes the Christian message and its messengers.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“Sweeping in scope, yet as intimate as a breath. . .Few [stories] are written with the intense detail and keen insight that Parini provides. . .The beauty of [Parini’s] language is everywhere. . .A deeply intimate portrait… earthy and transcendent.” – Booklist 

“An appealing introduction for readers who know little of these figures beyond the scripture they left. . .There is an undeniable thrill in picturing these men making up rules on the fly that will not only define Christianity but shape the world as we know it today.” – The Wall Street Journal 

Available Formats:

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The Editor by  Steven Rowley

editorAfter years of trying to make it as a writer in 1990s New York City, James Smale finally sells his novel to an editor at a major publishing house: none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Jackie–or Mrs. Onassis, as she’s known in the office–has fallen in love with James’s candidly autobiographical novel, one that exposes his own dysfunctional family. But when the book’s forthcoming publication threatens to unravel already fragile relationships, both within his family and with his partner, James finds that he can’t bring himself to finish the manuscript. 

Jackie and James develop an unexpected friendship, and she pushes him to write an authentic ending, encouraging him to head home to confront the truth about his relationship with his mother. Then a long-held family secret is revealed, and he realizes his editor may have had a larger plan that goes beyond the page… 

From the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus comes a funny, poignant, and highly original novel about an author whose relationship with his very famous book editor will change him forever–both as a writer and a son.

Description from Goodreads.

“The resonance of Rowley’s originality and sensitivity shines on every page. He has written a refreshing, superbly crafted novel of hard-won self-discovery filled with big, well-paced scenes and a pitch-perfect blend of humor and compassion that will charm and fully engage readers.” – Shelf Awareness

“A poignant tale…Rowley deliberately mines the sentiment of the mother/son bond, but skillfully saves it from sentimentality; this is a winning dissection of family, forgiveness, and fame.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“While diving deep into questions of identity, loyalty, and absolution within the bonds of family, Rowley, author of the beloved Lily and the Octopus, soars to satisfying heights in this deeply sensitive depiction of the symbiotic relationships at the heart of every good professional, and personal, partnership.” – Booklist 

Available Formats:

Print Book | Audiobook | eBook | eAudiobook



NONFICTION



Fast Cakes: Easy Bakes in Minutes by  Mary Berry

fast cakesFast Cakes is an unmissable, definitive new baking book from Mary Berry. Mary has incorporated her ‘all-in-one’ method of preparation into as many recipes as possible, so her recipes are faster to make than ever. Nearly 100 of the bakes take only 10 minutes to make and Mary has included small bake variations for fruit cakes, which traditionally take a long time in the oven, so you can make one even when you are pushed for time.

There are scones, buns and biscuits that you can whip up for tea, traybakes and fruit loaves perfect for a school or village fete and of course foolproof cakes for every occasion from everyday recipes such as a Honey and Almond Cake to Mary’s First-Rate Chocolate Cake. Not forgetting recipes you can make with your kids from Happy Face Biscuits to Traffic Lights and Jammy Buns.

If you miss Mary’s wisdom and inspiration in The Great British Bake Off, or want a brand-new companion to Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, this is the cookbook for you, with over 150 easy recipes to make with confidence.

Straightforward recipes you can trust, Fast Cakes is a must-have for all busy bakers.

Description from Goodreads.

“It’s designed so neatly … that it’s practically impossible to miss a step or misunderstand an instruction.” – Irish Examiner

“Reliable and clear, a Mary Berry recipe would never let you down.” – Mail on Sunday

Available Formats:

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Fifty Things That Aren’t My Fault: Essays from the Grown-Up Years by  Cathy Guisewite

fifty things that aren't my faultAs the creator of Cathy, Cathy Guisewite found her way into the hearts of readers more than forty years ago, and has been there ever since. Her hilarious and deeply relatable look at the challenges of womanhood in a changing world became a cultural touchstone for women everywhere. Now Guisewite returns with her signature wit and warmth in this debut essay collection about another time of big transition, when everything starts changing and disappearing without permission: aging parents, aging children, aging self stuck in the middle.

With her uniquely wry and funny admissions and insights, Guisewite unearths the humor and horror of everything from the mundane (trying to introduce her parents to TiVo and facing four decades’ worth of unorganized photos) to the profound (finding a purpose post-retirement, helping parents downsize their lives, and declaring freedrom from all those things that hold us back). No longer confined to the limits of four comic panels, Guisewite holds out her hand in prose form and becomes a reassuring companion for those on the threshold of “what happens next.” Heartfelt and humane and always cathartic, Fifty Things That Aren’t My Fault is ideal reading for mothers, daughters, and anyone who is caught somewhere in between.

Description from Goodreads.

“Often hilarious and true, [Fifty Things That Aren’t My Fault] gets at that tension between the empowerment propaganda women are raised on and the gendered I-am-responsible-for-everyone’s-well-being reality in which most of us still live.” – TIME

“Cathy’s appeal lay in the fact that she spoke openly about the things that women weren’t supposed to talk about: anxiety and insecurity and frustrations. She was a touchstone for neurotic girls and women of all ages…. [Her] forthcoming essay collection is as full of humor and pathos about life’s many mundanities as you’d want it to be. Only this time, there’s no comic strips, it’s all Guisewite’s voice—reliably sane, sparkling, and suffused with the same warmth and wit as we’ve all come to expect. What a treat.” – Nylon

“Equally parts warm, laugh-out-loud funny, and charming. Guaranteed to make you fall in love with Cathy all over again.” – PopSugar

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook


Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen by  Mary Norris

greek to meIn her New York Times bestseller Between You & Me, Mary Norris delighted readers with her irreverent tales of pencils and punctuation in The New Yorker’s celebrated copy department. In Greek to Me, she delivers another wise and funny paean to the art of self-expression, this time filtered through her greatest passion: all things Greek.

Greek to Me is a charming account of Norris’s lifelong love affair with words and her solo adventures in the land of olive trees and ouzo. Along the way, Norris explains how the alphabet originated in Greece, makes the case for Athena as a feminist icon, goes searching for the fabled Baths of Aphrodite, and reveals the surprising ways Greek helped form English. Filled with Norris’s memorable encounters with Greek words, Greek gods, Greek wine—and more than a few Greek men—Greek to Me is the Comma Queen’s fresh take on Greece and the exotic yet strangely familiar language that so deeply influences our own.

Description from Goodreads.

“An entertaining, erudite, and altogether delightful journey fueled by the love of language.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“[Norris] offers an exuberant memoir of her transformation from a sheltered schoolgirl in Ohio to a passionate Hellenophile…A delightful celebration of a consuming passion.” – Kirkus Reviews

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook


Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow by  Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

stony the roadThe abolition of slavery in the aftermath of the Civil War is a familiar story, as is the civil rights revolution that transformed the nation after World War II. But the century in between remains a mystery: if emancipation sparked “a new birth of freedom” in Lincoln’s America, why was it necessary to march in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s America? In this new book, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., one of our leading chroniclers of the African-American experience, seeks to answer that question in a history that moves from the Reconstruction Era to the “nadir” of the African-American experience under Jim Crow, through to World War I and the Harlem Renaissance.

Through his close reading of the visual culture of this tragic era, Gates reveals the many faces of Jim Crow and how, together, they reinforced a stark color line between white and black Americans. Bringing a lifetime of wisdom to bear as a scholar, filmmaker, and public intellectual, Gates uncovers the roots of structural racism in our own time, while showing how African Americans after slavery combatted it by articulating a vision of a “New Negro” to force the nation to recognize their humanity and unique contributions to America as it hurtled toward the modern age.

The story Gates tells begins with great hope, with the Emancipation Proclamation, Union victory, and the liberation of nearly 4 million enslaved African-Americans. Until 1877, the federal government, goaded by the activism of Frederick Douglass and many others, tried at various turns to sustain their new rights. But the terror unleashed by white paramilitary groups in the former Confederacy, combined with deteriorating economic conditions and a loss of Northern will, restored “home rule” to the South. The retreat from Reconstruction was followed by one of the most violent periods in our history, with thousands of black people murdered or lynched and many more afflicted by the degrading impositions of Jim Crow segregation.

An essential tour through one of America’s fundamental historical tragedies, Stony the Road is also a story of heroic resistance, as figures such as W. E. B. Du Bois and Ida B. Wells fought to create a counter-narrative, and culture, inside the lion’s mouth. As sobering as this tale is, it also has within it the inspiration that comes with encountering the hopes our ancestors advanced against the longest odds.

Description from Goodreads.

“A provocative, lucid, and urgent contribution to the study of race in America.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Insightfully demonstrates how history repeats itself . . . This excellent text, augmented by a disturbing collection of late-19th- and early-20th-century racist images, is indispensable for understanding American history.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“In [Gates’s] signature lucid and compelling approach to history . . . a fresh, much-needed inquiry into a misunderstood yet urgently relevant era.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

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Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by  Lori Gottlieb

maybe you should talk to someoneFrom a New York Times best-selling author, psychotherapist, and national advice columnist, a hilarious, thought-provoking, and surprising new book that takes us behind the scenes of a therapist’s world—where her patients are looking for answers (and so is she).

One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose office she suddenly lands. As Gottlieb explores the inner chambers of her patients’ lives—a self-absorbed Hollywood producer, a young newlywed diagnosed with a terminal illness, a senior citizen threatening to end her life on her birthday if nothing gets better, and a twenty-something who can’t stop hooking up with the wrong guys—she finds that the questions they are struggling with are the very ones she is now bringing to Wendell: about desire and need, guilt and redemption, meaning and mortality, loneliness and love.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is revolutionary in its candor, pulling back the curtain on the therapeutic process and offering the rarest of gifts: an entertaining, illuminating, and quite possibly life-changing account of our own mysterious lives and our power to transform them.

Description from Goodreads.

“Written with grace, humor, wisdom, and compassion, this [is a] heartwarming journey of self-discovery.” – Library Journal

“Warm, approachable and funny—a pleasure to read.” – BookPage

“Heartwarming and upbeat, this memoir demystifies therapy and celebrates the human spirit.” – Shelf Awareness

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook


The Last Stone: A Masterpiece of Criminal Interrogation by  Mark Bowden

last stoneOn March 29, 1975, sisters Katherine and Sheila Lyons, age 10 and 12, disappeared during a trip to a shopping mall in suburban Washington, D.C. Three days later, eighteen-year-old Lloyd Welch visited the Montgomery County Police with a tip: he had seen the Lyons girls at the mall that day and had watched them climb into a strange man’s car. Welch’s tip led nowhere, and the police dismissed him as a troublemaking teen wasting their time. As the weeks passed and the police’s massive search for the girls came up empty, grief, shock, and horror spread out from the Lyons family to overtake the entire region. The trail went cold, the investigation was shelved, and hope for justice waned.

Then, in 2013, a detective on the department’s cold case squad reopened the Lyons files and soon discovered that the officers had missed something big about Lloyd Welch in 1975. That same week, a young girl who had seen the Lyons sisters at the mall described a man who had been following her throughout the day. An artist had even produced a sketch: It looked remarkably like Lloyd.

Description from Goodreads.

“Riveting…A keen synthesis of an intricate, decades long investigation, a stomach-churning unsolved crime, and a solid grasp of time, place, and character results in what is sure to be another bestseller for Bowden.” – Kirkus Reviews 

“The outcome won’t (or shouldn’t) be a total surprise; the end-game feels inevitable, and readers will be compelled to conduct their own internet-based research as they go. But in the same way that The Jinx and The Staircase were compulsively watchable despite what you might have known about the outcomes, the detectives’ shrewd diligence and the mechanics of their investigation make the ride-along well worth the time.” – Amazon Book Review

Available Formats:

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