New Titles on Our Shelf and on Hoopla!

Now that the rush of the Holidays are over, and we’re settling down into the winter for a bit longer, I hope you’re getting cozy reading some great books from our library!  We have some new titles by high-demand authors that have just come in: Neighbors by Danielle Steel; All the Colors of Night by Jane Ann Krentz; Truly, Madly, Deeply by Karen Kingsbury; Hush-Hush by Stuart Woods; Prodigal Son by Gregg Hurwitz; Out of Hounds by Rita Mae Brown; Under the Alaskan Ice by Karen Harper; The Children’s Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin; Sharpe’s Trafalgar by Bernard Cornwell; The Russian by James Patterson (another Michael Bennett story); The Scorpion’s Tail by Preston & Child; Spin by Patricia Cornwell, which is part of her Captain Chase series; American Traitor by Brad Taylor; Before She Disappeared  by Lisa Gardner; and Till Murder Do Us Part: True-Crime Thrillers by James Patterson.  Make your requests now and get on the list for your favorites!

New nonfiction titles include some biographies, history, economics, health, and organizing your home – what a wide spectrum!  Bezonomics: How Amazon is Changing Our Lives and What the World’s Best Companies Are Learning From It by Brian Dumain offers a highly readable and behind-the-scenes glimpse of how Jeff Bezos built the Amazon empire.

Some of our new biographies include Me and Sister Bobbie: True Tales of the Family Band by Willie and Bobbie Nelson offers insight how music helped heal some of the pain of their childhood in East Texas.  Walking with Ghosts: A Memoir by Gabriel Byrne is heartfelt, funny and at times poignant.  Not only does Byrne write about his childhood and his rise to stardom; he also shares the Ireland of his childhood.  Michael J. Fox writes about friendships and family while dealing with illness in No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality.  The Last Queen: Elizabeth II’s 70-Year Battle to Save the House of Windsor by Clive Irving showcases the royal family and how they’ve evolved with the ever-changing world around them.   The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr. by Peniel E. Joseph is a dual biography that reveals the two men’s relationship and how it affected their movements.  This is a three-for-one: readers will get a look at both men’s lives, as well as the history of their time and era they worked in. 

History titles include The Crooked Path to Abolition Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution by James Oakes.  This book offers a look not only at Lincoln and the abolition of slavery, but also offers a deep explanation of States’ Rights and how the Constitution addressed both sides.  Lynn Cheney, wife of the former Vice President, writes about our earliest founding fathers and their work in hammering out the government of the United States in The Virginia Dynasty: Four Presidents and the Creation of the American Nation.  Veteran and prolific history writer Jon Meacham explains Thomas Jefferson’s deepest intentions of the Constitution in In the Hands of the People: Thomas Jefferson on Equality, Faith, Freedom, Compromise, and the Art of Citizenship. Meacham has collected some of the most inspiring words written about the document, including some by Jefferson himself.

We have so many new books in, that I’m going to end by showcasing a few of my recent favorites.

Leave Only Footprints: My Acadia-to-Zion Journey Through Every National Park by Conor Knighton is a beautiful look behind the author’s epic journey to visit every National Park in one year.  The writing is wonderful and insightful, and this book could be a travel guide for your own such journey.  Knighton offers tidbits of information about the parks and will inspire readers to take their own journey to these majestic parks.

When I picked up A Saint From Texas by Edmund White, I’ll admit that my curiosity was piqued by the title and didn’t know what to expect.  This story takes two sisters from a hardscrabble existence in 1950s Texas to South America, Paris, and right here in Dallas.  Not just a story of twin sisters’ love for each other, but it also tells a story of just how deeply past experiences define our futures.

Every few years a book comes along with such quirky characters and story line that I just can’t help but want to cheer the characters along and celebrate their victories right along with them.  Bear Necessity by James Gould-Bourn is that book this year.  It’s a special story about a single father with a special needs son who goes to great lengths to protect and nurture him.  This book will be a favorite of readers who loved Graeme Simsion’s Rosie trilogy.

Like I said earlier, we have so many new books that I can’t mention them all!  But I do want to remind you all of our great new streaming product, Hoopla, which features not only movies and television shows, but ebooks and audiobooks.  Some very current, high-demand books are available with no wait time right now:  The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley, The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins, Virgin River by Robyn Carr, The Awakening, Nora Roberts’ newest title, almost all of the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn, News of the World by Paulette Jiles, The Orphan Collector by Ellen Marie Wiseman, Gabriel Byrne’s new memoir that I’ve mentioned already in this blog, and The Water Keeper  by Charles Finch.

New Nonfiction and Fiction Titles

I hope you’re all having a very Happy Holiday Season and are finding time to relax and read!  Our latest boxes of new books contained some very interesting nonfiction, about many fascinating people or events.

To go along with our family history theme that I’ve been doing on our “Tea Talk with a Librarian” series, we have Questions to Ask Your Parents Before Its Too Late by Shannon L. Alder.  This book was originally written to guide readers in getting to know their parents better, but it will help family historians know what questions to ask about their parents’ childhoods, family traditions, and views on spirituality.  The book contains over 300 questions to ask your parents or older relatives.

Combine a love of travel with an interest in American history with two new travel guides — America’s National Historic Trails: Walking the Trails of History by Karen Berger and Oregon Trail Road Trip: Historic Sites, Small Towns, and Scenic Landscapes Along the Legendary Westward Route by Katrina Emery.  The first book is a large, gorgeous coffee table-type book that inspires readers to visit lands covered by the Pony Express and early explorers. Oregon Trail Road Trip is a more practical size that can be taken along on any trip.  It features 20-day road trip plan that starts in Independence Missouri and culminates in Oregon City.

Seventies music lovers will enjoy Do You Feel Like I Do?: A Memoir by Peter Frampton, which covers his early years with several mega-groups all the way to the twilight of his career.  This memoir offers an inside look into the British music scene of the 1970s.  Additional titles about music and musicians include The Last Days of John Lennon by James Patterson (yes, that James Patterson!) and Me and Patsy: Kickin’ Up Dust by Loretta Lynn.  Loretta Lynn tells the story behind her short, but very special friendship with Patsy Cline.

Some other new biographies and memoirs include Ree Drummond’s candid look at her life in rural northern Oklahoma: Frontier Follies: Adventures in Marriage and Motherhood in the Middle of Nowhere, and Meghan and Harry: The Real Story by Lady Colin Campbell, the royal insider who loves to tell all in her books.  Many will remember her books about other British royals, including Princess Diana.

Some very timely titles include Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic by Andrew Cuomo, and Don’t Be a Victim: Fighting Back Against America’s Crime Wave by Nancy Grace, who has been a victim of crime herself.

New books about history span from the Vikings to the American Frontier in the 1840s to the Space Age.  In Children of Ash and Elm: A History of the Vikings, archaeologist and lecturer Neil Price offers a very comprehensive look into the history and legacy of this very influential culture.  The King of Confidence: A Tale of Utopian Dreamers, Frontier Schemers, True Believers, False Prophets, and the Murder of an American Monarch by Miles Harvey is a very readable and engaging look at the American frontier in the 1840s and 50s, as told through the story of the Mormons’ move westward and a splinter group in Michigan.  Finally, Shuttle, Houston: My Life in the Center Seat of Mission Control by Paul Dye take a deep look into NASA during the most prolific years of space exploration.  Paul Dye is the former and longest-serving  Flight Director of NASA, so this book truly does offer an inside look.

On the fiction front, we have some new books by some popular authors: Hidden in Plain Sight by Jeffrey Archer, Daylight by David Baldacci, and Dark Tides by Philippa Gregory and The Searchers by Tana French.  Joyce Carol Oates’ newest title is Cardiff, By the Sea: Four Novellas Suspense. Science fiction author Ernest Cline follows up Ready Player One with Ready Player Two.

Libraries center in two new fiction titles:  Midnight Library by Matt Haig, and The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis.  Midnight Library is a delightful fantasy tale about a library containing an infinite number of books that tell the alternate stories of people’s lives, the one they would have lived if they had made different choices. Fiona Davis offers readers a view of another New York City landmark in The Lions of Fifth Avenue.  As in her previous titles, Davis writes about the plight of women making hard choices in life and fighting past the stereotypes they are often forced into.

Marie Benedict writes about another strong, interesting woman – author Agatha Christie – in The Mystery of Mrs. Christie.  Agatha Christie disappeared for 11 days in 1926, a mystery that is still unsolved today.  In Perestroika in Paris, Jane Smiley writes about a horse, a boy, a dog, a raven and two ducks.  All of these characters spend a cold winter in Paris having all sorts of adventures.

Travel seems to be a theme in this post! The Garden of Promises and Lies by Paula Brackston is the second in her time-traveling series.  Paris Is Always a Good Idea by Jenn McKinlay takes readers on a journey through Ireland, France, and Italy.  Miss Benson’s Beetles by Rachel Joyce is a heart-warming and charming story of travel, the power of friendship, and the fulfillment of pursing a dream.  Miss Benson’s Beetles has the same charm and affirmation as The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. 

We have many other new titles on the shelf, so come see them! We’re open Tuesday through Thursday from 10am to 6pm, and on Fridays and Saturdays from 10am to 5pm.  Don’t forget that you can sign up to receive notices when I’ve posted something new.  You can do that at the bottom of this page.

Happy Reading!

Hoopla – Our New Service

Hello!  We are getting a lot of new books in this week, and my next post in a few days will be all about those.

I wanted to use this forum to make sure you all know about our new digital service, Hoopla.  Hoopla is a streaming service not only for movies, television shows, and music; but there is also a healthy amount of ebooks and audiobooks available.  All items are available instantly, so there’s no wait time for any title on Hoopla!

 The audiobook selection contains quite a few Holiday books, including A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, the children’s classic story by Barbara Robinson.  There are Holiday titles by David Baldacci (The Christmas Train), Susan Mallery, and Melody Carlson.  There are also some classic titles, such as most of Jane Austen’s novels, several by Charles Dickens, and The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. For mystery and thriller lovers, there are titles by Sara Paretsky, Lisa Jewell, Greg Iles, and James Grippando.

The ebook selection is just as wide, with titles by Robin Carr, Mary Kay Andrews, Kate Quinn, J. A. Jance, and Daniel Silva.  There are even curated collections that are showcased in each format’s landing page.  This month features Historical Fiction about women, Fashion Fiction, Holiday Classics, and Book Club selections.  If you’re watching and enjoying The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, then you can read the book on Hoopla by Walter Tevis.

The movies and television series are an eclectic mix that includes classics, fairly recent releases, international films, and children’s animated movies.  The Holiday offerings are really good.  I watched a really endearing movie over the weekend, Journey to the Christmas Star. It is based on a Norwegian folk tale, and the film was produced there.  It is originally in Norwegian with English dubbed over, but it’s done well, so it’s not hard to follow.  It involves a kingdom, several fun characters including some really cute elves, and a long-lost princess.  I highly recommend it for the whole family.  Hoopla does offer several of the romance movies set around the Holidays, but there are some classics as well.  These include the 1959 version of Miracle on 34th Street, the 1935 version of A Christmas Carol, and one of my favorites, Beyond Christmas.    For the whole family, there are several animated Holiday titles to choose from.

To use Hoopla, download the free app (found in either the Google Play Store or the iTunes store). On your computer, tablet or smart phone.   Log in with your library card number and PIN and create an account with your email and a password of your choosing.  Library staff can offer assistance with this service.

Hot Titles by High-Demand Authors

Late October and early November are traditionally busy times in the U.S. publishing market, especially for titles by high-demand authors.  We have several new books from new authors and some of your favorites. Look at the bottom of the post for a list.

We’ve got several new books in, and if espionage is an interest of yours, we have three exciting titles that you will like.  Agent Sonya: Moscow’s Most Daring Wartime Spy by journalist Ben Mcintyre, is the true story of Ursula Burton, an undercover high-ranking Soviet intelligence officer who lived a quiet life in a village in the Cotswolds with her husband and children.  All the while she was hunted by intelligence organizations of all the major powers in the world.  This is a riveting but insightful book.  If you liked The Unexpected Spy by Tracy Walder, you will like this book as well.  The Quiet Americans: Four CIA Agents at the Dawn of the Cold War by Scott Anderson exposes the story of the CIA’s original four spies, a mish-mash of unlikely men who set the path of American espionage. In The Spymasters: How the CIA Directors Shape History and the Future by Chris Whipple decodes the history of the growth of power of this agency and offers behind-the-scenes glimpse through interviews with many who have seen the CIA in action first-hand.

If you like Southern literature or reading about the South, then we have some new titles for you to enjoy!  Columnist Rick Bragg has compiled the best of his columns from Southern Living and Guns and Gardens magazines in Where I Come From: Stories from the Deep South.  These columns cover all things southern, from why Southern men should always carry a knife to the best way to kill fire ants with humor and wit.  Fannie Flagg takes us, and many of our favorite characters, back to the Whistle Stop Café in The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop.  This book is filled with southern humor and is as heart-warming as her other novels have been.  She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs by Sarah Smarsh tells the story of a quieter feminism that cultural icon Dolly Parton exuded.  This is not really a read just about the South, rather one that pays tribute to hard-working, overlooked women all over the United States.

There are so many new books out by high-demand authors, that I’m just going to list them here by author and title:

V.C.Andrews                      Whispering Hearts

Ace Atkins                           Robert B. Parker’s Someone to Watch Over Me

Robyn Carr                          Return to Virgin River

Lee Child                              The Sentinel

John Connolly                    The Dirty South, Volume 18

Clive Cussler                       Marauder

Janet Daily                           Paradise Peak

Janet Evanovich                Fortune and Glory, Volume 27

Jasper Fforde                     The Constant Rabbit

Heather Graham              Deadly Touch

Heather Graham              Dreaming Death

John Grisham                     Time for Mercy

Lisa Jewell                           Invisible Girl

Craig Johnson                    Next to Last Stand: A Longmire Mystery

Sophie Kinsella                  Love Your Life

Mike Lupica                        Robert B. Parker’s Fool’s Paradise

James Patterson               The Coast to Coast Murders

James Patterson               Three Women Disappear

Louise Penny                     All the Devils are Here

Jodi Picoult                         The Book of Two Ways

Marilynne Robinson        Jack

Jess Walter                         The Cold Millions

Stuart Woods                    The Shakeup

You can come by the library to browse through them in our new books section, or you can place a hold on any of them either through our app or at our catalog here:  https://uppl.ent.sirsi.net/client/en_US/external/?dt=list

Halloween Reads from Classic American Authors

Happy Hallowreading!  One of our library customers asked me if I read things seasonally or certain things during the different seasons, but the only answer I could come up with is for Halloween.   Having a background in American History and Literature, a few American classic writers come to mind.

My personal tradition is to read Edgar Allan Poe short stories a few nights before and on Halloween.  They’re beautifully and lyrically written and some of them are spine-tingling scary.  I suggest The Tale-Tell Heart and The Cask of Amontillado, both available in some anthologies we have here at the library and on numerous places online.  For lovers of suspense, The Pit and the Pendulum is a great choice.  The reader feels the despair and the pain of  the prisoner.  These stories all lead up to a scary, horrible climax with grace and great prose.

Another classic American writer whose works are fun to read this time of year is Nathanial Hawthorne.  Young Goodman Brown is set on Halloween night in chilly New England.  The story has the classic plot of good versus evil, but it is fun to try to figure out the symbolism throughout the story.  It’s a perfect Halloween read!  Other Hawthorne stories that are frightening include Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment and Rappacini’s Daughter.  We actually have the film version of these two stories on DVD, starring Vincent Price and a very young Beverly Garland.  The House of Seven Gables, also by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a creepy story about family turmoil, struggle, and a murder.  We have this book in electronic format and on DVD, also starring Vincent Price.

And lastly, we have Washington Irving’s Tales of the Supernatural, an anthology that includes several spooky stories involving ghosts, the Devil himself, and pirate treasure.  What a combination!  Tales of the Supernatural includes The Spectre Bridegroom, The Devil and Tom Walker, and The Legend of the Enchanted Soldier.  It also includes the all-time classic Halloween story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. 

 Many of these stories are now in the public domain, so you can find them online in full text.  You can find many of them in the Guttenberg Project collection online here:  https://uppl.ent.sirsi.net/client/en_US/default/?rm=OPEN+SOURCE+DA0%7C%7C%7C1%7C%7C%7C1%7C%7C%7Ctrue.  Type in the name of the story or author you are looking for in the search bar.  We also have anthologies, in print and in electronic format, containing some of these stories, in the library.  If you need help finding them on the Libby app, please give us a call at 214-363-9095 or email me at sperry@uptexas.org.

I will also be talking about some more contemporary Halloween Reading on Wednesday, October 21st at 2pm on Facebook live.  I hope you join me there!

Mindfulness for Kids

Returning to school can be a stressful experience for kids, especially while wearing a mask and worrying about Covid-19. Mindfulness, a practice centered on self-awareness and focusing on the present moment, has been scientifically proven to improve kids’ ability to respond to stressors. By identifying and accepting their thoughts and emotions, children increase their well-being and gain the tools they need to deal with difficult situations. These resources, available from UP Library, help to teach kids mindfulness in a variety of ways.

Breathe Like a Bear: 30 Mindful Moments for Kids to Feel Calm and Focused Anywhere, Anytime (DVD) 

A collection of 30 exercises that teach children how to regulate their emotions through breathing and mindfulness. Children can learn to control their emotions and body as they practice these exercises in the car, on the soccer field, or before a test at school. Short and easy to memorize, these methods can also help families develop their own mindfulness practices at home. 

Meditation is an Open Sky: Mindfulness for Kids by Whitney Stewart 

If you would like to practice mindfulness using a book rather than a DVD, this book helps children grow in awareness of their thoughts and emotions. An elephant and monkey serve as meditation guides and the gentle illustrations lead kids through nine different mindfulness exercises for gaining focus, relaxation, and clarity. Included is a list of frequently asked questions about meditation, and the encouragement that each person moves through these exercises differently and at their own pace. 

Breathing Makes It Better: A Book for Sad Days, Mad Days, Glad Days, and All the Days In-Between by Christopher Willard 

Colorful illustrations and simple language take kids through the different feelings they may experience each day, and teaches them to apply mindfulness in each situation. Families might read the book from start to finish, or may choose to work through a relevant emotion as needed. Tips for parents are also included at the end for leading children through additional mindfulness practices. 

My Magic Breath by Nick Ortner

This interactive picture book invites children into a simple breathing pattern as they read. As they do, they learn to calm their frustration and anger, replace sadness with happiness, and release tension. The beautiful illustrations make this an inviting mindfulness tool for preschoolers and elementary kids, who will love using their own magic breath to make worries disappear! 

Calm with the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

This miniature picture book is a simple tool for teaching even the youngest children the importance of mindfulness. Carle’s beloved caterpillar guides readers through deep breaths and relaxation techniques, showing them to soothe themselves when sad, frightened, or worried.

New Fiction and A lot of Nonfiction

I hope you’re all enjoying the  pretty weather and getting some good reading time in.  We have a few new fiction titles, not by high-demand authors, but really good nonetheless.  The Queen of Tuesday by Darin Strauss offers a glimpse of mid-century American culture and establishes Lucille Ball as the main influencer of her time.  The story revolves around a romance – an affair that the author’s grandfather may have had with Lucille Ball – but mixes the fiction of the romance with some of the facts of Ball’s life.  Be prepared to be surprised to learn that there was much more to Lucille Ball’s life than what we saw on television.

Paris Never Leaves You by Ellen Feldman is set in a book store in Paris during World War II.  It looks at the toll that living in France during the War and Occupation took on many.

How Lulu Lost Her Mind by Rachel Gibson is a mother and daughter relationship story that is told with humor and compassion that will resonate with the reader as they contemplate their relationships with their own mothers.

Monogamy by Sue Miller will probably be my favorite book of 2020.  It’s the story of the complications of marriage and blended families with one big secret that tears down everything a woman believed about her life.  The relationships in the book are messy, but the book is engrossing.  I couldn’t put it down.

I received an early copy of The Big Door Prize by M.O. Walsh earlier this year and have been impatient for it to be published so I could share it with you all!  In a small Louisiana town, a machine appears in the local grocery store that changes quite a bit for this small Southern town.  For two dollars and a swab of a person’s cheek, it can tell them what their life’s potential is.  And the revelations that the machine offers challenges people’s relationships, self-esteem and satisfaction levels.  This book is magical realism at its best, and the graceful writing will have the readers enthralled.

Just a few other new fiction titles to mention are The Geometry of Holding Hands, the newest installment in Alexander McCall Smith’s Isabel Dalhousie series; The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue is a work of historical fiction with modern and real-life influences.  It’s a survival story set against the back drop of the Influenza Pandemic of 1918.

Robert Galbraith (also known as J.K. Rowling) adds another title to her Cormoran Strike novels in Troubled Blood.

And lastly in my discussion about new fiction titles is Dear Ann by Bobbie Ann Mason.  Her first novel, In Country, is now considered a post-modern classic, and this latest title probably will be as well.  Dear Ann leads the reader down the path of a re-examination of a first love and all the living that the main character either did or didn’t do in her life.  It’s as gritty and real as In Country.

 New non-fiction titles on our shelves include The Hard Things about Hard Things by entrepreneur Ben Horowitz, His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and His Power of Hope by Jon Meacham, and Everything Beautiful In Its Time: Seasons of Love and Loss by Jenna Bush Hager.  If you want to understand more about Netflix and how it has reinvented itself over and over, then read No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention by Reed Hastings.  In A Knock at Midnight: A Story of Hope, Justice, and Freedom   by Brittany K Barnett takes readers on her journey to understand the American justice system when, as a young law student, she comes across a case that will change her life forever.  We have Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ memoir, titled Speaking for Myself: Faith, Freedom, and the Fight of Our Lives Inside the Trump White House and we now have Killing Crazy Horse: The Merciless Indian Wars in America by Bill O’Reilly.

Stayed tuned for the next post, which is all about some great Halloween reads you may or may not have thought about for the spooky time of year.

So Many Great Books!

Hello!  Early October is traditionally a hot time in Amercan publishing, and this year is no different.  Many of your favorite authors have books that were either released yesterday (October 6th) or will be next week (October 13th).  Some of them include 1st Case by James Patterson, a murder mystery that involves college students and computer hacking; The Bourne Evolution, by Brian Freeman; Near Dark by Brad Thor; and Deadlock by Catherine Coulter.  Father-and-son team Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman have written another title in the Clay Edison series, Half Moon Bay.   Wow!  How talented is that family? Father, son and mother all write best-selling books!  Carl Hiaasen’s new book is Squeeze Me, and it is just as fun and offers as great an escape as his previous titles.  J.D. Robb continues her Eve Dallas stories with Shadows in Death, which is the fifty-first in that series.  Vince Flynn continues the Mitch Rapp series with Total Power.

For romance readers, we have some new titles by a few of your favorite authors.  Bitter Pill by Fern Michaels is the latest in her Sisterhood series.  Janet Dailey has launched a new series that combines romance, handsome rodeo cowboys, empowered women, and suspense.  Whirlwind: A Thrilling Novel of Western Romantic Suspense will be the first in that series.  Meg Cabot returns to Little Bridge Island with No Offense.  Sandra Brown also combines suspense with romance in Thick as Thieves.  This book kept me on my toes all throughout and to the very end!  It involves a high-stakes heist, a missing father, and a daughter who wants to find answers.  The characters are rich, and the story clips along at an extremely readable pace.  The end surprises a bit but does not disappoint.

 A few other titles by popular authors include The End of Her by Shari Lapena.  As in all of Lapena’s books, this book will keep you in suspense.  Toward the end, it will have you wondering about your partner’s or past.  Iris Johansen returns with Chaos and introduces a new female character, Alisa Flynn.  Flynn is a CIA agent who goes to extreme measures to rescue several school girls in Africa who are kidnapped.  This story is action-packed, intelligent, and has a lot of heart.  While I’d never read anything by Johansen before, this book has made a fan out of me.  Tying in with a few real-life events of the past few years, this book would make a great book club pick.  Ruth Ware’s newest title, One By One, is set in a luxurious ski chalet in the French Alps.  Tensions run high between the guests and staff of the chalet when an avalanche occurs and causes panic while the number of guests dwindles, one by one.

Jude Devereaux brings some of her beloved characters back to Providence Falls, North Carolina in Chance of a Lifetime, a story filled with magical realismChristina Baker Kline, the author who made us all aware of and fascinated by that unique piece of America history in The Orphan Train, shows us the harsh realities of life in Australia when it was a penal colony in The Exiles.  This book has already been optioned for a miniseries by HBO, so you’ll want to read it before you watch it!

If you enjoyed the magical realism and poignancy of Aimee Bender’s first novel, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, then you’ll enjoy her newest novel, The Butterfly Lampshade.  As in Lemon Cake, this story features Francie, a precocious young girl, who despite struggling with a troubled mother, teaches us how to navigate life’s difficulties.  This book is magical and readers will be enchanted with Francie just as they were with Rose in Lemon Cake.

Tomorrow I’ll post about some unique new fiction titles we have in, along with a plethora of timely nonfiction titles and biographies.  The library has all of the books mentioned above, so place your requests for them, and we’ll either have them ready for you in the library or take them down to your car via curbside service.  If you need help placing requests for your books, give us a call at 214-363-9095.

Historical Fiction, More Thrillers, and Science Fiction/Fantasy

Picking up from yesterday’s post….

For our suspense/crime/thriller readers, here are a few new authors to try:  Joe Ide has written a fascinating murder story, Hi Five, that involves arms dealers and a witness, also a suspect, with multiple personalities.  This one will keep the reader on their toes.  Lucy Foley’s second book, The Hunting Party, is the story of a group of friends who gather on New Years to bring in the new year and one of them turns up dead in the midst of a blizzard.  The Wife Who Knew Too Much  by Michele Campbell is set in the Hamptons and involves murder and characters who will do anything, criminal or not, for love and money.  Pretty Things by Janelle Brown tosses together troubled family relationships, theft and con artistry, and fabulous settings all into a page-turning book.  Alex North returns with The Shadows, another creepy, scary story that involves the blending of dreams and reality.  This one will keep you up at night, so get your night lights ready!

Historical fiction, especially novels set during and around World War II, are hot now, and we’ve got several for you to enjoy.  The Vanishing Sky by Annette L. Binder studies a family who is torn apart by opposing viewpoints of events in Germany as World War II comes to a close.  Universe of Two by Stephen Kiernan is a fictionalized story of a real-life mathematician who worked on the Manhattan Project.  The Queen’s Secret by Karen Harper is the story of Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, and her will of steel that helped her husband settle into his unexpected role of king and guided England through some of its darkest times.  Exile Music by Jennifer Steil is the story of a Jewish family who flees Vienna for Bolivia when the German forces invade Austria.  Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini is a novel about a group of American Women in Berlin who wage a secret war against Hitler.  To Wake the Giant by Jeff Shaara is a novel of Pearl Harbor, a departure for Shaara, who has spent most of his career writing about the Civil War.

Historical fiction titles that are not set during World War II include Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles, The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner, and  The Paris Hours by Alex George.  Simon the Fiddler is set in post-Civil War Texas, The Paris Hours is set during the brilliant and lush Belle Epoque, and The Jane Austen Society is set in a small village in England in the years just after World War II.  It is a must-read for those who enjoyed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel SocietyThe Woman Before Wallis: A Novel of Windsors, Vanderbilts, and Royal Scandal by Bryn Turnbull is as delicious as its title.  Miss Austen by Gill Hornby is about Jane Austen’s sister, Cassandra, and her life after the death of her sister.

I’ll finish up this post by letting you all know about some science fiction/fantasy titles that we’ve just received.  The Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth is an adult title written by the author of the Divergent series, and it is apocalyptic, sweeping, and brilliant.  The Last Emperox  by John Scalzi is the last of a trilogy and is very timely: it is about an epidemic of a viral disease.  The Blue Ticket by Sophie Mackintosh and Master Class by Christina Dalcher would be interesting to read together.  They’re both stories about a not-too-distant future when women and girls are forced into roles and lives against their will by governmental powers.

I’ll write one more post this week tomorrow and let you all know about some very timely and contemporary fiction, some literary fiction, and a lot of novels about families and relationships.  We have so many new books in – please come browse our new book shelves.  Our browsing hours are 11am to 2pm Tuesday through Saturday.  You can also read more about these and other great titles in our catalog:  https://uppl.ent.sirsi.net/client/en_US/external.  From the catalog, requests can be placed for books for curbside pick up.

New Non Fiction and Thrillers

Hello! The blog is back, and so are new books! We have so many new ones, that I’m going to break this post up over the next three days, discussing new books by subject/genre and give very little commentary on each title.
In nonfiction, we have some new titles that cover natural phenomena, current events, and some memoirs with a little history in between. Growing Old: Notes on Aging with Something Like Grace by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas is an affirming book about the beauty and joys that come with age. We finally have a copy of Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man by Mary L. Trump, the President’s niece. Mary Trump is a clinical psychologist and gives insight on Trump family history. The Answer Is…Reflections on My Life by Alex Trebek will be a favorite among those who have faithfully watched Jeopardy each night. Rivers of Power: How a Natural Force Raised Kingdoms, Destroyed Civilizations, and Shaped Our World by Laurence C. Smith is a fascinating read about how rivers have shaped geography, economy, and culture throughout history. Thirteen Days in Ferguson is a timely book written by a Ferguson police officer, Ron Johnson, that gives the reader a very close view of what happened during those turbulent days. Five Days: The Reckoning of an American City by Wes Moore is another timely book that offers an in-depth view of the circumstances surrounding the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore and the events that followed. Hell and Other Destinations is former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s memoir of her time as the first female in that position.
For World War II enthusiasts, we have two new titles in: A Game of Birds and Wolves: The Ingenious Young Women Whose Secret Board Game Helped Win World War II by Simon Parkin and The Volunteer: One Man, an Underground Army, and the Secret Mission to Destory Auschwitz by Jack Fairweather. Both books tell the story of two very interesting sides of World War II that you may not have known about before. Written by Forbes senior editor Zack O’Malley Greenburg, A-List Angels How a Band of Actors, Artists, and Athletes Hacked Silicon Valley, talks about just that – how a few actors and entertainers used their social reach and money to fund and launch companies/concepts like Uber, Airbnb, and Spotify. Rounding out some of our new nonfiction titles are two very poignant books: My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me by Jason B. Rosen and My Life in Seven Dogs by Jennifer Finney Boyland. So as not to spoil either of them for you, all I will say is that they are both lovely tales of unexpected events that deeply touched the authors’ lives.
We have some new thriller and crime titles in by some of your favorite authors: Eagle Station by Dale Brown, Never Ask Me by Jeff Abbott, Home Before Dark by Riley Sager, Final Judgement by Marcia Clark, Credible Threat by J. A. Jance, The Persuasion by Iris Johansen, The Night Swim by Megan Golden, Night.Sleep.Death.The Stars by Joyce Carol Oates, and The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda.
I’ll continue tomorrow with a discussion of some thrillers and suspense books by new authors, some new science fiction/fantasy titles, and a lot of historical fiction. Happy Reading!