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Murder in Little Italy by Victoria Thompson, Gaslight mystery #8 (2006)
When a young mother who had delivered a new baby the day before is found dead and accusations fly between the girl’s Irish mother and her Italian in-laws, midwife Sarah Brandt joins with Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy to unravel the truth.
A Time for Mercy by John Grisham, Jack Brigance series #3 (2020)
Court-appointed lawyer Jake Brigance puts his career, his financial security, and the safety of his family on the line to defend a sixteen-year-old suspect who is accused of killing a local deputy and is facing the death penalty.
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman (2020)
Taken hostage by a failed bank robber while attending an open house, eight anxiety-prone strangers–including a redemption-seeking bank director, two couples who would fix their marriages, and a plucky octogenarian–discover their unexpected common traits.
Mill Town: Reckoning With What Remains by Kerri Arsenault (2020)
Kerri Arsenault grew up in the rural working class town of Mexico, Maine. For over 100 years the community orbited around a paper mill that employs most townspeople. Arsenault sifts through historical archives and scientific reports, talking to family and neighbors, and examining her own childhood to present a portrait of a community that illuminates not only the ruin of her hometown and the collapse of the working-class of America.
The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2020
A collection of the best science and nature writing published in North America in 2019, guest edited by New York Times best-selling author and ground-breaking physicist Dr. Michio Kaku.
One by One by Ruth Ware (2020)
When the cofounder of Snoop, a trendy London-based tech startup, organizes a weeklong trip for the team in the French Alps, it starts out as a corporate retreat like any other. But as soon as one shareholder upends the agenda by pushing a lucrative but contentious buyout offer, tensions simmer and loyalties are tested.
At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier (2016)
James Goodenough brings his family to Ohio to carve out a new life for them in the Black Swamp in 1838. Swamp fever gradually picks off their children and they wrestle daily with survival. Fifteen years later we pick up with their youngest son, Robert who has been running west since the trying to escape his memories of what happened. Then his past catches up with him and he’s forced to confront what he’s running from.
The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick (2019)
Librarian Martha Storm has always found it easier to connect with books than people–though not for lack of trying. She keeps careful lists of how to help others in her superhero-themed notebook. And yet, sometimes it feels like she’s invisible. All of that changes when a book of fairy tales arrives on her doorstep. Inside, Martha finds a dedication written to her by her best friend–her grandmother Zelda–who died under mysterious circumstances years earlier.
The Cold Millions by Jess Walters (2020)
Orphans Gig and Rye Dolan don’t have a penny to their names. The brothers work grueling, odd jobs each day just to secure a meal, and spend nights sleeping wherever they can with other day laborers. Twenty-three-year-old Gig is a passionate union man, fighting for fair pay and calling out the corrupt employers who exploit the working class. Eager to emulate his older brother, Rye follows suit, though he can’t quite muster Gig’s passion for the cause. But when Rye’s turn on the soap box catches the eye of well-known activist and suffragette Elizabeth Gurley, he is swept into the world of labor activism-and dirty business.
The Perfect Daughter by Joseph Souza (2020)
Shepherd’s Bay has been home to generations of lobstermen and their families. Lately, affluent newcomers have been buying up waterfront property and mingling uneasily with the locals. Tensions are high, especially since Dakota James, a teenage boy from the wealthier side of town, disappeared weeks ago. But another disturbing incident soon follows.
The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult (2020)
During a plane crash Dawn Edelstein doesn’t think of her husband but of Wyatt Armstrong a man she saw years ago. After surviving the crash Dawn doesn’t go home to her family, instead she heads of to find Wyatt. He is an archaeologist in Egypt unearthing ancient burial sites, a career Dawn once studied for but was forced to abandon.
Memorial by Bryan Washington (2020)
Mike is a Japanese American chef at a Mexican restaurant. Benson is a Black day care teacher. They’ve been together for a few years, but now they’re not sure why they’re still a couple. There’s the sex, sure, and the meals Mike cooks for Benson, and, well, they love each other. When Mike finds out his estranged father is dying in Osaka just as his acerbic Japanese mother, Mitsuko, arrives in Houston for a visit, Mike picks up and flies across the world to say goodbye. In Japan he discovers the truth about his family and his past. Back home, Mitsuko and Benson are stuck living together, but their time together ends up meaning more than they ever could have predicted. As both men change, will it make them stronger together, or fracture everything they’ve ever known?
I’ll Be Seeing You by Elizabeth Berg (2020)
The bestselling author, in this moving memoir, shares her experiences caring for her parents in their final years, charting the passage from the anguish of loss to the understanding that even in the most fractious of times, love can heal.
Four Scarpetta Novels by Patricia Cornwell
Last Precinct (2000), Blow Fly (2003), Predator (2005), and Book of the Dead (2007)
The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop by Fannie Flagg (2020)
Bud Threadgoode grew up in the bustling little railroad town of Whistle Stop, Alabama, with his mother Ruth, church going and proper, and the fun-loving hell-raiser, his Aunt Idgie. Together they ran the town’s popular Whistle Stop Cafe known far and wide for its famous “Fried Green Tomatoes.” And as Bud often said of his childhood, “How lucky can you get?” But sadly, the railroad yards began to shut down and the town became a ghost town, with nothing left but boarded-up buildings and memories of a happier time. Then one day, Bud decides to take one last trip, just to see where his beloved Whistle Stop used to be. In so doing, he discovers new surprises about Idgie’s life and about other beloved Fried Green Tomatoes characters, and about the town itself.
Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella (2020)
After a recent breakup and dating app debacle, Ava puts love on hold and escapes to a remote writers’ retreat in coastal Italy. She’s determined to finish writing the novel she’s been fantasizing about, even though it means leaving her friends and her precious dog, Harold, behind. At the retreat, she’s not allowed to use her real name or reveal any personal information. When the neighboring martial arts retreat is canceled and a few of its attendees join their small writing community, Ava, now going by “Aria,” meets “Dutch” (aka Matt), a man who seems too good to be true.
Essay Collections by Wendell Berry:
Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food (2009)
The Art of Loading Brush: New Agrarian Writings (2017)
The Gift of Good Land: Further Essays, Cultural and Agricultural (1981)
The Butterfly Lampshade by Aimee Bender (2020)
While waiting for to leave for the train station Francie falls asleep with a butterfly lamp next to the sofa. When she wakes, Francie spies a dead butterfly, exactly matching the ones on the lamp, floating in a glass of water. Twenty years later, Francie is compelled to make sense of that moment, and two other incidents. As Francie conjures her past, and reduces her engagement with the world to a bare minimum, she begins to question her relationship to reality
Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam (2020)
Amanda and Clay head to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they’ve rented for the week. The houseowners, Ruth and G. H., arrive in the middle of the night in a panic. They say a sudden blackout has swept the city: the TV and internet are down, and no cell phone service. Is the vacation home, isolated from civilization, a safe place for their families? And are they safe from one other?
Mrs. Mohr Goes Missing by Maryla Szymiczkowa (2020)
A charming, witty, and deliciously spooky mystery, inspired by the work of Agatha Christie, following a bored socialite who becomes Cracow’s most cunning amateur sleuth.
A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult (2018)
A gunman bursts into a center of a women’s reproductive health services clinic and opens fire, taking all inside hostage. Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, sets up a perimeter and begins making a plan to communicate with the gunman. As his phone vibrates with incoming text messages he glances at it and, to his horror, finds out that his fifteen-year-old daughter, Wren, is inside the clinic.
Caste: The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson (2020)
Wilkerson identifies the qualifying characteristics of historical caste systems to reveal how a rigid hierarchy of human rankings, enforced by religious views, heritage and stigma, impact everyday American lives.
Harry’s Trees by Jon Cohen (2018)
Thirty-four-year-old Harry Crane works as an analyst for the US Forest Service. When his wife dies suddenly, he is unable to cope. Leaving his job and his old life behind, Harry makes his way to the remote woods of northeastern Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains, determined to lose himself. But fate intervenes in the form of a determined young girl named Oriana.
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