New Spring Titles

Happy Spring!  We’ve got many new titles on our shelves for you to enjoy while soaking in some sunshine.  New titles by some of your favorite authors include the newest by Clive Cussler, Fast Ice; Steve Berry’s latest installment to the Cotton Malone series, The Kaiser’s Web, and Win by Harlan Coben.  This story features, an heiress, an abduction, and a stolen painting that shows up years after its theft.  Stephen King’s latest novel, Later, involves a young boy with special but frightening ability.

Other popular authors with new books out this month include Sara Paretsky, Lisa Scottoline, and Ursula Hegi.  Love & Other Crimes by Sara Paretsky offers a collection of short mystery and detective stories featuring her recurring character, V.I. Warshawski.  Eternal by Lisa Scottoline is her first historical novel, and it is of epic proportion; it is set in Rome on the eve of World War II and continues a story of love and friendship for decades.  Ursula Hegi is back with her first novel in many years, The Patron Saint of Pregnant Girls.  This is also historical fiction, set in the late 1800s in Germany.  The story of three women and the children and men they love, the prose is as haunting and emotional as Stones from the River.

Alex Finlay’s crime thriller, Every Last Fear, illustrates all of the fears that parents and families feel when tragedy happens.  It will keep readers on their toes – it is a page-turner and told from multiple points of view, so readers need to pay close attention when the voice changes.  This book has been hailed by several sources as one of the best or most anticipated books of 2021, and it is well worth the read.  This is Finlay’s debut novel.  Another debut that we’ve recently received include The Downstairs Neighbor by Helen Cooper, a thriller centered around the disappearance of a teenage girl in London and the effects that secrets and lies can have on a family.  The Memory Collectors by Kim Neville is in my favorite genre, magical realism.  Set in Vancouver, this story is about two women with a special power that takes its toll on not only them, but the people around them.  Reese Witherspoon’s latest Hello Sunshine pick is Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse.  It’s the story of a former-sanatorium-turned hotel in the Swiss Alps that’s edgy, suspenseful and a page turner.

Lastly, another debut title, and my favorite new book of the Spring, is Who Is Maud Dixon? by Alexandra Andrews.  This psychological thriller involves several fascinating elements: a novelist’s secret identity, a woman’s chance to reinvent her identity and an exotic setting.  The author’s imagery of Marrakesh is so rich that I had to go eat at a Mediterranean restaurant after reading it!  This book is one of GoodRead’s Most Anticipated Books of 2021, which is a well-deserved accolade.

Some of our new nonfiction titles this month cover people or topics in history you might not have been familiar with but will be interested in.  The Eagles of Heart Mountain: A True Story of Football, Incarceration, and Resistance in World War II by Bradford Pearson is a heart-warming story of resilience.  In 1943, the football team from the high school in a Japanese-American concentration camp located in Wyoming finished their first season undefeated.  Readers who enjoyed Boys in the Boat will love this book.  Pearson is a former journalist and editor, and his research skills and journalistic style combine to make this a fascinating, very readable insight into this part of United States history.

The Princess Spy: The True Story of world War II Spy Aline Griffith, Countess of Ramanones by Larry Loftis will leave readers wanting to research all of the unlikely spies used by the United States during World War II.  Aline Griffith was an American college graduate and former fashion model before joining the Office of Strategic Services and being assigned to Spain.  While infiltrating the upper echelons of European society and royalty, she marries the Count of Ramonones.  She continues her espionage work, but not without a few near-miss experiences and adventures.  This book is perfect for those who enjoyed The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott and Code Name Helene by Ariel Lawhon.

If you’re having trouble wrapping your brain around all of these great books and deciding what to read next, I suggest A Thousand Brains: A New Theory of Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins.  Hawkins is a neuroscientist and computer engineer who has developed a new theory about how our brain cells create intelligence.  Be smart and read this one!

Many New Hoopla Items

Have you used our newest digital service, Hoopla yet?  I hope you’re using it not only for movies and television shows, but for audiobooks and ebooks as well.  There are so many great titles available with no wait period:  Faithless in Death, number 52 of the “In Death” series by J.D. Robb, is available on audio; The Alice Network by Kate Quinn is available in both audio and ebook, as is The Huntress, also by Kate Quinn; Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology is also ready for you to check out and listen to; and if you need some dysfunctional Southern family humor to brighten your day, listen to Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson.  I laughed out loud several times while listening to it myself!  Hoopla has several ebook titles by Elena Farrante, the Italian writer of the Neapolitan Quartet:  The Lost Daughter, My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, The Days of Abandonment, and The Lying Life of Adults. 

There have been some fascinating movies, television shows, and documentaries on Hoopla lately.  I recently watched Promised, a movie about a modern-day arranged marriage.  It was sweet, romantic, poignant and uplifting all at the same time!  If you like to scare yourself with movies, there are a few choices available:  The Shadowman, which is as scary as it sounds; if you like film noir, then check out Across the Hall, a sophisticated, clever thriller; and if you like BBC television, you can binge-watch all three parts of Archangel, a murder thriller starring Daniel Craig.  The Great Alaskan Race is a good family-friendly pick; its about a group of mushers who travel over 700 miles to save children from an epidemic.  It’s a fascinating up-close view of mushing through Alaska.  To follow up that movie, watch the National Geographic documentary, Extreme Alaska: Denali National Park.

Hoopla also provides themed, curated lists of all available formats, and this month’s theme is Women’s History Month.  Included in the collection are books for adults and children, such as Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore and a graphic novel, Marie Curie: The Radium Fairy by Montellier.  Women’s History Month movies include Dolly Parton: Queen of Country and RBG, the documentary of Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s life.

If you’re in the mood for something Irish, there are books, audiobooks, music, and movies available in the Irish Heritage collection.  You can listen to traditional Irish music with the album Shoe the Donkey by Francie McPeake, Love Songs of Ireland by Mary O’Hara, and quite a few others.  The music collection even includes Celtic Woman 3: Ireland!  Several of Frank McCourt’s books are included in both ebook and audio format, and you can watch the series 1916: The Irish Rebellion featuring Liam Neeson.  I recommend the very romantic and haunting movie Ondine starring Colin Farrell.

For National Craft Month, Hoopla has curated a list of ebooks to help learn new crafts, including knitting, drying flowers, soapmaking, and beer brewing.  There’s even a book about Cricut crafts, which offers tips for all of the Cricut machines.

Please try Hoopla out!