Posted in Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Historical, Mystery, Nonfiction, Romance, Thrillers

While You Wait June 2023: The Covenant of Water and Small-Town Wisconsin

It’s no surprise to find a novel that’s been chosen for Oprah’s Book Club at the top of our most-requested books, and that’s the case with The Covenant of Water. I was pretty surprised at our top nonfiction book, however – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a travel book so high up on the list before! It does make sense, however, given the time of year – this might be the perfect season to get out for some Wisconsin road trip fun.

The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese

Spanning the years 1900 to 1977, The Covenant of Water is set in Kerala, on South India’s Malabar Coast, and follows three generations of a family that suffers a peculiar affliction: in every generation, at least one person dies by drowning—and in Kerala, water is everywhere. At the turn of the century, a twelve-year-old girl from Kerala’s long-existing Christian community, grieving the death of her father, is sent by boat to her wedding, where she will meet her forty-year-old husband for the first time. From this unforgettable new beginning, the young girl—and future matriarch, known as Big Ammachi—will witness unthinkable changes over the span of her extraordinary life, full of joy and triumph as well as hardship and loss, her faith and love the only constants.

Continue reading “While You Wait June 2023: The Covenant of Water and Small-Town Wisconsin”
Posted in Adult, Award Winners, Fiction, New & Upcoming

June 2023 Library Reads

Every month, library workers from across the country vote on their favorite upcoming books. This month’s selections include a time travel romance, a historical novel about Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary McLeod Bethune’s friendships, and a recently elected sheriff trying to track down a killer in rural Virginia.

Top Pick: The Quiet Tenant by Clémence Michallon

The entire town feels sorry for Aidan Thomas when his wife dies. But the mysterious woman staying in the house Aidan shares with his teenage daughter has seen a very different side of him … and knows her every move has life-or-death stakes. A great pick for thriller fans looking for a page-turner with a strong female protagonist. —Mara Bandy Fass, Champaign Public Library

While you wait: The Last Housewife by Ashley Winstead

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Posted in Adult, Fiction, Film, New & Upcoming, Nonfiction

Read Now, Watch Later

As always, Hollywood is taking from the pages for inspiration! See below for a list of books that are being adapted for the screen.

**Click the book title to be brought directly to our online catalog’s listing to place the title on hold or learn more.

American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin

This book’s adaption will be released under a shorter name: Oppenheimer. Both mediums are about Physicist J Robert Oppenheimer as he works with a team of scientists during the Manhattan Project, leading to the development of the atomic bomb. The film, directed by Christopher Nolan, has a runtime of 2 hours and 30 minutes. It will explode into theaters on July 21, 2023.

Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie

This year marks the release of the third Hercule Poirot movie staring Kenneth Branagh as the brainy detective. The movie will be called A Haunting in Venice. The story follows Poirot investigating a murder that happens during a Halloween seance at a haunted palazzo in Venice, Italy. Spooky! The film is set to release September 15, 2023, right before your own Halloween party.

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Lessons in Chemistry is a bestseller that has been impossible to keep on our shelves. It follows female chemist Elizabeth Zott in the 1950’s and 60’s. Elizabeth loves science but, when life happens, ends up on a cooking show. On the show, Elizabeth teaches women not just how to cook but to change their lives. This novel is being adapted into a mini-series on Apple-TV staring Captain Marvel‘s Brie Larson. The series is expected to be out in 2023.

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

Another story inspired by real life! Killers of the Flower Moon is about the murders of 24 members of oil-rich Osage tribe in 1920s Oklahoma, all for gold. The film directed by the renowned Martin Scorsese and is set to release on October 6, 2023. While you can take a break between reading chapters, note that the film has announced it has a runtime of 3 hours and 26 minutes. With its star studded cast, subject matter, and big budget, the film is rumored to be expected to win many awards.

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

My Lovely Wife is a psychological thriller that hooks readers in. The story is a mixture of Gone Girl meets American Psycho as it follows a couple who, to keep their marriage alive, find murderous ways to spice things up. Of course, things don’t always go as planned. Netflix has the rights and the director lined up, so hopefully more updates will come soon!

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover’s hit book It Ends with Us is in production. Behind the scenes set photos featuring Blake Lively have been popping up online. Some fans are excited while others say that 23 year old main character isn’t perfectly cast. Only time will tell! While there is no release date for the film yet, readers have time to read both the novel and its sequel It Starts With Us. Fun fact: Collen Hoover has sold more books than James Patterson in 2022!

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Set to premiere on Amazon Prime in August 2023, Red, White &Royal Blue is a enemies to lovers rom com. The story centers on the romance between Alex Claremont-Diaz, a first son of the United States, and Prince Henry, a British prince.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple is slated to get its second movie adaption. Currently, the film is expected to premiere on December 25, 2023 in theaters. The film is produced by Oprah Winfrey and stars Fantasia Barrino, Halle Bailey, Danielle Brooks, and Taraji P. Henson. Rumors have already begun that this classic book’s adaptation will be up for numerous Oscars.

Do you think the books will be better than the adaptions? Only one way to find out!

Posted in Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, History, Nonfiction, Romance

While You Wait May 2023: The Five-Star Weekend and The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder

Elin Hilderbrand has a new novel out, and that’s topping our fiction holds right now – not too surprising as she’s a very popular author! And on the non-fiction side, we have the dramatic story of an 18th-century shipwreck and the chaos that ensued after one group of survivors washed ashore… only to be followed six months later by a second group accusing them of murder!

The Five-Star Weekend by Elin Hilderbrand

Hollis Shaw’s life seems picture-perfect. She’s the creator of the popular food blog Hungry with Hollis and is married to Matthew, a dreamy heart surgeon. But after she and Matthew get into a heated argument one snowy morning, he leaves for the airport and is killed in a car accident. The cracks in Hollis’s perfect life—her strained marriage and her complicated relationship with her daughter, Caroline—grow deeper.

So when Hollis hears about something called a “Five-Star Weekend”—one woman organizes a trip for her best friend from each phase of her life: her teenage years, her twenties, her thirties, and midlife—she decides to host her own Five-Star Weekend on Nantucket. But the weekend doesn’t turn out to be a joyful Hallmark movie.

The husband of Hollis’s childhood friend Tatum arranges for Hollis’s first love, Jack Finigan, to spend time with them, stirring up old feelings. Meanwhile, Tatum is forced to play nice with abrasive and elitist Dru-Ann, Hollis’s best friend from UNC Chapel Hill. Dru-Ann’s career as a prominent Chicago sports agent is on the line after her comments about a client’s mental health issues are misconstrued online. Brooke, Hollis’s friend from their thirties, has just discovered that her husband is having an inappropriate relationship with a woman at work. Again! And then there’s Gigi, a stranger to everyone (including Hollis) who reached out to Hollis through her blog. Gigi embodies an unusual grace and, as it happens, has many secrets.

Continue reading “While You Wait May 2023: The Five-Star Weekend and The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder”
Posted in Fantasy, Film, LGBTQI+, Science Fiction

I Sense a Disturbance in the Force

May the 4th has come and gone. You’ve marathoned the movies. Maybe you’ve read the comics or one of the novels. Perhaps you’re still working through Star Wars: Jedi Survivor. But you’ve still got a hankering for even more content like Star Wars. Don’t worry! I have a few suggestions.

Spaceballs (DVD/Blu-ray)

Spaceballs is a comedy classic. Arguably, it’s my favorite of Mel Brooks’ films. It hits just the right blend of slapstick and satire. There’s a great merchandizing joke in the film that feels so appropriate with just how much Star Wars merch there is these days.

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Posted in Adult, Fantasy, Fiction, Staff Picks, Uncategorized

A Series of Love Affairs

Dear reader, I have a confession. Until several months ago I have never read a romance book. But then, I bought this magical thing called a Kindle and ever since then I’ve been reading books I never would have before…like romance! This is my first Kindle so I don’t know if this phenomenon has happened to other people, or is it just me? Something about reading books on that little screen has opened up a portal into new authors and genres.

The romance series I’m going to be talking about today popped up in the Kindle store. It includes a strong female heroine raised by mercenaries, a handsome and chivalrous male lead, dragons, magic, swords, and sarcasm! What more could you want, right? Immediately hooked, I downloaded it and have now devoured three books in the 12 book series. It is definitely one of those series where the romance bits give you a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. ‘Twas perfect reading for our extended winter!

What series is this? Well, I’m glad you asked! It is The Nine Kingdoms series by Lynn Kurland. It follows Morgan as she rises from an orphan trained as a lethal wielder of a sword to a woman who just might contain the only power needed to save the nine kingdoms! Along the way she discovers startling revelations about her family, the man she slowly falls in love with, and herself.

Star of the Morning by Lynn Kurland

Darkness covers the north, since the black mage has begun his assault on the kingdom of Neroche. Legend has it that only the two magical swords held by Neroche’s king can defeat the mage. Now the fate of the Nine Kingdoms rests in the hands of a woman destined to wield one of those blades…

In this land of dragons and mages, warrior maids and magical swords, nothing is as it seems. And Morgan will find that the magic in her blood brings her troubles she cannot face with a sword-and a love more powerful than she has ever imagined.

If you love slow-burn romances, then this book – and series – is for you! Are you ready to fall in love with the characters of the nine kingdoms?

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Posted in Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Nonfiction

While You Wait April 2023: Pineapple Street and Poverty, By America

I was not familiar with the author of this month’s top fiction book, Jenny Jackson, and taking a look, it looks like this is her debut novel! It’s pretty impressive to end up at the top of the most-requested list with your first book. And in non-fiction, we have a followup book to the popular Evicted by Matthew Desmond.

Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson

Darley, the eldest daughter in the well-connected old money Stockton family, followed her heart, trading her job and her inheritance for motherhood but giving up far too much in the process; Sasha, a middle-class New England girl, has married into the Brooklyn Heights family, and finds herself cast as the arriviste outsider; and Georgiana, the baby of the family, has fallen in love with someone she can’t have, and must decide what kind of person she wants to be.

Rife with the indulgent pleasures of life among New York’s one-percenters, Pineapple Street is a smart, escapist novel that sparkles with wit. Full of recognizable, loveable—if fallible—characters, it’s about the peculiar unknowability of someone else’s family, the miles between the haves and have-nots, and the insanity of first love—all wrapped in a story that is a sheer delight.

Continue reading “While You Wait April 2023: Pineapple Street and Poverty, By America”
Posted in Adult, Fiction, Horror, Mystery, New & Upcoming, Science Fiction, Thrillers

April 2023 Library Reads

Every month, librarians from across the country pick the upcoming book releases they’re most excited to get their hands on. This month, we have a re-telling of Pinocchio full of quirky and charming characters, a thriller set in the classical music world, a humorous anti-heist novel, and three tales of horrors that move unseen, including one set aboard a spaceship.

Top Pick: In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune

Clearly if you need a book about a robot that’s guaranteed to have you break out into heaving sobs, this is the novel for you. Klune’s masterful retelling of Pinocchio — a little bit science fiction, a little bit dystopian, and a little bit book-clubby–is a sure-fire winner with so much appeal on so many levels it should prompt readers of all genres to step into something new and original. For fans of The Maker of Swans and The Night Circus. —Douglas Beatty, Baltimore County Public Library

While you wait: A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers

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Posted in Adult, Fiction, Mystery, Nonfiction

While You Wait March 2023: I Have Some Questions For You and The Mountain Is You

Our popular non-fiction book this month is actually from 2020, proving the enduring appeal of self-help books. And in fiction, we have an author who hasn’t appeared in this series before, Rebecca Makkai – one of her previous novels, The Great Believers, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2019, however! Take a look at these books below as well as a few to tide you over during the wait in the queue.

I Have Some Questions For You by Rebecca Makkai

A successful film professor and podcaster, Bodie Kane is content to forget her past—the family tragedy that marred her adolescence, her four largely miserable years at a New Hampshire boarding school, and the murder of her former roommate, Thalia Keith, in the spring of their senior year. Though the circumstances surrounding Thalia’s death and the conviction of the school’s athletic trainer, Omar Evans, are hotly debated online, Bodie prefers—needs—to let sleeping dogs lie.

But when the Granby School invites her back to teach a course, Bodie is inexorably drawn to the case and its increasingly apparent flaws. In their rush to convict Omar, did the school and the police overlook other suspects? Is the real killer still out there? As she falls down the very rabbit hole she was so determined to avoid, Bodie begins to wonder if she wasn’t as much of an outsider at Granby as she’d thought—if, perhaps, back in 1995, she knew something that might have held the key to solving the case.

Continue reading “While You Wait March 2023: I Have Some Questions For You and The Mountain Is You”
Posted in Adult, Award Winners, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, Horror, New & Upcoming, Romance

Library Reads: March 2023

Every month, librarians across the country highlight the upcoming titles they’re most excited to read. This month’s picks include a horror novel set in early 20th century Montana, a retelling of the Greek myth of Clytemnestra, and a coming-of-age novel set in Prohibition-era Virginia.

Top Pick: Lone Women by Victor LaValle

A homestead far from prying eyes offers Adelaide a fresh start in 1915 Montana. She makes a few female friends–after all, lone women need to stick together. But a secret that won’t be contained or silenced soon threatens her new life. Horror mixed with resilient characters in complex relationships make this a must-read for fans of A Dangerous Business and When Women Were Dragons.

—Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, TX

Continue reading “Library Reads: March 2023”