The Orphans of Race Point
Synopsis: When a horrific act of violence shatters the peaceful October night in Provincetown, Massachusetts, the fates of nine-year-olds Gus Silva and Hallie Costa become inextricably entwined. Told in alternating voices, The Orphans of Race Point traces their relationship over the next three decades as they try to come to terms with the past. What begins as a childhood friendship evolves into something stronger, but when a terrible tragedy exhumes the ghosts they thought they’d put to rest, their dreams are abruptly destroyed.
Christy Says: Wow. This story mesmerized me and evoked emotions I seldom have when reading a novel. The characters will wrap themselves around your heart and the twists and turns of the story keep you wishing “if only…”. In short, this is a complex and emotional roller coaster ride that leaves you wanting more. I will definitely read more from Patry Francis, her writing won me over from the first page.
Call Number: F FRA
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand: A Novel
Synopsis: In the small village of Edgecombe St. Mary in the English countryside lives Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired), the unlikely hero of Helen Simonson’s wondrous debut. Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, the Major leads a quite life valuing the proper things that Englishmen have lived by for generations: honor, duty, decorum, and a properly brewed cup of tea. But then his brother’s death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their spouses, the major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But village society insists on embracing him as the quintessential local and regarding her as the permanent foreigner. Can their relationship survive the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of culture and tradition?
Donna Says: If you are in the mood for a charming romance, then I recommend Simonson’s debut. Major Pettigrew and Jasmina Ali discover that they have more in common than their love of Rudyard Kipling’s literature. There are obstacles to their relationship, of course, but you will cheer for them as they break down barriers in this comedy of manners.
Call Number: F SIM
I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales from a Happy Life Without Kids
Synopsis: “You’ll change your mind.” That’s what everyone says to Jen Kirkman – and countless women like her – when she confesses she doesn’t plan to have children. But you know what? It’s hard enough to be an adult. You have to dress yourself and pay bills and remember to buy birthday gifts. You have to drive and get annual physicals and tip for good service. Some adults take on the added burden of caring for a tiny human being with no language skills or bladder control. Parenthood can be very rewarding, but let’s face it, so are margaritas at the adults-only pool. I Can Barely Take Care of Myself is a beacon of hilarious hope for anyone whose major life decisions have been questioned by friends, family, and strangers in a comedy club bathroom.
Elizabeth Says: I only know Jen Kirkman from her guest appearances on some of my favorite podcasts not Chelsea Lately. It could be considered a memoir but she does a good job of tying together stories from her childhood and starting a comedy career to why she decided not to have kids. Kirkman has a great snarky sense of humor and I enjoyed her storytelling style.
Call Number: B KIR
Synopsis: Most people ignored the outrageous reports on the news. But they became too frequent, they became too real. And soon, they began happening down the street. Then the Internet died. The television and radio went silent. The phones stopped ringing. And we couldn’t look outside anymore. Malorie raises the children the only way she can; indoors. The house is quiet. The doors are locked, the windows are closed, mattresses are nailed over the windows. They are out there. She might let them in. The children sleep in the bedroom across the hall. Soon she will have to wake them. Soon she will have to blindfold them. Today they must leave the house. Today they will risk everything.
Megan Says: Bird Box is a remarkable story filled with true horror and incredible human resolve. I had deep compassion for the characters and developed a great investment in their unbelievable journey. Every step of the way they faced unimaginable obstacles, which they met with strength, perseverance, and unflinching courage…even in the midst of sure death. Bird Box is a triumph, truly a wonderful gem in the horror genre.
Call Number: HOR F MAL
Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files 1, War Cry
Jim Butcher, Mark Powers and Carlos Gomez
Synopsis: A war is raging between the vampire forces of the Red Court and the White Council – a war that the wizards are losing. So desperate are the Council that they’ve dragooned the experienced and the outcast to reinforce their thinning ranks of Wardens. One of these draftees is one Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only wizard-for-hire and a guy who’s long been looked upon with suspicion by the supernatural authorities. Now, he’s one of them, and his first big mission as a Warden is a doozy: take a small team of greenhorns to a frigid town in the middle of nowhere to rescue a handful of mortals who’ve been targeted by the Red Court. The question is, why are these particular mortals The answer will come only if Harry can keep them, and his team, alive for one very long night. This graphic novel collects the critically acclaimed, five-issued series.
Nina Says: The art isn’t at its best with issues at times with perspective, but it’s still Butcher’s sharp, in-your-face prose. Set during the war with the Red Court vampires, it seems downright nostalgic if you’re caught up with the novels. The bonus is it’s another never-before published or adapted story. A satisfying read to tide you over till the next book.
Call Number: GN DRE
The Just City
Synopsis: “Here is the Just City you will become your best selves. You will learn and grow and strive to be excellent.” Created as an experiment by the time-traveling goddess Pallas Athene, the Just City is a planned community, populated by over ten thousand children and a few hundred adult teachers from all eras of history, along with some handy robots from the far human future – all set down together on a Mediterranean island in the distant past. Then, a few years in, Sokrates arrives – the same Sokrates recorded by Plato himself – to ask all the troublesome questions you would expect. What happens next is a tale only the brilliant Jo Walton could tell.
Randall Says: Establishing Plato’s ideal society with philosophers gathered from 25 centuries: The Just City is a fascinating novel-as-thought-experiment. Plot definitely takes a back seat to ideas and most of the supporting characters are not fleshed out. However, Maia and Simmea (the two female protagonists) are brilliant, sympathetic characters that keep everything from feeling too much like a philosophy course. Walton’s accessible prose draws you into a mesmerizing world where messy realities fall troublingly short of the ideal. This is a novel that demands you argue with it and challenges you at every step. Provocative and disturbing: I’m eagerly awaiting part two.
Call Number: SFF F WAL