Snowy Mysteries

Snowy Mysteries

The snow has finally arrived in Pittsburgh, and there is no better time to cozy up with a winter mystery. If you are looking for something suitably cold, check out one of these winter thrillers. Sure to give you chills!


The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

During the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirtysomething friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together, a tradition they began as students ten years ago. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands–the perfect place to get away and unwind by themselves.

The trip begins innocently enough: admiring the stunning if foreboding scenery, champagne in front of a crackling fire, and reminiscences about the past. But after a decade, the weight of secret resentments has grown too heavy for the group’s tenuous nostalgia to bear. Amid the boisterous revelry of New Year’s Eve, the cord holding them together snaps, just as a historic blizzard seals the lodge off from the outside world. Two days later, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead. . . and another of them did it.


The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

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


In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming

Clare Fergusson, St. Alban’s new priest, fits like a square peg in the conservative Episcopal parish at Miller’s Kill, New York. She is not just a “lady,” she’s a tough ex Army chopper pilot, and nobody’s fool. Then a newborn infant left at the church door brings her together with the town’s police chief, Russ Van Alstyne, who’s also ex-Army and a cynical good shepherd for the stray sheep of his hometown. Their search for the baby’s mother quickly leads them into the secrets that shadow Miller’s Kill like the ever-present Adirondacks. What they discover is a world of trouble, an attraction to each other-and murder…


The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg

Returning to her hometown of Fjallbacka after the funeral of her parents, writer Erica Falck finds a community on the brink of tragedy. The death of her childhood friend, Alex, is just the beginning. Her wrists slashed, her body frozen in an ice-cold bath, it seems that she has taken her own life. Erica conceives a book about the beautiful but remote Alex, one that will answer questions about their own shared past. While her interest grows into an obsession, local detective Patrik Hedstrom is following his own suspicions about the case. But it is only when they start working together that the truth begins to emerge about a small town with a deeply disturbing past.


Hunting Game by Helene Tursten

Embla Nystrom, Detective Inspector in the mobile unit in Gothenburg, Sweden and talented hunter and prize-winning Nordic welterweight, is glad to be taking a vacation from her high-stress job to attend the annual moose hunt with her family and friends. But when Embla arrives in rural Dalsland, she sees an unfamiliar face has joined the group: Peter, enigmatic, attractive, and making their group an unlucky 13. Sure enough, a string of unsettling incidents follow, culminating in the disappearance of two hunters. Embla delves into the dark pasts of her fellow hunters in search of a killer.

 

Book Therapy

Book Therapy

The arrival of a new year can be a time to turn inward and reflect, and the right book can help!  Go on a voyage of self discovery and improvement with the following titles.

10% Happier

Nightline anchor Dan Harris embarks on an unexpected, hilarious, and deeply skeptical odyssey through the strange worlds of spirituality and self-help, and discovers a way to get happier that is truly achievable.

We all have a voice in our head. It’s what has us losing our temper unnecessarily, checking our email compulsively, eating when we’re not hungry, and fixating on the past and the future at the expense of the present. Most of us would assume we’re stuck with this voice – that there’s nothing we can do to rein it in – but Harris stumbled upon an effective way to do just that. It’s a far cry from the miracle cures peddled by the self-help swamis he met; instead, it’s something he always assumed to be either impossible or useless: meditation. After learning about research that suggests meditation can do everything from lower your blood pressure to essentially rewire your brain, Harris took a deep dive into the underreported world of CEOs, scientists, and even marines who are now using it for increased calm, focus, and happiness.


Atomic Habits

No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving–every day. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results. If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Here, you’ll get a proven system that can take you to new heights.


The Body Keeps the Score

Renowned trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score , he transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring–specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust. He shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments including neurofeedback, mindfulness techniques, play, yoga, and other therapies. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score offers proven alternatives to drugs and talk therapy–and a way to reclaim lives.


Daring Greatly

Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable or to dare greatly. Based on twelve years of pioneering research, Brené Brown PhD, MSW, dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and argues that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage. Brown explains how vulnerability is both the core of difficult emotions like fear, grief, and disappointment, and the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, empathy, innovation, and creativity. She writes: “When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.”


Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

With startling wisdom and humor, Lori Gottlieb invites us into her world as both clinician and patient, examining the truths and fictions we tell ourselves and others as we teeter on the tightrope between love and desire, meaning and mortality, guilt and redemption, terror and courage, hope and change. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is rev­olutionary in its candor, offering a deeply per­sonal yet universal tour of our hearts and minds and providing the rarest of gifts: a boldly reveal­ing portrait of what it means to be human, and a disarmingly funny and illuminating account of our own mysterious lives and our power to transform them.


Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World

Humans are social creatures: In this simple and obvious fact lies both the problem and the solution to the current crisis of loneliness. In his groundbreaking book, the 19th surgeon general of the United States Dr. Vivek Murthy makes a case for loneliness as a public health concern: a root cause and contributor to many of the epidemics sweeping the world today from alcohol and drug addiction to violence to depression and anxiety. Loneliness, he argues, is affecting not only our health, but also how our children experience school, how we perform in the workplace, and the sense of division and polarization in our society.

But, at the center of our loneliness is our innate desire to connect. We have evolved to participate in community, to forge lasting bonds with others, to help one another, and to share life experiences. We are, simply, better together.


The Sacred Enneagram 

The Sacred Enneagram is a trustworthy, richly insightful guide to finding yourself in the enneagram’s 9-type profiles, and applying this practical wisdom to transform your life. Far more than a personality test, author Chris Heuertz writes, the enneagram is a sacred map to the soul. The enneagram offers a bright path to cutting through the internal clutter and finding our way back to God and to our true identity as God created us.


Thinking Fast and Slow

Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation–each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.


Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts–from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, impeccably researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.

New Christmas Titles

New Christmas Titles

FICTION

Christmas by the Book / Anne Marie Ryan

Nora and her husband, Simon, have run the beautiful oak-beamed book shop in their small British village for thirty years. But times are tough and the shop is under threat of closure–this Christmas season will really decide their fate. When an elderly man visits the store and buys the one book they’ve never been able to sell, saying it’s the perfect gift for his sick grandson, it gives Nora an idea. She and Simon will send out books to those feeling down this Christmas. Maybe they can’t save their bookstore, but at least they’ll have one final chance to lift people’s spirits through the power of reading.


The Christmas Promise / Richard Paul Evans

On the night of her high school graduation, Richelle Bach’s father gives her and her identical twin sister, Michelle, matching opal necklaces. “These opals look identical,” he tells them, “but the fire inside each is completely unique–just like the two of you.”

Indeed, the two sisters couldn’t be more different, and their paths diverge as they embark on adulthood. Years pass, until–at their father’s behest–they both come home for Christmas. What happens then forever damages their relationship, and Richelle vows never to see or speak to her sister again. In their father’s last days, he asks Richelle to forgive Michelle, a deathbed promise she never fulfills as her twin is killed in an accident. Now, painfully alone and broken, caring for the sickest of children in a hospital PICU, Richelle has one last dream: to be an author.


The Santa Suit / Mary Kay Andrews

When newly-divorced Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen, she is definitely looking for a change in her life. The Four Roses, as the farmhouse is called, is a labor of love–but Ivy didn’t bargain on just how much labor. The previous family left so much furniture and so much junk, that it’s a full-time job sorting through all of it.

At the top of a closet, Ivy finds an old Santa suit–beautifully made and decades old. In the pocket of a suit she finds a note written in a childish hand: it’s from a little girl who has one Christmas wish, and that is for her father to return home from the war. This discovery sets Ivy off on a mission. Who wrote the note? Did the man ever come home? What mysteries did the Rose family hold?


Santa Cruise / Fern Michaels

At Ridgewood High, Amy, Frankie, Rachael, and Nina formed a deep bond. Now, fifteen years after leaving school behind, they’re back for a reunion, laughing, reminiscing, and chatting how much has changed-and how much hasn’t. Nina, once the star of every school play, moved to Hollywood and landed a recurring role on a sitcom. Amy, fondly known as “the brains of the operation,” is now a Silicon Valley bioengineer. Outgoing and compassionate, Frankie works for a New York publishing house. Rachael, always the most boy-crazy of the crew, married-mostly to please her parents-but is now divorced. All four are strong, successful, and somehow, still looking for the right partner. But Frankie has an idea to help solve that- a singles cruise for the holidays.


Christmas in Peachtree Bluff  / Kristy Woodson Harvey

In the newest installment of New York Times bestselling author Kristy Woodson Harvey’​s Peachtree Bluff series, three generations of the Murphy women must come together when a hurricane threatens to destroy their hometown–and the holiday season in the process.

 

 

MYSTERY

An Eggnog to Die For / Amy Pershing

Professional foodie Samantha Barnes has a simple Christmas list: a quiet holiday at home with her dog and a handsome harbour master; no embarrassing viral videos; and no finding dead bodies. Unfortunately she’s just stumbled over the lifeless body of the town’s Santa Claus Sam finds herself once again in the role of sleuth. She needs to find out who slayed this Santa – but can she pull off a perfect Christmas feast and nab a killer?

 


Best in Snow / David Rosenfelt

Christmas has come early to the town of Paterson, New Jersey, in the form of a snowstorm that dumps two feet of snow on the ground. Lawyer Andy Carpenter likes snow – white Christmas and all that – but it can cause problems for the walks he takes his dogs on every day. When Andy’s golden retriever, Tara, goes to play in the snow and instead discovers a body, Andy ends up on the phone with the local newspaper editor. The murder victim is Mayor Alex Oliva, who had an infamous relationship with the newspaper. Last year a young reporter published an expose, and Oliva had him fired for libel. Now, the young reporter – and prime suspect – is in need of a lawyer. Andy agrees to take the case, though it’s not looking good this holiday season.


The Twelve Jays of Christmas / Donna Andrews

The cast of Donna Andrews’ New York Times bestselling Meg Langslow mystery series is back for an unforgettable holiday story in The Twelve Jays of Christmas.  This intrigue-filled Christmas mystery takes readers home to Caerphilly to join in Meg’s family’s holiday celebration–including, of course, another baffling mystery.

 

 

ROMANCE

Dear Santa / Debbie Macomber

Lindy Carmichael isn’t feeling particularly joyful when she returns home to Wenatchee, Washington, for Christmas. The man she thought was “the one” has cheated on her with her best friend, and she feels completely devoid of creativity in her graphic-design job. Not even carolers or Christmas cookies can cheer her up–but Lindy’s mother, Ellen, remembers an old tradition that might lift her daughter’s spirits.


No Ordinary Christmas / Belle Calhoune

Mistletoe, Maine, is buzzing and not just because Christmas is around the corner! Dante West, local cutie-turned-Hollywood hunk, is returning home to make his next movie. Everyone in town is excited . . . except librarian Lucy Marshall. When Dante took off for LA without warning–or even a goodbye–he broke Lucy’s heart. She swore not to spend one more minute thinking about her ex, but Dante makes an offer Lucy’s struggling library can’t refuse: a major donation to film on-site.


Home for a Cowboy Christmas / Donna Grant

Tis the season–for everyone except Emmy Garrett. She’s on the run after witnessing a crime. But when it becomes clear that trouble will continue following her, the US Marshal in charge takes her somewhere no one will think to look-Montana. Not only is Emmy in a new place for her protection, but now, she’s stuck with a handsome cowboy as her bodyguard…and she wants to do more than kiss him under the mistletoe.


Mistletoe Christmas : An Anthology / Eloisa James, Christi Caldwell, Janna MacGregor, Erica Ridley

From four beloved writers–Eloisa James, Christi Caldwell, Janna MacGregor, and Erica Ridley–come four original stories that tell a hilarious tale of a Christmas house party that serves up love and scandal in equal measure!

 

 

Fall Cookbooks

Fall Cookbooks

Looking for inspiration? Look no further than these brand new cookbooks.


Once Upon a Chef : Weeknight/Weekend / Jennifer Segal

Jennifer Segal, author of the blog and bestselling cookbook Once Upon a Chef, is known for her foolproof, updated spins on everyday classics. Meticulously tested and crafted with an eye toward both flavor and practicality, Jenn’s recipes hone in on exactly what you feel like making.

Here she devotes whole chapters to fan favorites, from Marvelous Meatballs to Chicken Winners, and Breakfast for Dinner to Family Feasts. Whether you decide on sticky-sweet Barbecued Soy and Ginger Chicken Thighs; an enlightened and healthy-ish take on Turkey, Spinach & Cheese Meatballs; Chorizo-Style Burgers; or Brownie Pudding that comes together in under thirty minutes, Jenn has you covered.


Dinner Then Dessert : Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5, or 7 Ingredients / Sabrina Snyder

“How do you make interesting and tasty meals for every member of the family?”

That question inspired former private chef and mom Sabrina Snyder to post practical, reliable, and taste-tested recipes to the website she created, Dinner Then Dessert. Five years later, her website is one of the biggest food sites in America with millions of monthly views and more than 900,000 followers on social media. Incredibly, Sabrina’s famous Philly Cheese Steak recipe, which she posted the day before the Super Bowl, racked up 45,000 hits within the first five minutes!


Trisha’s Kitchen : Easy Comfort Food for Friends & Family / Trisha Yearwood

Trisha Yearwood’s fans know that she can cook up a comforting, delicious meal that will feed a family! Like her earlier bestsellers, Trisha’s Kitchen will include new family favorites and easy-to-make comfort foods, with stories about her family and what’s really important in life.

The 125 recipes include dishes her beloved mother used to make, plus new recipes like Pasta Pizza Snack Mix and Garth’s Teriyaki Bowl. Every recipe tells a story, whether it’s her grandma’s Million Dollar Cupcakes, or her Camo Cake that she made for her nephew’s birthday.


Maman : The Cookbook : All-day Recipes to Warm Your Heart / Elisa Marshall and Benjamin Sormonte

Elisa Marshall and Benjamin Sormonte opened Maman to fill a void in their hearts. They wanted to create a warm, cozy place for people to come together and savor a freshly baked madeleine or slice of savory quiche with the comfort and familiarity of being in their own living room. This collection of 100 recipes spans bestselling dishes from their locations in New York City, Montreal, and Toronto–like Banana-Lavender Cornmeal Waffles with Vanilla Mascarpone, Cumin Chickpea Salad, and the Nutty Chocolate Chip Cookies made famous by none other than Oprah.


Life is What You Bake It : Recipes, Stories, and Inspiration to Bake Your Way to the Top / Vallery Lomas

Popular baking personality and lawyer turned baker Vallery Lomas was ecstatic when she learned she won the third season of The Great American Baking Show . However, her win was never seen by the world–Vallery’s season was pulled after just a few episodes when one of the judges became a focal point in a Me Too accusation. Rather than throwing in her whisk and lamenting all of the missed opportunities she hoped to receive (Book deal! Product endorsements! TV show!), she held her head high and hustled–which resulted in her getting press coverage everywhere from CNN to People magazine. Now, Vallery debuts her first baking book. With 100 recipes for everything from Apple Cider Fritters to Lemon-Honey Madeleines and Crawfish Hand Pies to her Grandma’s Million Dollar Cake.

Books on Books

Books on Books

Books about Books!  What could be more fun!  Here’s a sampling of titles — mysteries, fiction, and memoirs — that highlight the all-encompassing world of books.

Lynne @ SPL


Cover ImageThe Last Chance Library – Freya Sampson

Lonely librarian June Jones has never left the sleepy English village where she grew up. Shy and reclusive, the thirty-year-old would rather spend her time buried in books than venture out into the world. But when her library is threatened with closure, June is forced to emerge from behind the shelves to save the heart of her community and the place that holds the dearest memories of her mother.

…”a sweet testament to the power of reading, community, and the library.” — Booklist


Cover ImageThe Reading List – Sara Nisha Adams  

Aleisha is a bright but anxious teenager working at the local library when she discovers a crumpled-up piece of paper in the back of To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s a list of novels that she’s never heard of before. Intrigued, she impulsively decides to read every book on the list, one after the other. As each story gives up its magic, the books transport Aleisha from the painful realities she’s facing at home.

“Readers will be charmed and touched.” – Publishers Weekly   


Cover ImageMr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour BookstoreRobin Sloan

The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything–instead, they “check out” large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store.


Cover ImageBy Its Cover – Donna Leon

One afternoon, Commissario Guido Brunetti gets a frantic call from the director of a prestigious Venetian library. Someone has stolen pages out of several rare books. After a round of questioning, the case seems clear: the culprit must be the man who requested the volumes, an American professor from a Kansas university. The only problem–the man fled the library earlier that day, and after checking his credentials, the American professor doesn’t exist.


Cover ImageThe Book Woman of Troublesome Creek – Kim Michele Richardson

This gem of a historical from Richardson features an indomitable heroine navigating a community steeped in racial intolerance. In 1936, 19-year-old Cussy Mary Carter works for the New Deal–funded Pack Horse Library Project, delivering reading material to the rural people of Kentucky. It’s a way of honoring her dead mother, who loved books, and it almost makes her forget the fact that her skin is blue, a family trait that sets her apart from the white community.


Cover ImageBooked to DieJohn Dunning

Denver cop Cliff Janeway probably knows as much about books as he does about homicide.  His living room resembles an adjunct to the public library.  But when local book scout Bobby Westfall is murdered, Janeway is sure he knows who did it.  His detective talents are as important as his knowledge of books as he follows the twists and turns of this great mystery.  There are only four books in the Cliff Janeway series, but you’re sure to want to read them all.  Great stuff.


Cover ImageTolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical ReadingNina Sankovitch

Grief-stricken by the loss of her sister, a mother of four spends one year savoring a great book every day, from Thomas Pynchon to Nora Ephron and beyond. In the tradition of Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project and Joan Didion’s A Year of Magical Thinking, the author’s literary-minded memoir is a chronicle of loss, hope, and redemption. Nina turns to reading as therapy and through her journey illuminates the power of books to help us reclaim our lives.  Fascinating.


Cover ImageOne for the Books – Joe Queenan

If you love books and reading, this is the book to check out.  At times, laugh out-loud funny as well as mordantly insightful, Queenan takes on all comers in his defense of reading and books.   He’s never one to shy away from expressing his opinions – whether it’s about libraries, bookstores, authors or that goliath, Middlemarch.  Along the way we learn about his life in books and where those books have led him in life.  I enjoyed it!

Cozy Fall Mysteries

Cozy Fall Mysteries

The leaves are turning, and thoughts are on Halloween and Thanksgiving. Settle into this cozy season with one of these delightful mysteries.


Haunted Hibiscus by Laura Childs

It is the week before Halloween and Theodosia Browning, proprietor of the Indigo Tea Shop, and her tea sommelier, Drayton, are attending the grand opening of their literary and historical themed haunted house. But during the opening, amid a parade of characters dressed as Edgar Allan Poe, Lady Macbeth, and the Headless Horseman, the Heritage Society patriarch’s grandniece is suddenly tossed from the third-floor window and left to dangle at the end of a rope. Now Theodosia must find a killer on the eve before Halloween.


Wicked Witch Murder by Leslie Meier

As the air turns crisp and the trees blaze red and gold in the tiny town of Tinker’s Cove, Maine, a newcomer arrives who seems to suit the Halloween season. Diana Ravenscroft has just opened Solstice, a charming little shop featuring candles, crystals, jewelry, and psychic readings. But after an unnervingly accurate reading by Diana, Lucy starts to get more than a little spooked. . Then there’s the dead body Lucy finds, way up on one of the old logging roads behind her house. The deceased is identified as Malcolm Malebranche, a seemingly harmless magician who worked at children’s birthday parties. When it turns out that Diana knew the murder victim, Ike Stoughton, a prominent local businessman, starts a campaign against Diana, blaming “the witch” for everything from the unseasonal dry spell to his wife’s illness and his pumpkins’ lack of plumpness.


Antiques Ravin’ by Barbara Allan

Small-town Antiqua, known for its quaint Main Street lined with antique shops, had set out to celebrate the gothic poet with food, fun, and rare memorabilia. Instead, the Master of the Macabre’s twisted tales come to life-with deadly results. With a bone-rattling mystery sending an entire community into panic mode, the bodacious Borne gals are determined to decipher the telltale signs of cold-blooded murder, and make sure a stark-ravin’-mad killer strikes “nevermore!” Don’t miss Brandy Borne’s tips on hunting for valuable antiques!


Raspberry Danish Murder by Joanne Fluke

Hannah has felt as bitter as November in Minnesota since Ross vanished without a trace and left their marriage in limbo. Still, she throws herself into a baking frenzy for the sake of pumpkin pie and Thanksgiving-themed treats while endless holiday orders pour into The Cookie Jar. Hannah even introduces a raspberry Danish pastry to the menu, and P.K., her husband’s assistant at KCOW-TV, will be one of the first to sample it. But instead of taking a bite, P.K., who is driving Ross’s car and using his desk at work, is murdered. Was someone plotting against P.K. all along or did Ross dodge a deadly dose of sweet revenge? Hannah will have to quickly sift through a cornucopia of clues and suspects to stop a killer from bringing another murder to the table . . .


Pies and Prejudice by Ellery Adams

When the going gets tough, Ella Mae LaFaye bakes pies. So when she catches her husband cheating in New York, she heads back home to Havenwood, Georgia, where she can drown her sorrows in fresh fruit filling and flakey crust. But her pies aren’t just delicious. They’re having magical effects on the people who eat them–and the public is hungry for more.

Discovering her hidden talent for enchantment, Ella Mae makes her own wish come true by opening the Charmed Pie Shoppe. But with her old nemesis Loralyn Gaynor making trouble, and her old crush Hugh Dylan making nice, she has more than pie on her plate. and when Loralyn’s fiancé is found dead–killed with Ella Mae’s rolling pin–it’ll take all her sweet magic to clear her name.


A Catered Thanksgiving by Isis Crawford

In this seventh installment of Crawford’s delicious cozy series featuring catering sisters Bernie and Libby Simmons, a Thanksgiving dinner goes awry thanks to a killer who’s hiding a cornucopia of secrets.

Upcoming Fall Reads

Upcoming Fall Reads

FALL IS HERE 🍂 and we’re sharing some upcoming fiction books for you to leaf through this season! (Note: Some titles are still on-order and will be added to the library catalog for requests soon!)


Still Life by Sarah WinmanStill Life by Sarah Winman


 

 

Hispanic Heritage Month

This week kicks off National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15), which commemorates the amazing contributions of Hispanic and Latinx Americans. Check out some of these recent titles in our collection to help you celebrate.


The Five Wounds / Kirstin Valdez Quade

It’s Holy Week in the small town of Las Penas, New Mexico, and thirty-three-year-old unemployed Amadeo Padilla has been given the part of Jesus in the Good Friday procession. He is preparing feverishly for this role when his fifteen-year-old daughter Angel shows up pregnant on his doorstep and disrupts his plans for personal redemption. With weeks to go until her due date, tough, ebullient Angel has fled her mother’s house, setting her life on a startling new path.


Velvet Was the Night / Silvia Moreno-Garcia

1970s, Mexico City. Maite is a secretary who lives for one thing: the latest issue of Secret Romance . While student protests and political unrest consume the city, Maite escapes into stories of passion and danger.

Her next-door neighbor, Leonora, a beautiful art student, seems to live a life of intrigue and romance that Maite envies. When Leonora disappears under suspicious circumstances, Maite finds herself searching for the missing woman–and journeying deeper into Leonora’s secret life of student radicals and dissidents.


Dominicana / Angie Cruz

Fifteen-year-old Ana Cancion never dreamed of moving to America, the way the girls she grew up with in the Dominican countryside did. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she has to say yes. It doesn’t matter that he is twice her age, that there is no love between them. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate. So on New Year’s Day, 1965, Ana leaves behind everything she knows and becomes Ana Ruiz, a wife confined to a cold six-floor walk-up in Washington Heights. Lonely and miserable, Ana hatches a reckless plan to escape. But at the bus terminal, she is stopped by Cesar, Juan’s free-spirited younger brother, who convinces her to stay.


Fruit of the Drunken Tree / Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Seven-year-old Chula and her older sister Cassandra enjoy carefree lives thanks to their gated community in Bogotá, but the threat of kidnappings, car bombs, and assassinations hover just outside the neighborhood walls, where the godlike drug lord Pablo Escobar continues to elude authorities and capture the attention of the nation.

When their mother hires Petrona, a live-in-maid from the city’s guerrilla-occupied slum, Chula makes it her mission to understand Petrona’s mysterious ways. But Petrona’s unusual behavior belies more than shyness. She is a young woman crumbling under the burden of providing for her family as the rip tide of first love pulls her in the opposite direction. As both girls’ families scramble to maintain stability amidst the rapidly escalating conflict, Petrona and Chula find themselves entangled in a web of secrecy that will force them both to choose between sacrifice and betrayal.


A Lot Like Adiós / Alexis Daria

The national bestselling author of You Had Me at Hola returns with a seductive second-chance romance about a commitment-phobic Latina and her childhood best friend who has finally returned home.

 

Back to School Adult Fiction

Go back to school vicariously with these compelling fiction reads!

The Wonder Test by Michelle Richmond (2021)

Escaping New York City and the espionage case that made her question everything, recently widowed FBI Agent Lina Connerly returns home to sell the house she has inherited in tony Greenfield, California. With her teenage son Rory, Lina hopes to reassemble her life, reevaluate her career, and find a clear way forward. Adrift and battling insomnia, she discovers that her father’s sleepy hometown has been transformed into a Silicon Valley suburb on steroids, obsessed with an annual exam called The Wonder Test.

When students at her son’s high school go missing, reappearing under mysterious circumstances on abandoned beaches, Lina must summon her strength and her investigative instincts, pushing her own ethical boundaries to the limits in order to solve the crimes.


Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel (2016)

When ambitious grad student Kate Pearson’s handsome French “almost fiancé” ditches her, she definitely does not roll with the punches, despite the best efforts of family and friends. It seems that nothing will get Kate out of pajamas and back into the world.Miraculously, one cringe-worthy job interview leads to a position in the admissions department at the revered Hudson Day School. Kate’s instantly thrown into a highly competitive and occasionally absurd culture, where she interviews all types of children: suitable, wildly unsuitable, charming, loathsome, ingratiating, or spoiled beyond all measure. And then there are the Park Avenue parents who refuse to take no for an answer.

As Kate begins to learn there’s no room for self-pity or nonsense during the height of admissions season or life itself, her sister and friends find themselves keeping secrets, dropping bombshells, and arguing with each other about how to keep Kate on her feet. Meanwhile, Kate seems to be doing very nicely, thank you, and is even beginning to find out that her broken heart is very much on the mend.


Night School by Lee Child (2016)

It’s 1996, and Jack Reacher is still in the army. In the morning they give him a medal, and in the afternoon they send him back to school. That night he’s off the grid. Out of sight, out of mind. Two other men are in the classroom–an FBI agent and a CIA analyst. Each is a first-rate operator, each is fresh off a big win, and each is wondering what the hell they are doing there.

From Langley to Hamburg, Jalalabad to Kiev, Night School moves like a bullet through a treacherous landscape of double crosses, faked identities, and new and terrible enemies, as Reacher maneuvers inside the game and outside the law.


Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo (2020)

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug-dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. In fact, by age twenty, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most prestigious universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Ninth House is the mesmerizing adult debut from #1 New York Times bestselling author Leigh Bardugo, a tale of power, privilege, dark magic, and murder set among the Ivy League elite.


Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes by Kathleen West (2020)

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

Perfect for fans of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and Small Admissions , a wry and cleverly observed debut novel about the privileged bubble that is Liston Heights High–the micro-managing parents, the overworked teachers, and the students caught in the middle–and the fallout for each of them when the bubble finally bursts.


The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman (2003)

Twenty years ago, Jane Hudson fled the Heart Lake School for Girls in the Adirondacks after a terrible tragedy. The week before her graduation, in that sheltered wonderland, three lives were taken, all victims of suicide. Only Jane was left to carry the burden of a mystery that has stayed hidden in the depths of Heart Lake for more than two decades.

Now Jane has returned to the school as a Latin teacher, recently separated and hoping to make a fresh start with her young daughter. But ominous messages from the past dredge up forgotten memories. And young, troubled girls are beginning to die again-as piece by piece the shattering truth slowly floats to the surface. . .


The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger (2019)

Set in the fictional town of Crystal, Colorado, The Gifted School is a keenly entertaining novel that observes the drama within a community of friends and parents as good intentions and high ambitions collide in a pile-up with long-held secrets and lies. Seen through the lens of four families who’ve been a part of one another’s lives since their kids were born over a decade ago, the story reveals not only the lengths that some adults are willing to go to get ahead, but the effect on the group’s children, sibling relationships, marriages, and careers, as simmering resentments come to a boil and long-buried, explosive secrets surface and detonate. It’s a humorous, keenly observed, timely take on ambitious parents, willful kids, and the pursuit of prestige, no matter the cost.


Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia (2017)

High school senior Hattie Hoffman has spent her whole life playing many parts: the good student, the good daughter, the good girlfriend. But Hattie wants something more, something bigger, and ultimately something that turns out to be exceedingly dangerous. When she’s found brutally stabbed to death, the tragedy rips right through the fabric of her small-town community.

It soon comes to light that Hattie was engaged in a highly compromising and potentially explosive secret online relationship. The question is: Did anyone else know? And to what lengths might they have gone to end it?


Class Mom by Laurie Gelman (2017)

Jen Dixon is not your typical Kansas City kindergarten class mom–or mom in general. Jen already has two college-age daughters by two different (probably) musicians, and it’s her second time around the class mom block with five-year-old Max–this time with a husband and father by her side. Though her best friend and PTA President sees her as the “wisest” candidate for the job (or oldest), not all of the other parents agree.

Relatable, irreverent, and hilarious in the spirit of Maria Semple, Class Mom is a fresh, welcome voice in fiction–the kind of novel that real moms clamor for, and a vicarious thrill-read for all mothers, who will be laughing as they are liberated by Gelman’s acerbic truths.


The Broken Girls by Simone St. James (2018)

Vermont, 1950 . There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears…

Vermont, 2014 . As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced…


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Women in Translation

Women in Translation

Check out these titles for #WIT Month


The Unwomanly Face of War : an Oral history of Women in World War II by Svetlana Alexievich; translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky

For more than three decades, Svetlana Alexievich has been the memory and conscience of the twentieth century. When the Swedish Academy awarded her the Nobel Prize, it cited her invention of “a new kind of literary genre,” describing her work as “a history of emotions . . . a history of the soul.”

In The Unwomanly Face of War, Alexievich chronicles the experiences of the Soviet women who fought on the front lines, on the home front, and in the occupied territories. These women–more than a million in total–were nurses and doctors, pilots, tank drivers, machine-gunners, and snipers. They battled alongside men, and yet, after the victory, their efforts and sacrifices were forgotten.


The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald ; translated from the Swedish by Alice Menzies

Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara: Sara traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her book-loving pen pal Amy, but when she arrives she finds Amy’s funeral guests just leaving. The residents of Broken Wheel are happy to look after their bewildered visitor–there’s not much else to do in a dying small town that’s almost beyond repair. You certainly wouldn’t open a bookstore. And definitely not with Sara the tourist in charge.

You’d need a vacant storefront (Main Street is full of them), books (Amy’s house is full of them), and…customers. The bookstore might be a little quirky. Then again, so is Sara. But Broken Wheel’s own story might be funnier, more eccentric and surprising than she thought.


Windward Heights by Maryse Condé ; translated from the French by Richard Philcox

Prizewinning writer Maryse Condé reimagines Emily Brontë’s passionate novel as a tale of obsessive love between the “African” Razyé and Cathy, the mulatto daughter of the man who takes Razyé in and raises him, but whose treatment goads him into rebellious flight. Retaining the emotional power of the original, Condé shows the Caribbean society in the wake of emancipation.


The Time in Between by Maria Duenas ; translated by Daniel Hahn

The inspiring international bestseller of a seemingly ordinary woman who uses her talent and courage to transform herself first into a prestigious couturier and then into an undercover agent for the Allies during World War II.

An outstanding success around the world, The Time in Between has sold more than two million copies and inspired the Spanish television series based on the book, dubbed by the media as the “Spanish Downton Abbey.” In the US it was a critical and commercial hit, and a New York Times bestseller in paperback. It is one of those rare, richly textured novels that enthrall down to the last page. María Dueñas reminds us how it feels to be swept away by a masterful storyteller


The Vegetarian by Han Kang; translated by Deborah Smith

Before the nightmares began, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary, controlled life. But the dreams–invasive images of blood and brutality–torture her, driving Yeong-hye to purge her mind and renounce eating meat altogether. It’s a small act of independence, but it interrupts her marriage and sets into motion an increasingly grotesque chain of events at home. As her husband, her brother-in-law and sister each fight to reassert their control, Yeong-hye obsessively defends the choice that’s become sacred to her. Soon their attempts turn desperate, subjecting first her mind, and then her body, to ever more intrusive and perverse violations, sending Yeong-hye spiraling into a dangerous, bizarre estrangement, not only from those closest to her, but also from herself.


In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri ; translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein

In Other Words is a revelation. It is at heart a love story–of a long and sometimes difficult courtship, and a passion that verges on obsession: that of a writer for another language. For Jhumpa Lahiri, that love was for Italian, which first captivated and capsized her during a trip to Florence after college. Although Lahiri studied Italian for many years afterward, true mastery always eluded her.

Seeking full immersion, she decides to move to Rome with her family, for “a trial by fire, a sort of baptism” into a new language and world. There, she begins to read, and to write–initially in her journal–solely in Italian. In Other Words, an autobiographical work written in Italian, investigates the process of learning to express oneself in another language, and describes the journey of a writer seeking a new voice.


Earthlings by Sayaka Murata; translated from the Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takemori

As a child, Natsuki doesn’t fit in with her family. Her parents favor her sister, and her best friend is a plush toy hedgehog named Piyyut, who talks to her. He tells her that he has come from the planet Popinpobopia on a special quest to help her save the Earth. One summer, on vacation with her family and her cousin Yuu in her grandparents’ ramshackle wooden house in the mountains of Nagano, Natsuki decides that she must be an alien, which would explain why she can’t seem to fit in like everyone else. Later, as a grown woman, living a quiet life with her asexual husband, Natsuki is still pursued by dark shadows from her childhood, and decides to flee the “baby factory” of society for good, searching for answers about the vast and frightening mysteries of the universe–answers only Natsuki has the power to uncover.


The Aosawa Murders by Riku Onda; translated from the Japanese by Alison Watts

On a stormy summer day the Aosawas, owners of a prominent local hospital, host a large birthday party. The occasion turns into tragedy when 17 people die from cyanide in their drinks. The only surviving links to what might have happened are a cryptic verse that could be the killer’s, and the physician’s bewitching blind daughter, Hisako, the only person spared injury. But the youth who emerges as the prime suspect commits suicide that October, effectively sealing his guilt while consigning his motives to mystery. The police are convinced that Hisako had a role in the crime, as are many in the town, including the author of a bestselling book about the murders written a decade after the incident, who was herself a childhood friend of Hisako’ and witness to the discovery of the murders. The truth is revealed through a skillful juggling of testimony by different voices: family members, witnesses and neighbors, police investigators and of course the mesmerizing Hisako herself.


The Dead Girls’ Class Trip : Selected Stories by Anna Seghers ; translated from the German by Margot Bettauer Dembo

This selection of Seghers’s best stories, written between 1925 and 1965, reflects the range of her creativity over the years and includes her most famous stories, such as the autobiographical “The Dead Girls’ Class Trip,” as well as those translated into English for the first time, like “Jans Must Die.” Here are psychologically penetrating stories about young men corrupted by desperation and women bound by circumstance, as well as enigmatic tales of bewilderment and enchantment, stories based on myths and legends like “The Best Tales of Woynok the Thief,” “The Legends of Artemis,” and “The Three Trees.” Seghers used the German language in especially unconventional and challenging ways in her stories, and Margot Bettauer Dembo’s sensitive and skilled translation preserves this distinction.


Flights by Olga Tokarczuk; translated by Jennifer Croft

From the incomparably original Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk, Flights interweaves reflections on travel with an in-depth exploration of the human body, broaching life, death, motion, and migration. Chopin’s heart is carried back to Warsaw in secret by his adoring sister. A woman must return to her native Poland in order to poison her terminally ill high school sweetheart, and a young man slowly descends into madness when his wife and child mysteriously vanish during a vacation and just as suddenly reappear. Through these brilliantly imagined characters and stories, interwoven with haunting, playful, and revelatory meditations, Flights explores what it means to be a traveler, a wanderer, a body in motion not only through space but through time. Where are you from? Where are you coming in from? Where are you going? we call to the traveler. Enchanting, unsettling, and wholly original, Flights is a master storyteller’s answer.


Snowdrift / Helene Tursten ; translated from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy

It’s been fourteen years since Detective Inspector Embla Nystrom’s best friend disappeared from a nightclub, but Embla recognises her voice on a surprise call before it is abruptly disconnects. Embla is thrilled to learn Lollo is still alive, but before she can find out more, she gets another call this time from a relative. A man has been found shot dead in one of the guest houses he manages in rural Sweden. Could she come take a look? When Embla arrives on the scene, she receives another shock. The dead man is Milo Stavic, a well-known gang member and one of the last people seen with Lollo.