Here are some of the new titles to look for in the library and add to your Mt. TBR (to-be-read list).
The Friend by Sigrid Nunez
A story of love, friendship, grief, healing, and the magical bond between a woman and her dog.
When a woman unexpectedly loses her lifelong best friend and mentor, she finds herself burdened with the unwanted dog he has left behind. Her own battle against grief is intensified by the mute suffering of the dog, a huge Great Dane traumatized by the inexplicable disappearance of its master, and by the threat of eviction: dogs are prohibited in her apartment building.
The Friend is both a meditation on loss and a celebration of human-canine devotion (publisher’s description).
Summer Hours at the Robbers Library by Sue Halpern
Kit is a librarian who closes herself off from emotions and people until she meets Sunny, assigned to the library for community service. Add in a group of regulars in thelibrary and the result is an absorbing story of developing friendships and the unveiling of secrets. Kit’s story unfolds as we meet many quirky characters in this story of love, loss, and hope. — Ellen Firer for LibraryReads.
Song of a Captive Bird by Jasmin Darznik
A novel about the trailblazing Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad, who defied society’s expectations to find her voice and her destiny
All through her childhood in Tehran, Forugh Farrokhzad is told that Persian daughters should be quiet and modest. She is taught only to obey, but she always finds ways to rebel and tradition seeks to clip her wings.
Inspired by Forugh Farrokhzad’s verse, letters, films, and interviews, this novel uses the lens of fiction to capture the tenacity, spirit, and conflicting desires of a brave woman who represents the birth of feminism in Iran (publisher’s description).
Red Clocks by Leni Zumas
Five women. One question. What is a woman for?
In this novel, abortion is once again illegal in America, in-vitro fertilization is banned, and the Personhood Amendment grants rights of life, liberty, and property to every embryo. In a small Oregon fishing town, five very different women navigate these new barriers alongside age-old questions surrounding motherhood, identity, and freedom (Publisher’s description).
The Kingdom by Fuminori Nakamura
Yurika is a freelancer in the Tokyo underworld. She poses as a prostitute, carefully targeting potential johns, selecting powerful and high-profile men. When she is alone with them, she drugs them and takes incriminating photos to sell for blackmail purposes. She knows very little about the organization she’s working for, and is perfectly satisfied with the arrangement, as long as it means she doesn’t have to reveal anything about her identity, either.
But when a figure from Yurika’s past resurfaces, she realizes there is someone out there who knows all her secrets: her losses, her motivations, her every move. There are whispers of a crime lord named Kizaki—“a monster,” she is told—and Yurika finds herself trapped in a game of cat and mouse (Publisher’s description).
In Praise of Difficult Women by Karen Karbo
Karen Karbo’s In Praise of Difficult Women explores what we can learn from the imperfect and extraordinary legacies of 29 iconic women who forged their own unique paths in the world. Smart, sassy, and unapologetically feminine, this illustrated book is an ode to the bold and charismatic women of modern history (Publisher’s description).
I Can’t Breathe by Matt Taibbi
Matt Taibbi’s deeply reported retelling of these events liberates Eric Garner from the abstractions of newspaper accounts and lets us see the man in full—with all his flaws and contradictions intact. A husband and father with a complicated personal history, Garner was neither villain nor victim, but a fiercely proud individual determined to do the best he could for his family, bedeviled by bad luck, and ultimately subdued by forces beyond his control. I Can’t Breathe drills down into the particulars of one case to confront us with the human cost of our broken approach to dispensing criminal justice (Publisher’s description).
I Am I Am I Am by Maggie O’Farrell
I Am, I Am, I Am is Maggie O’Farrell’s astonishing memoir of the near-death experiences that have punctuated and defined her life. The childhood illness that left her bedridden for a year, which she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. An encounter with a disturbed man on a remote path. And, most terrifying of all, an ongoing, daily struggle to protect her daughter–for whom this book was written–from a condition that leaves her unimaginably vulnerable to life’s myriad dangers.
Seventeen discrete encounters with Maggie at different ages, in different locations, reveal a whole life in a series of tense, visceral snapshots (Publisher’s description).
The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne
Cyril Avery is not a real Avery — or at least, that’s what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn’t a real Avery, then who is he?
Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from – and over his many years, will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country, and much more (Publisher’s description).
Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot
Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. The triumphant result is Heart Berries, a memorial for Mailhot’s mother, a social worker and activist who had a thing for prisoners; a story of reconciliation with her father―an abusive drunk and a brilliant artist―who was murdered under mysterious circumstances; and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone while dragging the long shadows of shame (Publisher’s description).
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Leni and her troubled family embark on a new way of life in Alaska’s wilderness in 1974 – hoping this is finally the solution for her troubled, POW father. In Alaska, Leni and her family are tested and when change comes to their small community her father’s anger threatens to explode and divide the town. This is a beautifully written novel, descriptive and engaging with well-developed characters and a strong sense of place. — Alissa Williams for LibraryReads.
Feel Free by Zadie Smith
Arranged into five sections–In the World, In the Audience, In the Gallery, On the Bookshelf, and Feel Free–this new collection [of essay by Zadie Smith] poses questions we immediately recognize. Feel Free offers a survey of important recent events in culture and politics, as well as Smith’s own life. Equally at home in the world of good books and bad politics, Brooklyn-born rappers and the work of Swiss novelists, she is by turns wry, heartfelt, indignant, and incisive–and never any less than perfect company.
Down the River Unto the Sea by Walter Mosley
Framed by corrupt enemies within the NYPD and forced to serve a decade in prison, private detective Joe King Oliver receives a confession from a woman who helped set him up, a situation that compels him to investigate his own case at the same time he assists a black radical journalist who has been wrongly accused of murdering two corrupt cops (NoveList Plus).
Brotopia by Emily Chang
Reveals how male-dominated Silicon Valley became sexist despite its utopian ideals and decades of companies claiming the moral high ground, and how women are finally starting to fight back against toxic workplaces and sexual harassment (NoveList Plus).
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together (Publisher’s description).