Special Collections

Summer Beach Reads

Description: Top summer picks for adults – light and breezy to dark and twisty – that will keep you entertained all summer long


Showing 1 through 25 of 25 results

Barbarian Days

by William Finnegan

Barbarian Days is William Finnegan's memoir of an obsession, a complex enchantment. Surfing only looks like a sport. To initiates, it is something else entirely: a beautiful addiction, a demanding course of study, a morally dangerous pastime, a way of life.

Raised in California and Hawaii, Finnegan started surfing as a child. He has chased waves all over the world, wandering for years through the South Pacific, Australia, Asia, Africa. A bookish boy, and then an excessively adventurous young man, he went on to become a distinguished writer and war reporter. Barbarian Days takes us deep into unfamiliar worlds, some of them right under our noses--off the coasts of New York and San Francisco. It immerses the reader in the edgy camaraderie of close male friendships annealed in challenging waves.

Finnegan shares stories of life in a whitesonly gang in a tough school in Honolulu even while his closest friend was a Hawaiian surfer. He shows us a world turned upside down for kids and adults alike by the social upheavals of the 1960s. He details the intricacies of famous waves and his own apprenticeships to them. Youthful folly--he drops LSD while riding huge Honolua Bay, on Maui--is served up with rueful humor. He and a buddy, their knapsacks crammed with reef charts, bushwhack through Polynesia. They discover, while camping on an uninhabited island in Fiji, one of the world's greatest waves.

As Finnegan's travels take him ever farther afield, he becomes an improbable anthropologist: unpicking the picturesque simplicity of a Samoan fishing village, dissecting the sexual politics of Tongan interactions with Americans and Japanese, navigating the Indonesian black market while nearly succumbing to malaria. Throughout, he surfs, carrying readers with him on rides of harrowing, unprecedented lucidity.

Barbarian Days is an old-school adventure story, an intellectual autobiography, a social history, a literary road movie, and an extraordinary exploration of the gradual mastering of an exacting, little understood art. Today, Finnegan's surfing life is undiminished. Frantically juggling work and family, he chases his enchantment through Long Island ice storms and obscure corners of Madagascar.

**Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography**

Date Added: 05/08/2018


Born On A Tuesday

by Elnathan John

In far northwestern Nigeria, Dantala lives among a gang of street boys who sleep under a kuka tree.

During the election, the boys are paid by the Small Party to cause trouble.

When their attempt to burn down the opposition’s local headquarters ends in disaster, Dantala must run for his life, leaving his best friend behind.

He makes his way to a mosque that provides him with food, shelter, and guidance. With his quick aptitude and modest nature, Dantala becomes a favored apprentice to the mosque’s sheikh.

Before long, he is faced with a terrible conflict of loyalties, as one of the sheikh’s closest advisors begins to raise his own radical movement.

When bloodshed erupts in the city around him, Dantala must decide what kind of Muslim—and what kind of man—he wants to be.

Told in Dantala’s naïve, searching voice, this astonishing debut explores the ways in which young men are seduced by religious fundamentalism and violence.

From two-time Caine Prize finalist Elnathan John, a dynamic young voice from Nigeria, Born on a Tuesday is a stirring, starkly rendered first novel about a young boy struggling to find his place in a society that is fracturing along religious and political lines.

Date Added: 05/04/2018


New York 2140

by Kim Stanley Robinson

New York Times bestselling author Kim Stanley Robinson returns with a bold and brilliant vision of New York City in the next century.

As the sea levels rose, every street became a canal. Every skyscraper an island.

For the residents of one apartment building in Madison Square, however, New York in the year 2140 is far from a drowned city.

There is the market trader, who finds opportunities where others find trouble. There is the detective, whose work will never disappear --- along with the lawyers, of course.

There is the internet star, beloved by millions for her airship adventures, and the building's manager, quietly respected for his attention to detail.

Then there are two boys who don't live there, but have no other home-- and who are more important to its future than anyone might imagine.

Lastly there are the coders, temporary residents on the roof, whose disappearance triggers a sequence of events that threatens the existence of all-- and even the long-hidden foundations on which the city rests.

New York 2140 is an extraordinary and unforgettable novel, from a writer uniquely qualified to the story of its future.

Date Added: 05/04/2018


The Idiot

by Elif Batuman

A portrait of the artist as a young woman. A novel about not just discovering but inventing oneself.

The year is 1995, and email is new. Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, arrives for her freshman year at Harvard. She signs up for classes in subjects she has never heard of, befriends her charismatic and worldly Serbian classmate, Svetlana, and, almost by accident, begins corresponding with Ivan, an older mathematics student from Hungary. Selin may have barely spoken to Ivan, but with each email they exchange, the act of writing seems to take on new and increasingly mysterious meanings.

At the end of the school year, Ivan goes to Budapest for the summer, and Selin heads to the Hungarian countryside, to teach English in a program run by one of Ivan's friends. On the way, she spends two weeks visiting Paris with Svetlana. Selin's summer in Europe does not resonate with anything she has previously heard about the typical experiences of American college students, or indeed of any other kinds of people. For Selin, this is a journey further inside herself: a coming to grips with the ineffable and exhilarating confusion of first love, and with the growing consciousness that she is doomed to become a writer.

With superlative emotional and intellectual sensitivity, mordant wit, and pitch-perfect style, Batuman dramatizes the uncertainty of life on the cusp of adulthood. Her prose is a rare and inimitable combination of tenderness and wisdom; its logic as natural and inscrutable as that of memory itself. The Idiot is a heroic yet self-effacing reckoning with the terror and joy of becoming a person in a world that is as intoxicating as it is disquieting. Batuman's fiction is unguarded against both life's affronts and its beauty--and has at its command the complete range of thinking and feeling which they entail.

Nominee for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Date Added: 05/03/2018


Startup

by Doree Shafrir

From veteran online journalist and BuzzFeed writer Doree Shafrir comes a hilarious debut novel that proves there are some dilemmas that no app can solve.

Mack McAllister has a $600 million dollar idea. His mindfulness app, TakeOff, is already the hottest thing in tech and he's about to launch a new and improved version that promises to bring investors running and may turn his brainchild into a $1 billion dollar business--in startup parlance, an elusive unicorn.

Katya Pasternack is hungry for a scoop that will drive traffic. An ambitious young journalist at a gossipy tech blog, Katya knows that she needs more than another PR friendly puff piece to make her the go-to byline for industry news.

Sabrina Choe Blum just wants to stay afloat. The exhausted mother of two and failed creative writer is trying to escape from her credit card debt and an inattentive husband-who also happens to be Katya's boss-as she rejoins a work force that has gotten younger, hipper, and much more computer literate since she's been away.

Before the ink on Mack's latest round of funding is dry, an errant text message hints that he may be working a bit too closely for comfort with a young social media manager in his office.

When Mack's bad behavior collides with Katya's search for a salacious post, Sabrina gets caught in the middle as TakeOff goes viral for all the wrong reasons.

As the fallout from Mack's scandal engulfs the lower Manhattan office building where all three work, it's up to Katya and Sabrina to write the story the men in their lives would prefer remain untold.

An assured, observant debut from the veteran online journalist Doree Shafrir, Startup is a sharp, hugely entertaining story of youth, ambition, love, money and technology's inability to hack human nature.

Date Added: 05/03/2018


River of Teeth

by Sarah Gailey

Sarah Gailey's wildfire debut River of Teeth is a rollicking alternate history adventure that Charlie Jane Anders calls "preposterously fun."

In the early 20th Century, the United States government concocted a plan to import hippopotamuses into the marshlands of Louisiana to be bred and slaughtered as an alternative meat source. This is true.

Other true things about hippos: they are savage, they are fast, and their jaws can snap a man in two.This was a terrible plan.

Contained within this volume is an 1890s America that might have been: a bayou overrun by feral hippos and mercenary hippo wranglers from around the globe. It is the story of Winslow Houndstooth and his crew. It is the story of their fortunes. It is the story of his revenge.

Nominated for 2017 Nebula Awards- Best Novella

Date Added: 05/04/2018


Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

by Balli Kaur Jaswal

A lively, sexy, and thought-provoking East-meets-West story about community, friendship, and women’s lives at all ages—a spicy and alluring mix of Together Tea and Calendar Girls.

Every woman has a secret life . . .Nikki lives in cosmopolitan West London, where she tends bar at the local pub.

The daughter of Indian immigrants, she’s spent most of her twenty-odd years distancing herself from the traditional Sikh community of her childhood, preferring a more independent (that is, Western) life.

When her father’s death leaves the family financially strapped, Nikki, a law school dropout, impulsively takes a job teaching a "creative writing" course at the community center in the beating heart of London’s close-knit Punjabi community.

Because of a miscommunication, the proper Sikh widows who show up are expecting to learn basic English literacy, not the art of short-story writing.

When one of the widows finds a book of sexy stories in English and shares it with the class, Nikki realizes that beneath their white dupattas, her students have a wealth of fantasies and memories.

Eager to liberate these modest women, she teaches them how to express their untold stories, unleashing creativity of the most unexpected—and exciting—kind.

As more women are drawn to the class, Nikki warns her students to keep their work secret from the Brotherhood, a group of highly conservative young men who have appointed themselves the community’s "moral police."

But when the widows’ gossip offers shocking insights into the death of a young wife—a modern woman like Nikki—and some of the class erotica is shared among friends, it sparks a scandal that threatens them all.

Date Added: 05/04/2018


Sting-Ray Afternoons

by Steve Rushin

A wild and bittersweet memoir of a classic '70s childhoodIt's a story of the 1970s. Of a road trip in a wood-paneled station wagon, with the kids in the way-back, singing along to the Steve Miller Band.

Brothers waking up early on Saturday mornings for five consecutive hours of cartoons and advertising jingles that they'll be humming all day.

A father-one of 3M's greatest and last eight-track-salesman fathers-traveling across the country on the brand-new Boeing 747, providing for his family but wanting nothing more than to get home.It's Steve Rushin's story: of growing up within a '70s landscape populated with Bic pens, Mr. Clean and Scrubbing Bubbles, lightsabers and those oh-so-coveted Schwinn Sting-Ray bikes.

Sting-Ray Afternoons paints an utterly fond, psychedelically vibrant, laugh-out-loud-funny portrait of an exuberant decade. With sidesplitting commentary, Rushin creates a vivid picture of a decade of wild youth, cultural rebirth, and the meaning of parental, brotherly, sisterly, whole lotta love.

Date Added: 05/04/2018


The Smack

by Richard Lange

Rowan Petty is a conman down on his luck. He's flat broke, living out of cheap hotels, and wondering how it all went wrong. His car quits on him in Reno, and he takes a job there on the bottom rung of a lousy phone scam. When he's not swindling lonely widows, he tries to turn nickels into dimes at the poker table.

One snowy night, he crosses paths with a sweet-talking hooker who's tired of the streets, and sparks fly.

When an old friend of his turns up spreading a rumor about two million dollars in army money smuggled out of Afghanistan and stashed in an apartment in Los Angeles, it seems like a chance at the score of a lifetime. So Petty and the hooker head south, and straight into trouble.

A wounded vet, a washed-up actor, and Petty's estranged daughter are all players in the dangerous game they find themselves caught up in.

For the winner: a fortune.

For the loser: a bullet to the head.

Date Added: 05/07/2018


The Lying Game

by Ruth Ware

From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, The Lying Game.

On a cool June morning, a woman is walking her dog in the idyllic coastal village of Salten along a tidal estuary known as the Reach. Before she can stop him, the dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick, but to her horror, turns out to be something much more sinister...

The next morning, three women in and around London—Fatima, Thea, and Isabel—receive the text they had always hoped would NEVER come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only, “I need you.”

The four girls were best friends at Salten, a second rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel. Each different in their own way, the four became inseparable and were notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both fellow boarders and faculty, with varying states of serious and flippant nature that were disturbing enough to ensure that everyone steered clear of them. The myriad and complicated rules of the game are strict: no lying to each other—ever. Bail on the lie when it becomes clear it is about to be found out.

But their little game had consequences, and the girls were all expelled in their final year of school under mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the school’s eccentric art teacher, Ambrose (who also happens to be Kate’s father).

Atmospheric, twisty, and with just the right amount of chill that will keep you wrong-footed—which has now become Ruth Ware’s signature style—The Lying Game is sure to be her next big bestseller. Another unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

A New York Times Bestseller

Date Added: 05/04/2018


The Heart's Invisible Furies

by John Boyne

From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Boy In the Striped Pajamas, a sweeping, heartfelt saga about the course of one man's life, beginning and ending in post-war Ireland

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery -- or at least, that's what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn't a real Avery, then who is he?

Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead.

At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from - and over his many years, will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country, and much more.

In this, Boyne's most transcendent work to date, we are shown the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one ordinary man.

The Heart's Invisible Furies is a novel to make you laugh and cry while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit.

Date Added: 05/07/2018


The Midnight Line

by Lee Child

#1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child returns with a gripping new powerhouse thriller featuring Jack Reacher, “one of this century’s most original, tantalizing pop-fiction heroes” (The Washington Post).

Reacher takes a stroll through a small Wisconsin town and sees a class ring in a pawn shop window: West Point 2005. A tough year to graduate: Iraq, then Afghanistan. The ring is tiny, for a woman, and it has her initials engraved on the inside. Reacher wonders what unlucky circumstance made her give up something she earned over four hard years. He decides to find out. And find the woman. And return her ring. Why not?

So begins a harrowing journey that takes Reacher through the upper Midwest, from a lowlife bar on the sad side of small town to a dirt-blown crossroads in the middle of nowhere, encountering bikers, cops, crooks, muscle, and a missing persons PI who wears a suit and a tie in the Wyoming wilderness.

The deeper Reacher digs, and the more he learns, the more dangerous the terrain becomes. Turns out the ring was just a small link in a far darker chain. Powerful forces are guarding a vast criminal enterprise. Some lines should never be crossed. But then, neither should Reacher.

A New York Times Bestseller

Date Added: 05/07/2018


The Chalk Man

by C. J. Tudor

A riveting and relentlessly compelling psychological suspense debut that weaves a mystery about a childhood game gone dangerously awry, and will keep readers guessing right up to the shocking ending

In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code: little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.

In 2016, Eddie is fully grown, and thinks he's put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank . . . until one of them turns up dead.

That's when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.

Expertly alternating between flashbacks and the present day, The Chalk Man is the very best kind of suspense novel, one where every character is wonderfully fleshed out and compelling, where every mystery has a satisfying payoff, and where the twists will shock even the savviest reader.

Date Added: 05/08/2018


Next Year in Havana

by Chanel Cleeton

After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity--and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution...

Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba's high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country's growing political unrest--until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary...

Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa's last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth.

Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba's tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate.

When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she'll need the lessons of her grandmother's past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.

Date Added: 05/04/2018


How to Stop Time

by Matt Haig

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he's been alive for centuries. Tom has lived history--performing with Shakespeare, exploring the high seas with Captain Cook, and sharing cocktails with Fitzgerald.

Now, he just wants an ordinary life.

So Tom moves back his to London, his old home, to become a high school history teacher--the perfect job for someone who has witnessed the city's history first hand.

Better yet, a captivating French teacher at his school seems fascinated by him. But the Albatross Society, the secretive group which protects people like Tom, has one rule: Never fall in love.

As painful memories of his past and the erratic behavior of the Society's watchful leader threaten to derail his new life and romance, the one thing he can't have just happens to be the one thing that might save him.

Tom will have to decide once and for all whether to remain stuck in the past, or finally begin living in the present.

How to Stop Time tells a love story across the ages - and for the ages - about a man lost in time, the woman who could save him, and the lifetimes it can take to learn how to live. It is a bighearted, wildly original novel about losing and finding yourself, the inevitability of change, and how with enough time to learn, we just might find happiness.

Date Added: 05/08/2018


The House of Impossible Beauties

by Joseph Cassara

A gritty and gorgeous debut that follows a cast of gay and transgender club kids navigating the Harlem ball scene of the 1980s and ’90s, inspired by the real House of Xtravaganza made famous by the seminal documentary Paris Is Burning

It’s 1980 in New York City, and nowhere is the city’s glamour and energy better reflected than in the burgeoning Harlem ball scene, where seventeen-year-old Angel first comes into her own.

Burned by her traumatic past, Angel is new to the drag world, new to ball culture, and has a yearning inside of her to help create family for those without.

When she falls in love with Hector, a beautiful young man who dreams of becoming a professional dancer, the two decide to form the House of Xtravaganza, the first-ever all-Latino house in the Harlem ball circuit.

But when Hector dies of AIDS-related complications, Angel must bear the responsibility of tending to their house alone.

As mother of the house, Angel recruits Venus, a whip-fast trans girl who dreams of finding a rich man to take care of her; Juanito, a quiet boy who loves fabrics and design; and Daniel, a butch queen who accidentally saves Venus’s life.

The Xtravaganzas must learn to navigate sex work, addiction, and persistent abuse, leaning on each other as bulwarks against a world that resists them.

All are ambitious, resilient, and determined to control their own fates, even as they hurtle toward devastating consequences. Told in a voice that brims with wit, rage, tenderness, and fierce yearning, The House of Impossible Beauties is a tragic story of love, family, and the dynamism of the human spirit.

Date Added: 05/08/2018


A Long Way from Home

by Peter Carey

The two-time Booker Prize-winning author now gives us a wildly exuberant, wily new novel that circumnavigates 1954 Australia, revealing as much about the country/continent as it does about three audacious individuals who take part in the infamous 10,000-mile race, the Redex Trial.

Irene Bobs loves fast driving. Her husband is the best car salesman in southeastern Australia.

Together they enter the Redex Trial, a brutal race around the ancient continent, over roads no car will ever quite survive.

With them is their lanky, fair-haired navigator, Willie Bachhuber, a quiz show champion and failed schoolteacher who calls the turns and creeks crossings on a map that will remove them, without warning, from the white Australia they all know so well.

This is a thrilling high-speed story that starts in one way, and then takes you someplace else. It is often funny, more so as the world gets stranger, and always a page-turner even as you learn a history these characters never knew themselves.

Set in the 1950s, this is a world every American will recognize: black, white, who we are, how we got here, and what we did to each other along the way.

A Long Way from Home is Peter Carey's late-style masterpiece.

Date Added: 05/08/2018


Speak No Evil

by Uzodinma Iweala

In the long-anticipated novel from the author of the critically acclaimed Beasts of No Nation, a revelation shared between two privileged teenagers from very different backgrounds sets off a chain of events with devastating consequences.

On the surface, Niru leads a charmed life. Raised by two attentive parents in Washington, D.C., he’s a top student and a track star at his prestigious private high school. Bound for Harvard in the fall, his prospects are bright. But Niru has a painful secret: he is queer—an abominable sin to his conservative Nigerian parents. No one knows except Meredith, his best friend, the daughter of prominent Washington insiders—and the one person who seems not to judge him.

When his father accidentally discovers Niru is gay, the fallout is brutal and swift. Coping with troubles of her own, however, Meredith finds that she has little left emotionally to offer him. As the two friends struggle to reconcile their desires against the expectations and institutions that seek to define them, they find themselves speeding toward a future more violent and senseless than they can imagine. Neither will escape unscathed.

In the tradition of Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah, Speak No Evil explores what it means to be different in a fundamentally conformist society and how that difference plays out in our inner and outer struggles. It is a novel about the power of words and self-identification, about who gets to speak and who has the power to speak for other people. As heart-wrenching and timely as his breakout debut, Beasts of No Nation, Uzodinma Iweala’s second novel cuts to the core of our humanity and leaves us reeling in its wake.

A 2018 Indie Next Pick | One of The Millions’ Most Anticipated Books of 2018 | One of Bustle’s 35 Most Anticipated Fiction Books Of 2018 | One of Paste's 25 Most Anticipated Books of 2018 | One of The Boston Globe’s 25 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2018

Date Added: 05/07/2018


I Feel You

by Cris Beam

A cogent, gorgeous examination of empathy, illuminating the myths, the science, and the power behind this transformative emotion

Empathy has become a gaping fault line in American culture.

Pioneering programs aim to infuse our legal and educational systems with more empathic thinking, even as pundits argue over whether we should bother empathizing with our political opposites at all.

Meanwhile, we are inundated with the buzzily termed “empathic marketing”—which may very well be a contradiction in terms.

In I Feel You, Cris Beam carves through the noise with a revelatory exploration of how we perform empathy, how it is learned, what it can do—indeed, what empathy is in the first place. She takes us to the labs where the neural networks of compassion are being mapped, and the classrooms where children are being trained to see others’ views.

Beam visits courtrooms and prisons, asking how empathy might transform our justice system. She travels to places wracked by oppression and genocide, where reconciliation seems impossible, to report on efforts to heal society’s deepest wounds through human connection.

And finally, she turns to how we, as individuals, can foster compassion for ourselves.

Brimming with the sensitive and nuanced storytelling that has made Beam one of our most respected journalists, I Feel You is an eye-opening affirmation of empathy’s potential.

Date Added: 05/03/2018


The Space Barons

by Christian Davenport

The historic quest to rekindle the human exploration and colonization of space led by two rivals and their vast fortunes, egos, and visions of space as the next entrepreneurial frontier.

The Space Barons is the story of a group of billionaire entrepreneurs who are pouring their fortunes into the epic resurrection of the American space program.

Nearly a half-century after Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, these Space Barons-most notably Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, along with Richard Branson and Paul Allen-are using Silicon Valley-style innovation to dramatically lower the cost of space travel, and send humans even further than NASA has gone.

These entrepreneurs have founded some of the biggest brands in the world-Amazon, Microsoft, Virgin, Tesla, PayPal-and upended industry after industry.

Now they are pursuing the biggest disruption of all: space.

Based on years of reporting and exclusive interviews with all four billionaires, this authoritative account is a dramatic tale of risk and high adventure, the birth of a new Space Age, fueled by some of the world's richest men as they struggle to end governments' monopoly on the cosmos.

The Space Barons is also a story of rivalry-hard-charging startups warring with established contractors, and the personal clashes of the leaders of this new space movement, particularly Musk and Bezos, as they aim for the moon and Mars and beyond.

Date Added: 05/03/2018


The Beekeeper

by Max Weiss and Dunya Mikhail

The true story of a beekeeper who risks his life to rescue enslaved women from Daesh

Since 2014, Daesh (ISIS) has been brutalizing the Yazidi people of northern Iraq: sowing destruction, killing those who won’t convert to Islam, and enslaving young girls and women.

The Beekeeper, by the acclaimed poet and journalist Dunya Mikhail, tells the harrowing stories of several women who managed to escape the clutches of Daesh.

Mikhail extensively interviews these women—who’ve lost their families and loved ones, who’ve been sexually abused, psychologically tortured, and forced to manufacture chemical weapons—and as their tales unfold, an unlikely hero emerges: a beekeeper, who uses his knowledge of the local terrain, along with a wide network of transporters, helpers, and former cigarette smugglers, to bring these women, one by one, through the war-torn landscapes of Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, back into safety.

In the face of inhuman suffering, this powerful work of nonfiction offers a counterpoint to Daesh’s genocidal extremism: hope, as ordinary people risk their own lives to save those of others.

Date Added: 05/03/2018


If We Had Known

by Elise Juska

A literary tour de force from the acclaimed author of The Blessings-a riveting new novel about one of the most urgent crises of our time.

One August afternoon, as single mother Maggie Daley prepares to send her only child off to college, their world is shattered by news of a mass shooting at the local mall in rural Maine.

As reports and updates about the tragedy begin to roll in, Maggie, an English professor, is further stunned to learn that the gunman had been a student of hers.

Nathan Dugan was an awkward, complicated young man whose quiet presence in her classroom had faded from her memory-but not, it seems, the memories of his classmates.

When a viral blog post hints at the existence of a dark, violence-tinged essay Nathan had written during Maggie's freshman comp seminar, Maggie soon finds herself at the center of a heated national controversy.

Could the overlooked essay have offered critical red flags that might have warned of, or even prevented, the murders to come?

As the media storm grows around her, Maggie makes a series of desperate choices that threaten to destroy not just the personal and professional lives she's worked so hard to build, but-more important-the happiness and safety of her sensitive daughter, Anna.

Engrossing and provocative, combining sharp plot twists with Juska's award-winning, trademark literary sophistication, IF WE HAD KNOWN is at once an unforgettable mother-daughter journey, an exquisite portrait of a community in turmoil, and a harrowing examination of ethical and moral responsibility in a dangerously interconnected digital world.

Date Added: 05/03/2018


Beneath a Ruthless Sun

by Gilbert King

From the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller Devil in the Grove, the gripping true story of a small town with a big secret.

In December 1957, the wife of a Florida citrus baron is raped in her home while her husband is away.

She claims a "husky Negro" did it, and the sheriff, the infamous racist Willis McCall, does not hesitate to round up a herd of suspects.

But within days, McCall turns his sights on Jesse Daniels, a gentle, mentally impaired white nineteen-year-old.

Soon Jesse is railroaded up to the state hospital for the insane, and locked away without trial.

But crusading journalist Mabel Norris Reese cannot stop fretting over the case and its baffling outcome.

Who was protecting whom, or what?

She pursues the story for years, chasing down leads, hitting dead ends, winning unlikely allies.

Bit by bit, the unspeakable truths behind a conspiracy that shocked a community into silence begin to surface.

Beneath a Ruthless Sun tells a powerful, page-turning story rooted in the fears that rippled through the South as integration began to take hold, sparking a surge of virulent racism that savaged the vulnerable, debased the powerful, and roils our own times still.

Date Added: 05/03/2018


The Husband Hour

by Jamie Brenner

When a young widow's reclusive life in a charming beach town is interrupted by a surprise visitor, she is forced to reckon with dark secrets about her family, her late husband, and the past she tried to leave behind.

Lauren Adelman and her high school sweetheart, Rory Kincaid, are a golden couple. They marry just out of college as Rory, a star hockey player, earns a spot in the NHL. Their future could not look brighter when Rory shocks everyone-Lauren most of all-by enlisting in the U.S. Army.

When Rory dies in combat, Lauren is left devastated, alone, and under unbearable public scrutiny. Seeking peace and solitude, Lauren retreats to her family's old beach house on the Jersey Shore. But this summer she's forced to share the house with her overbearing mother and competitive sister. Worse, a stranger making a documentary about Rory tracks her down and persuades her to give him just an hour of her time.

One hour with filmmaker Matt Brio turns into a summer of revelations, surprises, and upheaval. As the days grow shorter and her grief changes shape, Lauren begins to understand the past-and to welcome the future.

Date Added: 05/04/2018


The Map of Salt and Stars

by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar

The story of two girls living eight hundred years apart—a modern-day Syrian refugee seeking safety and a medieval adventurer apprenticed to a legendary mapmaker—places today’s headlines in the sweep of history, where the pain of exile and the triumph of courage echo again and again.

In the summer of 2011, just after Nour loses her father to cancer, her mother moves Nour and her sisters from New York City back to Syria to be closer to their family.

In order to keep her father’s spirit as she adjusts to her new home, Nour tells herself their favorite story—the tale of Rawiya, a twelfth-century girl who disguised herself as a boy in order to apprentice herself to a famous mapmaker.

But the Syria Nour’s parents knew is changing, and it isn’t long before the war reaches their quiet Homs neighborhood.

When a stray shell destroys Nour’s house and almost takes her life, she and her family are forced to choose: stay and risk more violence or flee across seven countries of the Middle East and North Africa in search of safety—along the very route Rawiya and her mapmaker took eight hundred years before in their quest to chart the world.

As Nour’s family decides to take the risk, their journey becomes more and more dangerous, until they face a choice that could mean the family will be separated forever.

Following alternating timelines and a pair of unforgettable heroines coming of age in perilous times, The Map of Salt and Stars is the epic story of one girl telling herself the legend of another and learning that, if you listen to your own voice, some things can never be lost.

Date Added: 05/03/2018



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