Travel Adventures

Travel Adventures

Adventure! Travel! Take a journey with the authors of some amazing journeys. Whether older classics or newer titles, a well-written travel experience is a transporting adventure that is perfect for summer reading. Here are some great titles from the nonfiction shelves of SPL!


An Arabian Journey: One Man’s Quest Through the Heart of the Middle East     Levison Wood

915.3 WOO 2019

Following in the footsteps of great explorers such as Lawrence of Arabia and Wilfred Thesiger, Wood brings us along on his complex adventure: a circumnavigation of the Arabian Peninsula as he completes a 5,000-mile trek through the most contested region on the planet. An epic tour through the land at the root of all civilization.

Cover ImageExplore Everything: Place-Hacking the City Bradley L. Garrett 910.4 GAR 2013

Has every inch of the world been explored?  Perhaps it is the everyday places – the cities we live in – that need to be rediscovered.  The author has evaded urban security in numerous cities to experience the city in new ways – he calls it “place hacking” – a new look at closed, secret, hidden and forgotten urban spaces.  Intriguing and with lots of photos!

Cover ImageNotes from a Small Island Bill Bryson 914.1 BRY 2001

Bill Bryson never disappoints!  The author of A Walk in the Woods and In a Sunburned Country takes us on an irreverent and hilarious journey through the island nation he called home for two decades.

The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot Robert Macfarlane 914.2 MAC 2012

The author sets off from his Cambridge home to follow the ancient tracks, holloways, drove roads and sea paths that form part of a vast network of routes that crisscross the British landscape. An immersive exploration of the ghosts and voices that haunt old paths.

The River Queen: A Memoir Mary Morris 917.7 MOR 2007

In the middle of her life, Morris went home, to the heart of the country and the Mississippi River.  Her adventure traveling by houseboat transformed her life.

Sicilian Odyssey Francine Prose 914.5 PRO 2003

The noted author brings the singular island of Sicily to life as she explores its tangled past and colorful present.  Through anecdotes and engrossing historical references she evokes the powerful spell that Sicily has cast for centuries.

Cover ImageThe Snow Leopard Peter Matthiessen 915.496 M433

Truly a classic!  In 1973, the author and biologist George Schaller traveled, as the winter snows were seeping into the high passes of the remote mountains of Nepal, to study the Himalayan blue sheep and possibly glimpse the rare and beautiful snow leopard. Matthiessen, a student of Zen Buddhism, was also on a spiritual quest to find the Lama of Shey at the ancient shrine on Crystal Mountain.

The Traveling Feast: On the Road and at the Table with My Heroes Rick Bass 818 BAS 2018

Rick Bass strikes out on a journey with the aim of making a memorable meal for each of his literary mentors and to express his gratitude for the way they have shaped his writing and his life.  A wonderful journey!

Cover ImageWalking the Nile Levison Wood 916.2 WOO 2015

Starting in November 2013 in a forest in Rwanda, Wood set forth on foot, aiming to become the first person to walk the entire length of the fabled Nile River.  He followed the Nile for nine months, over 4000 miles and through six nations, to the Mediterranean coast.

For Your Listening Pleasure…

For Your Listening Pleasure…

Whether you’re looking for something new to listen to on your walk or have grown tired of the same playlist during your commute, a great place to turn is to podcasts. Packed full of information or brimming with unbridled opinions, podcasts offer an alternative form of storytelling that can be just as entertaining and intriguing as traditional books.


Here are a few notable podcasts library staff love:

Stuff You Should Know

There’s a reason this is one of the most popular podcasts in the world. Since 2008, this show has been educating listeners about almost everything. Hosted by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant.

Swindled

A true-crime podcast about white-collar criminals, con-artists, and corporate evil. (May contain explicit content.)

Radiolab

This beloved podcast is known for its deep-dive journalism, exploration of scientific inquiry, and storytelling. Hosted by Jad Abumrad, Lulu Miller, and Latif Nasser.

Reply All

A podcast about the ‘internet’ that is actually an unfailingly original exploration of modern life and how to survive it.

Ologies with Alie Ward

Science with a sense of humor. Take away a pocket full of science knowledge and charming, bizarre stories about what fuels these professional -ologists’ obsessions. May contain explicit content.

Ridiculous History

History is beautiful, brutal and often, ridiculous. Dive into some of the weirdest stories form across the span of human civilization in Ridiculous History.

Werewolf Ambulance

Comedy podcast about horror movies, hosted by Katie & Allen, Pittsburgh locals. Lots of PGH references, very funny and conversational. Some episodes more explicit than others – depending on the movie they’re talking about – but usually lightweight and fun. Comes out weekly.

Criminal

Concise and engaging true crime stories, hosted by Phoebe Judge. A lot of the episodes are inspired directly from books about the cases, so the podcast almost doubles as an immersive book talk. The wide array of crimes featured put this show apart from a lot of the more grizzly, sensationalized podcasts and the host’s voice is authoritative, yet soothing. Episodes released every other week.

You Must Remember This

A podcast about the first century of Hollywood. Comes out in “seasons,” so each series has a central topic. Her twelve-part series on Charles Manson and Hollywood should not be missed. Great for film buffs, history buffs, or just people in need of an addictive listen. Season episodes released weekly.

Why Won’t You Date Me w/Nicole Byer

A comedy podcast about love and relationships, hosted by comedian Nicole Byer. Every episode features an interview and discussion about a wide range of topics, circling back to love, sex, and relationships. Super funny, can be very explicit. Comes out weekly.

You’re Wrong About

A podcast about famous pop culture topics often misunderstood. With thoughtful and fair gaze, the hosts explore how media and culture can radically alter our perception of people and current events. Episodes released sporadically.

Nice White Parents

A limited run series about the effect of white parents on the education system, from failed integration and attempts to modernize school demographics to the mixed bag of contemporary gentrification.

Grit & Glitter

This podcast is close to our hearts because it is produced by one of our own, Teen Librarian, Emily Fear. It is dedicated to the power of women’s wrestling and although it’s a niche topic, Emily and Harley have a way of getting you into it whether you have an interest or not. And we are HERE. FOR. IT.


Find thousands of free podcasts that you can listen to on your device from iTunes (Apple), GooglePlay (Anroid) and Spotify.

Mysteries and Thrillers for June

Mysteries and Thrillers for June

While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams

From celebrated national leader and bestselling author Stacey Abrams, a gripping thriller set within the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court –where a young law clerk finds herself embroiled in a shocking mystery plotted by one of the most preeminent judges in America.

 


The Decagon House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji

The members of a university mystery club decide to visit an island which was the site of a grisly, unsolved multiple murder the year before. They’re looking forward to investigating the crime, putting their passion for solving mysteries to practical use, but before long there is a fresh murder, and soon the club-members realize they are being picked off one-by-one. The remaining amateur sleuths will have to use all of their murder-mystery expertise to find the killer before they end up dead too.


The Granite Coast Murders by Jean-Luc Bannalec

Inspector Dupin and Claire are on a two-week vacation, but while Claire seems to enjoy the quiet of the beach, Commissaire Dupin takes every opportunity to leave the beach towel. The fabulous dinners on the hotel patio and the rumors about a stolen statue of a saint are the few interesting moments of his days on vacation. But then a tourist vanishes without trace and there’s an attack on a deputy to the local assembly, who is involved in confrontations with local farmers. Shortly after that, the Britanny beach resort is shocked by the discovery of a corpse.


Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian

A young Puritan woman–faithful, resourceful, but afraid of the demons that dog her soul–plots her escape from a violent marriage in this riveting and propulsive novel of historical suspense from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Flight Attendant.

 


The Hunting Wives by May K. Cobb

Moving to a small Texas town, Sophie O’Neill is immediately drawn to socialite Margot Banks who invites her into a secret clique called the Hunting Wives. She becomes obsessed until she finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation with no way out.

 


The Saboteurs by Clive Cussler

Detective Isaac Bell’s investigation into an attempted assassination brings him to the construction site of the Panama Canal–and straight into a nest of vipers–in the latest adventure in the #1 New York Times -bestselling series from Clive Cussler.

 


The Final Twist by Jeffery Deaver

Just hours after the harrowing events of The Never Game and The Goodbye Man, Colter Shaw finds himself in San Francisco, where he has taken on the mission his father began years ago: finding a missing courier bag containing evidence that will bring down a corporate espionage firm responsible for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of deaths.


The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz

Hailed as “breathtakingly suspenseful,” Jean Hanff Korelitz’s The Plot is a propulsive read about a story too good not to steal, and the writer who steals it.

Jacob Finch Bonner was once a promising young novelist with a respectably published first book. Today, he’s teaching in a third-rate MFA program and struggling to maintain what’s left of his self-respect; he hasn’t written–let alone published–anything decent in years. When Evan Parker, his most arrogant student, announces he doesn’t need Jake’s help because the plot of his book in progress is a sure thing, Jake is prepared to dismiss the boast as typical amateur narcissism. But then . . . he hears the plot.


Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

When Delilah, who disappeared 11 years earlier when she was only 6 years old, shockingly returns, the residents of a quiet suburban neighborhood want to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they’ll find.

 


Robert B. Parker’s Payback by Mike Lupica

Street-wise and sassy PI Sunny Randall returns in the latest Robert B. Parker novel by Mike Lupica. PI Sunny Randall has often relied on her best friend, Spike, in times of need. Now their roles are reversed. His 20-year old niece, a junior at Taft University, has committed suicide, and Spike wants to know why. The search will send them digging into the life of a girl embroiled in secrets of her own, her sorority, the university, and even in Spike s own family… secrets that will eventually put both Sunny and Spike in more danger than they’ve ever faced.

Books To Manage Your Life Post-Pandemic

We are finally beginning to return to our normal, pre-pandemic lives. With that brings lots of good things like going out to eat or gathering with friends.  But it also means returning to work, more traffic, busier schedules, and more hectic lives.  Here are just a few titles that you can get from the Sewickley Public Library to help manage your time and ease your mind!

 

The organized mind : thinking straight in the age of information overload / Daniel J. Levitin

New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin shifts his keen insights from your brain on music to your brain in a sea of details. In The Organized Mind , Daniel J. Levitin, PhD, uses the latest brain science to demonstrate how those people excel–and how readers can use their methods to regain a sense of mastery over the way they organize their homes, workplaces, and time.

 

 


Overwhelmed : work, love, and play when no one has the time / Brigid Schulte

Can working parents in America–or anywhere–ever find true leisure time? In Overwhelmed , Schulte, a staff writer for The Washington Post , asks: Are our brains, our partners, our culture, and our bosses making it impossible for us to experience anything but “contaminated time”?

 

 


Make time : how to focus on what matters every day / Jake Knapp

In a world where information refreshes endlessly and the workday feels like a race to react to other people’s priorities faster, frazzled and distracted has become our default position. But what if the exhaustion of constant busyness wasn’t mandatory? What if you could step off the hamster wheel and start taking control of your time and attention? That’s what this book is about.

 

 


Mindfulness for beginners : reclaiming the present moment– and your life / Jon Kabat-Zinn

We may long for wholeness, suggests Jon Kabat-Zinn, but the truth is that it is already here and already ours. The practice of mindfulness holds the possibility of not just a fleeting sense of contentment, but a true embracing of a deeper unity that envelops and permeates our lives. With Mindfulness for Beginners you are invited to learn how to transform your relationship to the way you think, feel, love, work, and play–and thereby awaken to and embody more completely who you really are.

 

 


The stress-proof brain : master your emotional response to stress using mindfulness & neuroplasticity / Melanie Greenberg

The Stress-Proof Brain offers powerful, comprehensive tools based in mindfulness, neuroscience, and positive psychology to help you put a stop to unhealthy responses to stress–such as avoidance, tunnel vision, negative thinking, self-criticism, fixed mindset, and fear. Instead, you’ll discover unique exercises that provide a recipe for resilience, empowering you to master your emotional responses, overcome negative thinking, and create a more tolerant, stress-proof brain.

 

 


How to relax / Thich Nhat Hanh

Stop, relax mindfully, and recharge to control stress and renew mental freshness and clarity.

The fifth book in the bestselling Mindfulness Essentials series, a back-to-basics collection from world-renowned Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh that introduces everyone to the essentials of mindfulness practice.

 


Martha Stewart’s organizing : the manual for bringing order to your life, home & routines / Martha Stewart

The ultimate guide to getting your life in order–with hundreds of practical and empowering ideas, projects, and tips–from America’s most trusted lifestyle authority.

 

 


Joy at work : organizing your professional life / Marie Kondo

Declutter your desk and brighten up your business with this transformative guide from an organizational psychologist and the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The workplace is a magnet for clutter and mess. Who hasn’t felt drained by wasteful meetings, disorganized papers, endless emails, and unnecessary tasks? These are the modern-day hazards of working, and they can slowly drain the joy from work, limit our chances of career progress, and undermine our well-being.

May Fiction!

May Fiction!

 

Check out these new titles from the month of May.


2034 : a novel of the next world war / Elliot Ackerman

Everything in 2034 is an imaginative extrapolation from present-day facts on the ground combined with the authors years working at the highest and most classified levels of national security. Sometimes it takes a brilliant work of fiction to illuminate the most dire of warnings: 2034 is all too close at hand, and this cautionary tale presents the reader a dark yet possible future that we must do all we can to avoid.


Caul Baby / Morgan Jerkins

New York Times bestselling author Morgan Jerkins makes her fiction debut with this electrifying novel, for fans of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Jacqueline Woodson, that brings to life one powerful and enigmatic family in a tale rife with secrets, betrayal, intrigue, and magic.


Whereabouts / Jhumpa Lahiri

A marvelous new novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Lowland and Interpreter of Maladies –her first in nearly a decade–about a woman questioning her place in the world, wavering between stasis and movement, between the need to belong and the refusal to form lasting ties.


The Drowning Kind / Jennifer McMahon

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Invited and The Winter People comes a chilling new novel about a woman who returns to the old family home after her sister mysteriously drowns in its swimming pool…but she’s not the pool’s only victim.


Open Water / Caleb Azumah Nelson

In a crowded London pub, two young people meet. Both are Black British, both won scholarships to private schools where they struggled to belong, both are now artists–he a photographer, she a dancer–and both are trying to make their mark in a world that by turns celebrates and rejects them. Tentatively, tenderly, they fall in love. But two people who seem destined to be together can still be torn apart by fear and violence, and over the course of a year they find their relationship tested by forces beyond their control.


Anchored Hearts / Priscilla Oliveras

Sparkling with humor, romance, Latinx culture, and the unique island energy of Key West, Florida, the acclaimed Keys to Love Series by bestselling author Priscilla Oliveras is the perfect summer read. Sparks fly for a second time when award-winning photographer and prodigal son Alejandro ends up back home, forced to face the familia–and the girl he left behind–for the first time in years. Can these two Key West natives learn to put away old hurts and embrace a new future under the tropical sun?


Popisho / Leone Ross

Everyone in Popisho was born with a little something-something, boy, a little something extra. The local name was cors. Magic, but more than magic. A gift, nah? Yes. From the gods: a thing so inexpressibly your own. Somewhere far away–or maybe right nearby–lies an archipelago called Popisho. A place of stunning beauty and incorrigible mischief, destiny and mystery, it is also a place in need of change.


Secrets of Happiness / Joan Silber

When a man discovers his father in New York has long had another, secret, family–a wife and two kids–the interlocking fates of both families lead to surprise loyalties, love triangles, and a reservoir of inner strength in this “expansive and elegantly crafted novel” (Fresh Air, NPR).


Dial A for Aunties / Jesse Q. Sutanto

What happens when you mix 1 (accidental) murder with 2 thousand wedding guests, and then toss in a possible curse on 3 generations of an immigrant Chinese-Indonesian family?You get 4 meddling Asian aunties coming to the rescue!


Under the Wave at Waimea / Paul Theroux

Now in his sixties, big-wave surfer Joe Sharkey has passed his prime and is losing his “stoke.” The younger surfers around the breaks on the north shore of Oahu still idolize the Shark, but his sponsors are looking elsewhere. One night, while driving home from a bar after one too many, Joe accidentally kills a stranger near Waimea, a tragedy that sends his life out of control. As the repercussions of the accident spiral ever wider, Joe’s devoted girlfriend, Olive, throws herself into uncovering the dead man’s identity and helping Joe find vitality and refuge in the waves again.


Second First Impressions / Sally Thorne

From the USA Today bestselling author of The Hating Game and 99 Percent Mine comes the clever, funny, and unforgettable story of a muscular, tattooed man hired as an assistant to two old women–under the watchful eye of a beautiful retirement home manager.


We Begin at the End / Chris Whitaker

Duchess Day Radley is a thirteen-year-old self-proclaimed outlaw. Rules are for other people. She is the fierce protector of her five-year-old brother, Robin, and the parent to her mother, Star, a single mom incapable of taking care of herself, let alone her two kids.

Walk has never left the coastal California town where he and Star grew up. He may have become the chief of police, but he’s still trying to heal the old wound of having given the testimony that sent his best friend, Vincent King, to prison decades before. And he’s in overdrive protecting Duchess and her brother.

Now, thirty years later, Vincent is being released. And Duchess and Walk must face the trouble that comes with his return. We Begin at the End is an extraordinary novel about two kinds of families–the ones we are born into and the ones we create.

 

Memorial Day Movies

This Memorial Day, remember the fallen with award-winning movies that show the human cost of war.

American Sniper
The story of U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and the struggles he suffers both as a sniper in Iraq and as a family man back at home. Based on a true story. Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper. 2014


Apocalypse Now
A United States Army officer/trained assassin is sent into the depths of a southeast Asian jungle to seek out a renegade colonel and terminate his command during the Vietnam War. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola; starring Martin Sheen and Marlon Brando. Available in the original 1979 version, and the extended version, Apocolypse Now Redux, released in 2001.


Courage Under Fire
When Lt. Col. Nathaniel Serling is asked to review the posthumous candidacy of the first woman to receive a combat-related Medal of Honor, he finds himself plunged into an apparent cover-up surrounding the actions that led to her death. Starring Denzel Washington and Meg Ryan. 1996.


Dunkirk
Set during the early days of World War II, the story follows the harrowing evacuation of Allied troops from the French city of Dunkirk before Nazi forces can take hold. Directed by Christopher Nolan; featuring Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles, and Tom Hardy. 2017.


Full Metal Jacket
This film crystallizes the experience of the Vietnam War by concentrating on a group of raw Marine volunteers, first in training and then in the field. Based on Gustav Hasford’s novel The Short Timers. Directed by Stanley Kubrick. Featuring Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, and Vincent D’Onofrio. 1987.


Fury
In April, 1945, as the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered and outgunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, they face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany. Starring Brad Pitt and Shia Labeouf. 2014.


Glory
A fictionalized account of the Massachusetts 54th Colored Infantry, the first regiment of northern black soldiers to fight in the Civil War. Starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, and Morgan Freeman. 1989.


MASH
The personnel of a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in Korea develop a lunatic lifestyle to cope with the military bureaucracy and the horrors of war. Based on the novel by Richard Hooker. Starring Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman, and Robert Duvall. 1970.


Memphis Belle
This fictionalized version of a true story depicts the final flight for the crew of the Memphis Belle, the first group of B-17 crewmen to fly 25 successful missions. The ensemble cast includes Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz, Tate Donovan, D.B. Sweeney, Billy Zane, Sean Astin, Harry Connick, Jr., and John Lithgow. 1990.


1917
At the height of the First World War, two young British soldiers are given a seemingly impossible mission to cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers. Directed by Sam Mendes; featuring George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman. 2019.


Platoon
The story of a naive Army recruit who faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man during the Vietnam War. Directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, and Charlie Sheen. 1986.


Red Tails
Italy, 1944. As the war takes its toll on Allied forces in Europe, a squadron of black pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen are finally given the chance to prove themselves in the sky, even as they battle discrimination on the ground. Starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard. 2012.


Saving Private Ryan
In the last great war, the greatest danger for eight men… was saving one. Captain John Miller must lead his men deep into enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, whose three brothers died in combat. Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, and Matt Damon. 1998.

Patrons Recommend: Mystery & Romance

Patrons Recommend: Mystery & Romance

Check out these titles that fellow library patrons have loved!


The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

Emmeline lives an enchanted childhood on a remote island with her father, who teaches her about the natural world through her senses. What he won’t explain are the mysterious scents stored in the drawers that line the walls of their cabin, or the origin of the machine that creates them. As Emmeline grows, however, so too does her curiosity, until one day the unforeseen happens, and Emmeline is vaulted out into the real world–a place of love, betrayal, ambition, and revenge. To understand her past, Emmeline must unlock the clues to her identity, a quest that challenges the limits of her heart and imagination.


The Wife Stalker by Liv Constantine

Breezing into the upscale seaside paradise of Westport, Connecticut, gorgeous thirtysomething Piper Reynard sets down roots, opening a rehab and wellness space and joining a local yacht club. When she meets Leo Drakos, a handsome, successful lawyer, the wedding ring on his finger is the only thing she doesn’t like about him. Yet as Piper well knows, no marriage is permanent.

 


A Week at the Shore by Barbara Delinsky

One phone call is all it takes to lure real estate photographer Mallory Aldiss back to her family’s Rhode Island beach home. It’s been twenty years since she’s been gone―running from the scandal that destroyed her parents’ marriage, drove her and her two sisters apart, and crushed her relationship with her first love. But going home is fraught with emotional baggage―memories, mysteries and secrets abound.

 


I’d Give Anything by Marisa de los Santos

Ginny Beale is eighteen, irreverent, funny, and brave, with a brother she adores and a circle of friends for whom she would do anything. While the town cheers on the high school football team, someone sets a fire in the school’s auditorium. Ginny’s best friend, Gray Marsden’s father, a fire fighter, dies in the blaze.  Because of one terrible night, she loses them all—and her adventurous spirit—seemingly forever.

 


The American Fiancee by Eric Dupont

Over the course of the twentieth century, three generations of the Lamontagnes will weather love, passion, jealousy, revenge, and death. Their complicated family dynamic—as dramatic as Puccini’s legendary opera, Tosca—will propel their rise, and fall, and take them around the world . . . until they finally confront the secrets of their complicated pasts.

 


The Trustworthy One by Shelley Shepard Gray

Kendra Troyer always knew she would leave Walnut Creek the first chance she got. When she was accepted into design school, she tried her best not to look back at the four siblings she was abandoning, but ahead to Columbus, where she was determined to stay—far away from her abusive home and far away from Nate Miller, the boy she vowed to despise for the rest of her life.

 


The Lady of the Lake by Peter Guttridge

When Major Richard Rabbitt, owner of a large estate in Sussex, is found floating in a lake belonging to Nimue Grace, a charismatic former Hollywood actress, DI Sarah Gilchrist and DS Bellamy Heap are called in to investigate – and quickly discover Rabbitt was a notoriously difficult man to deal with.

 

 


Always the Last to Know by Kristan Higgins

The Frosts are a typical American family. Barb and John, married almost fifty years, are testy and bored with each other…who could blame them after all this time? At least they have their daughters– Barb’s favorite, the perfect, brilliant Juliet; and John’s darling, the free-spirited Sadie. The girls themselves couldn’t be more different, but at least they got along, more or less. It was fine. It was enough.  Until the day John had a stroke, and their house of cards came tumbling down.

 


Miss Austen by Gill Hornby

Two decades after the death of her beloved sister, Jane, Cassandra Austen returns to the village of Kintbury and the home of her family friends, the Fowles. In a dusty corner of the vicarage, there is a cache of Jane’s letters that Cassandra is desperate to find. Dodging her hostess and a meddlesome housemaid, Cassandra eventually hunts down the letters and confronts the secrets they hold, secrets not only about Jane but about Cassandra herself. Will Cassandra bare the most private details of her life to the world, or commit her sister’s legacy to the flames?

 


No Stone Unturned by Andrea Kane

Jewelry designer Fiona McKay is working on her latest collection of Celtic-inspired jewelry. She’s excited by the possibilities uncovered by Rose Flaherty, the antiquities dealer helping her research the heirloom tapestries inspiring her new collection. When Rose calls to tell her she has answers, Fiona hurries to meet her. But her world is shattered when she finds the lifeless body her elderly friend.

 

 

New Mysteries and Thrillers for May

New Mysteries and Thrillers for May

Check out these new mystery and thriller titles added in the last month!


Turn a Blind Eye by Jeffrey Archer

Newly promoted to Detective Inspector, William Warwick is tasked with a dangerous new line of work, to go undercover and expose crime of another kind: corruption at the heart of the Metropolitan Police Force. Along with detectives Rebecca Pankhurst and Nicky Bailey, his team is focused on following Detective Jerry Summers, a young officer whose lifestyle exceeds his income. But the investigation risks being compromised when Nicky falls for Summers.

 


A Gambling Man by David Baldacci

The 1950s are on the horizon, and Archer is in dire need of a fresh start after a nearly fatal detour in Poca City. So Archer hops on a bus and begins the long journey out west to California, where rumor has it there is money to be made if you’re hard-working, lucky, criminal–or all three.

Along the way, Archer stops in Reno, where a stroke of fortune delivers him a wad of cash and an eye-popping blood-red 1939 Delahaye convertible–plus a companion for the final leg of the journey, an aspiring actress named Liberty Callahan who is planning to try her luck in Hollywood. But when the two arrive in Bay Town, California, Archer quickly discovers that the hordes of people who flocked there seeking fame and fortune landed in a false paradise that instead caters to their worst addictions and fears.


The Windsor Knot by SJ Bennett

It is the early spring of 2016 and Queen Elizabeth is at Windsor Castle in advance of her 90th birthday celebrations. But the preparations are interrupted when a guest is found dead in one of the Castle bedrooms. The scene suggests the young Russian pianist strangled himself, but a badly tied knot leads MI5 to suspect foul play was involved. The Queen leaves the investigation to the professionals–until their suspicions point them in the wrong direction.

 


Northern Spy by Flynn Berry

A producer at the BBC and mother to a new baby, Tessa is at work in Belfast one day when the news of another raid comes on the air. The IRA may have gone underground in the two decades since the Good Friday Agreement, but they never really went away, and lately bomb threats, security checkpoints, and helicopters floating ominously over the city have become features of everyday life. As the news reporter requests the public’s help in locating those responsible for the robbery, security footage reveals Tessa’s sister, Marian, pulling a black ski mask over her face. The police believe Marian has joined the IRA, but Tessa is convinced she must have been abducted or coerced; the sisters have always opposed the violence enacted in the name of uniting Ireland. And besides, Marian is vacationing on the north coast. Tessa just spoke to her yesterday.


The Venice Sketchbook by Rhys Bowen.

Caroline Grant is struggling to accept the end of her marriage when she receives an unexpected bequest. Her beloved great-aunt Lettie leaves her a sketchbook, three keys, and a final whisper… Venice . Caroline’s quest: to scatter Juliet “Lettie” Browning’s ashes in the city she loved and to unlock the mysteries stored away for more than sixty years.

 

 


Devil’s Hand by Jack Carr

The fourth thriller in the “so powerful, so pulse-pounding, so well-written” (Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author) Terminal List series follows former Navy SEAL James Reece as he is entrusted with a top-secret CIA mission of retribution twenty years in the making.

It’s been twenty years since 9/11, two decades since the United States was attacked on home soil and set out to make the guilty pay with their lives. In the shadows, the enemy has been patient–learning, and adapting. And the enemy is ready to strike again.


The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

Before Owen Michaels disappears, he smuggles a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her . Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers–Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother. As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered, as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss, as a US marshal and federal agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity–and why he really disappeared.


The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

Fern Castle works in her local library. She has dinner with her twin sister Rose three nights a week. And she avoids crowds, bright lights and loud noises as much as possible. Fern has a carefully structured life and disrupting her routine can be…dangerous. When Rose discovers that she cannot get pregnant, Fern sees her chance to pay her sister back for everything Rose has done for her. Fern can have a baby for Rose. She just needs to find a father. Simple. Fern’s mission will shake the foundations of the life she has carefully built for herself and stir up dark secrets from the past, in this quirky, rich and shocking story of what families keep hidden.


Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson

Growing up poor in rural Georgia, Bree Cabbat was warned that the world was a dark and scary place. Bree rejected that fearful outlook, and life has proved her right. Having married into a family with wealth, power, and connections, Bree now has all a woman could ever dream of.

Until the day she awakens and sees someone peering into her bedroom window–an old gray-haired woman dressed all in black who vanishes as quickly as she appears. It must be a play of the early morning light or the remnant of a waking dream, Bree tells herself, shaking off the bad feeling that overcomes her.


Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone

Cat lives in Los Angeles, far away from 36 Westeryk Road, the imposing gothic house in Edinburgh where she and her estranged twin sister, El, grew up. As girls, they invented Mirrorland , a dark, imaginary place under the pantry stairs full of pirates, witches, and clowns. These days Cat rarely thinks about their childhood home, or the fact that El now lives there with her husband Ross. But when El mysteriously disappears after going out on her sailboat, Cat is forced to return to 36 Westeryk Road, which has scarcely changed in twenty years. The grand old house is still full of shadowy corners, and at every turn Cat finds herself stumbling on long-held secrets and terrifying ghosts from the past.


When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain

Anna Hart is a seasoned missing persons detective in San Francisco with far too much knowledge of the darkest side of human nature. When tragedy strikes her personal life, Anna, desperate and numb, flees to the Northern California village of Mendocino to grieve. She lived there as a child with her beloved foster parents, and now she believes it might be the only place left for her. Yet the day she arrives, she learns that a local teenage girl has gone missing.

 


21st Birthday by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

When young wife and mother Tara Burke goes missing with her baby girl, all eyes are on her husband, Lucas. He paints her not as a missing person but a wayward wife–until a gruesome piece of evidence turns the investigation criminal. While Chronicle reporter Cindy Thomas pursues the story and M.E. Claire Washburn harbors theories that run counter to the SFPD’s, ADA Yuki Castellano sizes Lucas up as a textbook domestic offender . . . who suddenly puts forward an unexpected suspect. If what Lucas tells law enforcement has even a grain of truth, there isn’t a woman in the state of California who’s safe from the reach of an unspeakable threat.


The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

“The reigning queen of historical fiction” — Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network returns with another heart-stopping World War II story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over.

 


Ocean Prey by John Sandford

An off-duty Coast Guardsman is fishing with his family when he calls in some suspicious behavior from a nearby boat. It’s a snazzy craft, slick and outfitted with extra horsepower, and is zipping along until it slows to pick up a surfaced diver . . . a diver who was apparently alone, without his own boat, in the middle of the ocean. None of it makes sense unless there’s something hinky going on, and his hunch is proved right when all three Guardsmen who come out to investigate are shot and killed.

They’re federal officers killed on the job, which means the case is the FBI’s turf. When the FBI’s investigation stalls out, they call in Lucas Davenport. And when his case turns lethal, Davenport will need to bring in every asset he can claim, including a detective with a fundamentally criminal mind: Virgil Flowers

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month

Millions of Americans are affected by mental health issues each year, though widespread stigmas and misunderstandings about mental illness remain. Mental health issues cover a range of conditions and present a variety of challenges for those affected by it and their loved ones. The following non-fiction titles highlight different forms of mental traumas – from depression to PTSD to dementia – to offer personal perspectives about mental health issues and remind those struggling with mental illness that they are not alone.


Cover ImageBecause We Are Bad: OCD and a Girl Lost in Thought by Lily Bailey

By the age of thirteen, Lily Bailey was convinced she was bad. She had killed someone with a thought, spread untold disease, and ogled the bodies of other children. Only by performing an exhausting series of secret routines could she make up for what she’d done. But no matter how intricate or repetitive, no act of penance was ever enough. Beautifully written and astonishingly intimate, Because We Are Bad recounts a childhood consumed by obsessive compulsive disorder.

 

 


All the Things We Never Knew: Chasing the Chaos of Mental Illness by Sheila Hamilton

Sheila Hamilton missed the signs as her husband David’s mental illness unfolded before her. By the time she had pieced together the puzzle, it was too late. Her once brilliant and passionate partner was dead within six weeks of a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, leaving his wife and nine-year-old daughter without so much as a note to explain his actions. It details their unsettling spiral from ordinary life into the world of mental illness, examines the fragile line between reality and madness, and reveals the true power of love and forgiveness.

 


Cover ImageThe Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity by Nadine Burke Harris, M.D.

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris was already known as a crusading physician delivering targeted care to vulnerable children. But it was Diego—a boy who had stopped growing after a sexual assault—who galvanized her journey to uncover the connections between toxic stress and lifelong illnesses. Adverse childhood experiences like abuse, neglect, parental addiction, mental illness, and divorce change our biological systems, and lasts a lifetime. The fascinating scientific insight and innovative health interventions in The Deepest Well represent vitally important hope for preventing lifelong illness for those we love and for generations to come.

 

 


Cover ImageIn the Jaws of Black Dogs: a Memoir of Depression by John Bentley Mays

Weaving intimate recollections with excerpts from the diaries he kept for thirty years, Mays illuminates the struggle that leads to breakdown and the uneasy truce achieved through psychotherapy. Along the way, he offers provocative commentary on the allure of cure, the cultural scripts of normality, and the distorting mirror of clinical language. A literary tour de force that began with an award winning essay, In the Jaws of the Black Dogs is not an objective analysis composed from the safety of hindsight. It is a writer’s attempt to evoke the silent and distorting malignancy–as well as the moments of reprieve–of the only life he has ever known.

 

 


Cover ImageThe Evil Hours: A Biography of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder by David J. Morris

Just as polio loomed over the 1950s and AIDS stalked the 1980s and 1990s, post-traumatic stress disorder haunts us in the early years of the twenty-first century. Over a decade into the United States’ “global war on terror,” PTSD afflicts as many as 30 percent of the conflict’s veterans. But the disorder’s reach extends far beyond the armed forces. In total, some twenty-seven million Americans are believed to be PTSD survivors. Yet to many of us, the disorder remains shrouded in mystery, secrecy, and shame. Morris crafts a moving work that will speak not only to those with the condition and to their loved ones but also to all of us struggling to make sense of an anxious and uncertain time.

 


Cover ImageDemon Camp: The Strange and Terrible Saga of a Soldier’s Return from War by Jennifer Percy

In 2005 a Chinook helicopter carrying sixteen Special Ops soldiers crashed during a rescue mission in Afghanistan, killing everyone on board. In that instant, machine gunner Caleb Daniels lost his best friend, Kip, and seven members of his unit. Back in the US, Caleb begins to see them everywhere—dead Kip, with his Alice in Wonderland tattoos, and the rest of them, their burned bodies always watching him. But there is something else haunting Caleb, too—a presence he calls the Black Thing, or the Destroyer, a paralyzing horror that Caleb comes to believe is a demon. Alone with these apparitions, Caleb considers killing himself. There is an epidemic of suicide among veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, men and women with post-traumatic stress disorder who cannot cope with ordinary life in the aftermath of explosions and carnage. Author Jen Percy finds herself drawn to their stories.

 


Cover ImageMemory’s Last Breath: Field Notes on My Dementia by Gerda Saunders

Based on the “field notes” she keeps in her journal, Memory’s Last Breath is Gerda Saunders’ astonishing window into a life distorted by dementia. She writes about shopping trips cut short by unintentional shoplifting, car journeys derailed when she loses her bearings, and the embarrassment of forgetting what she has just said to a room of colleagues. Coping with the complications of losing short-term memory, Saunders, a former university professor, nonetheless embarks on a personal investigation of the brain and its mysteries, examining science and literature, and immersing herself in vivid memories of her childhood in South Africa.

 

 


If you or someone you know are struggling with a mental illness, the National Alliance on Mental Illness offers resources for support and education to tackle tough challenges that you, your family or friends are facing.

Mom Movies

Celebrate motherhood with these DVDs from SPL!

Bad Moms
When three overworked and underappreciated moms are pushed beyond their limits, they ditch their conventional responsibilities for a jolt of long-overdue freedom, fun, and comedic self indulgence.

Featuring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Christina Applegate. 2016.


Show (281×400)The Blind Side
Taken in by a well-to-do family and offered a second chance at life, a homeless teen grows to become the star athlete projected to be the first pick at the NFL draft in this sports-themed comedy drama inspired by author Michael Lewis’ best-seller.

Featuring Sandra Bullock, Quinton Aaron, and Tim McGraw. 2009.


Freaky Friday
A single mother and her teenage daughter Anna couldn’t be more different, and it is driving them both insane. After receiving cryptic fortunes at a Chinese restaurant, the two wake up the next day to discover that they have somehow switched bodies.

Featuring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan. 2003.


The Joy Luck Club
Based on the novel by Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club explores the stories of four women who were born in China and emigrated to America, as well as their often fraught relationships with their Chinese American daughters.

Featuring Rosalind Chao, Lauren Tom, Tamlyn Tomita, and Ming-Na Wen. 1993.


Juno
Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, an offbeat young woman makes an unusual decision regarding her unborn child in this charming comedy.

Featuring Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner. 2007.


Lady Bird
Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson fights against but is exactly like her wildly loving, deeply opinionated and strong-willed mother, a nurse working tirelessly to support her family after Lady Bird’s father loses his job. Here is an affecting look at the relationships that shape use, the beliefs that define us, and the unmatched beauty of a place called home.

Featuring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, and Tracy Letts. 2017.


Life As We Know It
When their goddaughter’s parents both perish in a tragic accident, Holly and Eric are informed that they were singled out as her caretakers in the event of an unforeseen disaster. Now, in order to raise her right, this bickering pair must put their differences aside while mastering the fine art of parenthood.

Featuring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel. 2010.


Lion
Five-year-old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of kilometers across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone in Kolkata, before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home.

Featuring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman. 2016.


20th Century Women
The story of a teenage boy, his mother, and two other women who help raise him among the love and freedom of Southern California of 1979.

Featuring Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, and Greta Gerwig. 2017.