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  Through anecdotes and engrossing historical references she evokes the powerful spell that Sicily has cast for centuries.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.

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.

 

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.

Lyrical Novels

Evocative, haunting, spare. Here are ten beautifully rendered novels that blur the line between poetry and prose.

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born — a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam — and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one’s own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard.


The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
A classic work of American literature that has not stopped changing minds and lives since it burst onto the literary scene, The Things They Carried is a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling.

“In prose that combines the sharp, unsentimental rhythms of Hemingway with gentler, more lyrical descriptions, Mr. O’Brien gives the reader a shockingly visceral sense of what it felt like to tramp through a booby-trapped jungle, carrying 20 pounds of supplies, 14 pounds of ammunition, along with radios, machine guns, assault rifles and grenades. . . . With The Things They Carried, Mr. O’Brien has written a vital, important book–a book that matters not only to the reader interested in Vietnam, but to anyone interested in the craft of writing as well.” –Michiko Kakutani, New York Times


Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Part ghost story, part road novel, this historic National Book Award winner is a dazzling journey through Mississippi’s past and present and an epic tale of hope and survival. Following a family making the trip from their Gulf Coast town to the Mississippi State Penitentiary, Sing, Unburied, Sing tests the strength of emotional bonds and the pull of our collective history. In a haunted landscape, for a family reeling from loss, the trip is fraught with danger. This gorgeous novel, animated by Ward’s lush and vibrant language, is rich with connection, meaning, and healing.


The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich
For more than a half century, Father Damien Modeste has served his beloved Native American tribe, the Ojibwe, on the remote reservation of Little No Horse. Now, nearing the end of his life, Father Damien dreads the discovery of his physical identity, for he is a woman who has lived as a man. To further complicate his quiet existence, a troubled colleague comes to the reservation to investigate the life of the perplexing, possibly false saint Sister Leopolda. Father Damien alone knows the strange truth of Leopolda’s piety, but these facts are bound up in his own secret. He is faced with the most difficult decision: Should he tell all and risk everything . . . or manufacture a protective history for Leopolda, though he believes her wonder-working is motivated solely by evil?


Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna’s eyes we follow the story of the fateful year of 1666, as she and her fellow villagers confront the spread of disease and superstition. As death reaches into every household and villagers turn from prayers to murderous witch-hunting, Anna must find the strength to confront the disintegration of her community and the lure of illicit love. As she struggles to survive and grow, a year of catastrophe becomes instead annus mirabilis, a “year of wonders.”


Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

Running into a long-ago friend sets memory from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything–until it wasn’t. For August and her girls, sharing confidences as they ambled through neighborhood streets, Brooklyn was a place where they believed that they were beautiful, talented, brilliant–a part of a future that belonged to them.

But beneath the hopeful veneer, there was another Brooklyn, a dangerous place where grown men reached for innocent girls in dark hallways, where ghosts haunted the night, where mothers disappeared.  Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyn heartbreakingly illuminates the formative time when childhood gives way to adulthood–the promise and peril of growing up–and exquisitely renders a powerful, indelible, and fleeting friendship that united four young lives.


All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize (2015).


Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak
The breathtaking story of five brothers who bring each other up in a world run by their own rules. As the Dunbar boys love and fight and learn to reckon with the adult world, they discover the moving secret behind their father’s disappearance.

At the center of the Dunbar family is Clay, a boy who will build a bridge–for his family, for his past, for greatness, for his sins, for a miracle.

The question is, how far is Clay willing to go? And how much can he overcome?


Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
George Washington Black, or “Wash,” an eleven-year-old field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation, is terrified to be chosen by his master’s brother as his manservant. To his surprise, the eccentric Christopher Wilde turns out to be a naturalist, explorer, inventor, and abolitionist. Soon Wash is initiated into a world where a flying machine can carry a man across the sky, where even a boy born in chains may embrace a life of dignity and meaning–and where two people, separated by an impossible divide, can begin to see each other as human. But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash’s head, Christopher and Wash must abandon everything. What follows is their flight along the eastern coast of America, and, finally, to a remote outpost in the Arctic. What brings Christopher and Wash together will tear them apart, propelling Wash even further across the globe in search of his true self. From the blistering cane fields of the Caribbean to the frozen Far North, from the earliest aquariums of London to the eerie deserts of Morocco, Washington Black tells a story of self-invention and betrayal, of love and redemption, of a world destroyed and made whole again, and asks the question, What is true freedom?


My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn’t spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy’s childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy’s life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable.

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.

Worthwhile Non-Fiction

Worthwhile Non-Fiction

Get lost in these non-fiction tales that read like fiction.


Cover ImageSPIRIT RUN by Noe Alvarez

At nineteen, Noe Alvarex learned about a Native American/First Nations movement called the Peace and Dignity Journeys, epic marathons meant to renew cultural connections across North America. He dropped out of school and joined a group of Dené, Secwépemc, Gitxsan, Dakelh, Apache, Tohono O’odham, Seri, Purépecha, and Maya runners, all fleeing difficult beginnings. Telling their stories alongside his own, Álvarez writes about a four–month–long journey from Canada to Guatemala that pushed him to his limits. He writes not only of overcoming hunger, thirst, and fear—dangers included stone–throwing motorists and a mountain lion—but also of asserting Indigenous and working–class humanity in a capitalist society where oil extraction, deforestation, and substance abuse wreck communities.


Cover ImageTHE ADVENTURER’S SON by Roman Dial

In the predawn hours of July 10, 2014, 27-year-old Cody Roman Dial, the son of preeminent Alaskan scientist and National Geographic Explorer Roman Dial, walked alone into Corcovado National Park, an untracked rainforest along Costa Rica’s remote Pacific Coast that shelters miners, poachers, and drug smugglers. He carried a light backpack and machete. Before he left, he emailed his father: “I am not sure how long it will take me, but I’m planning on doing 4 days in the jungle and a day to walk out. I’ll be bounded by a trail to the west and the coast everywhere else, so it should be difficult to get lost forever.”  They were the last words Dial received from his son.


Cover ImageTHE ESCAPE ARTIST by Helen Fremont

Fremont writes with wit and candor about growing up in a household held together by a powerful glue: secrets. Her parents, profoundly affected by their memories of the Holocaust, pass on, to both Helen and her older sister, a penchant for keeping their lives neatly, even obsessively compartmentalized, and a zealous determination to protect themselves from what they see as danger from the outside world.

 


Cover ImageYELLOW BIRD by Sierra Crane Murdoch

When Lissa Yellow Bird was released from prison in 2009, she found her home, the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota, transformed by the Bakken oil boom. In her absence, the landscape had been altered beyond recognition, her tribal government swayed by corporate interests, and her community burdened by a surge in violence and addiction. Three years later, when Lissa learned that a young white oil worker, Kristopher “KC” Clarke, had disappeared from his reservation worksite, she became particularly concerned. No one knew where Clarke had gone, and few people were actively looking for him.  Yellow Bird traces Lissa’s steps as she obsessively hunts for clues to Clarke’s disappearance.


Cover ImageTHE HUNT FOR HISTORY by Nathan Raab

A box uncovered in a Maine attic with twenty letters written by Alexander Hamilton; a handheld address to Congress by President George Washington; a long-lost Gold Medal that belonged to an American President; a note that Winston Churchill wrote to his captor when he was a young POW in South Africa; paperwork signed and filled out by Amelia Earhart when she became the first woman to fly the Atlantic; an American flag carried to the moon and back by Neil Armstrong; an unpublished letter written by Albert Einstein, discussing his theory of relativity.  Each day, people from all over the world contact Nathan Raab for help understanding what they have, what it might be worth, and how to sell it.


Cover ImageUNCANNY VALLEY by Anna Wiener

In her mid-twenties Anna Wiener—stuck, broke, and looking for meaning in her work, left a job in book publishing for the promise of the new digital economy. She moved from New York to San Francisco, where she landed at a big-data startup in the heart of the Silicon Valley bubble: a world of surreal extravagance, dubious success, and fresh-faced entrepreneurs hell-bent on domination, glory, and, of course, progress.  Anna arrived amidst a massive cultural shift, as the tech industry rapidly transformed into a locus of wealth and power rivaling Wall Street. But amid the company ski vacations and in-office speakeasies, boyish camaraderie and ride-or-die corporate fealty, a new Silicon Valley began to emerge: one in far over its head, one that enriched itself at the expense of the idyllic future it claimed to be building.