Romance Abroad

Romance Abroad

From your standard bodice rippers to romance blended liberally with mystery, history, the supernatural and the just plain weird.


All In by Simona Ahrnstedt (Sweden)

Elegant, brilliant, driven to succeed in a man’s world, Natalia is curious about David’s unexpected invitation to lunch. Everyone knows that he is rich, dangerous, unethical; she soon discovers he is also deeply scarred. The attraction between these two is impossible, but the long Swedish nights unfold an affair that will bring to light shocking secrets, forever alter a family, and force both Natalia and David to confront their innermost fears and desires.


The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende (Peru)

In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis, young Alma Belasco’s parents send her away to live in safety with an aunt and uncle in their opulent mansion in San Francisco. There, as the rest of the world goes to war, she encounters Ichimei Fukuda, the quiet and gentle son of the family’s Japanese gardener. Unnoticed by those around them, a tender love affair begins to blossom.

 


Only Beloved by Mary Balogh (Wales)

Dora Debbins relinquished all hope to marry when a family scandal left her in charge of her younger sister. Earning a modest living as a music teacher, she’s left with only an unfulfilled dream. Then one afternoon, an unexpected visitor makes it come true. For both George and Dora that brief first encounter was as fleeting as it was unforgettable. Now is the time for a second chance. And while even true love comes with a risk, who are two dreamers to argue with destiny?


Wedding Season by Katie Fjorde (England)

Sarah is a wedding planner hiding a rather inconvenient truth―she doesn’t believe in love. But as the confetti flutters away on the June breeze of yet another successful wedding season she finds herself agreeing to organize two more events, on the same day, and only two months away.

 


Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George (Germany)

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can’t seem to heal through literature is himself; he’s still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.


The Affair of the Mysterious Letter by Alexis Hall (England)

Upon returning to the city of Khelathra-Ven after five years fighting a war in another universe, Captain John Wyndham finds himself looking for somewhere to live, and expediency forces him to take lodgings at 221b Martyrs Walk. His new housemate is Ms. Shaharazad Haas, a consulting sorceress of mercurial temperament and dark reputation.

 


A Song for Summer by Eva Ibbotson (Austria)

Eighteen-year-old Ellen never expected the Hallendorf school to be quite so unusual. Her life back in England with her suffragette mother and liberated aunts certainly couldn’t be called normal. but buried deep in the beautiful Austrian countryside, Ellen discovers an eccentric world occupied by wild children and even wilder teachers, experimental dancers, a tortoise on wheels, and the very handsome Marek, part-time gardener and fencing teacher. Ellen is instantly attracted to the mysterious gardener, but Hitler’s Reich is already threatening their peaceful world.


Leave Me Breathless by Jodi Ellen Malpas (England)

Ryan Willis has spent years in the protection business, a job that requires constant vigilance and quick thinking. His only chance to truly relax is at his secluded cabin in a small town where there are never any surprises. So when Ryan returns after an assignment and encounters a beautiful stranger, he isn’t only surprised, he’s also instantly intrigued.

 


The Orchid House by Lucinda Riley (Ireland)

As a child, Julia Forrester would linger in the hothouse of Wharton Park estate, where exotic flowers tended by her grandfather blossomed and faded with the seasons. Now, recovering from a family tragedy, she once more seeks comfort at Wharton Park, newly inherited by Kit Crawford, a charismatic man with a sad story of his own. But when a years-old diary is found during renovation work, the pair turn to Julia’s grandmother to hear the truth about the love affair that turned Wharton Park’s fortunes sour.


A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh (New Zealand)

On the rugged West Coast of New Zealand, Golden Cove is more than just a town where people live. The adults are more than neighbors; the children, more than schoolmates. That is until one fateful summer—and several vanished bodies—shatters the trust holding Golden Cove together. All that’s left are whispers behind closed doors, broken friendships, and a silent agreement to not look back. But they can’t run from the past forever.


Much Ado about You by Samantha Young (Scotland)

At thirty-three-years old Evangeline Starling’s life in Chicago is missing that special something. And when she’s passed over for promotion at work, Evie realizes she needs to make a change. Some time away to regain perspective might be just the thing. In a burst of impulsivity, she plans a holiday in a quaint English village. The holiday package comes with a temporary position at Much Ado About Books, the bookstore located beneath her rental apartment. There’s no better dream vacation for the bookish Evie, a life-long Shakespeare lover.

Various Fiction

Various Fiction

Try some of these fiction titles from our collection!


Cover ImageSORRY FOR YOUR TROUBLE by Richard Ford

In Sorry for Your Trouble, Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times-bestselling author Richard Ford enacts a stunning meditation on memory, love and loss. Typically rich with Ford’s emotional lucidity and lyrical precision, Sorry for Your Trouble is a memorable collection from one of our greatest writers.

 


Cover ImageUNDER OCCUPATION by Alan Furst

Occupied Paris, 1942. Just before he dies, a man being chased by the Gestapo hands off a strange-looking document to the unsuspecting novelist Paul Ricard. It looks like a blueprint of a part for a military weapon, one that might have important information for the Allied forces. Ricard realizes he must try to get the diagram into the hands of members of the resistance network.

 


Cover ImageWRITERS AND LOVERS by Lily King

Blindsided by her mother’s sudden death, and wrecked by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody has arrived in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997 without a plan. Her mail consists of wedding invitations and final notices from debt collectors. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, moldy room at the side of a garage where she works on the novel she’s been writing for six years. At thirty-one, Casey is still clutching onto something nearly all her old friends have let go of: the determination to live a creative life.

 


Cover ImageTHE GLASS HOTEL by Emily St. John Mandel

Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star lodging on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. On the night she meets Jonathan Alkaitis, a hooded figure scrawls a message on the lobby’s glass wall: Why don’t you swallow broken glass. High above Manhattan, a greater crime is committed: Alkaitis’s billion-dollar business is really nothing more than a game of smoke and mirrors. When his scheme collapses, it obliterates countless fortunes and devastates lives. Vincent, who had been posing as Jonathan’s wife, walks away into the night.

 


Cover ImageTHE SILENT PATIENT by Alex Michaelides

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

 


Cover ImageSUCH A FUN AGE by Kiley Reid

Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living, with her confidence-driven brand, showing other women how to do the same. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night, walking the aisles of their local high-end supermarket. The store’s security guard, seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make things right.

 


Cover ImageTHE LOOK ALIKE by Erica Spindler

Sienna Scott grew up in the dark shadow of her mother’s paranoid delusions. Now, she’s returned home to confront her past and the unsolved murder that altered the course of her life. In her mother’s shuttered house, an old fear that has haunted Sienna for years rears its ugly head―that it was she who had been the killer’s target that night. And now, with it, a new fear―that the killer not only intended to remedy his past mistake―he’s already begun. But are these fears any different from the ones that torment her mother?

 


Cover ImageMURDER ON PLEASANT AVENUE by Victoria Thompson

A young woman is missing in the upper Manhattan neighborhood called Italian Harlem, and everyone knows whoʼs responsible—the Black Hand, a notorious group known for terrorizing their own community with violence and kidnappings. Gino and Frank set out to learn more about the disreputable gang and soon find a lead: a saloon-owning gangster named Nunzio Esposito.

 


Cover ImageMINOR DRAMAS AND OTHER CATASTROPHES by Kathleen West

When a devoted teacher comes under pressure for her progressive curriculum and a helicopter mom goes viral on social media, two women at odds with each other find themselves in similar predicaments, having to battle back from certain social ruin.

 


Cover ImageDARLING ROSE GOLD by Stephanie Wrobel

For the first eighteen years of her life, Rose Gold Watts believed she was seriously ill. She was allergic to everything, used a wheelchair and practically lived at the hospital. Neighbors did all they could, holding fundraisers and offering shoulders to cry on, but no matter how many doctors, tests, or surgeries, no one could figure out what was wrong with Rose Gold. Turns out her mom, Patty Watts, was just a really good liar.

Science Fiction Classics

Science Fiction Classics

Looking for something to expand your universe? Check out one of these science fiction classics from the collection.


HANDMAID’S TALE [MARGARET ATWOOD]

In Margaret Atwood’s dystopian future, environmental disasters and declining birthrates have led to a Second American Civil War. The result is the rise of the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian regime that enforces rigid social roles and enslaves the few remaining fertile women. Offred is one of these, a Handmaid bound to produce children for one of Gilead’s commanders. Deprived of her husband, her child, her freedom, and even her own name, Offred clings to her memories and her will to survive. At once a scathing satire, an ominous warning, and a tour de force of narrative suspense, The Handmaid’s Tale is a modern classic.


FAHRENHEIT 451 [RAY BRADBURY]

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But when he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known.


KINDRED [OCTAVIA BUTLER]

Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana’s life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.


AGENCY [WILLIAM GIBSON]

Verity Jane, gifted app whisperer, takes a job as the beta tester for a new product: a digital assistant, accessed through a pair of ordinary-looking glasses. “Eunice,” the disarmingly human AI in the glasses, manifests a face, a fragmentary past, and a canny grasp of combat strategy. Realizing that her cryptic new employers don’t yet know how powerful and valuable Eunice is, Verity instinctively decides that it’s best they don’t.

 


DUNE [FRANK HERBERT]

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for…. When House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul’s family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined.


ANCILLARY JUSTICE [ANN LECKIE]

On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.
Once, she was the Justice of Toren — a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy.  Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance.


LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS [URSULA LEGUIN]

A groundbreaking work of science fiction, The Left Hand of Darkness tells the story of a lone human emissary to Winter, an alien world whose inhabitants can change their gender. His goal is to facilitate Winter’s inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the completely dissimilar culture that he encounters.

 


1984 [GEORGE ORWELL] 

Winston Smith toes the Party line, rewriting history to satisfy the demands of the Ministry of Truth. With each lie he writes, Winston grows to hate the Party that seeks power for its own sake and persecutes those who dare to commit thoughtcrimes. But as he starts to think for himself, Winston can’t escape the fact that Big Brother is always watching…

 


MINISTRY FOR THE FUTURE [KIM STANLEY ROBINSON]

The Ministry for the Future is a masterpiece of the imagination, using fictional eyewitness accounts to tell the story of how climate change will affect us all. Its setting is not a desolate, postapocalyptic world, but a future that is almost upon us—and in which we might just overcome the extraordinary challenges we face.

 

 


SEVENEVES [NEAL STEPHENSON]

A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.  But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain . . .

 


SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE [KURT VONNEGUT] 

Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous firebombing of Dresden, Billy Pilgrim’s odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we fear most.

 


WAR OF THE WORLDS [H.G. WELLS]

What would happen if Martians landed on Earth—and none of our weapons could stop them? H.G. Wells’s timeless masterpiece—which spawned many a movie adaptation—imagines this frightening scenario. The horrifying bug-like extraterrestrials, which can wipe out entire crowds with a single heat-ray and poisonous gas, first appear in the English countryside … and then wreak havoc. Narrated by an unnamed protagonist who flees home to seek out safe ground, this terrifying tale creates a shockingly realistic vision of what might happen if fearsome, technologically superior aliens attacked us.

 

 

Resolution & Redemption

Resolution & Redemption

Resolution/Redemption: Books that make you want to say, “Hmmm.”


Amnesty by Aravind Adiga

“Danny” is an illegal immigrant in Sydney, Australia, denied refugee status after he fled from Sri Lanka. Working as a house cleaner, living out of a grocery storeroom, for three years he’s been trying to create a new identity for himself. And now, with his girlfriend, Sonja, with his hidden accent and highlights in his hair, he is as close as he has ever come to living a normal life. But then one morning, Danny learns a female client of his has been murdered.


Welcome to the Pine Away Motel and Cabins by Katarina Bivald

The Pine Creek Motel has seen better days. Henny would call it charming, but she’s always seen the best in things. Like now, when she’s just met an untimely end crossing the road. She’s not going to let a tiny thing like death stop her from living fully―not when her friends and family need her the most.

 


The Regrets by Amy Bonnaffons

For weeks, Rachel has been noticing the same golden-haired young man sitting at her Brooklyn bus stop, staring off with a melancholy air. When, one day, she finally musters the courage to introduce herself, the chemistry between them is undeniable: Thomas is wise, witty, handsome, mysterious, clearly a kindred spirit. There’s just one tiny problem: He’s dead.

 


Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown

In this captivating dual narrative novel, a modern-day woman finds inspiration in hidden notes left by her home’s previous owner, a quintessential 1950s housewife. As she discovers remarkable parallels between this woman’s life and her own, it causes her to question the foundation of her own relationship with her husband–and what it means to be a wife fighting for her place in a patriarchal society.

 


Everywhere You Don’t Belong by Gabriel Bump

Claude just wants a place where he can fit. As a young black man born on the South Side of Chicago, he is raised by his civil rights-era grandmother, who tries to shape him into a principled actor for change; yet when riots consume his neighborhood, he hesitates to take sides, unwilling to let race define his life. He decides to escape Chicago for another place, to go to college, to find a new identity, to leave the pressure cooker of his hometown behind. But as he discovers, he cannot; there is no safe haven for a young black man in this time and place called America.


Mercy House by Alena Dillon

Inside a century-old row house in Brooklyn, renegade Sister Evelyn and her fellow nuns preside over a safe haven for the abused and abandoned. Gruff and indomitable on the surface, warm and wry underneath, little daunts Evelyn, until she receives word that Mercy House will be investigated by Bishop Hawkins, a man with whom she shares a dark history. In order to protect everything they’ve built, the nuns must conceal many of their methods, which are forbidden by the Catholic Church.


The Second Sleep by Robert Harris

A young priest, Christopher Fairfax, arrives in a remote Exmoor village to conduct the funeral of his predecessor. The land around is strewn with ancient artefacts–coins, fragments of glass, human bones–which the old parson used to collect. Did his obsession with the past lead to his death?

 


Sisters by Choice by Susan Mallery

After her cat toy empire goes up in flames, Sophie Lane returns to Blackberry Island, determined to rebuild, but small-town life reveals a big problem: she can’t grow unless she learns to let go. Sophie fears that if she relaxes her grip even a little, she might lose everything. Or she might finally be free to reach for the happiness and love that have eluded her for so long.

 


The Antidote for Everything by Kimmery Martin

Georgia Brown’s profession – urology – requires her to interact with plenty of naked men, but her romantic prospects have fizzled. The most important person in her life is her friend Jonah Tsukada, a funny, empathetic family medicine doctor who works at the same hospital in Charleston, South Carolina and who has become as close as family to her. Just after Georgia leaves the country for a medical conference, Jonah shares startling news. The hospital is instructing doctors to stop providing medical care for transgender patients. Jonah, a gay man, is the first to be fired when he refuses to abandon his patients.


Apeirogon by Colum McCann

Bassam Aramin is Palestinian. Rami Elhanan is Israeli. Rami and Bassam had been raised to hate one another. But their lives, however circumscribed, are upended one after the other: first, Rami’s thirteen-year-old daughter, Smadar, becomes the victim of suicide bombers; a decade later, Bassam’s ten-year-old daughter, Abir, is killed by a rubber bullet. And yet, when they learn of each other’s stories, they recognize the loss that connects them.


Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

One summer morning, twelve-year-old Edward Adler, his beloved older brother, his parents, and 183 other passengers board a flight in Newark headed for Los Angeles. Among them are a Wall Street wunderkind, a young woman coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy, an injured veteran returning from Afghanistan, a business tycoon, and a free-spirited woman running away from her controlling husband. Halfway across the country, the plane crashes. Edward is the sole survivor.


More than We Remember by Christina Suzann Nelson

When Addison Killbourn’s husband is involved in a car accident that leaves a woman dead, her perfectly constructed life crumbles apart. With her husband’s memory of that night gone and the revelation of a potentially life-altering secret, Addison has to reevaluate all she thought she knew.

 


Weather by Jenny Offill

Lizzie Benson slid into her job as a university librarian without a traditional degree. But this gives her a vantage point from which to practice her other calling: she is a fake shrink. For years she has tended to her God-haunted mother and her recovering addict brother. They have both stabilized for the moment, but Lizzie has little chance to spend her new free time with husband and son before her old mentor, Sylvia Liller, makes a proposal.

 


A Long Time Comin’ by Robin Pearson

To hear Beatrice Agnew tell it, she entered the world with her mouth tightly shut. Just because she finds out she’s dying doesn’t mean she can’t keep it that way. If any of her children have questions about their daddy and the choices she made after he abandoned them, they’d best take it up with Jesus. There’s no room in Granny B’s house for regrets or hand-holding. Or so she thinks.

 


Photos of You by Tammy Robinson

When Ava Green turns twenty-eight, she discovers this will be her last birthday. The cancer she thought she’d beaten three years ago is back — only now it’s terminal, and she’s not going to waste any of the time she has left. All she truly wants is the one thing she’s been dreaming of since she was a little girl: a wedding. The only problem: She doesn’t have a groom.

 


The Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosner

As Nazi soldiers round up the Jews in their town, Róza and her 5-year-old daughter, Shira, flee, seeking shelter in a neighbor’s barn. Hidden in the hayloft day and night, Shira struggles to stay still and quiet, as music pulses through her and the farmyard outside beckons. To soothe her daughter and pass the time, Róza tells her a story about a girl in an enchanted garden.

 


The Attempted Murder of Teddy Roosevelt by Burt Solomon

Theodore Roosevelt had been president for less than a year when on a tour in New England his horse-drawn carriage was broadsided by an electric trolley. TR was thrown clear but his Secret Service bodyguard was killed instantly. John Hay, the Secretary of State, finds himself in pursuit of a would-be assassin, investigating the motives of TR’s many enemies, including political rivals and the industrial trusts.

 


Remembrance by Rita Woods

Theirs is a complex story of loss and survival told across 200 years by four women, united by the color of their skin and the supernatural powers they command. Two of these women are Gaelle, a Haitian refugee, is a nurse’s aide at the Stillwater Care Facility in present-day Cleveland, and Jane Doe, an old woman who doesn’t speak, has no visitors, and no identity — until a stranger visits and calls her Winter.

 


Verge by Lidia Yuknavitch

Verge is peopled with characters who are innocent and imperfect, wise and endangered: an eight-year-old black-market medical courier, a restless lover haunted by memories of his mother, a teenage girl gazing out her attic window at a nearby prison, all of them wounded but grasping toward transcendence.

 


The Lost Book of Adana Moreau by Michael Zapata

In 1929 in New Orleans, a Dominican immigrant named Adana Moreau writes a science fiction novel. The novel earns rave reviews, and Adana begins a sequel. Then she falls gravely ill. Just before she dies, she destroys the only copy of the manuscript. Decades later in Chicago, Saul Drower is cleaning out his dead grandfather’s home when he discovers a mysterious manuscript written by none other than Adana Moreau.


Separation Anxiety by Laura Zigman

Judy never intended to start wearing the dog. But when she stumbled across her son Teddy’s old baby sling during a halfhearted basement cleaning, something in her snapped. So: the dog went into the sling, Judy felt connected to another living being, and she’s repeated the process every day since.

 

Can’t Miss Mysteries & Thrillers

Can’t Miss Mysteries & Thrillers

Get ready for some spine-tingling thrills & chills with these mystery/thriller novels from our collection.


Victim 2117 by Jussi Adler-Olsen

The newspaper refers to the body only as Victim 2117—the two thousand one hundred and seventeenth refugee to die in the Mediterranean Sea. But to three people, the unnamed victim is so much more, and the death sets off a chain of events that throws Department Q, Copenhagen’s cold cases division led by Detective Carl Mørck, into a deeply dangerous—and deeply personal—case. A case that not only reveals dark secrets about the past, but has deadly implications for the future.

Alone in the Wild by Kelley Armstrong

Every season in Rockton seems to bring a new challenge. At least that’s what Detective Casey Duncan has felt since she decided to call this place home. While on a much needed camping vacation with her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, Casey hears a baby crying in the woods. The sound leads them to a tragic scene: a woman buried under the snow, murdered, a baby still alive in her arms.

The Body Double by Emily Beyda

A strange man discovers our nameless narrator selling popcorn at a decrepit small-town movie theater and offers her an odd and lucrative position: she will forget her job, her acquaintances, even her name, and move to Los Angeles, where she will become the body double of the famous and troubled celebrity Rosanna Feld.

The Bramble and the Rose by Tom Bouman

A headless stranger is found in the woods of Wild Thyme, a small town in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. All signs point to a man-killing bear, and Officer Henry Farrell would just as soon leave this hunt to the Game Commission. But doubts arise when he discovers the victim was a retired investigator.

Long Range by C.J. Box

When Joe Pickett is asked to join the rescue efforts for the victim of a startling grizzly attack, he reluctantly leaves his district behind. One survivor of the grizzly’s rampage tells a bizarre story, but just as Joe begins to suspect the attack is not what it seems, he is brought home by an emergency on his own turf.

The Chill by Scott Carson

Far upstate, in New York’s ancient forests, a drowned village lays beneath the dark, still waters of the Chilewaukee reservoir. Early in the 20th century, the town was destroyed for the greater good: bringing water to the millions living downstate. Or at least that’s what the politicians from Manhattan insisted at the time. The local families, settled there since America’s founding, were forced from their land, but they didn’t move far, and some didn’t move at all…

Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain

Morgan Christopher’s life has been derailed. Taking the fall for a crime she did not commit, her dream of a career in art is put on hold―until a mysterious visitor makes her an offer that will get her released from prison immediately. Her assignment: restore an old post office mural in a sleepy southern town.  Morgan knows nothing about art restoration, but desperate to be free, she accepts. What she finds under the layers of grime is a painting that tells the story of madness, violence, and a conspiracy of small town secrets.

Journey of the Pharaohs by Clive Cussler

In 1074 B.C., vast treasures disappear from the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs. In 1927, a daredevil American aviator vanishes on an attempted transcontinental flight. And in the present day, a fishing trawler–along with its mysterious cargo–sinks off the coast of Scotland. How are these three mysterious events connected? And, more importantly, what do they mean for Kurt Austin and his NUMA team?

Don’t Look Down by Hilary Davidson

Jo Greaver is a model of success. Young and ambitious, she’s built a thriving beauty business from nothing. But she has secrets she’ll do anything to keep buried. When her blackmailer offers to meet, Jo expects to pay him off—but gets a bullet instead. Bleeding and in shock, Jo flees with no one to turn to.

 

Naked Came the Florida Man by Tim Dorsey

Though another devastating hurricane is raking Florida, its awesome power can’t deter the Sunshine State’s most loyal son, Serge A. Storms, from his latest scenic road trip: a cemetery tour. With his best bro Coleman riding shotgun, Serge hits the highway in his gold ’69 Plymouth Satellite, putting pedal to the metal on a grand tour of the past.

Collateral Damage by Lynette Eason

Honorably discharged from the Army after an explosion nearly killed her, former military psychiatrist Brooke Adams has set up shop to help others–but her days of helping military personnel are over. She’s got her own battles to fight from her time overseas, and she’s not equipped to take on more. Former Army Special Ops Sergeant First Class Asher James could handle anything that war sent his way–terrorists, bombs, bullets. The only thing that scares him now is sleep. As the shadows close in, the nightmares begin.

Grace is Gone by Emily Elgar

Meg has been selflessly caring for Grace for years, and Grace—smiling and optimistic in spite of her many illnesses—adores her mother. So when Meg is found brutally bludgeoned in her bed and her daughter missing, the community is rocked. Meg had lived in terror of her abusive, unstable ex, convinced that he would return to try and kidnap Grace…as he had once before. Now it appears her fear was justified.

Bound for Murder by Victoria Gilbert

Taylorsford Public Library director Amy Webber’s friend “Sunny” Fields is running for mayor. But nothing puts a damper on a campaign like an actual skeleton in a candidate’s closet. Sunny’s grandparents ran a commune back in the 1960s on their organic farm. But these former hippies face criminal charges when human remains are found in their fields–and a forensic examination reveals that the death was neither natural nor accidental.

Perfect Little Children by Sophie Hannah

Just because she knows her ex-best friend lives near the field, that doesn’t mean she has to drive past her house and try to catch a glimpse of her.  Why would Beth do that and risk dredging up painful memories? She hasn’t seen Flora for twelve years. She doesn’t want to see her today—or ever again. But she can’t resist.

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Finnmark, Norway, 1617. Twenty-year-old Maren Magnusdatter stands on the craggy coast, watching the sea break into a sudden and reckless storm. Forty fishermen, including her brother and father, are drowned and left broken on the rocks below. With the menfolk wiped out, the women of the tiny Arctic town of Vardø must fend for themselves.  Three years later, a stranger arrives on their shore. Absalom Cornet comes from Scotland, where he burned witches in the northern isles.

 

Deep State by Chris Hauty

Recently elected President Richard Monroe—populist, controversial, and divisive—is at the center of an increasingly polarized Washington, DC. Never has the partisan drama been so tense or the paranoia so rampant. In the midst of contentious political turf wars, the White House chief of staff is found dead in his house.

The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healy

In August 1939, thirty-year-old Hetty Cartwright arrives at Lockwood Manor to oversee a natural history museum collection, whose contents have been taken out of London for safekeeping. She is unprepared for the scale of protecting her charges from party guests, wild animals, the elements, the tyrannical Major Lockwood and Luftwaffe bombs. Most of all, she is unprepared for the beautiful and haunted Lucy Lockwood.

 

You are not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sara Pekkanen

Shay Miller wants to find love, but it eludes her. She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end. She wants to belong, but her life is increasingly lonely.  Until Shay meets the Moore sisters. Cassandra and Jane live a life of glamorous perfection, and always get what they desire. When they invite Shay into their circle, everything seems to get better.
Shay would die for them to like her.  She may have to.

The Better Liar by Tanen Jones

Robin Voigt is dead. If Leslie had arrived at her sister’s cramped Las Vegas apartment just hours earlier, this would have been their first reunion in a decade. In the years since Robin ran away from home as a teenager, Leslie has stayed in New Mexico, taking care of their dying father even as she began building a family of her own. But when their father passed away, Leslie received a rude awakening: She and Robin would receive the inheritance he left them together—or not at all.

The Deep by Alma Katsu

Between mysterious disappearances and sudden deaths, the guests of the Titanic have found themselves suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone from the moment they set sail. Several of them, including maid Annie Hebley, guest Mark Fletcher, and millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, are convinced there’s something sinister–almost otherwordly–afoot.

A Good Man by Ani Katz

Thomas Martin was a devoted family man who had all the trappings of an enviable life: a beautiful wife and daughter, a well-appointed home on Long Island’s north shore, a job at a prestigious Manhattan advertising firm. After committing a horrific deed — that he can never undo — Thomas grapples with his sense of self. Sometimes he casts himself as a victim and, at other times, a monster.

Death in Avignon by Serena Kent

After a tumultuous summer, Penelope Kite has settled into the rhythm of her new life in Provence.  But beneath the veneer of glamour, scandal is brewing. Shockwaves ripple through the Avignon art world when a controversial painter, Roland Doncaster, chokes on an almond-stuffed olive. A tragic accident?  Or a ruthless poisoning?

Things in Jars by Jess Kidd

Bridie Devine—female detective extraordinaire—is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors trading curiosities in this age of discovery.

 

The Other Mrs. By Mary Kubica

Sadie and Will Foust have only just moved their family from bustling Chicago to small-town Maine when their neighbor Morgan Baines is found dead in her home. The murder rocks their tiny coastal island, but no one is more shaken than Sadie.

Trace Elements by Donna Leon

When Dottoressa Donato calls the Questura to report that a dying patient at the hospice Fatebenefratelli wants to speak to the police, Commissario Guido Brunetti and his colleague, Claudia Griffoni, waste no time in responding.

“They killed him. It was bad money. I told him no,” Benedetta Toso gasps about her recently-deceased husband, Vittorio Fadalto.

Watching from the Dark by Gytha Lodge

Aidan Poole logs on to his laptop late at night to Skype his girlfriend, Zoe. To his horror, he realizes that there is someone else in her flat. Aidan can only listen to the sounds of a violent struggle taking place in the bathroom—and then the sound of silence. He is desperate to find out if Zoe is okay. But then why is he so hesitant to call the police?

The Janes by Louisa Luna

On the outskirts of San Diego, the bodies of two young women are discovered. They have no names, no IDs, and no family looking for them. Fearing the possibility of a human trafficking ring, the police and FBI reach out to Alice Vega, a private investigator known for finding the missing, to solve a horrific case.

 

A Reasonable Doubt by Phillip Margolin

Robin Lockwood is a young criminal defense attorney and partner in a prominent law firm in Portland, Oregon. A former MMA fighter and Yale Law graduate, she joined the firm of legal legend Regina Barrister not long before Regina was forced into retirement by early onset Alzheimer’s.  One of Regina’s former clients, Robert Chesterfield, a professional magician of some reknown, shows up in the law office with an odd request―he’s seeking help from his old attorney in acquiring patent protection for an illusion.

The Holdout by Graham Moore

It’s the most sensational case of the decade. Fifteen-year-old Jessica Silver, heiress to a billion-dollar real estate fortune, vanishes on her way home from school, and her teacher, Bobby Nock, a twenty-five-year-old African American man, is the prime suspect. It’s an open-and-shut case for the prosecution, and a quick conviction seems all but guaranteed—until Maya Seale, a young woman on the jury, convinced of Nock’s innocence, persuades the rest of the jurors to return the verdict of not guilty, a controversial decision that will change all their lives forever.

Dead to Her by Sarah Pinborough

Marcie’s affair with Jason Maddox catapulted her into the world of the elite. Old money, old ties, old secrets. Marcie may have married into this world—but she’ll never be part of it. Then Jason’s boss brings back a new wife from his trip to London. Young, attractive, reckless—nobody can take their eyes off Keisha. Including Marcie’s husband. Some people would kill for the life Marcie has—what will she do to keep it?

Hide Away by Jason Pinter

On the surface, Rachel Marin is an ordinary single mother; on the inside, she’s a fierce, brilliant vigilante. After an unspeakable crime shatters her life, she changes her identity and moves to a small town in Illinois, hoping to spare her children from further trauma…or worse. But crime follows her everywhere.

 

A Murderous Relation by Deanna Raybourn

Autumn 1888. Veronica Speedwell and her colleague Stoker are asked by Lady Wellingtonia Beauclerk to stop a potential scandal so explosive it threatens to rock the monarchy. Prince Albert Victor is a regular visitor to the most exclusive private club in London, and the proprietress, Madame Aurore, has received an expensive gift that can be traced back to the prince. Worse yet, London is being terrorized by what would become the most notorious and elusive serial killer in history, Jack the Ripper—and Lady Wellie suspects the prince may be responsible.

Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin

Claire is only seven years old when her college-age sister, Alison, disappears on the last night of their family vacation at a resort on the Caribbean island of Saint X. Several days later, Alison’s body is found in a remote spot on a nearby cay, and two local menemployees at the resortare arrested.  But the evidence is slim, the timeline against it, and the men are soon released. The story turns into national tabloid news, a lurid mystery that will go unsolved. For Claire and her parents, there is only the return home to broken lives.

The Only Child by Mi-Ae Seo

Criminal psychologist Seonkyeong receives an unexpected call one day. Yi Byeongdo, a serial killer whose gruesome murders shook the world, wants to be interviewed. Yi Byeongdo, who has refused to speak to anyone until now, asks specifically for her. Seonkyeong agrees out of curiosity. That same day Hayeong, her husband’s eleven-year-old daughter from a previous marriage shows up at their door. Seonkyeong wants her to feel at home, but is gradually unnerved as the young girl says very little and acts strangely.

Cleaning the Gold by Karin Slaughter and Lee Child

Will Trent is undercover at Fort Knox. His assignment: to investigate a twenty-two-year-old murder.  His suspect’s name: Jack Reacher. Jack Reacher is in Fort Knox on his own mission: to bring down a dangerous criminal ring operating at the heart of America’s military.  Except now Will Trent is on the scene. But there’s a bigger conspiracy at play – one that neither the special agent nor the ex-military cop could have anticipated. And the only option is for Jack Reacher and Will Trent to team up and play nicely. If they can…

A Look Alike by Erica Spindler

Sienna Scott grew up in the dark shadow of her mother’s paranoid delusions. Now, she’s returned home to confront her past and the unsolved murder that altered the course of her life.  In her mother’s shuttered house, an old fear that has haunted Sienna for years rears its ugly head―that it was she who had been the killer’s target that night.

A Divided Loyalty by Charles Todd

A woman has been murdered at the foot of a megalith shaped like a great shrouded figure. Chief Inspector Brian Leslie, one of the Yard’s best men, is sent to investigate the site in Avebury, a village set inside a prehistoric stone circle not far from Stonehenge. In spite of his efforts, Leslie is not able to identify her, much less discover how she got to Avebury—or why she died there. Her killer has simply left no trace.

#Winterween Reads

#Winterween Reads

Inspired by the #winterween bookathons popping up on Instagram, we’ve got some great reading suggestions when you’re looking for some spooky stories to read in the dead of winter.

(Thanks to SPL staff member, Heather, for the suggestions!)


Cover ImageThe Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

With delicious suspense, incisive wit, and a fresh, feminist sensibility, The Wife Upstairs flips the script on a timeless tale of forbidden romance, ill-advised attraction, and a wife who just won’t stay buried. In this vivid reimagining of one of literature’s most twisted love triangles, which Mrs. Rochester will get her happy ending?

 


Cover ImageThe Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara’s farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that suddenly proves perilous when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace. Searching for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea’s diary hidden beneath the floorboards of her mother’s bedroom. As Ruthie gets sucked deeper into the mystery of Sara’s fate, she discovers that she’s not the only person who’s desperately looking for someone that they’ve lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself.


Cover ImageOne by One by Ruth Ware

When the cofounder of Snoop, a trendy London-based tech startup, organizes a weeklong trip for the team in the French Alps, it starts out as a corporate retreat like any other: PowerPoint presentations and strategy sessions broken up by mandatory bonding on the slopes. But as soon as one shareholder upends the agenda by pushing a lucrative but contentious buyout offer, tensions simmer and loyalties are tested. The storm brewing inside the chalet is no match for the one outside, however, and a devastating avalanche leaves the group cut off from all access to the outside world. Even worse, one Snooper hadn’t made it back from the slopes when the avalanche hit.

As each hour passes without any sign of rescue, panic mounts, the chalet grows colder, and the group dwindles further…one by one.


Cover ImageThe Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher

Have you ever been wrong about someone? Juno was wrong about Winnie Crouch.  Before moving in with the Crouch family, Juno thought Winnie and her husband, Nigel, had the perfect marriage, the perfect son–the perfect life. Only now that she’s living in their beautiful house, she sees the cracks in the crumbling facade are too deep to ignore.

Still, she isn’t one to judge. After her grim diagnosis, the retired therapist simply wants a place to live out the rest of her days in peace. But that peace is shattered the day Juno overhears a chilling conversation between Winnie and Nigel… She shouldn’t get involved. But this could be her chance to make a few things right. Because if you thought Juno didn’t have a secret of her own, then you were wrong about her, too.


Cover ImageThe Haunting of Brynn Wilder by Wendy Webb

After a devastating loss, Brynn Wilder escapes to Wharton, a tourist town on Lake Superior, to reset. But in this inviting refuge, where a century of souls has passed, a mystery begins to swirl. In this chilling season of love, transformation, and fear, something is calling for Brynn. To settle her past, she may have no choice but to answer.

 

 


Cover ImageHorrorstor by Grady Hendrix

A traditional haunted house story in a contemporary setting (and full of current fears), Horrorstor comes conveniently packaged in the form of a retail catalog, complete with illustrations of ready-to-assemble furniture and other, more sinister accessories. We promise you’ve never seen anything quite like it!

Titles on Strength and Resilience

Titles on Strength and Resilience

 

Sometimes having the capacity to withstand life’s pressures can feel impossible. The characters in these titles find strength and resilience, despite the odds against them.


Cover ImageThe Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood’s sequel to THE HANDMAID’S TALE picks up the story more than fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.

Britt Marie was Here by Fredrik Backman

When Britt-Marie walks out on her cheating husband and has to fend for herself in the miserable backwater town of Borg, she is more than a little unprepared. Employed as the caretaker of a soon-to-be demolished recreation center, the fastidious Britt-Marie has to cope with muddy floors, unruly children, and a rat for a roommate.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives.

And Then There were None by Agatha Christie

Ten…Ten strangers are lured to an isolated island mansion off the Devon coast by a mysterious U. N. Owen. Nine… At dinner a recorded message accuses each of them in turn of having a guilty secret, and by the end of the night one of the guests is dead. Eight…Stranded by a violent storm, and haunted by a nursery rhyme counting down one by one . . . as one by one . . . they begin to die.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, Victoria Jones is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Read more

Starting Over

Starting Over

Ready for 2021? These stories about starting over will bring you inspiration as we journey into the new year.


Up for Renewal: What Magazines Taught Me About Love, Sex and Starting Over by Cathy Alter

By age thirty-seven, Cathy Alter had made a mess of her life. With a failed marriage already under her belt, she was continuing down the path of poor decisions, one paved with a steady stream of junk food, unpaid bills, questionable friends, and highly inappropriate men. So Cathy gave over her life to the glossies for the next twelve months, resolving to follow their advice without question.

Across Many Mountains by Yangzom Brauen

Kusang never thought she would leave Tibet. But then the Chinese army invaded, and their peaceful lives were destroyed forever. Kusang’s granddaughter, Yangzom, born in safety in Switzerland, has written the story of her inspirational mother and grandmother’s fight for survival.

It’s Never too Late to Begin Again: discovering creativity and meaning at midlife and beyond by Julia Cameron with Emma Lively

When someone retires, the newfound freedom can be quite exciting, but also daunting. Cameron shows readers how cultivating their creative selves can help them navigate this new terrain. She tells the inspiring stories of retirees who discovered new artistic pursuits and passions that more than filled their days—they nurtured their souls.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy, yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. Along the way his quest teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

From one of America’s iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage–and a life, in good times and bad–that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child.

Cover ImageUntamed by Glennon Doyle

Soulful and uproarious, forceful and tender, Untamed is both an intimate memoir and a galvanizing wake-up call. It is the story of how one woman learned that a responsible mother is not one who slowly dies for her children, but one who shows them how to fully live. It is the story of navigating divorce, forming a new blended family, and discovering that the brokenness or wholeness of a family depends not on its structure but on each member’s ability to bring her full self to the table.

What is the What by Dave Eggers

What Is the What is the epic novel based on the life of Valentino Achak Deng who, along with thousands of other children —the so-called Lost Boys—was forced to leave his village in Sudan at the age of seven and trek hundreds of miles by foot, pursued by militias, government bombers, and wild animals, crossing the deserts of three countries to find freedom.

Extra Virgin by Annie Hawes

A small stone house deep among the olive groves of Liguria, going for the price of a dodgy second-hand car. Annie Hawes and her sister, on the spot by chance, have no plans whatsoever to move to the Italian Riviera but find naturally that it’s an offer they can’t refuse.

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

In small town Maine, Evvie Drake is picking up the pieces after the death of her husband. Dean Tenney rolls into town to get out of the spotlight and figure out what’s next for a major leaguer who’s got the yips.

 

Fifty Acres and a Poodle: a story of love, livestock and finding myself on a farm by Jeanne Marie Laskas

Jeanne Marie Laskas had a dream of fleeing her otherwise happy urban life for fresh air and open space — a dream she would discover was about something more than that. But she never expected her fantasy to come true — until a summer afternoon’s drive in the country.

Present over Perfect: leaving behind frantic for a simpler, more soulful way of living by Shauna Niequist

“A few years ago, I found myself exhausted and isolated, my soul and body sick. I was tired of being tired, burned out on busy. And, it seemed almost everyone I talked with was in the same boat: longing for connection, meaning, depth, but settling for busy. But over the course of the last few years, I’ve learned a way to live, marked by grace, love, rest, and play. And it’s changing everything.”

Her by Christa Parravani

A blazingly passionate memoir of identity and love: when a charismatic and troubled young woman dies tragically, her identical twin must struggle to survive.

Starting Over by Robin Pilcher

Liz Dewhurst is devastated when she discovers that her husband Gregor is having an affair. After years of security every day feels like a struggle for survival. But things soon begin to change when Liz’s son suggests renting out a room to bring in some extra income.

When I was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiagoh

Esmeralda Santiago’s story begins in rural Puerto Rico, where her childhood was full of both tenderness and domestic strife, tropical sounds and sights as well as poverty. As she enters school we see the clash, both hilarious and fierce, of Puerto Rican and Yankee culture.

One Month to Live: Thirty Days to a No-regrets Life by Kerry and Chris Shook

What if you learned you had just one month to live? Without a doubt, you’d stop living on autopilot and determine to make the most of every moment. You don’t have any time to waste. Why wait to answer the longings of your heart?

Cover ImageSafe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

In a small North Carolina town, a mysterious and beautiful woman running from her past slowly falls for a kind-hearted store owner . . . until dark secrets begin to threaten her new life.

Dear Fang with Love by Rufi Thorpe

After a frightening psychotic break at a high-school party in California, Vera has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Suddenly, she and her family are plunged into the absurdity and banality of the mental health system.

Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler

Married with three almost-grown children, Delia Grinstead has vanished without trace or reason. But for Delia, walking away from it all is an impulse that will lead her into a new, exciting, and unimagined life.

Beyond the Sky and the Earth: A Journey into Bhutan by Jamie Zeppa

Jamie Zeppa was 24 when she left a stagnant life at home and signed a contract to teach for two years in the Buddhist hermit kingdom of Bhutan. Much more than just a travel memoir, Beyond the Sky and the Earth is the story of her time in a Himalayan village, immersed in Bhutanese culture and the wonders of new and lasting love.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died; his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history; and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island.

 

Librarian’s choice: Stephanie’s Favorite Books of 2020

Librarian’s choice: Stephanie’s Favorite Books of 2020

Here are my favorite reads that came out in 2020. I like to be eclectic in my reading, so there is a little bit of everything in this list. Some mystery, some romance, a little nonfiction, and all just plain good writing.


Guest List by Lucy Foley

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. And then someone turns up dead.

Another title by Foley, The Hunting Party, is available on Hoopla.


Crooked Hallelujah by Kelli Jo Ford

It’s 1974 in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and fifteen-year-old Justine grows up in a family of tough, complicated, and loyal women presided over by her mother, Lula, and Granny. After Justine’s father abandoned the family, Lula became a devout member of the Holiness Church – a community that Justine at times finds stifling and terrifying. But Justine does her best as a devoted daughter until an act of violence sends her on a different path forever.

Crooked Hallelujah tells the stories of Justine–a mixed-blood Cherokee woman– and her daughter, Reney, as they move from Eastern Oklahoma’s Indian Country in the hopes of starting a new, more stable life in Texas amid the oil bust of the 1980s. However, life in Texas isn’t easy, and Reney feels unmoored from her family in Indian Country. Against the vivid backdrop of the Red River, we see their struggle to survive in a world–of unreliable men and near-Biblical natural forces, like wildfires and tornados–intent on stripping away their connections to one another and their very ideas of home.

Also available on Hoopla.


Beach Read by Emily Henry

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.  They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

Also available on Overdrive.


Vesper Flights by Helen MacDonald

In Vesper Flights Helen Macdonald brings together a collection of her best loved essays, along with new pieces on topics ranging from nostalgia for a vanishing countryside to the tribulations of farming ostriches to her own private vespers while trying to fall asleep.

Meditating on notions of captivity and freedom, immigration and flight, Helen invites us into her most intimate experiences: observing the massive migration of songbirds from the top of the Empire State Building, watching tens of thousands of cranes in Hungary, seeking the last golden orioles in Suffolk’s poplar forests. She writes with heart-tugging clarity about wild boar, swifts, mushroom hunting, migraines, the strangeness of birds’ nests, and the unexpected guidance and comfort we find when watching wildlife.

Also available on Hoopla.


Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . . . From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes “a terrifying twist on classic gothic horror” ( Kirkus Reviews ) set in glamorous 1950s Mexico.

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find–her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Also available on Overdrive.


Writers & Lovers by Lily King

Blindsided by her mother’s sudden death, and wrecked by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody has arrived in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997 without a plan. Her mail consists of wedding invitations and final notices from debt collectors. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, moldy room at the side of a garage where she works on the novel she’s been writing for six years. At thirty-one, Casey is still clutching onto something nearly all her old friends have let go of: the determination to live a creative life. When she falls for two very different men at the same time, her world fractures even more. Casey’s fight to fulfill her creative ambitions and balance the conflicting demands of art and life is challenged in ways that push her to the brink.

Also available on Hoopla.


Why We Swim by Bonnie Tsui

We swim in freezing Arctic waters and piranha-infested rivers to test our limits. We swim for pleasure, for exercise, for healing. But humans, unlike other animals that are drawn to water, are not natural-born swimmers. We must be taught. Our evolutionary ancestors learned for survival; now, in the twenty-first century, swimming is one of the most popular activities in the world.

Why We Swim is propelled by stories of Olympic champions, a Baghdad swim club that meets in Saddam Hussein’s palace pool, modern-day Japanese samurai swimmers, and even an Icelandic fisherman who improbably survives a wintry six-hour swim after a shipwreck. New York Times contributor Bonnie Tsui, a swimmer herself, dives into the deep, from the San Francisco Bay to the South China Sea, investigating what it is about water that seduces us, despite its dangers, and why we come back to it again and again.

Also available on Hoopla.

Merry Christmas Fiction

Merry Christmas Fiction

Celebrate the holidays with these new Christmas titles added to the collection.  Choose from one of these romantic titles….

California ChristmasA California Christmas by Brenda Novak

Up-and-coming TV anchor Emery Bliss can’t imagine anything more humiliating than the sex tape her ex revenge-posted online. That is, until it causes her to lose her job on top of her self-esteem. Seeking solace–and anonymity–in Silver Springs, Emery isn’t looking to get involved with another man any time soon. But when she’s thrown back into contact with Dallas Turner, she sees something that his many detractors have missed.

Being home for the holidays and his adoptive mother’s wedding isn’t where mountain climber Dallas feels most comfortable. Thanks to his troubled childhood, he’d rather be on a rock face alone than trying to connect with people. Emery, however, makes him want to overcome his past…somehow.

Both Emery and Dallas had been planning on a quiet, solitary Christmas, but the sparks between them are lighting a fire strong enough to last–possibly forever.


The Christmas Backup Plan by Lori Wilde

You are cordially invited to a Twilight, Texas, Christmas Wedding! The town is decorated, the cookies are made, and the stage is set . . . for love.

Wedding planner Aria Alzate has one goal: to give her best friend a perfect day. But after a bump on the head, she’s under doctor’s orders not to travel on her own. So she’s stuck on the road to Twilight with upright, uptight Remington Lockhart in the driver’s seat. True, Remy is one long, tall, Texas male, but the ex-military man never saw a rule he didn’t like–making this one long road trip . . .

Remy has left the military, but the military lifestyle has not left him. The uncertainty this ex-paratrooper encountered during his tour of duty has convinced him that plans–combined with backup plans–will keep life under control. Aria is undeniably tempting, but her fly-by-the-seat of her pants attitude is never going to work.

Then a sudden snowstorm strikes, and these opposites come together in a night of unexpected passion. And suddenly the magic of a Twilight, Texas, Christmas takes hold, proving that sometimes the best plan is to have no plan at all.


Holiday Lights by Debbie Macomber

Curl up with three heartwarming stories and let the spark of romance brighten the holiday season

THE FORGETFUL BRIDE

Caitlin Marshall is stuck spending the holidays with Joe Rockwell. Her childhood friend is still a terrible tease, claiming that he and Cait are married. Oh, sure, they had a pretend ceremony when she was eight–but now it would seem that Joe wants to make their relationship into something real.

SUGAR AND SPICE

Librarian Jayne Gilbert needs a man she can bring to her high school reunion. So, naturally, Jayne turns to a book: How to Pick Up a Man. And it works, even if she attracts the attention of good-looking Riley Chambers only because she’s carrying that book, not because she followed its advice!

FRIENDS–AND THEN SOME

Lily Morrissey decides it’s time to find a husband, preferably one who can look after her. It’s a strictly practical decision, so she enlists the help of her best friend, Jake Carson, in the Great Husband Search. But then Lily’s feelings for Jake start to change… Could they become more than friends?


Noel Letters by Richard Paul Evans

After nearly two decades, Noel Post, an editor for a major New York publishing house, returns to her childhood home in Salt Lake City to see her estranged, dying father. What she believed would be a brief visit turns into something more as she inherits the bookstore her father fought to keep alive. Reeling from loneliness, a recent divorce, and unanticipated upheavals in her world, Noel begins receiving letters from an anonymous source, each one containing thoughts and lessons about her life and her future. She begins to reacquaint herself with the bookstore and the people she left behind, and in doing so, starts to unravel the reality of her painful childhood and the truth about her family. As the holidays draw near, she receives a Christmastime revelation that changes not only how she sees the past but also how she views her future.


Or choose something a little more sinister….

A Christmas Resolution by Anne Perry

Detective John Hooper, William Monk’s right-hand man at the Thames River Police, is blissfully happy in his new marriage to Celia, the cousin of a victim in one of the river police’s recent murder cases. Celia wants the same happiness for her good friend Clementine, who’s just announced her engagement to Seth Marlowe, a member of her church. Christmas is nearing, and this should be extra cause for celebration, but when Marlowe begins receiving threatening letters about his first wife’s death, it becomes clear that he is far from the devout man Clementine thought he was. In his rage, Marlowe accuses Celia of sending the letters, claiming she wants to ruin his engagement to Clementine. At a loss as to how to defend herself, Celia enlists Hooper to investigate the letters’ claims, and what he finds makes her desperate to show Clementine the truth about her soon-to-be husband.

But Celia herself has not always been truthful, especially not during the murder trial following her cousin’s death. How can she be believed now, when she lied on the stand? Especially when Marlowe knows that she did, and could use it against her. This Yuletide season finds love and faith put to the test–and Celia’s and Clementine’s lives on the line.


Murder at an Irish Christmas by Carlene O’Connor

This December in Kilbane, if you’re planning to warm up with a cuppa tea at Naomi’s Bistro, you may have a bit of a wait–the entire O’Sullivan brood has gone off to West Cork to spend the holidays with brother James’ fiancee Elise’s family, including her grandfather, the famous orchestral conductor Enda Elliot. Siobhan is so happy for James and Elise but also quietly disappointed that she must put her own wedding to fellow garda Macdara Flannery on hold. Mac will have to join them later, so he can spend part of the holidays with his mam.

When the O’Sullivans learn everyone will choose a name from a hat to buy a music-related Christmas gift for someone else at the gathering, it seems like their greatest concern–until the cantankerous conductor is discovered crushed under a ninety-pound harp in a local concert hall.

With the extended family–including Enda’s much-younger new wife Leah, a virtuoso violinist–suspected in his murder, it’s up to Siobhan to ensure the guilty party faces the music. But as a snowstorm strands both families in a lavish farmhouse on a cliff, Siobhan had better pick up the tempo–before the killer orchestrates another untimely demise…